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Homage to bicyclist may lure 1,000 riders

Group intends to honor memory of Josie Johnson

SHARE Homage to bicyclist may lure 1,000 riders

Up to 1,000 bicyclists could make the ride from Guardsman's Way parking lot at the University of Utah to Big Cottonwood Canyon and back Oct. 30 in memory of Josie Johnson, who was struck and killed while riding her bicycle up the canyon on Sept. 18.

A group of local bicyclists and city, county and state officials interested in bicycle transportation issues met this past week at the Salt Lake City-County Building to hash out issues involved in staging the memorial ride and attendant rider safety issues.

The local bicycling community has come together to memorialize Johnson, who at 25 was struck from behind and killed while riding her bike up Big Cottonwood Canyon. She was an avid cyclist, runner, backpacker, swimmer and hiker.

Salt Lake Mayor Rocky Anderson attended the meeting and said he understands the frustration bike riders have trying to share the road with automobiles.

"I had my own experiences riding up Emigration Canyon every Sunday and having people honk and throw things at me," he said.

Anderson said he lived in terror when his son was riding a bike in the city. He suggested the group get together and help push through legislation that would make bike riding safer throughout the state.

Promoters of the Oct. 30 ride are asking participants to meet at the U.'s tailgating parking lot on Guardsman's Way between 11:30 a.m. and noon.

Details of how the group, expected to be large, will travel the route and cross Foothill Boulevard onto Wasatch Boulevard without causing traffic jams are to be worked out.

E-mail: lweist@desnews.com