On June 8, Steve Norwick set out for his regular Friday morning bike ride from his home near the SSU campus to Penngrove, where he'd enjoy coffee and breakfast with friends. Tragically, Norwick was fatally injured in a hit-and-run crash on Petaluma Hill Road. The driver didn't stop (or even slow down, according to reports), even as Norwick was tossed into a ditch, where he lost consciousness permanently, dying twelve days later.
The man convicted of hitting Norwick, 68-year-old Robert Cowart, could now face charges of vehicular manslaughter and felony hit-and-run.
The case has sent shockwaves through the cycling community, as well as Sonoma State University, where Norwick taught for nearly four decades in the Environmental Studies and Planning Department. For those of us who ride our bikes everyday, whether for fun or commuting, the case is a reminder that some drivers just shouldn't be on the road (Cowart had suffered a stroke—most likely before the crash—and had to be wheeled out of the courtroom in a wheelchair) and that we must be careful and diligent at all times.
But Professor Norwick's loved ones have said that the last thing that the beloved father, friend and professor would have wanted is for people to stop riding their bikes. In that spirit, the Sonoma County Bicycle Coalition, Jill B. Nimble Bike Club, and other partners will honor Steve Norwick by holding a memorial bicycle ride on Sunday, July 8th. Everyone is invited to participate.
· The ride will begin and end in the parking lot at Spreckels Performing Arts Center in Rohnert Park
· Gather at 9:30 a.m. for 10:00 a.m. departure
· There will be four routes to accommodate a range of rider ability/interest:
38 mile route led by Tom Helm: http://ridewithgps.com/routes/1393221
14 mile silent route led by Dawn Silveira: http://ridewithgps.com/routes/1389668 ]
10 mile route led by Vin Hoagland: http://ridewithgps.com/routes/1388934
SCBC ED Gary Helfrich will lead a ride (details to come) following a route Steve Norwick often followed when leading students on geology excursions.
For more information, contact Sandra Lupien, Outreach Director, 707-694-8702, Sandra@BikeSonoma.org