Urban Tribe - Ride with your kids in front.

Memorial ride planned for Friday night

Posted by on October 11th, 2007 at 6:25 pm


Sign at the corner of SW 14th and Burnside
(Photo © Jonathan Maus)

Please join us for a slow ride up Burnside to the location of today’s tragic collision.

It will start from the west approach of the Burnside Bridge (where the Burnside is closed to motor vehicles).

Meet at 6:00 pm. Ride at 6:30.

Candles, flowers, notes…bring whatever you think is appropriate.

NOTE: We love your comments and work hard to ensure they are productive, considerate, and welcoming of all perspectives. Disagreements are encouraged, but only if done with tact and respect. If you see a mean or inappropriate comment, please contact us and we'll take a look at it right away. Thank you — Jonathan

  • Matt October 11, 2007 at 6:33 pm

    This is so sad.

    I\’ll be there.

    In addition to flowers, perhaps consider a donation to the BTA or CCC, to help Portland achieve its goal of making cycling safer for everybody.

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  • Dennis October 11, 2007 at 7:46 pm

    I think that perhaps, we should all walk our bikes. Solidarity for a fallen rider, and those that have gone before.

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  • P Finn October 11, 2007 at 8:22 pm

    Like cars driving slowly at a funeral…genius…

    I second Dennis\’ motion.

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  • teej October 11, 2007 at 8:55 pm

    I think the idea of a walk through the area is great. I\’m not sure I feel like riding my bike tomorrow anyway, so I will be there on foot.

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  • Conlan October 11, 2007 at 9:06 pm

    this was my girlfriend…I\’ll be at the front of the ride tomorrow…I would appreciate your support by showing up and riding. I don\’t know what else to write, I can\’t calm my thoughts. thank you for riding for her.

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  • Marc October 11, 2007 at 9:15 pm

    I like the walking bikes idea too.

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  • Dennis October 11, 2007 at 9:16 pm

    perhaps a whole bunch of riders, walking slowly, stopping traffic will make the news. People need to think of this young lady, and others when they drive.

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  • Aaron October 11, 2007 at 10:18 pm

    I cannot even put into words how difficult this must be. I feel very deeply for you. It\’s so incredibly sad to lose a person that is important to you. However the notion that such loss of human life is not seen to be worth prosecution just rubs salt in the wound. I deeply hope that some positive changes come about as a result of this tragedy.

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  • Hollie October 11, 2007 at 10:40 pm


    I am so terribly sorry for what happened to your girlfriend today. I\’ll encourage every cyclist I know to ride for her tomorrow, and I\’ll be there, too.

    I hope the body of people who come out tomorrow will give you some comfort.

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  • Katey October 12, 2007 at 6:42 am

    to my friend conlan…

    you loved her so…

    really there are no words. you and your girlfriend are in the heart.

    I will be there to walk with you since i do not have a bike.

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  • MattRoss World October 12, 2007 at 7:29 am


    I love you. She was and IS beautiful in all aspects.

    Rebel Alliance!

    Life is highway.

    MattRoss World

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  • Tiago October 12, 2007 at 7:52 am

    I am deeply sorry, Conlan. I\’ll see you tonight.

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  • laurie October 12, 2007 at 8:03 am

    I was inside Ringlers when the accident happened. ( I did not see it).
    I was one of the people that went out to see if I could help before medical people got there. I am going to leavecontact info with the management at Ringlers later today if you or her family wants to talk to me. myself and a man were with her on the ground those few minutes. She had tons of love those few minutes. Laurie

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  • Tiago October 12, 2007 at 8:14 am

    Do you mind telling what was her name, so we can make notes?

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  • Tasha October 12, 2007 at 9:05 am

    I am so sorry I cannot be there tonight. I really want to, but I have to teach a workshop. My thoughts and prayers are with her and her family, friends, her boyfriend, and any who had contact with her in her life. So sad. This has really affected me and every time I bike (or drive or walk) past that intersection now, I will think of yesterday.

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  • Austin Ramsland October 12, 2007 at 9:48 am


    My deepest sympathies. I will be there tonight.

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  • erin g. October 12, 2007 at 10:01 am

    I see that I am not the only one who wants to be there tonight but can’t. I plan to visit the site to leave a memento and to pay my respects over lunch hour today, just after 12:00 noon. If anyone else is interested in coming along/having a smaller informal gathering at that time, you would be most welcome. It is very difficult to confront this sort of tragedy, so sometimes doing so with friends and supporters makes it more bearable. I’ll likely recruit some of my coworkers to walk over with me.

    My deepest condolences go to Conlan and to Tracey’s friends and family. I wish that I could be there with the rest of the community tonight. We are here to support you and to show that we care.

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  • Cøyøte October 12, 2007 at 10:18 am

    For those of you who are not personally connected, please call your favorite radio station, and ask them to make an anouncement of the vigil ride. I know a bunch of you just gave to the latest public radiothon. Make those dollars count.

    I have called, its your turn.

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  • […] Tracey Sparling was crushed by a cement truck as she rode her bike to class in downtown Portland. A memorial procession is planned for tonight. Everyone is encouraged to attend. The procession will include mourners on […]

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  • rixtir October 12, 2007 at 11:56 am

    Conlan, post 5:

    I\’m so sorry for your loss.

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  • john q public October 12, 2007 at 12:48 pm


    I am so sorry to hear about your loss. My deep condolences to both you and Tracey\’s other family and friends. My wife and I will be at the ride/walk.

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  • Rylee October 12, 2007 at 2:12 pm

    This is so sad i knew her and she was great
    i may not be at the bike ride but i wish the people that will be there good luck

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  • organic brian October 12, 2007 at 2:54 pm

    After the memorial ride, if you want to transform sadness into action:

    Ghost Bike email list:

    Ghost Bike website:

    List for discussing what we can do about dangerous motorists, this is where the monthly \”SafeTEA Parties\” safety awareness actions had been planned when they were still going on:

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  • Robin October 12, 2007 at 3:42 pm

    I\’m a PNCA student and plan on attending, I hope many of my fellow students will as well. So many of us ride to class everyday. My heart goes out to everyone that knew her. Family, Friends etc. PNCA is a small school and while we don\’t know everyone we still very tight knit.

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  • rixtir October 12, 2007 at 4:02 pm

    I\’ll be there.

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  • Morgan October 12, 2007 at 5:00 pm

    I just read what happened and I am in tears right now. I am getting my stuff together and riding down there.

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  • Kate October 12, 2007 at 5:44 pm

    I am reminded of Kristine Okins, a young female cyclist who died in early summer 2005. She too was struck by a truck in downtown.

    If anyone remembers, 2005 was a very bad year for cyclist deaths in Portland. Four cyclists died within the span of only about 4-5 weeks in early summer.

    Automobiles kill 43,000 people in the US every year. If a disease killed this many people every year, we\’d call it an epidemic and vow to put a halt to whatever was killing everyone. Why can\’t society take the same approach with automobiles?

    May Tracey, Kristine, and all the other cyclists who have died at the hands of automobiles rest in peace. My heart goes out to their families and friends.

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  • rixtir October 12, 2007 at 8:37 pm

    Portland must really love irony. On the way to the memorial ride tonight, I got right hooked.

    I saw it coming at the last second, so I was able to turn with her and avoid getting hit. Still…

    Rest In Peace, Tracey. I\’m so sorry.

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  • VR October 12, 2007 at 9:55 pm

    The ride tonight was both wonderful and terrible.

    It was great to see so many people caring about one cyclist.

    Too bad it was such a tragic event that brought it about.

    It was slightly surreal, quiet crowd with a melody of bike bells ringing throughout the ride.

    As far as I could tell there was minimal anger from motorists – only a couple drivers seemed to get peeved.

    I was also heartened by a few cars that stopped and the people inside asked me if this was the ride for the girl who died. So people clearly had heard about it…

    Automobiles kill 43,000 people in the US every year. If a disease killed this many people every year, we\’d call it an epidemic and vow to put a halt to whatever was killing everyone. Why can\’t society take the same approach with automobiles?


    (summary – we spend all this effort to stop \”terrorism\” when we kill the equivalent of 13 September 11ths every year with cars).

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  • Naoki October 13, 2007 at 3:50 am


    Although I\’ve never met you in person, as I sit here just learning about my cousin\’s passing in this horrible tragedy, I want to extend my condolences to you.

    Living so far away in L.A., I didn\’t get to see Tracey as often as I would have liked to have. I just heard about the news a few hours ago from relatives and I am still in shock and having a difficult time absorbing the reality of the situation.

    I did have the chance to see a photo of yourself and Tracey on one of the news websites earlier and you two looked so happy with each other.

    May she rest in peace and pray that we can all help each other get through this very difficult time. I wish we could turn back the hands of time and undo all of this…


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  • Drew October 13, 2007 at 7:30 pm

    That day we were at the light a block away and we saw the cement truck pull out. Yes, it was an accident. The bike was in the blind spot of the driver. It has to be everyone to look out for one another. But so often drivers see bicyclist thinking they own the road and not obeying the rules. Everyday I drive to work and pass a major route on Broadway heading onto the bridge. 1 out of 20 bikes fail to stop at the stop sign. They get hit… it\’s the drivers fault. But is it really. I take the time to look for bikes, but do they always take the time to look for cars or obey traffic signs.

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  • Drew October 13, 2007 at 8:57 pm

    Correction: Make that 1 our of 20 stop for the stop sign. They don\’t care.

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  • G October 14, 2007 at 6:35 pm

    Such a tragic loss to the Portland and West Salem community. A brilliant young lady. My heart goes out to all the family and friends. Take a moment to slow down both in life and on the road.

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  • Carl from Australia July 25, 2008 at 5:10 am

    My sympathies to this ladies friends and family. May our cycling sister rest in peace.

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