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Hundreds of people join bike ride to Congress for safer streets

Organizer Dan Langenkamp said there are 1,500 riders expected at the weekend rally

WASHINGTON — More than a thousand people are expected to pedal to Congress to demand safer streets from lawmakers in memory of U.S. diplomat Sarah Langenkamp. Langenkamp was hit by a truck in a bike lane in Bethesda back in August.  

The "Ride for your Life" rally is being organized by Langenkamp's husband Dan Langenkamp. Langenkamp is partnering with bike groups  including Trek Bicycle, PeopleForBikes and the Washington Area Bicyclist Association (WABA) for the rally happening Nov. 19.

The ride will start at 10 a.m. at Wood Acres Elementary School. The route will take participants to the crash site on River Road near Brookside Drive and to Capitol Hill. 

Langenkamp said as of Friday, more than 1,500 people have registered to take part. It will be the largest ride ever organized by the Washington Area Bicyclist Association, according to Langenkamp. 

Maryland Rep. Jamie Raskin is expected to speak at the rally, along with Trek president John Burke.

Credit: Dan Langenkamp

The goal is to demand $200 million in federal funding for local government to improve cycling routes and implement new truck regulations including additional training and the use of automated driver assistance systems.

"The ride is going to re-trace Sarah's bike ride that day," Dan told WUSA9. "There are some great organizations that are out there working on bike safety and  are asking for an appropriation, but this kind of ride I think is a first of its kind."

Sarah was biking home from her son's school when she was hit by a driver. She was in the bike lane when the flat-bed truck hit her while making a right turn, according to police. 

The family moved to Bethesda only three weeks earlier after they were recently evacuated from Ukraine, where she was a diplomat at the U.S. Embassy in Kyiv.

Her death garnered plenty of attention and helped Dan raise $281,000 through a GoFundMe created to support safer street initiatives. Dozens of people also participated in a memorial in her honor. 

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