On December 22, 2017, professional cyclist Jason Lowndes was killed after being struck by a car whilst training near Mandurang, just outside of Bendigo. Now, with the support of the Lowndes family, the Bendigo Cycling Network is organising a Ride of Silence on Saturday 19th May 2018 to bring collective attention to road safety.

Jason was a past participant of the Energy Breakthrough with Bendigo South East SC and Bendigo Senior SC and also competed in the Australian International Pedal Prix. He was aged just 23 years old when he died. The Energy Breakthrough team extend their condolences to Jason’s family and friends.

Jason Lowndes was larger than life

A young man with a big handshake, a big smile and an even bigger laugh. He’d ridden with teams including Garneau-Québecor, Drapac, the Israel Cycling Academy and was set to race for the British team JLT Condor in 2018.
One highlight from his all-too-brief career was a well-deserved sixth place in the 2017 U23 World Championships Road Race held in Qatar. His potential as a sprinter was significant.
Jason had charisma in abundance and as his close friends and fellow cyclists told the Bendigo Advertiser in December 2017 the impact they had on their lives:

“Jason had a positive outlook on every situation and always saw the best in people,” friend and fellow pro rider Robbie Hucker said.

“Having the pleasure of knowing someone like that made your life better. “He didn’t go out of his way to make your day better… it was just his natural personality to care about others.”

~ Source: http://www.bendigoadvertiser.com.au/story/5143401/bikes-laughs-music-and-cakes-jason-lowndes-wonderful-world/

Above: Jason, second from right, with his Bendigo Senior SC HPV team mates.

Editor’s Note: A Personal Impact

So, it’s clearly taken me a long time to write this story up.

I only met Jason personally a couple of times through Human Powered Vehicles (HPV), but this one lands close to home. This accident occurred less than 10km from where I live on a very, very popular cycling route that I (and most Bendigo cyclists) have ridden hundreds of times.

One good friend of mine – through HPVs – was out riding that road himself on that day and was one of the first on the scene. Another friend taught Jason for a number of years at Bendigo South East SC and then later Bendigo Senior SC.

We can so easily imagine this story being re-written about me, one of my friends, or one of the thousands of young people who are riding their bikes on roads in preparation for the Energy Breakthrough.

Ride of Silence (Bendigo)

With the support of the Lowndes family, the Bendigo Cycling Network is organising a Ride of Silence to bring collective attention to road safety. Jason’s father will be leading the ride. As people who work with young people who ride on our roads, the Network extends this invitation to you. Here are the details:

Date: Saturday 19th May 2018

Time: Briefing from 8:45am sharp.

Start Location: Landmark, 148-152 Midland Hwy, Bendigo VIC 3551

Finish Location: Alexandra Fountain, Charing Cross, Bendigo VIC 3550

Pace: 15 km/h – 18 km/h to encourage participation of all. This is NOT a competitive event.

Traffic: Victoria Police will be providing rolling closure through traffic light controlled intersections.

Why? To make a statement through a critical mass that as Bendigo cyclists and road users we seek to feel safe on our roads. Both for this generation and future generations, too.

Ride Contact: Eddie Barkla, Phone: 5440 5831; Mobile: 0419 422 628; Email: ebarkla@powercor.com.au

I hope to see you there.