News

Danville: Commemorative bike ride, memorial set for cyclist killed near Diablo

Participants to take photo near 'ghost bike' memorial site

A group of Tri-Valley bicyclists are set to gather for a commemorative bike ride in Danville on Thursday, to honor the life of 46-year-old Novato resident Maayan Jones, who was killed in a crash while riding his bike on Mount Diablo Scenic Boulevard near Diablo on June 26.

Led by the recreational group Mount Diablo Cyclists, residents are invited to bring their bicycles to The Athenian School parking lot, 2100 Mt Diablo Scenic Blvd., at 6:30 p.m. Thursday, to meet up with fellow cyclists and remember Jones’ life.

Once at the school, participants will ride a short distance toward Mount Diablo where a memorial “ghost bike” has been set up on the side of the road for a group photo.

"Our cycling community mourns the tragic death of Maayan Jones, husband and father of three sons,” Mount Diablo Cyclists officials wrote in a statement. “Please join us on Thursday, July 11, at 6:30 p.m. for a group photograph to show our support for his family.”

Jones was killed on the evening of June 26, after he collided head-on with an SUV while riding his bike in the Diablo area of unincorporated Contra Costa County. Authorities say that he was wearing his helmet at the time of the crash, and the driver involved in the collision remained behind to cooperate with police.

According to his family obituary, Jones was a father of three, who was born in Israel and moved to the United States with his family at the age of 1, growing up in Stockton.

He worked as a finance analyst in the insurance industry, was an avid outdoors-man and enjoyed coaching kids' soccer and baseball.

“He was doing one of the things he enjoyed most -- riding his bike on the mountain,” his family obituary read. “Maayan is survived by his three beloved boys: Sasha, Jordan and Ben; his wife Valentina; his parents Kenneth and Devorah; his brother Shaki of Stockton; his cousins, nieces, nephews, aunts, uncles and many friends.”

Editor's note: Information from Bay City News Service was used in this article.

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Comments

7 people like this
Posted by anonymous
a resident of Danville
on Jul 14, 2019 at 12:16 pm

I will no longer enjoy the beauty of Diablo Park even though I have been a homeowner here for 30 years. I am very, very sorry that this happened but I choose to not enjoy the drive to Mt. Diablo because what I have observed are cars obeying the speed limits but bike riders are not. Flying down roads at 40-55 mph , sailing around autos and generally being reckless is not what should be happening---anywhere. I wrote to Mt. Diablo office who never even responded. That is sad too. I would appreciate that I am also entitled to an opinion and that Mt. Diablo has lost a visitor and revenue from me. Again, very sorry for the loss of this person and for their family but something needs to be done about the riders not obeying laws in and around Danville, Alamo, and San Ramon. Not staying in lanes, flipping off drivers, not obeying lights and ridign in packs. The good riders pay attention and share the roads properly. Many do not.


9 people like this
Posted by Nick
a resident of San Ramon
on Jul 14, 2019 at 4:46 pm

My empathy is for the innocent driver. Cyclists have every right to ride on Mt. Diablo, but exercising your full rights as a cyclist is a very foolish thing to do. I'm a cyclist, but I would never ride on Mt. Diablo. It should be against your better judgment. Every cyclist on the mountain has "close calls" and 1 in 3 rides is a close call, from what I'm hearing. Wise up.


3 people like this
Posted by Resident
a resident of Danville
on Jul 15, 2019 at 2:49 pm

Nick - I have empathy for both the cyclist and the driver, a tragic incident. How did you conclude the driver was innocent or not partially at fault - have you seen an accident investigation report or have a set of independent facts that you can share?


9 people like this
Posted by Nick
a resident of San Ramon
on Jul 16, 2019 at 10:03 am

Resident - No, I haven't seen the accident report. But I'm well aware (according to the rangers I know) that cyclists are usually at fault. Read the 2014 Mt. Diablo Cyclist article. You can google it. It's a pro-cyclist article, but the ranger is quoted that cyclists are ticketed for going over 50MPH in a 20 MPH zone, and bragging about it. I'm also well aware that a lot of cyclists (especially men) are militant about their cycling. Drivers are more likely to follow the speed limit on the mountain. Personally, I feel that any cyclist that rides any mountain (Mt. Diablo is more dangerous than Mt. Tam - I grew up in Marin) is very foolish. There isn't room for bikes and cars on the same road, and the bike will always lose. Anyone who continues to ride on a mountain after a close call (100% of cyclists surveyed admitted to a close call) is not exercising common sense and good judgment. The drivers life will NEVER be the same, and the driver wasn't foolish for being on the mountain. Cyclists are too vunerable on a mountain, and they need to wise up. Sadly, this will continue. I don't drive on Mt. Diablo because I don't want to hit a cyclist. This is very preventable.


8 people like this
Posted by David
a resident of Danville
on Jul 19, 2019 at 9:14 am

Nick,
You have no idea what you’re talking about.


7 people like this
Posted by Jennifer
a resident of Danville
on Jul 23, 2019 at 8:39 am

I agree with Nick.


6 people like this
Posted by Diane
a resident of Danville
on Jul 23, 2019 at 4:49 pm

The topic at hand is a memorial bike ride for someone who lost his life. Please, can we stay on topic as a way of honoring this man and those who lost him, rather than speculating regarding who is at fault?


4 people like this
Posted by Jennifer
a resident of Danville
on Jul 23, 2019 at 5:41 pm

Diane - You have no right to dictate how someone can or can't comment. A lot of us are at our wits end with cyclists, and we have a "you made you bed, you're lying in it" mindset. We have every right to feel this way, and it's none of your concern how other people comment. This isn't your news site. Ever heard of Freedom of Speech?

If you're foolish enough to put yourself in harms way on Mt. Diablo with vehicles weighing several thousand pounds, cry me a river.


I have as much empathy for cyclists foolish enough to ride on Mt. Diablo as I do people bungee jumping off a bridge. You can't fix stupid.


6 people like this
Posted by Diane
a resident of Danville
on Jul 26, 2019 at 1:49 pm

Jennifer: Awesome sentiment, just fantastic of you to adopt a "you made your bed, you're lying in it" attitude related to an article regarding a memorial bike ride, to honor someone who lost their life. By all means, continue to display the epitome of compassion for this man's family. Clearly, you can't fix a personality devoid of empathy.


6 people like this
Posted by Not a biker
a resident of Danville
on Jul 26, 2019 at 4:53 pm

I agree, all this speculation and blame for this biker is misplaced in a forum related to a his memorial ride. If you witnessed this accident by all means, let the PD know what you saw. Sharing your frustration about bikers in general in this way, and in this forum is not okay. If you have a beef, it's easy to start a new topic but please, leave this man's memorial ride topic alone.


5 people like this
Posted by Steve
a resident of Diablo
on Jul 26, 2019 at 5:10 pm

I'll be honest... I agree with Nick and Jennifer. I have compassion for people, if it's warranted. I have a 100% accountability, no excuses mindset. There is no excuse for riding dangerously on a mountain, especially if you're married with children. As a happily married man, my responsibility is to my wife and children. Not getting my rush on a mountain.

Okay... so this might not be the best forum to express our frustrations. As a resident of Diablo (who deals with cyclists daily) I will express my frustration. These cyclists need to wise up about their own mortality. And until they do, you will continue to read the comments from a frustrated community. The cyclists have no one to blame but themselves.

Someone died on a dangerous road, and they ride on the same road? What's the definition of insanity? Doing the same thing over and over, and expecting different results. Unbelievable.

Maybe a wake-up call will save a life.


6 people like this
Posted by Not a biker
a resident of Danville
on Jul 26, 2019 at 7:37 pm

Steve, where did it say this man was riding dangerously? I haven't seen it characterized this way. There have been accidents with bikers killed on streets with bike lanes, by drivers who drove wrecklessly. I'm not sure whether anyone was at fault in this case, but I still agree that it is at minimum unkind to the people in this guys life to hijack this thread to grind an axe based on someone's opinion regarding bikers in general. Not cool.


5 people like this
Posted by Steve
a resident of Diablo
on Jul 26, 2019 at 7:57 pm

Not a biker... Riding on Mt. Diablo IS riding dangerously. There are blind curves, no bike lanes, etc. Cyclists have taken over Mt. Diablo (there are more cyclists than cars on the mountain these days). We can no longer enjoy Mt. Diablo either. I don't want to hit a cyclist. There isn't room for cyclists and cars. They need to be separated. These cyclists have HIJACKED our neighborhood (we live in the Mt. Scenic neighborhood). Flipping off our family members is unkind too. We clear?


8 people like this
Posted by Not a biker
a resident of Danville
on Jul 26, 2019 at 8:21 pm

You feel the bikers have hijacked "your" neighborhood, on this I am clear. Apparently you feel that reason enough to hijack a thread regarding someone's memorial (are you blaming this person for flipping your family members off? Really?) Nicely done. You're a real stand up guy.


4 people like this
Posted by Jennifer
a resident of Danville
on Jul 26, 2019 at 8:54 pm

We're all entitled to our opinion, and all opinions should be respected. If you're overly sensitive, you shouldn't be reading online comments. The only person who has any right to say what can or can't be said is the moderator or owner of this site (on any site). If you want to tell other people how to comment, create your own website.


12 people like this
Posted by JD
a resident of Danville
on Jul 27, 2019 at 7:59 pm

I'm beyond frustrated at the bikers on Mt. Diablo. Many of them are hard to see and seem to fly down the hill. I agree though, that we don't know what happened in this particular instance, yet many of you seem to be blaming the rider for your frustrations with riders in general. I'm so sorry for his family, and I'm hoping they aren't following this thread and seeing your heartless comments. This is not the place to grind your axes. If you have an issue with riders in general, then you should start a new thread regarding that subject. This isn't it!


3 people like this
Posted by Bill
a resident of Blackhawk
on Jul 27, 2019 at 9:21 pm

The comments section of a news site isn't the place to seek solace. That's what family, friends and a place of worship are for. Cyclists are a great concern to our community. A lot of us are very frustrated.

I'm more annoyed by the "comment police" than the readers speaking their frustration. If you don't like what other readers are saying - don't read what they have to say. Problem solved.

Something needs to be done, or cyclists will continue to die. I don't think they care. If they cared (knowing the risks) would they continue to ride? I wouldn't.


10 people like this
Posted by James
a resident of Danville
on Jul 29, 2019 at 1:03 pm

Fact- the driver was not at fault. Another fact- the cyclist was not riding dangerously. Most important fact- bike vs car ended in a tragic death. Thank you to the first responders and condolences to the families of those involved.


9 people like this
Posted by Resident
a resident of Danville
on Jul 29, 2019 at 5:48 pm

If you still think Danville is a kind and compassionate community, just read the comments above.


2 people like this
Posted by Bill
a resident of Blackhawk
on Jul 29, 2019 at 6:15 pm

The recurring theme is compassion fatigue. Compassion fatigue happens naturally.


9 people like this
Posted by Biker
a resident of Danville
on Jul 30, 2019 at 10:23 am

I ride my bike about 200 miles per week.

I ride through Diablo a few times per week and have never had a negative encounter. In fact, folks say hello and wave. However, I stop at stop signs and I'm respectful that people live on those streets.

The ONLY close calls I've had on the road are from drivers INTENTIONALLY trying to harm me or send a 'Message' with a vehicle that would kill me. Even when I'm in the bike lane and following the laws of the road. I hear some of those people on this thread. It's the people who have this anger and frustration towards complete strangers that eventually snap. And they kill or hurt someone. And end up in jail. I've seen it. Happens all too often.

If you see a cyclist in their lane riding safely and you think you are entitled to use the entire road pull over like a man or women and voice your opinion. Instead of honking, side swiping and driving away like a coward.


Like this comment
Posted by David
a resident of Danville
on Jul 30, 2019 at 10:34 am

Agree with 'Biker.'

People who are convicted of assault and or vehicular homicide involving cyclists are like JD who are 'beyond frustrated.'These are our neighbors who snap on one of their bad days.


9 people like this
Posted by JD
a resident of Danville
on Jul 30, 2019 at 3:44 pm

@David, you'll get no "snapping" from me. I should have qualified my comment by stating I'm beyond frustrated with "some" of the bikers I encounter. No doubt I've had some close calls with bikers sailing downhill in a way that seems reckless, but I don't see that as the majority and I've become overwhelmingly cautious as a response. My comment was meant to clarify that I understand the concern, yet I strongly disagree with how this thread has been hijacked by people with an axe to grind.


2 people like this
Posted by Bill
a resident of Blackhawk
on Jul 30, 2019 at 6:33 pm

This thread isn't being hijacked at all. As long as we're talking about cyclists (and we are) we're ON TOPIC.


7 people like this
Posted by Not a biker
a resident of Danville
on Jul 31, 2019 at 6:11 am

This thread should be about the story that precedes it, which is a memorial bike ride for someone who lost their life. My condolences are with the family and friends of this man. Resident hit the nail on the head. What a shame.


2 people like this
Posted by Steve
a resident of Diablo
on Jul 31, 2019 at 9:13 am

I agree with Bill. As long as the focus is on cyclists, everyone is on topic. Cyclists being the operative word. That's what public forums are for.


7 people like this
Posted by Diane
a resident of Danville
on Aug 2, 2019 at 9:05 am

The comments here and the entitlement around "if we comment about cycling, we are on topic" and "we have every right to post here, it's a public forum and the family should receive support elsewhere" are so disheartening. Nowhere in this article is there mention of biking and whether it is safe to ride on Mt. Diablo. It is about this man who died, and the children and loved ones he leaves behind. When my nephew died after colliding with a surfer, the surfing community did a "paddle out" in remembrance. He was a novice, and likely shouldn't have been where he was, and the surfer he ran in to was injured. There was not one comment following the online article in that community that was anything but offering condolences, and many surfers posted that they would be honored to paddle out with family members who were non surfers. Contrast that with what many of you are posting here, and it is a stark contrast to the compassion shown to my family. This online forum could have been of support to this man's family as well, but it was turned into something completely different. Resident, you've hit the nail on the head.


2 people like this
Posted by Bill
a resident of Blackhawk
on Aug 2, 2019 at 10:08 am

Diane - Surfers don't frustrate the community the way cyclists do. Surfers don't put every driver in the Mt. Diablo area in threat of hitting and killing someone. Most people will NEVER come into contact with a surfer, because most people don't swim in the ocean. Most people DRIVE! And for those of us who are driving in the Mt. Diablo area, it's extremely frustrating, whether you like it or not. Quit whining. Once again, if you aren't happy with the comments, stop reading them. Create your own site, and call the shots. Until then, grow up.


7 people like this
Posted by Diane
a resident of Danville
on Aug 2, 2019 at 12:05 pm

@Bill, the point of my post was to point out how wonderful this community could have been, if they had simply stepped up to support this man's family in their comments following an article regarding a memorial bike ride that was created in his honor. Certainly, I could create a separate forum for this purpose, but as there is one already available, it would make more sense for those like you, who wish to vent regarding bikers that ride on Mt. Diablo, to create a separate forum for that purpose. For the record, I do drive in the Mt. Diablo area, on weekdays as well as weekends, and I am a grown up. I just happen to be one that found a forum with a subject that I found similar to be of comfort to my family when we were grieving a loss, and I'm disappointed that you and people like you see your need to vent as more important than allowing that kind of support on this forum, to this man's family. I so hope they don't expect compassion from this community, as they certainly won't find it here.


5 people like this
Posted by JD
a resident of Danville
on Aug 2, 2019 at 12:34 pm

Diane: thank you


2 people like this
Posted by Steve
a resident of Diablo
on Aug 2, 2019 at 12:57 pm

Diane, you're being naïve. This family is from Novato. I doubt they're reading a Danville/San Ramon news site. Why would someone in Novato care about Danville/San Ramon news? If they are reading, they're not speaking out.

Most of the people speaking out on this site are speaking out in frustration. We all live in the area, and cyclists concern us. In case you haven't noticed, people speak more freely online.

For those of us who are frustrated - so be it. For those of you who are upset by it - that's fine too. The difference is you want to control what others say. You can't do that. You don't get it.

Lastly, public forums aren't the place to seek solace. And this has nothing to do with your nephew.


5 people like this
Posted by Not a biker
a resident of Danville
on Aug 2, 2019 at 7:27 pm

Just, wow. How incredibly uncalled for, "Steve". Diane, thanks for trying. Your attempts at inserting empathy or even civility here are wasted.


2 people like this
Posted by Nick
a resident of San Ramon
on Aug 2, 2019 at 9:15 pm

Diane needs to learn how to agree to disagree. We're all entitled to our opinion. Trying to change someone's mind IS a waste of time, especially in a public forum. I feel the way I feel, period. I AM a cyclist, and I do know what I'm talking about. Riding on Mt. Diablo is incredibly stupid. And the cyclists I know agree with me. It's dangerous on Mt. Diablo, but it's your life. Don't expect any empathy from me due to your poor choices. Especially if you're old enough to know better.

Once again, my empathy is for the innocent driver. His or her life will never be the same.


5 people like this
Posted by leanne
a resident of another community
on Aug 12, 2019 at 10:59 am

leanne is a registered user.

I am so disgusted by what I am reading. Its drivers like you people and entitled uncompassionate people of this society who cause these preventable tragedies. For one, his family and friends will see this, as I have. Those who knew Maayan are still searching for answers and peace. When someone you love dies, especially in this horrific preventable manner, we never stop reading about him and honoring him. To set the story straight Maayan was an experienced cyclist, obeyed all laws, and had total respect for everyone. If you read the reports he, as a cyclist, did nothing wrong. The driver was on the wrong side of the road with front end damage to their vehicle to prove that. An entitled driver, probably speeding, texting, and DISOBEYING vehicle laws caused this heartbreaking loss. Witnesses account who was clearly at fault and who the compassion should be for. Maayan Jones was a sweet, caring, law abiding cyclist, riding up hill, and on his side on the road. You people are so self involved and stereotypical it truly sickens me. Maayan wasn't every cyclist, he was an individual- loving husband and father, respectful, cautious, passionate cyclist who never felt entitlement. My heart breaks for his family and friends. This man is truly one of a kind and will be missed. The memories will be cherished. And those whose knew Maayan know how amazing and inspirational he was and will be in our lives as we strive to be more like him. Sending love and prayers. The ghost bike is a great tribute to Maayan, who was an avid cyclist and loved the Diablo ride.


2 people like this
Posted by Bill
a resident of Blackhawk
on Aug 12, 2019 at 8:54 pm

Hey Leanne - We live in this community, you don't. If you're disgusted by the comments, don't read them. We're entitled to our opinions. Period. Answers? He shouldn't have been riding on Mt. Diablo. It's extremely dangerous. And neighbors are extremely frustrated by cyclists. And we're voicing our opinion.


2 people like this
Posted by Jennifer
a resident of Danville
on Aug 12, 2019 at 10:58 pm

Poor Leanne. Would you like some cheese with that?


2 people like this
Posted by Steve
a resident of Diablo
on Aug 13, 2019 at 9:12 am

I'm disgusted by know it all's from outside the community who think we care what they think. We live here, and we're sick of cyclists.


1 person likes this
Posted by Diane
a resident of Danville
on Aug 26, 2019 at 12:20 pm

Leanne, so sorry for your loss. I strongly suspect that the entitled group of three above are, in fact, the same person. Can there really be that many who are this egocentric? Danville truly isn't completely filled with personalities who feel they have a "right" to pull this story away from the original content (which is clearly a memorial bike ride for a young father) so they can commiserate on a topic that they can easily cover elsewhere. Obviously, this person (and their additional personalities) could have left this forum to be of comfort for this man's family. Please accept my sincere condolences on the loss of your friend.


2 people like this
Posted by Anthony Kahn
a resident of another community
on Sep 8, 2019 at 9:19 pm

We occasionally visit the area for business and day ride up the mountain. The drivers have generally been very courteous , and as we recognize the danger of a curvy mountain road, we’ve found that if we stay ON OUR SIDE OF THE ROAD, it prevents tragedy. From decades of experience, an uphill cyclist would have to have been on the wrong side of the toad to be at fault. A non resident construction worker likely was not aware of the volume of cyclists on that road.
When I last rode that segment, I was extremely cautious in the neighbourhood area, as I recognized the potential danger.
That said, I’d sue the hell out of the driver, contractor, property owners and state of California, if a loved one of mine was head on collided onto at that very spot.
Obviously, driver at fault. There. I said it.


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