Robert Osborn Memorial Ride in KCStar

The Kansas City Star has coverage of today's Memorial Ride for Robert Osborn, jointly sponsored by the Missouri Bicycle Federation and the Greater Kansas City Bicycle Federation:
A memorial bicycle ride this morning was the perfect way to honor Robert W. Osborn of Kansas City, who was murdered in November while biking home from his overnight job.

“He would have loved this,” said Paul Hoppman, director of the Independence Hy-Vee store where Osborn worked. Hoppman noted that Osborn usually rode his bicycle to the grocery store where he was a stocker even “in a lot colder weather.”

Hoppman said he appreciated the turnout for a man who never hurt anyone and was loved by many.

About 60 people gathered in the store’s parking lot at U.S. 40 Highway and Noland Road, to hear remarks. Then about 25 cyclists left on the ride themed “Safe Streets, Safe City” sponsored by the Missouri Bicycle Federation and Greater Kansas City Bicycle Federation. The cyclists followed an eight-mile path which included the route Osborn routinely took to work. Also a website has been set up in his memory at www.robertosborn.org.

During the ride, bikers pedaled past a roadside memorial where Osborn died and the cemetery where he is buried.

Osborn, 43, was cut down by a shotgun blast while biking home about 5:50 a.m. Two men have been charged with first-degree murder in his death and they are awaiting trial.

Authorities allege they chose their victim by chance and Osborn’s death was a thrill killing.

That’s one reason Harold Ellis of Independence rode Sunday. Ellis said that in reading about Osborn, he learned he was a friendly man doing what he enjoyed, so he decided to participate in support of Osborn’s family.

“It could have been me, I live, jog and ride in the area,” Ellis said.

Osborn’s three brothers, Richard, Ronald and Randall, and his father, Glen, were at the vigil, as were Kansas City Council members Becky Nace and Alvin Brooks. Nace said Robert Osborn often wrote to her office as a diligent advocate of Kansas City finding ways to make the city safer for bicycling.

Before leaving on the ride, Richard Osborn said even though his brother owned a car, he chose to bike for transportation because he loved the outdoors, it was good for his health, and because he wanted to use less gasoline to stop polluting.

“Robert loved cycling, he cycled all over this city,” Richard Osborn said.