Attorney Burke, a partner in the regional firm with five offices serving Western Connecticut, died in March from injuries he sustained in a cycling accident on Route 209 in Morris, near Bantam Lake. The front tire of his bicycle hit a pothole and he was propelled into a guardrail.
The Ride of Silence is a silent memorial ride held annually in May to honor cyclists killed or injured by motorists. Rides sponsored by local organizations take place nationwide. The local ride—on a fairly flat five-mile route—departs from Rogers Park in Danbury at 7 p.m., and is hosted by the group Bicycle Advocacy of Greater Danbury.
“We’re paying tribute to our friend, our partner, our cycling companion, and, basically, our leader,” said Kim Nolan, a partner in the firm’s Danbury office, where Attorney Burke had also worked. “It will be sad, but hopefully we’ll get some good out of it as a group.”
“Other than the memorial service for David, I can’t think of a better way to remember David and memorialize and celebrate his life,” said Cramer & Anderson partner John Tower.
The idea for attorneys from the firm to participate in the ride as a tribute came initially from Jeremy Ruman, who has been Attorney Arthur C. Weinshank’s legal assistant for more than 18 years.
She is also a cyclist, and saw a notice for the regional Ride of Silence in an email update about the New Milford River Trail effort. “I didn’t realize that these rides were out there and it was just such a fluky thing that I happened to see it,” Ms. Ruman said.
After looking into the event, Ms. Ruman sent an email to colleagues, suggesting that the firm participate as a way of honoring Attorney Burke, and she got in touch with local ride organizer Marti Fine to check on the details.
“As always, it pains and saddens me to hear of a cyclist killed or injured in a bike accident,” Ms. Fine wrote back in an email to Ms. Ruman. “I am sorry for the loss of your partner. This ride is indeed a wonderful way to honor your partner; on our ride here two years ago we specifically honored a local rider who had been killed months earlier.”
Several attorneys and staff members at Cramer & Anderson are cyclists—enough that there are Cramer & Anderson jerseys.
“Ken Taylor’s done the Five Boro Bike Tour for years,” said Ms. Ruman, who noted that partner Kim Nolan, of the firm’s Danbury office, is among the more serious cyclists. “David rode with Kim a lot.”
Attorney Nolan treasured riding with his late colleague. “Beyond practicing law together, we cycled hundreds of miles together, and during those rides we shared conversations on life, family, politics, and a host of other topics,” Attorney Nolan has said. “I will always cherish those memories. He was one of a kind.”
“I ride a lot. I probably rode maybe a shade less than David,” Attorney Nolan elaborated in talking about the Ride of Silence plans. “We’d ride two, three, four times a week, sometimes five times a week.”
They shared being residents of Redding, and Attorney Nolan said, “On weekends we’d meet up. We had a spot that was halfway between my house and his house. We called it the junction. We just rode all over the place. I can’t ride anywhere without thinking of him.”
Attorney Nolan is hoping a dozen of the firm’s 25 attorneys will participate in the Ride of Silence, whose mission he praised, especially as riding conditions remain often dangerous for cyclists.
“Drivers are impatient in this day and age, and they’re distracted. I think if they see bicyclists on the road, some of them view them as a nuisance,” said Attorney Nolan, adding, “One of the bigger issues right now is the condition of the roads. They’re really in horrendous shape.”
As a result, he cautioned, cyclists have to be “ever vigilant” about vehicles and the roads themselves.
Cramer & Anderson is encouraging fellow attorneys and others to join in the Ride of Silence as part of the tribute to Attorney Burke.
Cyclists who want to participate are asked to meet at 6:45 p.m. in front of Rogers Park Middle School at Rogers Park in Danbury. For more details, see the Facebook page for the local Ride of Silence.
More information on Cramer & Anderson can be found on the firm’s website.