Bicyclists honor rider; Friend to all died in accident.
WORCESTER - To many of the dozen or so bicyclists gathered near the statue known as Turtle Boy on the common in Worcester yesterday afternoon, there were three things that identified Carl Rasmussen: his bicycle, his guitar and his devotion to the gritty city he made his home.
When Mr. Rasmussen, 48, died after being hit by a car riding his bicycle on Park Avenue on July 23, friends knew they wanted to honor this person who was significant, not just to them, but to the community.
Police said yesterday that the accident remains under investigation, pending results from a search warrant issued on the vehicle's data recorder. Police have not identified the driver of the car who they say swerved his vehicle in an attempt to avoid the collision after Mr. Rasmussen crossed the street in front of him.
Gray Harrison of Earn-a-Bike met Mr. Rasmussen two years ago when Mr. Rasmussen came to Earn-a-Bike to put in his time; 10 hours of volunteer work, and volunteers would earn a bicycle. Mr. Rasmussen liked the arrangement so much he came back from time to time just to help out.
There, he got to know many other bicyclists, young and old.
"Since he was so friendly and open, everybody got along with him," Mr. Harrison said.
Mr. Rasmussen's openness made him many friends, like Bob Grogan, a Worcester resident who became Mr. Rasmussen's videographer. The YouTube videos of Mr. Rasmussen's music are all Mr. Grogan's work, from his Street Justice Studio.
When news came to Mr. Grogan of his friend's death, it was like losing a member of his family, he said.
"I sat up all night and played all his videos and thought, `I'm so glad I captured these moments.' He captured the streets I grew up in, in his music."
It's Mr. Rasmussen's trademark punk-style music with Worcester themes as part of the group Dead Wrong that many will remember, but it's also his involvement in that community.
Chris Warren remembers Mr. Rasmussen as always handing him a flier announcing some coming event - while he was attending another event, a concert, a fundraiser, a bicycle ride.
"He was part of a larger community that really values community," said friend Russell Ulbrich.
While Mr. Rasmussen was laid to rest by his family in East Brookfield earlier this week, friends from his bicycling community joined in a memorial ride yesterday afternoon, towing a bicycle painted white, a ghost bike, to leave at the site of the accident that took Mr. Rasmussen's life.
Many of them will also participate in another event to honor Mr. Rasmussen's place in the music scene of his beloved "Wormtown," planned for his 49th birthday next Thursday. A fundraiser to cover the cost of his funeral and burial will be held on that same day at 8 p.m. at The Raven, 258 Pleasant St. Cover charge is $5. Local bands will play and a bicycle from Earn-A-Bike will be raffled.
PHOTOG: T&G Staff/PAUL KAPTEYN
CUTLINE: Gray Harrison, director of Worcester Earn-A-Bike, joins other cyclists who gathered near the Burnside Memorial (the "Turtle Boy" statue) in Worcester last night for a memorial bike ride for the late Carl Rasmussen, who died cycling last month.
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|Title Annotation:||LOCAL NEWS|
|Publication:||Telegram & Gazette (Worcester, MA)|
|Date:||Aug 4, 2012|
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