Editor’s note: While this story was accurate at the time it was written, cyclist Jay Kirby died Sept. 23.
Injured cyclist Jay Kirby of Lewes remains in intensive care at Christina Hospital in Wilmington following a Sept. 11 crash on Route 1 near the Kings Highway intersection.
The 79-year-old cycling advocate was flown from the scene to Christiana where he was admitted with a serious head injury.
In support of Kirby and his wife Michele Williams, who is a past president of Sussex Cyclists, Lifecycle bike shop in Milford organized a 10-mile critical mass ride Sept. 15, starting and ending at Lewes Transit Center on Route 1.
Lifecycle co-owner Jenn Rowan said in a Facebook post, “We always pay for bicycle infrastructure with blood. Let's gather for visibility, for awareness, and for the safety and lives of all cyclists. Please keep both Jay and Michele in your prayers and positive energies.”
Kirby, a Navy veteran and active member of Sussex Cyclists, has ridden more than 100,000 miles over the past 25 years, including a solo 4,451-mile cross-country trek in 2000.
Williams posted the following on social media: “I equate this to a 100-mile bike ride and when mile 65 hits, and you are just tired, and know you have 35 miles to go, you look around for your cycling buddies to let you draft and give you a break. So that you can finish strong when mile 95 rolls around.
“Jay is on a marathon to regain his health, strength and recovery. And his medical team are his cycling buddies. Right now he needs rest. And really, it is up to him to ride this ride, and we stand by to support like a SAG wagon.”
Williams also thanked friends, the cycling community, family members and others for their prayers and support. “Let's pray that tomorrow is a better day with drastic improvements after many healing hours. Pray for courage, trust, faith, healing and perfect right action, as Jay continues to ride the ride,” she said. “We are allowing medication to facilitate ventilator breathing which in turn, may help rest and heal Jay's lungs and body. And mostly, we have courage and faith, and are trusting prayers, healing energy and intentions to do God's work, all in perfect right action.”
Kirby was riding his bike northbound in the Route 1 bike lane approaching the Kings Highway intersection around 12:30 p.m., Sept. 11, when he was struck from behind by a 2017 Cadillac CTS driven by an 89-year-old Millsboro man, said Delaware State Police Master Cpl. Juanita Huey-Smith. As of press time, no charges have been filed.