Palo Alto resident and dentist killed on bicycle
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by Joel Davidson, Barron Park,
on Jun 5, 2006
Has anyone heard about the circumstances for this accident?
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Posted by Tyler Hanley
digital editor of Palo Alto Online
on Jun 5, 2006 at 4:18 pm
Tyler Hanley is a registered user.
Updated story posted on Palo Alto Online at 3:16 p.m. Monday:
Palo Alto dentist Ronald Gordon was always adventuresome, his wife, Judy said on Monday. That included "some close calls" previously, and a love of skiing, including helicopter skiing, and the outdoors.
Gordon, 56, died about noon Saturday while riding the 100-mile Sierra Century bicycle event near the town of Fiddletown. According to the California Highway Patrol, Gordon was riding westbound and pulled into the eastbound lane of a highway to pass a slow-moving "heavy equipment tractor" when another vehicle appeared and he attempted to move back into the westbound lane but struck the tractor instead.
"The accident that occurred was a freak accident," California Highway Patrol Lt. Commander Erick Knudsen told Sean Rabe, editor of the Amador Ledger Dispatch newspaper. The Sierra Century has become a popular event over the last decade, but it means that bicycles and other vehicles share the road.
While Gordon was an avid bicyclist locally, it was his second Sierra Century ride, Judy Gordon said.
Gordon also loved hiking and skiing in the Lake Tahoe area, and surfing.
He was also active in the local dental association and, as an active tennis player, he was a volunteer at the recent NCAA tennis championships held at Stanford University.
"He was a busy guy," Judy Gordon said. "He was adventurous."
The family's love of the Lake Tahoe area led to plans to build a second home near Alpine Meadows, which now won't be completed, Judy Gordon said.
As an outdoorsman, Gordon had an appreciation for environmental issues. When new city regulations required dentists last year to buy additional equipment to separate mercury from their office wastes, some local dentists complained about the additional costs. "It's not a big thing," Gordon told the Weekly. "I don't know why other people wouldn't comply."
Gordon was born Nov. 19, 1949, in Los Angeles. He graduated from the University of California, Berkeley and from the University of California, San Francisco, School of Dentistry. He had practiced dentistry in Palo Alto for 30 years.
"He was a good guy, well-respected in the community, and an outdoorsman," said Frank Altick, a Palo Alto dentist and partner with Gordon for 28 years in the building housing their dental practices.
He is survived by Judy, his wife of 22 years; their son, Joshua, 18, a student at Willamette University in Oregon; their daughter, Amanda, 20, a student at Wesleyan University in Connecticut; and by Gordon's brothers, Larry Gordon and David Gordon, and his sister, Diane Flor, all of the Los Angeles area.
A memorial service will be held Tuesday, June 6, at 3 p.m. at Congregation Beth Am, 26790 Arastradero Road in Los Altos Hills.
Memorial donations may be made to the Lance Armstrong Foundation, National Mail Processing Center, P.O. Box 6003, Albert Lea, NM 56007-6603; or to any dental-related charity, Judy Gordon said. She said she plans to set up a memorial fund in her husband's name for dental students.