Event remembers Warren man
WARREN — City resident John Zenobile said getting to ride his bike through nature and rural areas are what made taking part in the 16th annual Garrett Wonders Birthday Bike Ride so enjoyable.
“It was a great ride. I liked seeing the goat farm with all the pygmy goats watching me ride by,” Zenobile said.
He was among 83 people who took part in the ride, which let riders choose a 30, 40- or 50-mile ride or a family-themed and children’s ride.
The event, which also includes a bike raffle and a painting raffle, raises funds for the Garrett Wonders Memorial Scholarship Fund, which has given out $50,000 in scholarships and for bicycle advocacy work.
Wonders had been selected a military representative to the 2004 Olympic trials in cycling and was on a training ride when he was struck and killed by a careless driver. He was 25 and left behind his wife, Terri Elliott Wonders.
The Wonders family holds the ride each fall because Garrett’s birthday was Oct. 24.
Pamela Herriman and her son, Dean, 9, of Howland, said they were glad to be part of the family ride and get outside along the trail.
“It was a great ride,” Pamela Herriman said.
Shelley and Jay Wonders of Warren said the family coordinates the event and also a Ride of Silence held the third Wednesday in May at Warren G. Harding High School. Shelley Wonders said the scholarships to remember Garrett are given each May to graduating seniors.
Leanda Wonders, Garrett’s niece, said they used the local bike trail because the Garrett Wonders section of the Trumbull County Western Reserve Greenway Bike Trail runs through a section of Warren.
Jesse Wonders, Garrett’s brother, said he and his 12-year-old twin sons, Garrett and Jonathan, took part in the ride.
“The area of the ride goes along Hoagland Blackstub Road, past the spillway at Mosquito Lake Dam and the Grand River area. It is a nice area to see,” Jay Wonders said.
Jay Wonders said Garrett always enjoyed riding bikes. In 1999, Garrett accepted a commission with the United States Navy and upon completing his master’s degree, he was stationed at Naval Nuclear Power Training Command in Charleston, S.C., as an instructor in the physics division.