Ceremony held to honor husband and wife killed on tandem bike

WASHINGTON — On the same day that Maryland officials held a ceremony to honor the victims of impaired drivers, friends and family of a Clarksburg couple killed on their tandem bike held a gathering in a Montgomery County park.

Sixty-four-year-old John Fauerby and 58-year-old Lynne Rosenbusch, husband and wife, were a fixture in the endurance cycling sport known as “randonneuring.” The couple was killed on a Calvert County road on Halloween. According to police, the driver charged in their deaths, Catherine F. Lyon, 62, had been drinking. Police say she had a blood alcohol content of .12.

Under Maryland law, drivers with a bac of .08 face charges of driving while under the influence (DUI) while those registering a bac of .04 or higher fall under the category of driving while intoxicated (DWI). Lyon faces a number of charges, including negligent homicide by motor vehicle while impaired by alcohol. A hearing in the case is scheduled for Jan. 27.

Arlene Rosenbusch, Lynne’s sister, says she got the news about the couple’s death when she was handing out Halloween candy. “Two policemen walked up, I couldn’t tell if they were part of the trick or treating or they were ‘real’. Then they came in and told me that my sister and her husband had been killed.” Lynne Rosenbush and her husband were riding a tandem bicycle at the time of the crash—its’ the way they usually traveled.

Rosenbusch says the loss is doubly hard to accept, because her sister and Fauerby were such careful cyclists. “They were huge advocates for safety, they had every safety contraption known to a cyclist. I just didn’t understand how this could happen,” Rosenbusch said.

Friends in the cycling community came in cars—and by bike—to Black Hill Regional Park in Boyds, Maryland to celebrate the lives of Fauerby and Rosenbusch. A banner outside the visitor’s center had the image of a tandem bike and read “Life Built for Two, Lynne and John Forever Together.”

Don Schneider and Jean Chin, a husband and wife who, like the Clarksburg couple, ride a tandem, cycled through the park and visited with others there to share memories. “They were really great people, and they were very careful riders. They were always safety conscious,” said Chin.

Fauerby and Rosenbusch were not just avid cyclists, they were part of a tight-knit community of long distance riders and rode with groups like the Potomac Pedalers, the Frederick Pedalers and the DC Randonnuers. Andrea Matney, a board member with the DC Randonneurs, said the couple completed the 1200 kilometer Paris-Brest-Paris ride. She described the couple as “well-liked and well-respected,” and recalled that they were known for their constant smiles and friendliness.

Fauerby’s brother Dave remembers the couple as inseparable — on and off the bike. “Lynne and John were always together outside of work. They just couldn’t get along without each other,” he said with a smile. “If they couldn’t be out biking together, they’d be out hiking together– anything outdoors.” Looking around at the people who turned out to remember the couple on Saturday, Fauerby said he was touched. “I’m amazed at how many friends he had,” referring to his late brother.

The DC Randonneurs say they’ll organize a memorial ride for Fauerby and Rosenbusch. They plan to place a “ghost bike” at the site of the crash that took the lives of their friends on Tobacco Road in Calvert County on Nov. 22. It will be a tandem bike.

Kate Ryan

As a member of the award-winning WTOP News, Kate is focused on state and local government. Her focus has always been on how decisions made in a council chamber or state house affect your house. She's also covered breaking news, education and more.

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