My brother, Chris.





Click HERE to view my GUESTBOOK & add your own entry!

On November 17, 2000, our beloved son, brother and friend, Chris Robertson, was tragically killed in the city he loved, San Francisco. He was 30 years old. All of the quotes below were written by his friends and family who loved him as much as we did. Chris died doing what he loved - riding his bicycle. We can only hope that his death will save the lives of other bicyclists and pedestrians in our rushed society.

We encourage you to live as Chris lived -
savor every moment, always seek happiness, love and be loved.

"Chris was an avid bicyclist, social activist, vegetarian, and a warm and loving man who believed in the equality of all human beings."

"He’ll be remembered as a young man who was humorous, intelligent, sensitive, and very full of life."

"He leaves behind a mother who thought the world of him, a father that was very proud of him, a sister who adored him, and countless friends and family who were touched by his kindness."

"There were many sides to Chris."

"He was a truly unique, free spirit: wild, creative, talented, fascinating, brimming with charisma, and fun to be around."

"Peaceful, pleasant, and friendly with a little excitement thrown in...that is how I will remember Chris."

"Chris was a unique individual - intelligent, outgoing, friendly and, above all, possessing a zest for life and all it had to offer."

"Every time I got together with Chris was a fun and interesting adventure." 

"I miss him terribly."

"There will never be anyone like him."


Chris Robertson was struck and killed by a 18-wheeler truck on Friday, Nov 17, 2000, in what appears to be an incident of road rage.  After a lengthy investigation by the San Francisco District Attorney's Office, Rueben Espinosa, the driver of the truck, was arrested for manslaughter and assault charges on February 5, 2001.  Bail was set at $2 million, and was later reduced to $1.5 million.  On April 17, 2001, all felony charges were dropped against Espinosa, and he was released from prison on a $10,000 bond.

On November 5, 2001, Rueben Espinosa was tried on the reduced misdemeanor charges of assault with a deadly weapon and manslaughter.  On November 8th, he was found guilty of assault with a deadly weapon.  On November 9th, he was found not guilty of manslaughter.  On November 13th, Espinosa was sentenced to eight months, minus time served, in prison and a $500 fine.  Notes from those who attended the trial can be found in articles listed below from SF Bay Indymedia.

After the felony charges were dropped in April 2001, a postcard campaign was launched in San Francisco by a friend of Chris who printed and stamped hundreds of postcards.  They were passed out to friends, family, and bike shops across the city.  They read as follows:

San Francisco District Attorney Terence Hallinan
c/o Asst. DA Andrew J. Clark
850 Bryant St. Rm #327
San Francisco, CA 94103

Dear District Attorney Hallinan:

I am deeply concerned about safety on our San Francisco streets. I want you to do your best to ensure that the safety of pedestrians, cyclists and drivers is taken seriously. In the recent case involving the death of cyclist Chris Robertson, it appears that there will be no serious penalties against a professional driver, who by his own admission, used his 18 wheel big rig truck to play "chicken" with a group of cyclists.  

I urge you to work towards the revocation of professional driving privileges of Reuben Espinoza. He should be retrained to work in a position where he will not endanger others. We need to put a stop to road rage in San Francisco, and this is the first step down that road. Driving is privilege, not a right. The safety of the citizens of San Francisco is at risk.


Signature __________________________
Name _____________________________

Remember Chris Robertson.
Bicycles have a right to the road.
California Vehicle Code 21202

For more information, click HERE to read about the efforts of the San Francisco Bicycle Coalition in the original pursuit of justice for Chris.



Here are the links to newspaper and other articles concerning Chris' death and the case against the truck driver who is responsible for his death.  Many of these articles include inconsistencies or false information about Chris.  A few that I have noticed:

  • Some of the following articles state Chris' age as 32 years.  Chris was actually 30 years old at the time of his death, and would have turned 31 on June 7, 2001.
  • Some of the following articles state that Chris was a bike messenger at the time of his death, or that he had worked as a bike messenger in the past.  Although Chris was an avid cyclist during the last several years of his life, he never worked as a bike messenger. Chris worked as a motorcycle messenger and dispatcher for a San Francisco company called Lightning Express many years ago, but at the time he was killed he worked for a co-op store called Rainbow Grocery. 

If you notice any other inconsistencies, or have any other articles to add to this list, please e-mail me.

In addition, some of these articles do not portray Chris or cyclists in a completely positive light.  I simply posted all the articles I could find that mentioned his name.  If you would like to discuss an issue related to any of these articles, please post it to my Guestbook.

San Francisco Chronicle / SF Gate News:

San Francisco Examiner:

San Jose Mercury News:

San Francisco Bay Guardian:

SF Weekly:

New Mission News:

San Francisco Bicycle Coalition's Tube Times:

Mother Jones Magazine:

SF Bay Independent Media Center:

SF Independent:

San Francisco Call:





  • San Francisco Bicycle Coalition - Chris was a member and volunteer of this organization which advocates for cyclist's rights.  Learn about their work to make the streets of San Francisco safer for cyclists.
  • Rainbow Grocery - Read all about the co-op where Chris worked at the time of his death.  Even though he had only worked there for five months, staff describes him as a "good friend and great cook."
  • Remember Chris - Join the message board so you can read and share stories about Chris.
  • San Francisco Bike Messenger Association - Even though Chris was not working as a bike messenger, he was supportive of this organization, which also advocates for cyclist's rights.
  • California AIDS Ride - In the year 2000, Chris celebrated his 30th birthday by riding his bicycle from San Francisco to Los Angeles.  The ride has gone through some changes since that time, and is now called AIDS Life Cycle.
  • Messenger Memorial - View dozens of memorial sites for cyclists who have died all over the world, including Chris' memorial under "San Francisco," of course.
  • Chris' Homepage - Even though he hadn't updated it since 1997, you can still view Chris' web-page where he talks about lots of his favorite things. 
  • Zeitgeist - Check out Chris' favorite bar and hangout - which is also a guesthouse!  You can drink all the beer you want and then sleep upstairs for only $30 a night!
  • Musician for Hire - Check out the site of Chris' friend, Dale.  Lots of cool links, and if you're ever in need of a musician...
  • Iron Chef - View the schedule and lots of other cool information about Chris' favorite show on television - he used to watch it without the English translation!
  • Bonny Doon Vineyard - Read about Chris' favorite vineyard.  You can even buy wine (depending on what state you live in), including Chris' favorite wine, Le Cigare Volant.
  • Duboce Bikeway Mural - It's a favorite hangout for cyclists.  Read the story of the mural, and see a full-length photograph.
  • Carfree Cities -  Carfree??  Sounds crazy to a lot of us, but Chris would have LOVED it!!  This is a pretty cool site, even if this guy is dreaming.
  • MAD Magazine Collector Site - Chris did love his MAD Magazines, and he collected them, too.  If anyone is interested in buying issues from his collection, e-mail me.
  • The Immortal Class - A good friend of Chris' gave me this book as a gift.  The author, Travis Hugh Culley, gave me a great insight into the lives of cyclists, especially the messenger community.  Order your own copy...



Don't let Chris' death be in vain!!  
Whether you are a driver or a cyclist, educate yourself about 
cyclists' rights and the rules of the road by checking the
bicycling laws in your state.

The Silicon Valley Bicycle Coalition has lots of good information - check out the We Share the Road Campaign.

Read about the trial of the Chicago motorist who killed cyclist and messenger, Tommy McBride, during a fit of road rage.  The motorist, Carnell Fitzpatrick, was convicted of First Degree Murder for the killing that he called "accidental."

Visit the League of American Bicyclists to learn more about bicycle advocacy and get great cycling links no matter where you live!  You can also learn about how to travel with your bike.

Learn about San Francisco's CoExist Campaign, sponsored in part by the San Francisco Bicycle Coalition.  The campaign is designed to "replace road rage with road etiquette," and you can download lots of cool stuff for cyclists and drivers.  You can even learn how to e-mail the mayor of San Francisco in support of a citywide bike network (or just to tell him hello). 

Other pages concerning cyclists' rights:



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