Hundreds bike in "Ride of Silence" to honor those who have been injured while cycling
COLUMBUS, Ohio —
Hundreds of cyclists hit the streets in downtown Columbus as part of an international event called “Ride of Silence.” It was not an exercise ride but for a cause. Cyclists rode in silent to honor all those who have been hurt or killed while cycling on the roads.
“It’s very much like a funeral procession,” said Catherine Girves the executive director of a non-profit group called “Yay Bikes!” Her group organized the local event. “In the last year we have seen an increase in deaths of pedestrians and people on bikes from crashes with cars.”
According to the Ohio Department of Public Safety 19 people were killed while riding bikes in 2017 across the state and another 15-hundred were hurt.
“It is still safer to travel by bike than it is to travel by car, it’s a very safe way to get to one place to another but even one death is too many,” said Girves.
There are also “ghost bikes” stationed around the city a week prior to the ride to inform the public about the event. There will be “ghost bikes” along the route as well to represent all the riders who have been killed out on the roads. That’s why they gather at city hall every year to “Ride in Silence” but they want their message to be heard loud and clear.
“I think it’s fantastic, I think it definitely raises awareness,” said an avid cyclist Joseph Unger.
Unger said he goes everywhere in his bike and hopes this event will remind drivers, to “share the road.”
“You just gotta be careful because you’re not as protected as the person in the car,” said Unger.
The first "Ride of Silence" was organized in 2003 in Dallas when a cyclist was killed by a passing bus. This tradition has grown across the country and Columbus has one of the largest turn out in what is now being known as an international event.
Wednesday’s ride is a slow pace 10-mile ride, going about 8mph and will start and end at city hall. Organizers want to remind cyclists to use helmets at all times.