Join the Ride of Silence on Wednesday, May 20th at 7 p.m. to honor fallen cyclists and promote road safety. There are two events to choose from locally--Fort Myers and Sanibel.
What began in 2003 in Dallas as a spontaneous outpouring of grief for a friend and fellow rider, struck and killed by the mirror of a passing vehicle, has rolled across the globe to become an international annual event memorializing and honoring cyclists who have been injured and killed while riding. In 2014, 315 Ride of Silence events were held in 49 states, 22 countries and seven continents.
The events share the same goals: “To honor fallen cyclists, to promote road safety, and to make a difference.”
Bike safety is not a fleeting issue, especially here in Florida which ranks as the very worst in the nation for cyclist safety with the highest fatality rate for 10 years in a row. In 2014, eight cyclists were killed in Lee County crashes, with one fatality in 2015 to date.
The Ride of Silence, in memorializing riders injured and killed, seeks to draw motorists’ attention to cyclists’ legal rights to full use of the roadways, to inform motorists that we are here and to watch for us — as if our lives depended on it.
Please come out to show your support and send the message that we deserve our right to operate on our own roads. We are not just bike riders, but friends and neighbors — and we must all Share the Road.
Locally there are two Rides of Silence planned:
The Fort Myers Ride of Silence, sponsored by the Caloosa Riders Bicycle Club:
•Arrive by 6:45 p.m., ride begins promptly at 7 p.m.
•Gather downtown at Centennial Park, 2000 West First Street, Fort Myers (under the bridge at Heitman and Bay streets)
•Cyclists will ride in a silent, funeral-style procession at 10-12 mph for 8 miles to honor those who have been killed or injured while cycling on public roadways.
•Riders are requested to wear black arm bands, or red if they have personally been injured in a cycling vs. motor vehicle accident.
•Everyone welcome, free of charge. No registration necessary.
•Helmets are required, no headphones please.
•For further details email: firstname.lastname@example.org
The Sanibel Ride of Silence, sponsored by the Sanibel Bicycle Club in partnership with Matzaluna Restaurant and Billy’s Bikes:
•Riders are encouraged to arrive at 6:15 p.m. at Matzaluna Restaurant (1200 Periwinkle Way) for a short educational program.
•At 7 p.m. promptly the ride will leave Matzaluna’s, heading down Periwinkle Way to the Sanibel Causeway. The ride will cross over the first two bridges of the causeway, do the turnaround under the main span, and return to Matzaluna (approximately 7 miles round-trip).
•Helmets required for all riders, and front and tail lights are required if you plan to ride your bike home after dinner.
•Matzaluna will provide discounted food and drink for all riders.
•For further details, contact Patti Sousa: 395-1695.
This ride is silent, but its participants don’t plan to be. They’re standing up for their road rights, and riding in memory of those whose rights (and sometimes lives) were taken. Join them.
BikeWalkLee is a community coalition raising public awareness and advocating for complete streets in Lee County—streets that are designed, built, operated and maintained for safe and convenient travel for all users: pedestrians, bicyclists, motorists, and transit riders of all ages and abilities. Information, statistics and background online at www.BikeWalkLee.org.
Run: Want to see if you can outrun the cops — for fun? Try the Cape Cops 5K on Saturday at the Cape Coral Yacht Club. It kicks off at 7:30 a.m. with a 5K run and walk, and a children’s fun run after 5K is finished. All proceeds will go to assist families of fallen or injured police officers. Check out www.fortmyerstrackclub.com for details.
Ride: Honor women and bikes at Women’s Ride Day on Sunday, May 31, with 15-, 30- and 45-mile rides beginning at 8 a.m. Starts from Go Girl Cycling, 9377 Six Mile Cypress Parkway, Fort Myers.