Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Ride of Silence on May 17th--Fort Myers and Sanibel

It's May and time to make plans to join one of the two local Ride of Silence events (Fort Myers and Sanibel) on Wed. evening May 17th to honor fallen cyclists and promote road safety.

Previous Ride of Silence, Fort Myers
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. The Ride of Silence is a worldwide event, with almost all USA States participating, along with 22 other countries.

The many hundreds of 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 ten years in a row.

 In 2016, 9 cyclists were killed in Lee County crashes, in 2015, 4 cyclists were killed, and in 2017 to date, there has been one.

The Ride of Silence, in memorializing riders injured and killed, seeks to draw motorist's attention to cyclist's legal rights to full use of the roadways, to inform motorists that we are here, 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.
Ghost bike on Sanibel Causeway

Locally there are TWO Rides of Silence planned--downtown Fort Myers and Sanibel.

Fort Myers Ride of Silence: Sponsored by the Caloosa Riders Bicycle Club
  • Arrive by 6:45, ride begins promptly at 7:00 PM
  • Centennial Park 2000 W First St, 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 versus motor vehicle accident.
  • Everyone welcome, free of charge. No registration necessary.
  • Helmets are required, no headphones please.
Sanibel Ride of Silence: Sponsored by the Sanibel Bicycle Club in partnership with Matzaluna Restaurant and Billy's Bikes.
Gathering for Sanibel ride at Matzaluna's

  • Riders are encouraged to arrive at 6:15 p.m. at Matzaluna Restaurant (1200 Periwinkle Way) for a short educational program. 
  • At 7:00 p.m. promptly the ride will leave Matzaluna's, down Periwinkle Way to the Sanibel Causeway. The ride will cross over the first 2 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 Salli Kirkland 239-472-3620.

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