Wednesday, May 8, 2019

Rides of Silence, other events planned during National Bike Month

Florida Weekly 'Outdoors' column, May 8, 2019

Ghost Bikes remind us of those who’ve lost their lives
May is National Bike Month, a time meant to increase awareness and use of one of the most efficient human-powered machines ever invented. Besides the bicycle’s efficiency and versatility, it provides users with a positive experience — at least much of the time. The obvious exceptions involve poor road and pathway design (especially at intersections), disrespect and intimidation by motorists and crashes. While the latter doesn’t always involve motor vehicles (those represent less than 20% of crashes among operators of bikes), those that do frequently involve serious injury or death.

During May different dates are designated for specific activities. Wednesday, May 8 is Bike to School Day. The third week of May is Bike to Work Week; Friday May 17 is Bike to Work Day. Also during that week: Wednesday, May 15, the annual Ride of Silence ( takes place. It’s a day set aside to commemorate those who have been killed or injured while on their bikes. This year the main Ride of Silence in Lee County will happen in Cape Coral rather than its usual venue in Fort Myers.

The League of American Bicyclists ( has sponsored National Bike Month since 1956. It is meant to exemplify the many positive aspects of cycling. But, like all aspects of interacting with traffic, it comes with risk. Unfortunately, here in Southwest Florida — and Lee County in particular — the risk is much higher than it could and should be. Because our roadways are designed first and foremost to move as many motor vehicles as efficiently as possible those on foot and bicycle all too often pay the price. And because of the real and perceived danger of operating a bike on the road many who would otherwise do just that end up deciding to use sidewalks meant for pedestrians, sometimes increasing their own risk and that of true pedestrians. For that reason — and because many more pedestrians are victims of crashes with motor vehicles — this year’s Ride of Silence will also include pedestrians.

As always, to learn about these topics and more visit and And be sure to get out and ride during National Bike Month. visit . ¦

- Dan Moser is a long-time bicycle/pedestrian advocate and traffic safety professional who cycles, runs and walks regularly for transportation, recreation and fitness. Contact him at and 334-6417. 

For Lee County cycling and tri events visit Caloosa Riders Bicycle Club (; Florida Mudcutters (; and SW Florida Biking Meetup Group ( The Florida Bicycle Association ( is your source for statewide happenings. BikeWalkLee’s blog site has all the information you’ll need to stay abreast of advocacy efforts in Southwest Florida as well as statewide and nationally.

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