Silent ride to commemorate cycling victims
MOCKSVILLE — Local cyclists are invited to a Ride of Silence next week in honor of those who have been killed or injured while cycling on public roadways.
The ride will begin in in Mocksville at 7 p.m. Wednesday, as part of a worldwide event that will roll across the globe.
Cyclists will take to the roads in a silent procession, riding the 4-mile route at no faster than 12 miles per hour. They are asked not to speak unless necessary.
The Ride of Silence, which is held during National Bike Safety Month and Week, aims to raise awareness of cyclists’ legal right to public roadways.
The Mocksville ride starts Rich Park at 7 p.m., after a brief ceremony remembering family and loved ones who have lost their lives while riding their bicycles.
Participants of all abilities are invited to join the procession, which will return to Rich Park about 8 p.m. As many as 100 cyclists, including members of various bicycling clubs in the area, are expected to participate in the ride.
A funeral hearse, donated by the Davie Funeral Service, will provide safe escort for the participants.
Eric Phillips, owner of Skinny Wheels Bike Shop and founder of the Davie Cycling Association, will lead the group on the 4-mile route around and through downtown Mocksville and looping back to the park.
Phillips lost his father, Joe Phillips, in a 2009 motorcycle accident.
“Unfortunately, there are far too many people who have lost a loved-one or friends in a tragic auto/bike accident,” he said. “It’s important to be aware of your surroundings, stay off of cell phones, and pay attention to bicyclists, motorcyclists, walkers, and anyone else not in an automobile.”
According to the N.C. Department of Transportation, a bicyclist is struck by a motorist every six hours in this state. North Carolina ranks 44th out of the 50 states in terms of cycling/pedestrian safety, as determined by the number of annual deaths, according to the 2012 Benchmarking Report of the Alliance for Biking and Walking.
“Many drivers are not aware that bicycles legally are required to ride in the streets and roads not on sidewalks,” Phillips said. “Our message is, ‘Share the Road — for everyone’s safety.’”