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Mini-Cassia Ride of Silence

Cyclists participate in a prior Mini-Cassia Ride of Silence.

COURTESY PHOTO

HEYBURN At 7 p.m. on May 16, the Ride of Silence will traverse and unite the globe. Cyclists will ride on the roads in a silent procession to honor cyclists who have been killed or injured while cycling on public roadways.

Although cyclists have a legal right to share the road with motorists, the motoring public often isn’t aware of these rights, and sometimes not aware of the cyclists themselves.

In 2003, Chris Phelan organized the first Ride of Silence in Dallas after endurance cyclist Larry Schwartz was hit by the mirror of a passing bus and was killed.

The Ride of Silence is a free ride that asks its cyclists to ride no faster than 12 mph, wear helmets, follow the rules of the road and remain silent during the ride. There are no registration fees.

The ride, which is held during National Bike Month, aims to raise the awareness of motorists, police and city officials that cyclists have a legal right to the public roadways. The ride is also a chance to show respect for and honor the lives of those who have been killed or injured.

I am reminded of those in Mini-Cassia who have been hit, severely injured or killed while ride their bike. There are many I will miss if I name names, yet my heart painfully remembers many as they were personal friends.

Om May 18 2017, one day after the Ride of Silence, David Christensen, 54, of Burley, passed away as the result of a bicycling accident in Tazewell County, Virginia. Sally Stephens was hit from behind in 2011 while cycling to work and flew over the top of the car that hit her. Lona Hymas-Smith, 50, of Burley, died Friday, March 9, 2012, from injuries sustained in a bicycle accident. Kent Gunnell, Burley, was struck from behind by a vehicle while cycling to work in Albion. Jon Searle, Burley was hit June 5 2013 on 500 S., while cycling. One day later, Tracy Hansen, Burley, was hit on the Declo highway from behind as she was cycling to work. In July of 2013 Carrie Call went off the road to avoid a collision while cycling and went down. In 2006, Kim Walton, who is organizing this year’s Ride of Silence, was hit by a van that pulled through a stop sign. She remains paralyzed from the waist down.

Numerous young children have also bit struck while riding bikes in our communities.

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I can understand their emotion and trauma to some extent as I too went off the road to avoid hitting a car that turned directly in front of me. My husband came when I called and took me to the emergency room. I required stitches to fix my elbow, the road rash just takes time to heal. The car did not stop.

My accident is so minor compared to others, but the memory lingers with you and cyclists remain hyper vigilant out on the roads. When cars or trucks pass too quickly or come too close to cyclists, it creates wind drafts. The three-foot law is not in effect in Idaho, giving cyclists a three-foot protection when vehicles pass but perhaps increased awareness can increase that courtesy.

Recently I had a car pass, there was no oncoming traffic, but it barely moved over. I felt I had almost been sideswiped. Cyclists are so vulnerable on a bike when hit. We have little if any protection and it is our bodies that take the damage. Some do not recover.

The Mini-Cassia Ride of Silence will be held Wednesday May 16, 2017 starting at the Mini-Cassia Chamber of Commerce. Arrive ay 6:30 p.m. and be ready to ride at 6:45 p.m. The ridestarts at 7 p.m.

In case of inclement weather call Rocks Cycling and Fitness for rescheduling details.

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