Join the "Ride of Silence" and Promote Road Safety for Cyclists

Every May, we have a chance to promote road safety and memoralize cyclists who have lost their lives in a crashes. Details on the "Ride of Silence" came across my desk from our friends at BikeWalkLee, a coalition of safety advocates in Lee County. They are an active group who support safe practices and shared responsibilities among all road users, including motor vehicles, pedestrians and bicyclists.

The “Ride of Silence" is slow-paced and done in silence. It has become an international annual event honoring cyclists who were killed or injured while riding on public roadways.

Those of us who enjoy riding know that cycling safety in Florida is a huge issue. Our state ranks worst in the country with the highest death rate for nine consecutive years. Already this year in Lee County, four cyclists have died in crashes. The Ride of Silence is an opportunity to send the message to motorists that we have the same legal rights to the road as they do.

Many cities are hosting Ride of Silence events on May 20th. Here are the details for a Ride of Silence near you:

Clermont - May 17, 2017
Contact: Lacey Nickell
Distance: 8 miles
Notes: 8 mile slow (12mph) max ride around Lake Minneola starting at Waterfront Park. Please be there by 6:45pm as we will take off right at 7:00pm

Palm Harbor - May 17, 2017
Contact: Debbie Dunn
Distance: 10 miles
Notes: We will gather at 6:45 to provide route information and allow time for a short memorial announcement to commemorate our fallen riders. If you have a red or black arm band please bring it for the ride. Departs 7 PM sharp from the Publix at Caladesi Shopping Center, 902 Curlew Road, Dunedin FL. 10 mile ride at 10-12 MPH. Helmets required. Police escorted. Riders of all abilities are welcome to participate.

Fort Myers - May 17, 2017
Contact: Daniel Greenhalgh
Distance: 8 miles
Notes: Departs 7 p.m. sharp from Centennial Park, Downtown Ft Myers, 2000 W. 1st Street under the bridge at Heitman & Bay Streets. 8 mile ride at 10-12 MPH. Helmets Required. Police Escorted.

Lakeland - May 17, 2017
Contact: Donnie English
Distance: 9 miles
Notes: Meet at First Presbyterian Church 175 Lake Hollingsworth Dr. At 6:45 pm ride starts at 7:00 pm. 3 laps around lake at 10 to 12 mph. Helmet required.

Lakeland - May 17, 2017
Contact: Jeffrey Clark
Distance: 9 miles
Notes: Contact the organizer for more details.

Sanibel - May 17, 2017
Contact: Michael Miller
Distance: 10 miles
Notes: Contact the organizer for more details.

Sarasota Manatee Counties - May 17, 2017
Contact: Ian Tummon
Distance: 8 miles
Notes: The Manasota Ride of Silence is jointly organized by the Sarasota Manatee Bicycle and Village Idiots Cycling Clubs. The Manasota Ride of Silence begins at the Robarts Arena, 3000 Ringling Blvd., Sarasota FL 34237. We will form up into groups between pace vehicles in the unpaved northwest parking lot. We are pleased, that again this year, Blue Skye Pipe and Drums will play.

Sebring - May 17, 2017
Contact: Carol Gray
Distance: 10 miles
Notes: 10 mile ride around Lake Jackson starting from Sebring Library parking lot. Ride leaves at 7:00. Pace will be 10 miles per hour.

Tampa - May 17, 2017
Contact: Drew Hun
Distance: 11 miles
Notes: At least 12 paid with their lives on Hillsborough County streets - the trend needs to be reversed!
Jim Dodson
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A Florida injury lawyer, family man and avid cyclist who clients have trusted for over 25 years.
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