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 20, 2015
Contact: Sara McLarty
Distance: 8 miles
Notes: Starts at Waterfront Park in Clermont, FL. The ride is clock-wise around Lake Minneola.

Dunedin - May 20, 2015
*Jim will be biking in this ride with the Suncoast Cycling Club
Contact: Harold Mitnick
Distance: 12 miles
Notes: We will be starting and ending our ride in the parking lot of the Caladesi Shopping Center, Curlew Road, and Alternate 19, Dunedin, Florida. Our ride departs precisely at 7 pm, so please arrive early so that we can be organized and ready to go on time. As the ride will end around sunset, lights, as well as normal cycling gear, are required.

Fort Myers - May 20, 2015
Contact: Daniel Greenhalgh
Distance: 12 miles
Notes: Arrive by 6:45. We leave 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.

Lakeland - May 20, 2015
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 20, 2015
Contact: Jeffrey Clark
Distance: 6 miles
Notes: Mileage is shorter then recommended length this is because the location is around a lake where two cyclist have lost their lives and numerous people injured. The lake has many cyclist,runners and walkers that would allow for a large amount of people to see the procession.

Sanibel - May 20, 2015
Contact: Patti SOUSA
Distance: 10 miles
Notes: 2143 Starfish Lane. Contact the organizer for more details.

Sarasota Manatee Counties - May 20, 2015
Contact: Ian Tummon
Distance: 7 miles
Notes: Please meet in the west lot of Sarasota Fairgrounds at 6:30 pm, accessed from Ringling Boulevard. Our ride is a loop west on Ringling, south on Osprey, north on McClellan/Orange/Pineapple then east on Main and Ringling.

Sebring - May 20, 2015
Contact: Carol Gray
Distance: 10 miles
Notes: Meet at Sebring Library parking lot on Lakeview Dr. Ride South around lake to US Hwy 27 North to Lakeview. Continue around Lake Jackson returning to Library.

Spring Hill - Brooksville - May 20, 2015
Contact: Stan Kaszuba
Distance: 10 miles
Notes: May 20, 2015 6:30 PM
Riders of all abilities….
Please, Join us at 6:30PM
A brief ceremony will be held at Black Bear Bike on SR 50 In Remembrance of Lost Colleagues and Love-ones.
Followed by a Ride Information Protocol, Placement of Signs to be pinned on Riders Jerseys, Arm bands, etc.
The ride will Roll-Out from the Black Bear Bike at 7:00PM sharp.
The “Ride Of Silence”will last for one hour taking us from the Black Bear Bike Down Mariner Blvd and Back at a 10-12 mph Pace. The Hernando County Sheriff's Office will be providing a police escort.

Tampa - May 20, 2015
Contact: Drew Hunter
Distance: 11.7 miles
Notes: Please join us for the annual Ride Of Silence to commemorate those injured by or lost to us due to auto-bicycle accidents. This is a one hour, 12 mile, slow paced, silent ride through Tampa and past some of our Ghost Bikes. We will be starting and ending our ride at Curtis Hixon Park near the fountains in downtown Tampa. We hope to start the rides anouncements and dedications at 7 pm. Please arrive early so that we can be organized and ready to go on time. As the ride will end around sunset so lights, as well as helmets, are required.

The ride info can also be found here: www.suncoastcycling.com/events-and-links/

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