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Annual Ride of Silence aims to promote safe roadways for all and also remembers cyclists hurt or killed on area roadways

By Staff | May 16, 2023

FILE?PHOTO Cycling is one way to work on staying fit while practicing social distancing.

Many residents and visitors bicycle in Lee County, whether they are enjoying the health benefits as recreation or as a means of transportation. Sadly, many people are injured or killed on our Lee County roadways. On May 17, area cyclists will take to the streets for the 21st annual Ride of Silence, hosted by the Caloosa Riders Bicycle Club. This is a worldwide event that happens on the 3rd Wednesday of May to honor those who have been injured or killed, to raise awareness for cyclists, and to ask that we all share the road.

Participants will depart the Bell Tower Shops and silently ride as part of an effort to draw attention to the injuries and deaths of cyclists on area roadways. The goal is to raise awareness of the need for safer, inclusive, and accessible streets for all.

Southwest Florida roadways have consistently ranked among the most perilous for cyclists throughout the years. Statistics still show a high number of incidents. “https://www.flhsmv.gov/traffic-crash-reports/crash-dashboard/” rel=”noopener” target=”_blank”>During 2022 in Lee County there were 319 crashes and nine fatalities involving bicycles. In the first quarter of 2023, we have already had 81 bicycle crashes with two fatalities. While the causes of the incidents vary, “the reality is motor vehicle drivers, cyclists and pedestrians all have responsibility for safe mobility,” said Norm Nesbitt of Caloosa Riders Bicycle Club, and he hopes this event will help promote safer sharing of roads.

The ride is approximately 6 miles long with riders rolling at no more than 12 miles an hour. There is no charge to participate, and it is open to all ages. Participants are asked to meet at 6:30 p.m. and are required to sign a waiver, wear a helmet, and have front and rear lights on their bike. A brief ceremony remembering family and loved ones who lost their lives while cycling will be held starting at 6:45 p.m. followed by ride protocol and safety instructions. Riders will depart promptly at 7 p.m. and will be escorted by the Lee County Sheriff’s Office.

Media personnel and community leaders are especially encouraged to join the ride. More information, graphics, and resources on the national event can be located at rideofsilence.org.

About Caloosa Riders Bicycle Club

The Caloosa Riders Bicycle Club (CRBC), formed in 1988 and currently with over 350 members, was created to cater to active, enthusiastic cyclists of beginner to advanced levels and interests. CRBC is focused on helping riders develop skills and to gain as much enjoyment as possible from cycling. Advocacy efforts are supported to safeguard the rights and safety of cyclists in Southwest Florida. For more information visit caloosariders.org.

Source: Caloosa Riders Bicycle Club