Hundreds of cyclists in northwest Ohio will again slowly, silently ride in procession on Wednesday, in honor of bicyclist killed while on the road.
The Ride of Silence — held on the third Wednesday of May — was started in 2003 as a tribute to a cyclist killed in Dallas, and has spread across the world. The Toledo ride is the ninth annual, while an event was added last year in Bowling Green and continues this year.
Bicyclists ride on Bancroft Street during Toledo's Ride of Silence in 2016.
Keith Webb of We Are Traffic said that about 200 riders are expected for the Toledo event, while about 100 rode last year in Bowling Green. Riders travel slowly — no faster than 12 mph — and will be escorted by police and fire crews on bikes.
The whole route is to be done in silence.
The Toledo route this year will be different from the past, because of construction work on Bancroft Street.
Normally, the group departs from a University of Toledo parking lot onto Bancroft. This year, the group will meet at Gateway Area 25 parking lot at UT on Secor Road near Dorr Street.
The ride this year is also longer than before, at 10 miles instead of 7.8 miles, Mr. Webb said.
“The role of those cyclists by attending the ride is to help bring greater awareness,” Mr. Webb said.
Stops along the route were built in to honor the memory of area residents who died while biking. The group will honor Dave Larabee, who was killed in 2005, at Ottawa Hills High School, will stop at Toledo Children’s Hospital to honor Dr. Stephen Snedden, who died on River Road, and Ottawa Park to honor Robert Brundage, and a dozen other cyclists will also be honored.
While the event is primarily meant to honor those cyclists, it also serves as a public awareness tool about sharing the road with cyclists. There aren’t that many opportunities to educate motorists, Mr. Webb said.
“There’s still a population of people who believe bikes belong on the sidewalk,” he said. “That need for education will never go away.”
The Bowling Green ride starts at the end of City Park, just off Conneaut Avenue. That route will be eight miles long. Participants in Rides of Silence are required to wear helmets.
Both the Toledo and Bowling Green rides start at 7 p.m., and participants are asked to arrive by 6:30 p.m.
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