Ride of Silence spreads awareness of bicycling on public roadways

RADFORD, Va. (WDBJ) — As the weather gets warmer, more bicyclists will likely be out on the road. But that means drivers need to be more cautious.

Wednesday, a group of people were raising that awareness.

For the last 10 years, Radford has hosted the Ride of Silence.

It began when Dr. Fess Green, a Radford professor, was killed while riding his bike in Radford in April 2008. So Radford joined the national movement, and it has been growing every year.

Dozens saddled up Wednesday night for the seven-mile ride through Radford. But people driving or walking by them wouldn’t have heard a thing.

“We do not speak the whole time, so all you hear are the toe clicks and just the whirling of the tires; it’s completely in silence,” Lead Organizer Laurie Buchwald explained. “It’s honoring those that have been hurt or killed, but it’s also trying to raise awareness, so we ride at a very slow pace, almost a funeral pace.”

Cyclists at the ride said before it began that crashes involving bikes have been going up in recent years, with cell phones becoming more high tech.

“Most of us who ride have been intimidated or hit by those in cars, whether accidentally most of the time, or on purpose, and most of the time it’s the, ‘Officer, I just didn’t see him or her,'” Buchwald said.

One cyclist, Trina Cometa, was good friends with Fess Green. Just before his tragic crash, she had one of her own.

Cometa, a representative of the New River Valley Bicycle Association, recalled, “A dog ran out in front of me, and I spent six weeks on a walker and missed seven weeks of work.”

That just shows how little impact there needs to be to cause serious…

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