June 2, 2014. The mood was somber and the riders respectful as a special poem was read before the group of 45 cyclists silently rolled out onto King Street. The last notes to Amazing Grace played by a local bagpiper were still hanging in the late afternoon air as the cyclists remembered friends who have been killed or seriously injured while cycling. Each person riding and their families recognize their vulnerability every time a bicycle rider travels on public highways. And that is why they ride every year, on the same day at the same time along with thousands others across the globe.
The first Ride of Silence was held in Dallas, TX, in 2003 after a cyclist in that community was killed. The event caught on and has been repeated every year since then not just in Texas but all over the globe. The goal of the ride is to remember those who have been injured or killed on public roadways and to raise awareness about cycling and cycling safety.
The Boone Area Cyclists club sponsored the area’s fourth annual ride. The first two years were held in the Cove Creek /Sugar Grove area and the last two years have been observed in downtown Boone. Forty-five registered riders participated by riding a 4-mile predetermined route. The youngest riders were nine years old. Bicycle riders wore a Ride of Silence/Boone Area Cyclists placard, red or black armbands, and silently pedaled to remember those killed or injured while biking on public roadways. Ride Organizer, Adam Sheffield announced that every rider was required to wear a helmet and follow the rules of the road that apply to all vehicles.
Seasoned cyclist Sharon Lane had this to say about the ride, “It was an honor to participate in our local Ride of Silence tonight. A somber occasion of remembrance for all those who know or knew people who have been killed or injured in bicycle accidents. Please be watchful for pedestrians and bicyclists everyday and especially this time of year.”
And new bicycle owner Ashley Payne Cook says, “I enjoyed participating in the 2014 Ride of Silence bike ride. It was amazing to see so many cyclists come together to remember and honor those who have been injured or killed while riding, as well as create such a powerful visual reminder to all motorists that we share common “ground”.”