Cyclists honor victims with silent ride

Dozens of cyclists came out to show their support for victims of bicycle accidents and to promote bike safety.

People around the globe came together Wednesday night to honor victims of bicycle accidents as part of the Ride of Silence.

Dozens of bicyclists joined the movement, speechlessly taking to the streets of Traverse City.

â??We're looking at three things,â?? said Tom Auer, the Traverse City co-chair of the Ride of Silence event, â??Making people aware of one another, acknowledging all the injuries that have happened, and we want to say we have to share the road. We're here to stay.â??

Participants wore "share the road" shirts and black armbands to recognize victims.

Terri Pelton was hit by a car in 2010. Now she rides to spread awareness.

â??It really means a lot to me to show the people the importance of bike safety, wearing helmets, to show that Traverse City can be a very bike friendly community,â?? said Pelton. â??Itâ??s to honor those who couldn't be here to do so.â??

For other riders, it's a way to honor the memory of Kelly Boyce-Hurlbert, the Traverse City woman killed in a hit-and-run accident last summer.

The route took them past the memorial set up near F&M Park.

â??I didn't know the young lady that got killed last year, but that affected me. That was horrible,â?? said Berry.

It is that emotional reaction that draws out spectators along the ride.

â??People will stand out at their house if they're not involved in biking and give us the thumbs up, clap, and really show support,â?? said Pelton.

The Ride of Silence holds true to its name; you won't hear much chatter coming from the crowd of cyclists.

â??All you hear are the bikes, the gears, it's quite different,â?? said cyclist Jack Berry. â??Hopefully this will alert people to make them be aware of everybody on the road, bicyclists as well as motorists.â??

â??We use hand signals to represent proper turning and stopping or slowing,â?? said Pelton.

The cyclists in Traverse City aren't alone. They're joined by thousands across the world.

â??It's happening in 20 Michigan cities, six up north cities. It's happening on every continent. It's happening in 300 different places,â?? said Auer.

This is the tenth year the event has been held in Traverse City. Organizers hope more people will continue to come out every year.

The first Ride of Silence was held in Dallas, Texas in 2003 after a man was killed when hit by the mirror on a bus. More than a thousand people attended.