‘Ride of Silence’ is next Wednesday

Rebecca Neipp

News Review Staff Writer

‘Ride of Silence’ is next WednesdayScores of cyclists will conduct a quiet processional through arterial streets in Ridgecrest on Wednesday, May 15, in observance of the worldwide Ride of Silence.

The High Sierra Cyclists are sponsoring the local event to raise awareness of cyclist rights on public roadways, while honoring the names of riders who have been injured or killed in accidents.

According to national traffic safety statistics, California has the highest number of cyclists killed each year, compared to those in any other state. The most recent information available indicates that those incidents are also on the rise.

In Ridgecrest 10 cyclists have lost their lives in accidents.

“I do feel that the Ride of Silence has been effective, at least more significantly so in the weeks immediately following the ride,” said Rebecca Kunkel. “I do feel like motorists perhaps pay a bit more attention after this particular event, and hopefully all cyclists do as well because we are all responsible for our safety — not just the motorists.”

The local mission is in line with the international mission “to promote sharing the road and provide awareness of bicycling safety.”

“I believe the biggest detriment is a general lack of education and understanding,” said Kunkel.

She pointed out that the California Vehicle Code dictates that all cyclists follow the traffic laws as if they are in a vehicle.

“I don’t think most cyclists are aware of this fact, and I’m confident most motorists are not.

“This lack of understanding causes confusion on the roadways and results in subjective processes being employed by both motorists and cyclists — which is obviously very dangerous, especially for those of us on 25-pound bikes with thick styrofoam lids protecting our brain boxes. General education would help tremendously.”

High Sierra Cyclists invite members of the public to participate in the event. Helmets are required, and lights are recommended.

Participants will meet at 6:30 p.m. at the intersection of Drummond Avenue and Jacks Ranch Road, and follow an eight-mile route at a relatively slow (12 mph) pace. The ride will conclude at LeRoy Jackson Park.

Officers from the Ridgecrest Police Department will escort the processional.

Pictured: Cyclists ride past City Hall during last year’s Ride of Silence — Photo by Laura Austin

Story First Published: 2019-05-10