Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Ride of Silence 2009 - May 20, 7:00 PM


The events of the last few weeks in the state of Iowa and in the past year in Mason City reinforce the need for bicycle safety and motorist awareness.

On May 20 at 7PM, a group of bicyclists will participate in the nationwide and worldwide Ride of Silence (www.rideofsilence.org) to honor those riders who have been killed or injured by a motorized vehicle while riding on a public roadway. RIDERS OF ALL AGES AND ABILITIES ARE ENCOURAGED TO PARTICIPATE. There is no registration, no fee, and no T-shirt. This is not a race or a training ride. The MAXIMUM speed will be 12 MPH, and the route will be 6 miles, all within the city limits of Mason City. Riders are to remain SILENT during the ride in order to remember those who have been killed or injured, to raise awareness of the legal right of cyclist to use the roads, to raise motorist awareness of their legal obligation to share the road, and to remind motorists how badly their lives can be affected if they kill or injure a cyclist.

The Ride of Silence was first held in Dallas in 2003, drawing over 1,000 cyclists. It was organized by Chris Phelan to honor his friend, Larry Schwartz, who was killed by the mirror of a passing bus on an empty road. Last year, 7,956 cyclists participated in 50 states and 18 countries at 7PM local time on May 21.

Over 600 cyclists are killed each year while riding, mostly in cities and suburbs. May is National Bike Safety Month. Bicycling is an excellent exercise for people of all abilities and can help with the obesity epidemic, air pollution, and gasoline problems. This local event is endorsed by the North Iowa Touring Club and North Iowa SPIN.

We will meet at Central Park in downtown Mason City. Please wear a black armband to honor and raise awareness. Please wear a red armband if you have been injured by a motorist while on a bike. The only requirement to participate is a bike and a helmet. Please let us know of the name of any local or Iowa cyclist killed while riding, including the hometown, and date and location of death by posting the information on the Bulletin Board of the North Iowa Touring Club web site (www.northiowatouringclub.com). Any questions may be posted there. Check there for updates, also.

We hope to see you on May 20 at 7PM at Central Park.

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