Ride of Silence Press Release

RoS_Ghost-versionAt 7 p.m. on Wednesday, May 15, 2013, the Ride of Silence will begin in North America and roll across the globe. Cyclists will take to the roads in a silent procession to honor those who have been killed or injured while cycling on public roadways. Although cyclists have a legal right to share the road with motorists, the motoring public often isn’t aware of these rights, and sometimes not aware of the cyclists themselves. In 2003, Chris Phelan organized the first Ride of Silence in Dallas after endurance cyclist Larry Schwartz was hit by the mirror of a passing bus and was killed. (Read the full history here.)

Led by Bike Lafayette, the Lafayette area Ride of Silence will begin at the Mickey Shunick Ghost Bike Memorial at the intersection of St. Landry and Dean Streets and end at Parc Sans Souci on Vermillion Street. (Participants who drive to the ride are encouraged to park along St. Landry Street in front of the old Our Lady of Lourdes hospital.) The ride will follow a 9.5 mile route through central Lafayette. For exact route, see http://www.mapmyride.com/routes/view/193939290

The Ride of Silence is a free ride that asks participants to ride no faster than 12 mph, wear helmets, have lights, follow the rules of the road, and remain silent during the ride. There are no sponsors and no registration fees. The ride aims to raise the awareness of motorists, police and city officials that cyclists have a legal right to the public roadways. For details on Louisiana State law relative to bicycles see http://www.lafayettela.gov/Traffic/bicyclesafety_statestatutes.asp

The ride is also an opportunity to show respect for and honor the lives of those who have been killed or injured while cycling on public roadways. In Lafayette and adjoining parishes, three people have been killed and 216 injured while cycling on public roadways (see table below).

2011

2012

2013

2011-2013

Fatalities Injuries Fatalities Injuries Fatalities Injuries Fatalities Injuries
Lafayette

2

60

0

54

0

17

2

131

St. Martin

0

3

0

6

0

0

0

9

St. Landry

0

21

1

18

0

3

1

42

Vermillion

0

10

0

7

0

4

0

21

Acadia

0

6

0

6

0

1

0

13

TOTAL

2

100

1

91

0

25

3

216

Source: LSU Crash Data Reports http://datareports.lsu.edu/reports.aspx?p=ci&yr=2013&rpt=H7B

Among these statistics are this year’s Ride of Silence honorees, including Betty J. Noel, Jaquil Provost, Mickey Shunick, Nell Taylor, Roxanne Richard, Carl Menard, Leigh Holland, Mark Weinke, Scott Coco, and Monique Koll.