Silent bike ride remembers cyclists killed on roadways

Justin Udo
May 16, 2018 - 9:10 pm
Hundreds of riders braved the rain and wind Wednesday night for the Ride of Silence.

Justin Udo | KYW Newsradio

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PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) — Hundreds of riders braved the rain and wind Wednesday night for the Ride of Silence, a solemn annual event that honors bicyclists killed on Delaware Valley roads in the past year.

The ride — which began at the Philadelphia Museum of Art and circled throughout Center City — took place less than a week after bike courier Pablo Avendano was killed at 10th and Spring Garden streets.

For about an hour, police escorted silent bike riders throughout the city as they paid tribute to those killed.

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"Every year, it's an emotional ride," said Diana Steif, operations director of the Bicycle Coalition of Greater Philadelphia. "It's a ride that's super important, because unfortunately we still have crashes and deaths because of those crashes."

Steif said it's always an emotional time when they lose a fellow rider.

"It makes me sad that we have to do this, but it also makes me really proud that there is a community that supports one another," she added.

Ride organizer Ray Scheinfeld noted he's happy with steps the city is taking to improve biker safety.

The Vision Zero program, for instance, enables riders to be more visible to cars by changing up bike lanes.

"It's designed to reduce any deaths to zero and reduce injuries," he said. "I've had a number of friends injured and some friends killed. The Ride of Silence is a ride to honor people injured and killed on bikes and also to show bicyclists have a right to the road and all of us should be respectful of each other."