A silent ride remembering those injured and killed while cycling

By: Victoria Maranan Email
By: Victoria Maranan Email

SHERMAN, TX- In 2010, Over 600 cyclists were killed in the U.S. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said 51,000 more were injured while riding their bikes on the road. Wednesday night, local cyclists rolled out a new event to raise awareness of the dangers.
Texomans took on a 9-mile bike ride Wednesday in silence, in honor of cyclists who were injured or killed while sharing the road with motorists. They say they hope Sherman's first "Ride of Silence" will save lives.
Mike Borden rides his bike to work everyday from Collinsville to Sherman. He's seen plenty of close calls, then last year he had his own.

"Early Saturday morning, a guy was heading for the post office and he just didn't see me and he turned in front of me. He made a right turn in front of me and cut me off and we collided," he said.

Borden wasn't seriously hurt but said the accident raised his awareness of the importance of sharing the road with drivers.

"The main thing I have to remember as a cyclist is that I'm invisible. They don't see me and that's the way I had to think when I ride is that they don't see me, so I have to ride defensively," he said.

Charlie Jenkins hopes the first annual "Ride of Silence" in Sherman will help change that.

"We call it the Ride of Silence. It's honoring cyclists who have been hit so it's gonna be a silent ride, everybody's gonna be quiet kinda like a funeral procession per se," he said.

More than 30 cyclists signed up for the "Ride of Silence." Those who have been hit wore red arm bands, others wore black. They rode 9 miles all over Sherman in complete silence, but their message was loud and clear.

"Just pay attention. Just pay attention that we are there and motorists can come up to cyclists very fast. If they're texting or they're on the phone or doing something that takes their attention from it, they can be on one before they realize it," Jenkins said.

"Slow down, hold your line, keep a straight line, we appreciate a wide berth, we appreciate you giving us room," said Borden.

The event is held every third Wednesday in May across the country and now here in Sherman.

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  • by Chuck on May 17, 2012 at 01:35 PM
    Most roads have enough room for bikes and cars. As with anything we humans do, a little consideration and respect goes a long way in making the world a nicer place. Hey, Jer, you need to get that keyboard replaced. Looks like you are missing the letter "k."
    • reply
      by Jer on May 29, 2012 at 06:13 AM in reply to Chuck
      You're right, Chuc, it sucs. And those jers at NASCAR won't even let me ride my go-kart during the Daytona.
  • by Pat on May 17, 2012 at 11:04 AM
    Actually bicycles do have to follow alot of the sames rules as cars and can be ticketed for not doing so. Bicycles and cars can exist together. The only reason that there is road rage is because the motorists are in a hurry, talking or texting on the phone and not paying attention. Cyclists also need to be considerate of the motorists and pay attention. You are correct in that we do not have to register our bikes but most of us have motor vehicles as well and do register those and pay taxes for the roadways we are riding on. As far as coming up on a bicycle at the top of a hill doing 15..that could also be a car. You as a driver are responsible for paying attention to your surroundings. We all can survive together on the roads.
    • reply
      by Rachel on May 24, 2012 at 01:13 PM in reply to Pat
      And you, as a cyclist, are responsible for risking your own life. Don't blame other people for your lack of common sense. And yes, there could be a car at the top of a hill doing only 15 mph, but that car is going to fair much better than the cyclist if it's hit. My whole point is not to undermine bicycling. It's healthy, it's economical, it's "green," etc. And I like to cycle some myself. My point is, you can't expect others to look out for you. If you are uncomfortable and worried about getting hit, leave the roadway. Rally and campaign for bike lanes, trails, whatever, but until those are in place and working effectively, find somewhere else to ride. What good does it do to get out on the road and put yourself in a dangerous, or potentially dangerous, situation and then bi&^% to world because no one is looking out for you. It's your own doing. If you weren't riding in the street, you'd have no reason to be upset in the first place. And if you are riding in the street, you're putting your own life at risk. The operator of a vehicle didn't put you out there so why gripe about the vehicles? They're always going to win because they're bigger and faster. If you're uncomfortable around them, stay away from them. Simple solution! Common sense goes a long way. You should get some.
  • by Rachel Location: Sherman on May 17, 2012 at 07:25 AM
    My thoughts exactly Jer!!! Bicycles do not belong on the roadways. It's unsafe any way you look at it. It creates road rage and, like it or not, bicycles do not have to follow the same rules as vehicles. They do not have to maintain minimum speeds (my grandmother was pulled over and cited for not doing so right here in town), they do not have to register their bikes that helps pay for the roadways they're using, and the bicycle operators do not pay very close attention to their surroundings a lot of the time. It is never a good idea to ride a bicycle on the roadway wearing earbuds. This is all nonsense and should be a non-issue as all bicyclists should be off the roads in the first place. You can't expect people to be aware of bicycles when the speed limit is 50 mph and you come up on a bicycle doing 15 just over the top of a hill. Bicycle awareness needs to be designed to teach bicycle operators to use common sense and get off the roadway. Rally for a bike park if you feel the need to voice your opinion.
    • reply
      by Craig on May 17, 2012 at 11:30 AM in reply to Rachel
      Bicycles DO belong on the roads. The unsafe environment comes from the cars, not the bikes. We DO have to follow the same rules as cars, and can/will be ticketed just like motorists. If there is a minimum speed, we have to abide by the same, or don't belong on that road. You won't see bicycles riding down the interstate highways, or US-75, or similar roads. Why? Because those roads are not appropriate for us. City, county & FM roads are appropriate. Cars traveling 50 mph are expected to be aware of everyone on the road, bicycles, slow moving cars, pedestrians, children, animals, etc. Almost every cyclist also own's an automobile, or several. So...yes, we do pay taxes just like you do. I agree, cyclists should not wear earbuds. This is dangerous & should not be allowed.
      • reply
        by Rachel on May 24, 2012 at 12:10 PM in reply to Craig
        Dang the timing Craig! I actually just encountered two bicyclers in full gear on the on-ramp in front of Wal-Mart in Sherman getting onto HWY 82. They were not on the side of the highway. They were directly in the middle of the on-ramp. There were more cars piled up behind them than you could imagine I'm sure. Just when I thought they would use a little common sense and get off to the side to let the, now frustrated, motorists around (as it is a 70mph zone), they continued to travel, side-by-side, in the right hand lane of the highway. Right, wrong or indecent this is what was happening right in front of me. Campaign all you want for bicyclists, but as long as they are on the road with vehicles, they are putting their own lives in danger. It's their choice, not mine. Accidents WILL happen no matter how careful a driver is. It's not always the driver's fault even though it's presented that way. A bicycle versus a car, an 18 wheeler versus a car, etc. will almost always result in the smaller of the two taking the biggest punch. It's a risk of life. But for those who choose to take that risk, they need to fully understand the consequences. Hard to have sympathy for people that know they are endangering their own lives and are still trying to make everyone else conform to them. Nonsense!
    • reply
      by Zyklon B on May 17, 2012 at 12:16 PM in reply to Rachel
      I doubt a 20 pound bike does as much damage to the road as a 4000 pound car. Would you like people who walk in the street to also wear a registration sticker, maybe on their @$$?
  • by Texas Location: Sherman on May 17, 2012 at 07:10 AM
    Huge thanks to the Sherman Police Department and Texoma Cycling Club for coordinating this ride. The more we raise awareness the safer our streets will be for both the cyclist and motorists. This is a huge step towards creating a healthy Sherman. Anyone interested in joining a ride can find more information on the Texoma Cycling Club website. http://www.texomacycling.com/
  • by Jer on May 17, 2012 at 06:50 AM
    Who decided it would be a good idea for bicycles and cars to share the road in the first place?
    • reply
      by Sam on May 17, 2012 at 07:02 AM in reply to Jer
      Seriously, that's what you got from this story?
      • reply
        by Jer on May 17, 2012 at 10:55 AM in reply to Sam
        Why not? Let's say they ran a story about the Amazon River Skinny Dipping Club having a ceremony to honor those injured or killed by piranha. Maybe you would just read the article and think, "oh how nice," but I doubt it... You'd be wondering why anyone thought swimming among piranha was a bright idea, no?
    • reply
      by Craig on May 17, 2012 at 07:23 AM in reply to Jer
      Your are right. Bicycles shouldn't have to share the roads with cars, but we do. We have to accept the fact that cars are here to stay. Remember, bicycles existed long before cars! If anyone wants to argue the importance of each, let's consider how many people cars have killed. Now consider how few people bicycles have killed. Which one is better for the environment? Which one is a healthier lifestyle? I could go on, but these points speak for themselves.
      • reply
        by Jer on May 17, 2012 at 09:28 AM in reply to Craig
        Well, walking has been around long before bicycles, but that doesn't mean it's a good idea to walk in the street.
      • reply
        by Mare on May 22, 2012 at 03:14 PM in reply to Craig
        I agree that cars and bicycles should not have to share the road. Throughout most of Europe there is funding and laws that provide bike lanes to keep motorized vehicles and bicycles separate. Unfortunely in our country, as great as it is, we have failed to make these provisions. I've seen cyclists try to get away from cars by riding on the shoulder of the road but there aren't many roads with wide shoulders in good repair. And, there are drivers who pass the left-turning vehicle in front of them by driving on the right shoulder (right where a cyclist may be!). Another hazard that bicycle riders face are dogs that run loose. I've known several people who have been either bitten or suffered other injuries due to collisions with dogs. Now if all of the people who want bicycles off of the road and all of the people who want a place to ride their bicycles would get together and campaign for safe bike lanes, it could be a win-win result for everyone! In the meantime, we're all stuck with sharing the road hopefully in an attentive and courteous manner. And, oh yeah, let's give our dogs a fenced yard to keep them safe too.
        • reply
          by Brenda on May 24, 2012 at 12:19 PM in reply to Mare
          Yes...let's do that for all the dogs. And let's have you fund that whole project too. Thanks Mare!
  • by George Location: Luella, TX on May 17, 2012 at 04:16 AM
    Excellent story and coverage. The services of the Sherman Police Department were really appreciated.
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