ELMIRA, N.Y. (WETM) — A Chemung County bike shop honored fallen cyclists in a “Ride of Silence” Wednesday night.
Each year, Elmira Community Cycle joins cyclists across the nation on the third Wednesday of May to raise awareness for the cyclists who have been killed or injured while cycling on public roadways.
“People around the world, at the same time, get together and ride bikes,” said Tara Escudero, event coordinator and bicycle mechanic at Elmira Community Cycle. “They wear white, the ride is silent, and they do it to honor cyclists who have been killed on public roadways and to raise awareness about how cyclists are being killed and to hopefully spark change.”
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 846 cyclists were killed in traffic crashes in 2019. Ride of Silence was started in Dallas in 2003 after endurance cyclist Larry Schwartz died after being hit by the mirror of a passing bus.
Before the pandemic, 50 local cyclists would participate in the silent ride. This year, the bike shop strived for at least 15 cyclists to ride a few miles in memory of fallen cyclists in the area.
Going forward, Elmira Community Cycle’s goal is to plan more rides and build a community of cyclists.