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Thursday, May 19, 2011

Ride Of Silence ...

Photos by Steve Douglass
Story by Nastassia Tamari

The mission of Share The Road is to improve the safety of drivers and cyclists, runners, motorcyclists, and pedestrians. It promotes awareness, education, and understanding in Amarillo and the surrounding communities.

Wednesday night, they rode in silence.It's part of an international awareness ride that done on the 3rd Wednesday in May at 7 p.m. Upwards of 200 participants showed up to ride, making it one of the larger rides in the world.

"I and a friend of mine, were riding our bikes, we were actually in Canyon, and we were hit by a driver. I had a shattered clavicle, I had a horrible concussion, which my helmet, if you could see my helmet you would see how that played a big part in saving my life, as well as my friends. I was on a walker for 8 weeks. I had a bilateral fracture both sides of pelvic and my tailbone," said Robyn Willis, a rider and volunteer board member of Share The Road.

That happened after she was hit by a car, and she's not alone. Just last year riding enthusiast Cindy Whitney was hit and killed by a distracted driver. "We're riding in memory of Cindy Whitney tonight and there are six other cyclists who have been killed in recent years, over the last 10 years or so," said Ken Graham, the President of Share The Road. So Share The Road was formed to help everyone be safe.

"Actually all the research shows that most of the time when you're a driver behind the wheel and really you're feeling that you're in an impatient situation, you're really only are loosing three to five seconds waiting on that athlete that may be on their bike or on their motorcycle or running," said Willis. And waiting or being less in a hurry is just what the cycling community is hoping for, "We all live in this world together and we need to survive together in order to survive together, we need to be a little more tolerate of each other," continued Willis. "Bicyclists are on the road, all the time, doing different things recreation, communing to work, riding to school and we ask that motorists remember that we have a legal right to use the road as well," said Graham.

In many states there is a law that requires vehicles keep three feet away from cyclists for safety reasons. Another way to be safe, is to stay off your cell phone. During the ride, some cyclists were wearing black or red bracelets. Black meant they had not been hit by car while riding, red meant that they had.


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