Front page headlines of the Amarillo Globe-News were definitely bicycle-friendly on May 17 and 18. Old Tascosa Cycling Club hosted Amarillo’s second annual Ride of Silence on Wednesday, May 17, 2006. The silent procession to honor cyclists who have been killed or injured while cycling on public roadways started in 2003 in Dallas and has spread throughout the world in just a short time.
May is Bike Safety Month, which aims to raise awareness of motorists, police and city officials that cyclists have a legal right to the public roadways. The Ride of Silence is a chance to remember those who have been killed or injured while cycling, to show the public that cyclists are not going to stop riding and to point out that we wish only to SHARE the roads with motorists. Black armbands were worn by some riders to show solidarity in mourning lost cyclists. Red armbands were worn by those who have been injured by motorists.
Cyclists started congregating at Amarillo’s Austin Middle School parking lot at 6:00 pm. By 6:45, pre-ride announcements and recognitions were made. Mayor Debra McCartt took time from her busy schedule to make an appearance. Riders pulled out at 7:00 pm with a police escort of three cruisers and seven bike patrol officers accompanying the group. All ages of rides observed silence to honor those who have been killed or injured by motorists while cycling. Many residents came out of their homes, and motorists stopped to respect the memorial of more than 150 riders in this event.
Texas panhandle residents are discovering bicycling for fun, fitness and transportation. Bicycling is part of the solution to many of our nation’s problems: obesity and other health issues, traffic congestion, air pollution and more.
Please join your neighbors and exercise your rights to Share the Road!