file photo.

Silent Procession Honours Cyclists Injured And Killed On Windsor Streets

If you see a group of cyclists following a hearse through Windsor streets Wednesday evening, it is the Annual Ride of Silence.

This year’s ride, the tenth annual, starts at 7pm Wednesday in the parking lot of Good Neighbour Restaurant on Wyandotte St. E with the reading of a poem dedicated to cyclists who have been injured and even killed on city roads.

The scene of a fatal hit and run in LaSalle. (Photo courtesy LaSalle Police)

The ride not only honours the victims of accidents but also raises awareness about the rights of cyclists on roadways.

Sergeant Steve Betteridge with the Windsor Police Service says one good rule to abide by is “see and be seen”.

“Know your surroundings,” he says. “When you’re coming to an intersection, a good idea is to make eye contact with the other operators so that people are sure that they see one another and they are abiding by all the rules of the road.”

Executive Director of Bike Windsor-Essex, Lori Newton says about 140 cyclists took part in the event last year. In a release, Newton says the consequences can be dire “when motorists are inattentive when they don’t follow the rules of the road, [and] when they don’t give cyclists at least 1m of space.

Betteridge agrees.

“That just comes down to simple physics,” says Betteridge. “They don’t have the protection. There isn’t a seatbelt. There isn’t an airbag.”

Riders of all ages and abilities are welcome to take part in the ride. They are invited to wear black armbands to show solidarity with those who have been killed while riding, and a red armband if they have been in a collision while riding.

Helmets are mandatory for all riders under the age of 18, and bike lights are required.

There is no cost to participants, and no pledges to collect, but a donation will help support the goal of making the region more bike-friendly.