Vail Valley Ride of Silence honors fallen cyclists | VailDaily.com

Vail Valley Ride of Silence honors fallen cyclists

Melanie Wong
mwong@vaildaily.com
Vail, CO Colorado
Vail Daily file photoVail Valley riders plan a solemn ride Wednesday night to raise awareness for sharing the road
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VAIL VALLEY, Colorado ” A procession of local bike riders will ride silently down U.S. Highway 6 in Colorado’s Vail Valley Wednesday night in honor of cyclists who have died or been injured in car accidents.

The Ride of Silence is a worldwide event, and this is the second year that Vail-area riders will be participating. Other locations include Dallas, where the ride first began seven years ago, Hong Kong and Sao Paolo, Brazil. Last year almost 22,500 riders rode in over 300 locations world wide, according to the event’s Web site.

During the ride, cyclists will ride from the Beaver Creek Bear Lot to the Dowd Junction bridge and back, slowly and silently. The 10-mile ride is open to the public.

Many local riders will be thinking of Brett Malin, a Vail cyclist who was killed by a semi-truck in New Mexico while riding in Race Across America in 2003, said ride organizer Linda Guerrette.

The ride is just as much about raising awareness about sharing the road as it is about honoring fallen friends, she said.

Colorado legislators passed a law earlier this month requiring that motorists pass cyclists with at least three feet of space even if the car needs to cross the yellow line. The law also makes throwing things at a cyclist a Class II misdemeanor punishable by up to a year in jail and clarifies the side-by-side rule, which says that cyclists can ride two abreast as long as they don’t impede the flow of traffic.

However, many motorists aren’t aware of the laws, which can lead to conflicts on the road, Guerrette said.

“A lot of cyclists want to stick to the rights that we have, but it doesn’t really work when motorists don’t know what those are,” Guerrette said, adding that cyclists need to do their part also. “But when I’m in Lycra on a 15-pound bike, it’s not the time to be insisting on my rights.”

However, she said she feels that Eagle County has become a much safer place for people to ride in the last few years, whether they are commuting, training on the road or riding around with their family.

“In the last few years there has been much more coverage about cyclists and motorists, and there’s been a push to make it safer for cyclists,” she said. “We’re definitely making some strides.”

What: Eagle County’s 2nd annual Ride of Silence

Who: Any bike riders who want to honor cyclists who have died in car accidents and raise awareness for sharing the road.

Where: Meet at the Beaver Creek Bear Lot

When: 5:30 p.m., Wednesday

More info: http://www.rideofsilence.org


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