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Annual Ride of Silence Honors Fallen Cyclists

Posted at 10:17 PM, May 18, 2016
and last updated 2016-05-18 23:41:09-04

A crowd of cyclists came together to honor colleagues who have been injured or killed while riding on public roads.

The annual Ride of Silence started at the Nashville Farmers Market.  Participants rode for 5 miles in complete silence through the city to bring attention to the issue, and the dangers cyclists face on the road every day.

“I ride my bike to work every day and there are always close calls,” said Daniel McDonell, a member of Walk Bike Nashville, who participated in the ride.

The event was coordinated by the local group Walk Bike Nashville.  The group says Nashville roads have improved through the years, but more can be done to make the roads safer for everyone.

“Of course more bike lanes are always helpful,” said Christopher Stowe, a cyclist who participated in the ride.  “Things like bike boxes, too.  I would also like to see more protected bike lanes.”

A recent accident involving cyclist Roman Alvarez, 53, was caught on surveillance video.  Alvarez was riding along Old Hickory Boulevard in Nashville when a pickup truck hit him, dragged him and his bike, and then took off.  Alvarez was seriously injured, but is now in good condition at TriStar Skyline Medical Center.

Ride participants said Alvarez was doing everything correctly and was still injured.

“It’s so disheartening,” said McDonell.  “There was nothing he could have done differently.”

Participants say the cycling community continues to grow in Nashville and the city needs to take steps to make sure roads are safe.

This past week, Mayor Megan Barry announced details of her $475 million capital spending plan which includes $30 million for sidewalks and $5 million for greenways.  The plan still has to be approved by the Metro Council.

Members of Walk Bike Nashville said it is a step in the right direction.

“Everything helps,” said Stowe.  “The better the infrastructure, the more comfortable people would be riding to work.”

The Ride of Silence was held in hundreds of cities worldwide to honor cyclists who were hurt or killed on public roads.