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Ride of Silence

r464

Turbo Monkey
Oct 17, 2006
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Earth
Looks as though there is one being led from a location just down the street from my house...
 

douglas

Chocolate Milk Doug
May 15, 2002
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Shut up and Ride
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Cyclist tour recalls tragedies on the road
Some 100 riders offer tribute to those killed, remind motorists of need for safe driving

By JIMMY VIELKIND, Staff writer
Click byline for more stories by writer.
First published: Thursday, May 22, 2008

ALBANY -- Clouds loomed and rain fell intermittently Wednesday evening as 100 or so bicyclists gathered underneath I-787 by the Corning Preserve boat launch for the annual ride of silence.
They wore bright, visible clothing and black arm bands, in solidarity for bicyclists who have been injured or killed on Capital Region streets. From the boat launch, they proceeded south, pausing in front of a white-painted "ghost bike" to mark the spot where Jose Perez was killed in 2006. They then moved west, silently circling most of the city along Western and Central Avenues.


"It's basically a funeral procession," said organizer Claire Nolan.

One of the riders was Sue Melnikoff, of Delmar, whose husband Joel was killed in 2006 in Feura Bush. She rides with her two grown children.

"Joel was killed by a drunk driver," she said. The woman behind the wheel, Darlene Kawczak, pleaded guilty to vehicular manslaughter and was sentenced to six months in jail. "We're here to remember Joel, and to raise some awareness for Joel and remind motorists to share the road."

While the mass ride proceeded under police escort, Nolan said the point was as much to raise awareness as to memorialize. "The automobile is only 100 years old, but it's taken over the road," she said. "And bicyclists have accepted it. Our goal is to educate drivers that we should share the road. We're all traffic. But while cyclists have a right to the road, they also have responsibilities."

The ride paused on Western Avenue near UAlbany, where designer Diva de Loayza was killed almost a year ago. Another ghost bike. An organizer broke the silence to read her name.

The ride continued.