Cyclists honor fallen bikers during Ride of Silence - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Cyclists honor fallen bikers during Ride of Silence

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LINN COUNTY (KWWL) -

Bicyclists all over the world hit the pavement in honor of cyclists injured or killed while riding.

Ride of Silence is an annual and worldwide event where cyclists ride in silence for those that were killed while riding or injured on the road. Linn County held their eight-mile event at City Square Park in Marion.

Last week, the first cyclist death happened in the state when 28-year-old Christopher Lewis was killed in Cedar Rapids. In 2017, seven cyclists were killed in Iowa. There were 11 deaths in 2016. While the number is decreasing, cyclists in the group said one death is one too many.

"We just want people to be aware to share the road," Nikki Northrop Davidson, the ride leader, said. "People need to understand that there are cyclists out there. It's not just on the side streets or on the trails. We have to share the road."

Many in the group said they knew someone that had been injured or killed. Others experienced in firsthand.

"Every time I get on that bike, I think about that day," Elaine Peiffer said.

Peiffer said, when she was 7-years-old, she was hit while riding her bicycle.  It's an accident that changed the rest of her life, and one she still feels pain from.

"My skull actually cracked like an egg," she said. "I got caught between a pickup and a horse trailer. Actually caught my front tire when they swerved over to where I was at. I was pulled for several hundred yards."

It's accidents like theirs that are on the minds of the cyclists during Wednesday's ride.

"It was a tragedy what happened on Collins Road and it makes me so sad. All of us that cycle realize there are risks but when we're watchful and when vehicles are watchful, that's the most important thing," Northrop Davidson said.

Both agree that both drivers and cyclist bare the responsibility of keeping each other safe. They say it's important to not swerve while on the road, and to give cyclists space.

Northrop Davidson said it's also important that cyclists wear proper clothing that makes them visible, and to have a light on all bikes.

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