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Ride of Silence honors fallen cyclists

Local cyclists ride through Chico Wednesday evening to honor those killed or injured in bicycle accidents. The Ride of Silence is a national event in conjunction with National Bike Month. - Photo by Rachel Brant
Local cyclists ride through Chico Wednesday evening to honor those killed or injured in bicycle accidents. The Ride of Silence is a national event in conjunction with National Bike Month.
— image credit: Photo by Rachel Brant

With the sun shining overhead, local cyclists donned black armbands and biked 10 miles to honor their injured or fallen comrades Wednesday.

Ride of Silence cyclists rode through Kitsap County Wednesday afternoon. The national event honors those injured or killed while riding bicycles. It is hosted in conjunction with National Bike Month and Bike to Work Week.

“We’re trying to raise awareness as well as honor those cyclists who have been killed or hurt,” said Scott Park, West Sound Cycling Club president.

More than 20 cyclists participated in the fourth annual event. Cyclists started and ended the eight- to 10-mile ride at Silverdale Cyclery on Northwest Silverdale Way.

Stephanie Satter, of Silverdale, brought her granddaughter, Petra Satter, to the event. Satter’s son and Petra’s father has been hit several times by motorists while riding his bicycle.

“There are too many people getting killed riding bikes,” Satter said. “This has got to be the worst county in the state for bike riding.”

Satter and Petra, 11, participated in the Ride of Silence last year. Both enjoy riding their bicycles and would like to see safer road conditions for cyclists.

“I love to ride my bike,” Petra Satter said with a smile.

The Ride of Silence began in Kitsap County four years ago when a West Sound Cycling Club member was killed while bicycling on Bainbridge Island. No cyclists in Kitsap County have been killed in the past 12 to 18 months.

“There’s been a couple serious injuries, but no deaths,” Park said. “We’re very fortunate.”

Park lost a friend to a bicycle accident in 2004. Lt. Cmdr. Orlando Suarez was killed March 13, 2004, while riding his bicycle on Kitsap Way in Bremerton.

“I have actually lost friends due to bicycle accidents,” Park said. “(Ride of Silence) is personal to me.”

More than 40,000 serious bicycle accidents occur each year. Cyclists across the nation hope to make roads safer and decrease the number of deaths and injuries due to bicycle accidents.

“We’re trying to raise awareness that bikes do have a right to be on the road,” Park said. “Most accidents could be prevented had people learned to share the road.”

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