Since 2011, two people have died and over 173 have been injured in Lafayette Parish while cycling on public roadways.
On Wednesday, throughout North America and on 10 miles of Lafayette city roads, cyclists will pedal to honor those who have been killed or injured.
It's inherently dangerous. There are a lot of people that have been hurt or killed riding bicycles,” said Jon Langlinais, avid cyclist and Bike Lafayette member. Two hundred cyclists are expected to participate Wednesday, May 21st for the Ride of Silence. It will start at the Mickey Shunick Ghost Bike Memorial, a fitting place as Shunick was an avid cyclist and the date marks what would have been her birthday. A ten mile loop later and cyclists will end at Parc San Souci.
Langlinais said it’s more than an honor to those who lost their lives and livelihoods but a reminder to the public about cyclists legal right to public roadways."The guy on the side of the road riding his bike is looked upon like a lower class citizen. People honk the horn and tell me to get a car, when in reality I have three,” he explained. Anticipating dangers is a top priority for the ride, which is why Langlinais acquired a parade permit complete with a police escort.
“Lafayette City Police will be in front and back of the cyclists and they will also be posted at every intersection of the ride, operating the red lights to make sure everyone makes it safely.”For those not wanting to make the full ten miles ride, an alternative route has been set up, lasting six miles. The ride is free with nor sponsors or registration fees.
Participants are asked to ride no faster than 10 miles per hour, wear helmets, have proper lighting, follow the rules of the road and remain silent.
1808 Eraste Landry Rd, PO Box 90665,
Lafayette LA 70509