BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WIAT) — Wednesday the Birmingham Bicycle Club hosted its 20th annual Ride of Silence. It’s an effort to raise awareness about bicycle safety and honors cyclists who have died while biking on roadways.
Dozens of cyclists rode through the streets of downtown Birmingham Wednesday to remember those who have died doing what they love. Organizers said the city has made improvements over the years when it comes to bicycle safety but we still have a long way to go.
One by one names of cyclists who have been killed were remembered Wednesday as cyclists made their way through downtown Birmingham in their honor
The Ride of Silence is a five-mile bike ride that’s part of a global movement to raise awareness about bicycle safety.
“We’re trying to promote the initiatives of safe cycling and riding with leadership training and trying to get people to learn more about how to cope with the traffic and how to be more friendly with the motorists as well,” Lloyd Mainsonville said.
Birmingham Bicycle Club President Lloyd Maisonville said Birmingham has made improvements in recent years when it comes to bicycle safety but there is still more that needs to be done.
“As a cyclist, we always believe there is more room for improvement in infrastructure in regard to cycling. In Birmingham. actually in the last few years has actually done a pretty good job of putting more infrastructure in the city. So, if you drive down through many of the streets here, you’ll see some bike lanes going in,” Maisonville said.
According to Maisonville, nearly 60 cyclists have been killed in Alabama since the early 2000s. The most recent being Dr. Mark Miller. He was hit and killed near Irondale in December.
“People who ride bikes are just like everybody else. You got moms, dads, brothers, sisters,” Danny Feldman said.
Feldman is a lawyer that specializes in injured cyclists. As a cyclist himself, he said it is nerve-racking while trying to share the road.
“95%, 98% of the cars treat you well. They’ll move over but sure there are cars, we call it buzzing sometimes when cars go by you fast and close. That’s scary cause if someone makes a mistake buzzing a cyclist, it’s not good,” Feldman said.
Feldman hopes this event makes you think twice while on the road with a cyclist.
“Just treat them with a little respect, give them a little room, take a couple of seconds longer on your trip, that’s really it,” Feldman said.
According to the League of American Bicyclists, Alabama is ranked 44th when it comes to bicycle-friendly states.
Maisonville said that leaves plenty of room for improvement to ensure safety for everyone on the roadway.