Evanston cyclists rode in silence Wednesday evening to commemorate cyclists who have died or been injured biking.

The second annual Ride of Silence in Evanston, which the Evanston Bicycle Club organized, aimed to raise awareness of road safety and commemorate cyclists who have been injured or killed while riding.

Evanston cyclists rode in silence Wednesday evening to commemorate cyclists who have died or been injured biking.

The second annual Ride of Silence in Evanston, which the Evanston Bicycle Club organized, aimed to raise awareness of road safety and commemorate cyclists who have been injured or killed while riding.

In 2008, 716 bicyclists died on U.S. roads, according to National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. A member of the Evanston Bicycle Club died last year when he rode into an irregularity in the roadway in Chicago, club President James Heller said.

To commemorate such deaths, 19 bikers participated in the silent ride this year. The group rode a 10-mile path starting at the Chandler-Newberger Community Center and ending at Tommy Nevin’s Pub.

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5 Comments

  1. Bicyclists and When will police start tickeing them

    I empathize with all who have had friends and family die while bicycling. 

    BUT!  I have only seen two bicyclists stop for traffic lights in many years. 

    Bicyclists are dangerous.  I have seen bicyclists blow stop signs and traffic lights as if they were immune to being hit.  Bicyclists ride in the blind spot of a motorist.  Bicyclists ride in front of a car as if they can ride as fast as a car driver can go.  

    If a motorcyclist has to stop at every stop sign and traffic light, put their feet on the ground so should the bicyclists.

    I have seen, more than a few times, a man (who I assume was the father) riding on his bike on the sidewalk with a boy (who I assume was his son) on his bike riding behind, trying to keep up.  The man blew the stop sign and the boy followed – not immediately after but about 2 heartbeats after – and blew the stop sign, too.  Luckily the motorist was able to slam on his brake and not hit the boy.

    I’ve seen a man (who, again, I’m assuming was the father) on a bike followed by a woman on a bike that was pulling a ‘trailer’ with a child in it (I’m assuming was the mother) and following her was another chld … the father not only blew the stop sign but also the traffic light down the street.  The mother and child followed suit.  It was only a miracle that these people didn’t get hit.

    I especially love it when bicyclists are riding side-by-side, no hands on the handlebars and holding a conversation with each other, unaware, or perhaps they are, that motorists are behind them.

    I heard a woman say on the radio regarding the Ride Of Silence that bicyclists had a right to be on the road.  Since when?  Bicyclists don’t pay for a license to ride (which should be at least $1,00/year just for the clean-up after they’re hit), bicyclists don’t pay any road taxes, and bicyclists don’t pay for any ‘mandatory’ insurance to be able to ride their bike.  They do NOT deserve a lane on a road that they haven’t paid for.

    And another thing, bicyclists feel they own Sheridan road, especially the Kennelworth, Winnetka, Highland Park cities.  There are packs of them taking up the whole road at times.  It’s bad enough when one or two take up Sheridan road.

    The Evanston police could make a lot of money for the city just on one corner, especially in south east Evanston.  It’s getting worse in south east Evanston because motorists who are trying to avoid the Sheridan road construction are trying to get through on the side streets.  We now have bicyclists and cars speeding down Forest, Judson, Hinman at break-neck speeds.

  2. Bicyclists

    I sympathize with your hatred of bicyclists, but, as an Evanston cyclist, must protest with the following:

    "I heard a woman say on the radio regarding the Ride Of Silence that bicyclists had a right to be on the road.  Since when? "

    Bicylces count under the law as motorized vehicles, and thus have every right to be on the road – in fact it is where we are meant to cycle.  It also means that they have the responsibility to follow the laws of the road, as they pertain to bicycles.  This means staying to the right, except when making a left turn (so as not to turn across traffic), to signal their turns, to wear a helmet, not to disrupt traffic patterns… 

    When not respecting the laws for bicycles, they are also dangerous for pedestrians.  Too many times I have had to move off of a sidewalk (when walking) to avoid being hit by cyclists on the sidewalk, or seen cyclists riding through the crosswalk to make illegal turns, or riding the wrong way down a one way street.

    Cycling is a healthy and efficient way to get around a city like Evanston – but we must follow the laws of the road – and stay on the road where, and how, we belong.

    1. Bike Track ?

        With our budget crisis this is probably not feasible, but for those who want to race on the streets and sidewalks [I see them even racing through the park at Dempster and the lake when the street is pretty clear], it would be nice if there was a track they could race around to their hearts content.  Maybe find some streets where all parking and traffic could be banned [e.g. where everyone has alleys] and allow the bikers to race there all they want.  Or maybe make a track from the old Kendall College land.

       The bikers that cause the most problem [i.e. racing through stop signs] are those with their spandex suits and light weight helmets.  They somehow believe those clothes make them invinsible to cars and a zone of protection to car doors and other bikers/pedestrians.

        BTW I bike everywhere.  I got rid of my car 20 years ago because it makes no sense in Evanston.

  3. Bicyclists

     In regard to the anonymous post:

    I agree with your position on some bicyclists blatant disregard for traffic laws, but I am in complete disagreement with your position on cyclists not paying for the use of the roads.  I pay my local, state, and federal taxes that pay for these roads.  Furthermore, I also drive a car.  How many times have you rolled through a stop sign?  I know I have.  If everyone, cars and bicyclists, obeyed the rules of the road, it would be much safer.  I used to ride on Sheridan Road, but it has become much more dangerous.  I have noticed that cars do not give a cyclist the required 3 feet of space that they entitled to by law (2008) when they pass and that cyclists do not ride in single file.  Since I don’t ride with these people, I can only guess that the mindset is safety in numbers.

    1. 3 Feet Is Too Much and Unreasonable

      Have you seen the size of some SUV’s??  They can take up a whole lane.  The size of some pick-up trucks can, too.  If you insist on your 3 feet, not only SUV’s, pick-up truck and other trucks have to go over the yellow line and wind up in oncoming traffic.

      I was behind a garbage truck on Sheridan road that had to go into the oncoming traffic lane to get past a bicyclist.

      Do you suggest that motorists ride behind a bicyclist so as not to endanger themselves by driving in the oncoming traffic lane?  Have you heard of road rage?  If a good truck driver can flip a car over w/out leaving a mark on it, can you imagine what can happen to a bicyclist?

      I do beg to differ. You might pay taxes for your car, house, etc.  You do not pay taxes for your bike.

      I suggest, very strongly, that the state, cities and towns start licensing bicycles, as they do motorcycles.  I suggest that before a bicyclist is licensed, that they go through a rules of the road and a biking test like car drivers and motorcyclists do.  I also suggest, very strongly, that bicyclists have bike-riding insurance.

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