"Ride of Silence" honors victims of bike tragedies - WTVM.com-Columbus, GA News Weather & Sports

"Ride of Silence" honors victims of bike tragedies

COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) -

Residents in the Chattahoochee Valley and cities across the nation joined together to honor cyclists who have died from an accident with a car or truck.

The annual Ride Of Silence kicked off just after 6 p.m. on Wednesday starting at the Columbus Museum. The purpose of this ride is to raise awareness for cyclists on the road. 

Cyclists rode eight miles through midtown and the city streets in complete silence in remembrance of two local residents who passed away last month. 

On April 9, 51-year-old James Wright Jr. passed away after being hit by a car in Columbus at the intersection MLK and Coolidge Avenue. 

A little over a week later, 26-year old Sean Rey died after he was hit in Phenix City while riding his bike to work. Phenix City Police say Rey collided with a car and was then run over by second vehicle who left the scene. 

Friends and family of Rey have set up what they call an "angel bike" outside his job at the Chevron on Summerville Road. They have also set up an online petition pushing for more bike paths in Phenix City. So far almost 900 people have signed. 

According to Georgia Bikes the state ranks 25 out of 50 for bicycle friendliness. 

Executive director Brent Buice says this is based on five E's: engineering, enforcement, encouragement, education and evaluation.

"A bicycle is a vehicle, it has been since the late 1960's and as a result it has all the same rights and responsibilities of a normal vehicle with a few exceptions," Buice said. 

Wednesday night's bike ride of silence was also another chance to raise awareness for cyclists on the road. 

The City of Columbus has created a mobile app to try and collect data from cyclists in the Valley as a way to improve transportation.

Buice also talked about a friendly bike competition between cities, which you can find it at nationalbikechallenge.org.

Family and friends of Sean Rey are hosting a candle light vigil on Monday, May 18 at 9 p.m. in Phenix city at Moon Lake at Idle hour Park. 

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