Ride of Silence brings local cyclists together in Marion

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MARION, Iowa. (KCRG) - Robins resident Gina Kaufman's ride to the annual Ride of Silence in Marion was eventful.

“I almost got killed on the way over here," Kaufman said. “Everything is just kind of ramped up right now, it was just a little scary."

That's called irony. Almost getting in an accident involving a bicycle and a vehicle, while heading to an event to bring awareness to such incidents.

The Rise of Silence is a worldwide event with over 20 countries and 47 states participating. Bicyclers ride through their towns in complete silence to honor those who have been hurt or killed by bicycling.

“A car and a bike, the car is going to win every time,” said organizer Nikki Northrop Davidson.

At the start of the event, the names of Iowa bikers who have died in the past year were read aloud.

“This is a beautiful day, there’s people who cannot ride their bike today because they were killed on a bicycle,” Davidson said.

Then, riders strolled about five miles through Marion and Cedar Rapids.

“When you see a large group like that and nobody's talking and we're all riding really slow, usually that catches people's attention," Davidson said.

Whether it's adding laws enforcing the use of helmets or making cars switch lanes when passing a bicycle, the point of the event is to advocate that both the rider and the driver have responsibility.

“Vehicles have a responsibility to watch out for us, we have a responsibility to make ourselves visible and to watch out for vehicles," Davidson said.