The 20th annual Ride of Silence saw roughly three dozen cyclists, both young and old, navigate a five-mile course around Ruth Hardy Park Wednesday evening.
Why it matters: The event, held in hundreds of locations throughout the world, helps raise awareness for cycling safety and honors those who have been lost or injured while cycling on public roads.
- In the Coachella Valley, 39 cyclists have died on roadways since 2003.
What they’re saying: Palm Springs Mayor Lisa Middleton, La Quinta Mayor Linda Evans, and Palm Desert Mayor Jan Harnik all spoke of the importance of finishing the CV Link — a 40-mile pathway for cyclists and others that will run through several Valley cities.
- “At the end of the day, when we can say that no lives were lost, no cyclists were lost in the Coachella Valley, then it’s a good day in the Coachella Valley,” Evans told about 50 people who gathered in the park.
Personal toll: Most people know a cyclist who has been injured or know of one who has perished.
- In April, Palm Springs residents Lauri Aylaian and Keith Culver were struck by a vehicle in Texas while on a cross-country bicycle trek. Culver died from his injuries. Aylaian, who took part in the event Wednesday evening and spoke before the City Council last week, is still recovering.
- Middleton, who often speaks of her passion for creating safer roadways, recalled a harrowing time nearly a decade ago when her son, an avid cyclist, was struck by a vehicle and hit the windshield. “His helmet saved his life,” she said.