GREENVILLE, N.C. — The 15th annual Ride of Silence event in Greenville took place Wednesday evening.
ECVelo, Pitt County’s cycling club, with sponsorship with the City of Greenville, hosted the local edition of the international Ride of Silence. The silent ride helps raise awareness to the need locally for safer, inclusive and accessible streets for everyone. It also honors bicycle riders who have been killed or injured while riding and raises awareness for cyclists and motorists to safely share the roads.
“What our family went through back in November, I don’t want to see another family go through,” said Aaron Short.
Short is the father of Kari Williams, who was killed in a hit-and-run incident while riding his bicycle on Memorial Drive in Greenville back in November.
“After what we went through, ya know we wanted to be here for his memory,” said Short.
That’s why Short and his family participated in Greenville’s 15th Ride of Silence on Wednesday.
Dionne Evans has participated in the ride for three years.
“As a runner, I was hit by a car,” said Evans. “I was crossing Fire Tower (Road) at the intersection of Ashcroft.”
Evans says many times, accidents like hers can be avoided if everyone takes responsibility.
“I’m a driver, I’m a cyclist and I’m a pedestrian and I realize that in all three roles I bear some responsibility,” she said. “I have to pay attention. I have to drive defensively. As a cyclist, I have to abide by the rules of the road and as a pedestrian I have to use my crosswalks wisely.”
The Ride of Silence happens every year on the third Wednesday of May.
Even Greenville Mayor P.J. Connelly hopped on his bike this year to take part in the 12-mile ride throughout the city.
“People have died on our roadways and we want to make sure we’re doing everything we can as city leaders to make sure that the roadways are safe,” said Connelly.
Cyclists in about 40 countries participated in rides in their respective time zones.