Mile of silence

If you haven’t seen it yet please take the time to read:

https://ragbrai.com/2016/06/30/ragbrai-adds-mile-of-silence-to-remember-riders-we-have-lost/

I hope people will respect it and I suppose they will if there is enough of a marker or sign or ?? at the start to make us aware of it. I was especially moved by the “ghost bike” concept you can see in a panel on the right side of that page.

7 Replies

jwsknk, June 30, 2016 at 7:56 am

maybe it will be on a nice long climb where everyone is struggling to breath anyway so talking and “on your left” are right out of the question.

#1157975

Nico ZZZ, June 30, 2016 at 9:01 am

Cycling fatalities in FL and Miami are horrific. I don’t even ride the streets anymore, having nearly been taken out twice within miles of my home when training for my last Ragbrai – once nearly hit by a school bus. I now only ride in a closed 1 mile loop in a park nearby or drive twenty plus miles out to a 15 mile loop in the Everglades, a National Park; the alligators on the roadside there are safer than Miami drivers. Very depressing.
Florida as a whole has the most bicycle fatalities in the nation – 0.57 per 100,000 people, more than double the nationwide rate of 0.23 per 100,000. And Florida has the four deadliest cities for cyclists: Jacksonville, Tampa, Orlando and Miami. Between 2010 and 2014, 47 cyclists died across Miami; another 3,591 were injured.
It is brutal down here; Ragbrai is my oasis as a cyclist. Thank you Iowa and Ragbrai for embracing cycling and cycling safety.

#1157983

Craig Parson, June 30, 2016 at 12:07 pm

I agree old people are dangerous and should be retested yearly. I would rather take my chances with a drunk anyday.

Craig

#1158055

Mike Cordes, June 30, 2016 at 1:54 pm

Interesting article about bike crashes in FL. Note that “old people” are not to blame. In Ft Myers (verses the DFW area where I normally ride), I don’t see too many roads that I’d feel safe riding. Either they don’t have a shoulder or they have a bike lane, but the adjoining traffic lanes have a 55mph speed limit. I’m always there in-season and that makes a difference too with regards to the amount of traffic.

http://www.news-press.com/story/news/local/2015/03/06/surprising-facts-florida-bike-crashes/24431091/

If the “mile” is marked, I’ll certainly observe the mile of silence.

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Brian Wallenburg, June 30, 2016 at 2:48 pm

I’m certain it will be respected, and well marked. Every year we have a ride of silence in our community. Ghost bikes are a regular site whenever someone dies on a bicycle around here too. The bike will remain at the site for up to a month. Serves as a good reminder for all of us to ride right, ride safe and keep your head on a swivel. My greatest concern is distracted driving, by that I mean texting and driving.

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Nico ZZZ, June 30, 2016 at 3:10 pm

Kwog,
If you are referring to FL cycling deaths as being related to elderly drivers, that is not necessarily the case. I know that here in Miami that people just drive “mad as hell” and they just hate cyclists. I’ve been yelled at and flipped off being a solo rider hugging the shoulder – and it wasn’t somebody’s grandma.
Driving here in Miami is a competition, and drivers have a “no one is going to get there before me” attitude. Left and right lanes mean nothing. Cyclists are a nuisance.
Many of the cycling fatalities are hit and runs – absolutely no respect for human life. It is near crisis level here, but things won’t really change until a politician’s child or other family member is a cycling victim – nothing proactive will occur here. Sad.

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T. Gap Woo, June 30, 2016 at 3:38 pm

Unfortunately, no state has a corner on the “stupid” market and you can’t fix “stupid.” I’ve seen this breed of driver in every state I’ve driven and cycled in.

Brian Wallenburg’s advice about keeping your head on a swivel is terrific. Allow me to add a few thoughts. Use your mirrors, too. Also, make yourself visible to drivers and audible to pedestrians. Contact your state and local officials and lobby them to improve roadway conditions for bicyclists. Join your local cycling organization to add numbers for strength in making this argument.

See you along the I-O-Way in a few weeks.

#1158105

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