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Ride of Silence Raises Awareness of Bicycle Safety in Wichita

KWCH Wichita: Ride of Silence Raises Awareness of Bicycle Safety in Wichita

Posted: May 19, 2010 7:53 PM

By Michael Schwanke (WICHITA, Kan.)

Stories of bad accidents and even death are not uncommon among the Oz Bicycle Club of Wichita.

"I was hit by a truck from behind. He was estimated going 50 miles per hour at the time," says Katharine Wencel who is recovering from her March 6th accident.

She can only watch as her fellow riders take part in the 'Ride of Silence' Wednesday night. The ride is a nationwide event meant to make drivers more aware of bicyclists.

Stories like Wencel's are common among the Oz Bicycle Club. "People don't realize when they hit a cyclist all the lives they destroy," says Keith Snyder who also has a story to share.

"I went 35 feet into the ditch and 70 feet down the road," says Snyder who was hit by a semi. Dolores Craig has been hit twice. "Both times I split helmets. Thank God for helmets," says Craig.

Cyclists say things aren't getting any easier With cell phones and other devices, drivers are more districted than ever before. "Most people are just distracted drivers in general," says Wencel.

Before the 'Ride of Silence', the names of those hurt or killed on Wichita roads are read aloud. Cyclists ask that you pay attention, share the road, and remember that cyclists are people.

"That person on the bike your passing has a family at home is probably your neighbor," says Snyder.

There are plans in the works to change Wichita's Bike Ordinance. You can read the full text of the ordinance by clicking here.