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Bicycles Blending in the Shade of Night

It has been one full year since “Chops” Ramirez was hit in early October 2012, when Brian Lindquist was run over from behind and left for dead by the deeply drugged hit and run driver, and where Cody Johnson lost his life also, run over from behind by a drunk driver. None of these cyclists share any responsibility for their fate. They each shared at least four things in common. All three men, rode a bike, in the fall, in Austin, Texas. What does this have to do with riding at night? Only highlights the fact that, at this time of year, with cooler temps, and earlier night fall, there are a few more things riders should consider when blasting out into the great big open on their favorite two wheels.

Every rider out there knows that with cooler days and nights, riding is pure joy after excruciatingly long hot summer days. If you are a new rider, know someone just starting out and picking up their first bike at any of our amazing 40 bike shops here in town, or new and joining your organized ride, lend a hand or a bit of knowledge where you know it might be needed.
I know nobody wants to sound like a killjoy and or take the initial “whee” out of those first rides for any enthusiastic newbie rider. If you see someone doing something though and you know it could get them killed or harmed, just take a sec and with whatever tact you have, share with that rider a better, safer way.

Using reflective tape on clothes, attaching reflective stickers to your bike where it is visible from all directions, your helmet, glasses arms (thank you Andrew McCalla for this little gem) and even water bottles can increase your visibility.
If you see a rider without lights and dusk is approaching, make sure you share your knowledge about how important it is to be seen and if you have a spare light, help the rider in need get home and pick it up from them later. If not, take the lead and keep them on the inside of the bike lane so they remain visible with you until you get to the shop to buy a set of front and rear high lumens lights- or, until you are all safely at the destination. We mention high lumens lights because it is super important you not only have a light that will allow you to be seen, it is equally important that your light show you where potential road hazards are ahead of you.

Now that night is falling earlier, anyone staying or “caught” late at work could end up in the dark on the way home. Please stay safe, think ahead, and brighten up that ride. No need to be any more vulnerable of a vulnerable road user.

Austin Ride of Silence 2013 Pfluger Bike and Ped Bridge at 6:30 PM

Tonight, Wednesday, May 15, 2013, gather at the Pfluger Bike and Ped Bridge for a one hour, eight mile (no drop) ride that will begin at 7 PM sharp. This is a global event to honor, grieve, remember, give thanks for those who have been killed or injured while riding.

During the ride please respect all the safety rules of the road. Helmets and lights shall be used. The ride is silent, hand gestures for signaling. Call out only in emergency to alert other riders of potential dangers.

There will be a dedication period. AT that time you can speak of someone you would like to recognize or remember. Please arrive at 6:30 PM and meet up with a ride organizer to make sure you are listed to speak at the dedication period of the Ride of Silence.

You will see other riders with black arm bands-this signifies memory of a loved one who was killed. Red arm bands indicate someone injured while riding their bike. Please wear bands or pin photos to your jersey or shirt or attach a sign to your bike. Thank you for riding and remembering. Shefman Law remembers Cody Johnson killed on November 3, 2012; Brian Lindquist who was hit and mentally incapacitated on October 12, 2012; and Robert “Chops” Ramirez killed September 23, 2012.

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