The month of May marks National Bicycle Safety Month, so dust off those two (maybe three) wheelers folks and join the community May 18th and ride!

The International “Ride of Silence” is to honor and remember those bicyclists who have been killed the past year.   This is the sixth annual ride, and each year it has grown by the number of riders participating, said safety office John Floyd with the Permian Basin Bicycling Association.

The event will begin at 7 p.m. at the CEED building, on the southwest corner of the intersection of Highway 191 and Farm-to-Market Road 1788.  Floyd said the group is holding the event not only to honor those who have died but also to bring awareness to motorists that bicyclists are out on the roads.

Officer John Floyd has been cycling for the past 20 years and said the group wants to bring awareness to those who may be driving distracted.  “You drive a car defensively, and you ride a bicycle defensively.  You do them the same way,” said Floyd.

Because Highway 191 is a straight shot between Midland and Odessa, it is a popular route for many cyclists, but recently there has been more traffic on the access road and more construction that could be dangerous to bicyclists.

“As cyclists, we understand the risks, but we love bicycling and accept those risks.  We do everything we can to minimize them,” he said.  “Our purpose is to remember those we lost and remind ourselves to celebrate the fact that we can ride and educate the public and ourselves.”

Safety tips for cyclists:

  1. Ride with the flow of traffic.
  2. Wear a helmet.
  3. Make eye contact with drivers, when practical.
  4. Be alert to surroundings.
  5. Know and use hand signals.