Ride of Silence honors cyclists killed in Ohio

Posted at 10:58 PM, May 18, 2016
and last updated 2016-05-19 00:24:17-04

CINCINNATI -- With black bands on their left arms, more than 100 cyclists rode solemnly Wednesday night to remember those who lost their lives doing what they loved.

This year's Ride of Silence was especially important, they said, because of a sobering statistic: According to Steve Magas, a lawyer specializing in bicycle-related cases, 25 cyclists were killed on Ohio roads in 2015, the most in about 40 years.

"I think there is always going to be accidents and crashes, and it's always going to be a part of the hobby," Cincinnati Cycle Club president Derek Drifmeyer said.

Chauncey Joyce was a friend of Michael Prater; the 42-year-old cyclist was hit and killed earlier this year as he rode along Kellogg Avenue. Joyce said not a day goes by that he doesn't think of his best friend.

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"It makes it a little bit harder to ride," Joyce said. "It's a little bit more painful every time. We rode 4,000 miles last year together, and it's just hard to do it without him anymore."

But with the Ride of Silence came signs of hope: Cyclists said their voices are being heard.

"Drivers are starting to notice us more, they are giving us our space, and everybody is just hoping that we can work on the 3-foot law and increase the hit-and-run penalty law," Drifmeyer said.

Joyce said he hopes the ride doesn't scare people; if anything, he said Prater's death made his more passionate when it comes to cycling.

"I always wanted to ride," he said. "It's want he would want."