Honoring their ‘wounded warriors’

By David Gonzalez

Area bicyclists plan to hold a candle light vigil Wednesday night to remember those who have been killed or injured in accidents while sharing the road with cars. After the vigil the cyclists plan to ride 7 miles in silence, single-file rather than side-by-side.

“It’s not meant to be a fun activity, it’s to remember those killed or injured,” said Rick Langlois, the chairman of Champaigncountybikes.org.

The cyclists who have lost someone in an accident will wear black armbands and the cyclists who were injured in an accident but returned to riding will wear red armbands.

“They are our wounded warriors,” said cyclist Tony Cherolis.

The event is also aimed at making the public more aware of the importance of safety and sharing the road with bicycles. “As biking becomes more popular the chance of accidents increases and we want people to be aware of that,” said Langlois.

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The event also aims to make cyclists more aware of how they can make the road safer. Cyclists plan to use proper hand signals and point out road hazards to each other.

The ride of silence is a national event with hundreds of locations. It was first held in 2003 after a man in Dallas was killed by a school bus and cyclists across the country began to hold them in their own communities.