Transportation
4:33 pm
Wed May 16, 2012

Drivers should look out for lots of bicyclists tonight

Hundreds, if not thousands of bicyclists in Michigan are expected to take part in a ride of silence tonight. The international ride of silence honors those who’ve been injured or killed riding their bikes. The rides all start at 7p local time.

The event is in memory of a cyclist who died in 2003 in Texas when he was clipped by the side mirror of a moving bus. 

Rides of silence begin at seven tonight in Detroit, Battle Creek, Kalamazoo, Holland, Ann Arbor and at least two dozen other cities in Michigan.

Tom Tilma heads the Greater Grand Rapids Bicycle Coalition… which is organizing one of the rides. He says cyclists and drivers are making progress, but both need to be better at sharing the road to make it safer for everyone.

"I think cyclists are learning to follow the rules of the road more. I’m seeing more cyclists waiting for the red light to turn green before we go through the intersection. That’s very important we think. And we’re seeing more drivers chill out and not follow cyclists so close,” Tilma said.

The ride of silence coincides with national ride your bike to work week.

GGRBC is hosting a week of activities and contests for those taking an “active” commute, which includes every transportation but driving (the website says even longboarding counts).

Tilma points to census data that shows 0.4-percent of residents in the Grand Rapids metro area bike to work. GGRBC would like to increase that by fivefold to 2-percent.

Friday is national ride your bike to work day.  

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