Went out last evening to participate in the "Ride of Silence" in Columbia. It was a somber event, much like a funeral, to commemorate those killed in bike accidents on South Carolina's roads. I would venture to say there were over one hundred other riders who took to the streets under police escort (thanks CPD, WCPD, and Cayce!) at a slow pace of around 12mph and total silence. Traffic was blocked at every intersection and drivers were forced to acknowledge the presence of bikes on the road.
There were multiple events just like this one throughout the state last night, hoping to communicate to drivers that we are here and we are not going away. For me, the best part about it was riding with a new friend I made on the bus coming down from the Mt. Mitchell ride on Monday. Three years ago, this guy was hit by a car in Columbia and his neck was broken. He spent twelve days in a coma and had surgery (or surgeries) to repair the damage; this guy FINISHED Mt. Mitchell in 2008 and rode most of it in 2009! What a comeback! Just to know someone with that kind of strength and fortitude, it is my privilege and honor.
Be blessed, be safe.