'Ride of Silence' to honor D.C.-area bicyclists recently killed on the road

By Ashley Halsey III
Washington Post Staff Writer
Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Hugo Gonzalez, 44, died in July, struck by a car while riding his bike on the shoulder of Three Notch Road, south of Lexington Park.

Codi Nicole Alexander, 16, died in August, hit as she rode her bike in Gaithersburg.

Larry Bensky, 43, was killed in April while riding his bike off the shoulder of Butler Road, north of Reisterstown.

And Constance Holden, 68, died about a week later when a truck hit her on 12th Street NW as she set out to bike home.

They are among the bicyclists who died on the region's roads in the past year, a few among the many who will be remembered Wednesday in a global event called the Ride of Silence. The local version -- about two dozen cities worldwide are participating -- will depart from Haines Point in East Potomac Park at 7 p.m. and proceed in silence to the Capitol and back.

The ride comes during National Bike Month and two days before Friday's Bike to Work Day.

"Although cyclists have a legal right to share the road with motorists, the motoring public often isn't aware of these rights and sometimes not aware of the cyclists themselves," said B.L. Lawrence, local organizer for the event. "The ride is an opportunity to show honor and respect for local cyclists who have been killed or injured while cycling."

Bike to Work Day is organized locally by the Washington Area Bicyclist Association, which is encouraging riders to meet at 35 regional "pit stops" and ride into the District in groups.

The organization is asking would-be riders to register in advance and promises to distribute T-shirts to the first 8,500 registrants who show up at the pit stops. Raffles will be held at each pit stop for prizes, including commuter bags, bike locks and bicycles.

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