Heavy rains from this afternoon’s thunderstorms that flooded streets in Charleston to flood has caused the organizers of the Ride of Silence memorial bike ride to postpone the event.
Charleston Moves President Tom Bradford said organizers and police said flooding, especially on Ashley Avenue, still presented some safety issues.
Bradford said the decision was disappointing in light of the fact that nearly 600 people had signed up for the event on the Charleston Moves Facebook page.
The groups hopes to reschedule the event, possibly for next week before the end of National Bike Month.
After a decade of holding a memorial bike ride in Charleston honoring those who have been injured or killed while riding bicycles, organizers of tonight’s event expect among the largest crowds to downtown streets.
The Ride of Silence, which was started in Dallas, Tex., in 2003 following the death of cyclist there, has turned into an international event. In 2014, 315 events were held in 49 states and 22 countries. Of the ones that took tallies, 154 events drew 10,600 participants.
Later today in Charleston, cyclists will start gathering for The Ride of Silence at 6:30 p.m. at Hampton Park’s north parking lot, where the peloton will depart promptly at 7 p.m. on a slow (about 12 mph), silent, police-escorted ride out Cleveland Street to King Street, down to King to the battery, and then back to Hampton Park via Ashley Avenue.
The event’s website says The Ride of Silence is meant not only to honor those who have been injured or killed while cycling, but to raise awareness of the presence of cyclists and pedestrians and to urge all to “share the road.”
Participation is expected to be up at this evening’s event, in part, because of the people who have lost loved ones in recent months.
“We’ve lost at least six friends and neighbors who were walking or riding a bike to traffic violence this year,” says Kurt Cavanaugh, director of Charleston Moves, an advocacy group for safe biking and walking.
“This evening we honor all those who have been injured of killed while riding a bicycle with a rolling moment of silence called The Ride of Silence. This ride brings attention to the fact that more and more people are choosing to ride a bicycle for transportation and recreation and the need for safe, sane infrastructure on our streets,” says Cavanaugh.
“Safe, livable, lovable streets are not an amenity, they’re a requirement. Cities around the country are installing or have installed life-saving facilities and Charleston must do the same.”