Silent ride raises awareness for cyclists - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

Silent ride raises awareness for cyclists

The cyclists gather for a photo after the ride (Photo Source: WLOX News) The cyclists gather for a photo after the ride (Photo Source: WLOX News)
Matthew Weede, 18, was killed on June 6th while cycling (Photo Source: WLOX News) Matthew Weede, 18, was killed on June 6th while cycling (Photo Source: WLOX News)
A group sold T-Shirts to benefit the Weede family (Photo Source: WLOX News) A group sold T-Shirts to benefit the Weede family (Photo Source: WLOX News)
PASS CHRISTIAN, MS (WLOX) -

A large group of people silently rode their bikes 12 miles along Highway 90, to remember a fellow cyclist who was hit and killed by a driver just earlier this month, as well as others who have been killed or injured while cycling.

They started in Pass Christian and made their way to the Long Beach harbor. From that point, they rode to Gulfport in silence.

"As a community, when something happens like this we like to pull together," said Gulf Coast Bicycle Club President Jim Rusch. "We want to be supportive, and to try also to bring awareness and recognition to the people out there."

The silent ride was organized by the Gulf Coast Bicycle Club, but everyone was encouraged to join the remembrance event. At the end of the ride a list of names was read to remember the cyclists who were killed or injured this year.

"We all run the risk at any time of being hurt or injured and with the recent death and other injuries, it worried us. It scares us," said Rusch.

One of the names on that list was Matthew Weede. The 18-year-old was killed on June 6th while riding his bike. His family participated in the event.

"His name will be carried on for a long time with community support, with the love of people here around that surrounded us throughout all this hard time," said Sabelle Weede.

Weede's stepmother said he had just taken up cycling a few months ago, and immediately became concerned with the way drivers treated those traveling on two wheels instead of four.

"He realized that while he was biking, people weren't giving him the leeway. They were calling him names, yelling at him on the side of the road."

Weede's family wore t-shirts with the slogan "Look" on the back of them to symbolize the importance of driver's being aware that they must share the road way with cyclists.

"Everything that the law said he should do, he was doing. He was trying to make other people to follow their side of the rule so everybody would have their space and safety would be all around and nothing would happen," said Weede.

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