Gulf Coast Bicycle Club honors fallen riders with six-mile ride

Gulf Coast Bicycle Club honors fallen riders with six-mile ride

GULFPORT, MS (WLOX) - It’s easy to give a little room to a caravan of nearly 100 bicyclists, especially when they are led by a police escort, but some cyclists said that every day poses an uncertain outcome on the road.

“We do see a lot of people that give you a lot of room when you’re riding, and we do see people that crowd you, and it scares cyclists,” said Eddie Holmes, president of the Gulf Coast Bicycle Club.

The Gulf Coast Bicycle Club rode 6.6 miles from Ken Combs Pier in Gulfport to Long Beach Harbor in memory of people who died while riding their bikes.

One of the people being remembered along the way was Matthew Weede, who was killed while riding his bike in 2015. Weede’s mother Isabelle appreciated the awareness the event raised for drivers to remember to obey the law and share the road.

“[This ride will maybe] make people think ‘Oh I didn’t know, there might be a biker coming around the corner,'” Weede said.

The ride also served to remind bikers to be mindful of their surroundings.

“We want to tell our riders that there are certain roads where they probably shouldn’t be riding,” Holmes said.

According to Holmes, many of the roads with heavy, fast-flowing traffic that bikers ride on often have streets nearby that are safer alternatives.

“Back roads just parallel with Highway 90 will take you all the way across the coast. We ride them all the time." Holmes said.

Even if the side streets may be safer, that’s not to say that riders should be less cautious when riding on them.

“Every road, there is a risk. Bike lane or not, there is a risk,” Holmes said.

Accidents are unpredictable, but they can be avoided in most cases.

Bicyclists are encouraged to wear bright colors so cars can see them and to have reflective items and bright flashing lights on their bikes if they are riding at night.

In this case, these riders are doing what they feel is necessary to keep more names off the memorial list.

93 riders participated in the memorial ride and blessing of the bikes.

Copyright 2019 WLOX. All rights reserved.