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Ride of Silence Honors Bicyclists Killed or Injured On Public Roadways

Medford was one of hundreds of places across the country honoring cyclists killed or injured on public roadways Wednesday night. Bikers rode in silence for 12 miles, escorted by Medford Police Bicycle Patrol Officers. NewsWatch 12's Eliana Sheriff explains why the ride is a memorial as well as a reminder.

Posted: May. 16, 2018 11:12 PM
Updated: May. 16, 2018 11:21 PM

MEDFORD, Ore.-- Cyclist Vern Niehaus says, "I got hit by a car 8 years ago. My ankle is held together with pins, it caused a very bad blot clot in my leg."
The Ride of Silence honors bicyclists killed or injured while riding on public roadways.
Cyclists like Vern, who was hurt 8 years ago.
He says he was riding his bike on South Stage Road in 2010 when a 94-year-old woman turned into her mobile home park where she lived, hitting him.
Cyclist Vern Niehaus says, "For lack of a better word, t-boned me."
Despite his injuries, this cyclist won't let what happened to him keep him off the bike.
Cyclist Vern Niehaus says, "It's what I want to do, and I should have the right to do this. This shows people that bikes do belong on the road, we're another vehicle, we follow the same rules and regulations as another vehicle and we deserve the same space."
While bikes have a right to be on the road, many don’t feel safe taking advantage of that right.
Siskiyou Velo Club President Harlan Bittner says, "The City of Medford just did a survey as part of their transportation plan, their results say well over half of people bicycle but only 6 percent feel confident riding on streets."
Bittner says he believes cities should look into more than just bike lanes for rider safety.
Siskiyou Velo Club President Harlan Bittner says, "What we are learning from many cities like Portland and Eugene is that bike lanes are only part of the solution. Given the speed and the volume we need more separation between the cars and the bicyclists."
Bittner suggests alternatives like bicycle boulevards, which are low speed neighborhood bikeways, separated bike lanes , or protected bikeways which share the pavement but are physically separated.
Organizers say riders have a responsibility too to be aware and follow the rules.
Siskiyou Velo Club Mark Moran says, "Some of us ride too far out in the lane, don't try to stay to the righthand side and let cars pass so all individuals can do a good job staying safe, paying attention to each other and using common sense."

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