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The Ride of Silence originated in Dallas, Texas and has spread to over 300 cities in the United States and in 15 countries. On May 19, 2009 a Ride of Silence took place in Elizabeth City, North Carolina as group of bicyclists gathered to honor those who have been injured or killed while cycling. The entire ride is made in silence to symbolize a funeral procession. Before the ride the group shared some safety tips and then was sent off with a prayer by Coast Guard Chaplain Mark Tanis.

Dave Copley, organizer of the Elizabeth City event, told of his personal experience which has spurred him to unite riders for the event. Copley and his wife were riding on Weeksville Highway when a car driven by an elderly man struck his bike. Copley was thrown onto the hood of the car slamming him into the windshield and finally landing on the pavement. He stated that he was unconscious for awhile but remembers the awful impact and the ambulance ride to the hospital. It is his wish that no one else has to endure that kind of trauma.

Bicycling on a non-motorized path is the safest route for cyclists. Too many times a vehicle driver may not even see a cyclist due to many factors such as weather, poor reflectors on the bicycle, or distractions. Many injuries to cyclists can be a result due to something as simple as a driver opening a car door. Broken bones, concussions, lacerations, soft tissue damage, brain damage or even death can be the result of a car/bicycle accident. Many cities are constructing non-motorized paths to protect cyclists from these types of dangers.

Copley is also the chairman of the Paths of Pasquotank, which is a group of walkers and bicycle riders who have joined together to develop a non-motorized trail in Elizabeth City. This type of path would reduce the risk of injury and death significantly. The group has received a grant, but it was not enough to cover all construction costs. The project and fundraising is still in the works.

About the Editors: Shapiro, Cooper, Lewis & Appleton personal injury law firm (VA-NC law offices ) edits the Virginia Beach Injuryboard, Norfolk Injuryboard, and the Northeast North Carolina Injuryboard injury law blog as a pro bono service to consumers. Lawyers licensed in: VA, NC, SC, WV, DC, KY, who handle car, truck, railroad, and medical negligence cases and more.


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