On Wednesday, New Orleans cyclists will take part in Ride of Silence
, an international group ride designed to draw attention to roadway deaths within the bicycle community. Riders are urged to remain silent during the easy-paced 10-mile ride to show respect for people who have been injured or who have died while using public roadways.
Several high-profile traffic deaths and accidents, made more visible by the spectral ghost bikes
planted around the city to honor the deceased, have rocked the New Orleans bike community in the past few years. Recently the New Orleans City Council passed a series of ordinances
designed to encourage bike safety, including requiring a safe passing distance between cars and bikes and formally prohibiting motorists from harassing or throwing things at cyclists. But advocacy events, like Ride of Silence, may also address the cultural problem of drivers' reluctance to share the road.
Riders should meet at the St. Charles Avenue entrance to Audubon Park at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday. Helmets are encouraged. It's free to attend.