PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – The 14th Annual Ride of Silence in Philly comes days after a deadly bicycle crash.
It was a somber mood below the falling rain and among the more than 200 bicyclists who met outside the Philadelphia Art Museum for the Ride of Silence Wednesday night.
“It’s a shock to the whole cycling community,” said Lou Savastani of Ardmore.
The Ride of Silence honors people who were injured or killed while riding their bicycles.
It’s organized by the Bicycle Coalition of Greater Philadelphia, which said 11 bicyclists in the Delaware Valley died over the past year from crashes on the road.
“There’s no reason we should accept this level of people getting injured getting killed on our streets,” said Savastani.
Most recently, 34-year-old Pablo Avendano, a bike courier, lost his life Saturday night while doing his job.
Police say Avendano was traveling east in a bike lane on Spring Garden Street near 10th Street when the driver of an SUV struck him behind.
“He was in the bike lane, he had his helmet on, the lights were on,” said Chris ‘Cheetah’ Williams, who also works as a bicycle courier.
“It’s terrifying that I could die and no one’s gonna stand up for me,” added Amanda Gilleren, another courier.
They and other bicyclists want to see Philadelphia add more protected bike lanes. Right now the city has about 2.5 miles of protected bike lanes but it plans to add more.