Ride of Silence honors those lost in bike accidents

WARREN — More than 35 adults and children put their feet to the pedal and bicycled through parts of Warren to remember those injured or killed while on their bikes.

The sixth annual one-hour Ride of Silence on Wednesday is marked internationally in May to honor the memory of those who have been hit and injured or have died after being hit by vehicles while riding their bikes.

Jesse Wonders, one of the event organizers, said bicyclists with a safety forces escort left Warren G. Harding High School and then traveled along Atlantic Street NE, to Kenmore Avenue NE, to East Market Street, to Courthouse Square and Perkins Park and back to Harding.

Wonders said the Ride of Silence began 16 years ago in Dallas after a bicyclist was killed and has been held the third Wednesday in May in 50 states and 22 countries. He said more than 480 rides are held each year.

The Wonders family rides in memory of Garrett Wonders, who was on his bike practicing for a cycling team in South Carolina when he was hit by a car. A memorial ride is held locally in his memory each fall.

Jay Wonders, an event organizer, said beside his son Garrett — a Warren native who was a Naval officer and nuclear engineer — other local people who have died on bicycles include Greg Snyder, Emil Manus, Larry Furniss and Greg Dunn.

“When we first started six years ago, we were the fifth city in Ohio to hold an event. Now there are 16 cities in Ohio who have events. The numbers are growing,” Jay Wonders said.

He said bicyclists remain silent for the eight-mile ride.

“We only ask that motorists respect us when we are on the roads. Take a few seconds of your time to slow down,” Jay Wonders said.

Ronald Toth of Warren knows what it is like to be injured because he was hit by a car while on his bike Jan. 6., 2017, on West Market Street near Arby’s.

“It was a hit and run. A car coming around the corner hit me from behind when I was crossing at the intersection. I had a compound fracture with a bone through the leg and had to get therapy and recuperated at Wade Park,” Toth said.

Toth said to make sure motorists see him while riding, he has flashing red lights attached to his bike.

bcoupland@tribtoday.com

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