Annual Ride of Silence to honor Fess Green, others held tonight

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Photo By Laurie BuchwaldA ghost bike in honor of Dr. Fess Green of Radford, killed 12 years ago while cycling in Radford, raises awareness for the city’s annual Ride of Silence, being held tonight.

Heather Bell

RADFORD – Former Radford Vice Mayor Laurie Buchwald spoke before Radford City Council Monday to urge awareness of cyclists and other vulnerable people on the road and invite the public to participate in this evening’s 12th Annual Ride of Silence, taking place in Radford.

“We began this event 12 years ago when Dr. Fess Green was killed on his bicycle in Radford,” said Buchwald. ”This year we are trying to raise awareness of not only cyclists but other vulnerable people on the road.”

Buchwald mentioned pedestrians, motorcyclists and roadside assistance personnel among those who have been killed by motorists. She encouraged council members and others to participate in the slow-paced, silent ride.

‘We’ve had a child as young as five years old complete the entire seven miles, so no excuses,” she said. “It is a powerful, somber ride. Usually a lot of crying along the way. People stop what they are doing and watch us ride by.”

A police escort stays with the group along the seven-mile route.

“Though solemn, the group ride is enjoyable and inspirational to riders of all ages, experience and ability,” reads information released about the event. “Helmets are required.”

Co-sponsored by the New River Valley Bicycle Association and Pathways for Radford, the New River Valley ride was first organized in 2008 after the untimely death of Fess Green, local professor and veteran cyclist.

PRS Towing in Radford will be on hand to speak about the Slow Down, Move Over law.  Each year about 200 roadside workers and first responders lose their life while tending to disabled vehicles.

Staging will begin in the Sal’s/El Charro (Central Lumber) parking lot at 709 W. Main Street, Radford, VA  24141 at 6:30 pm.

Schedule of events:

6:30 – staging begins
6:45 – speakers and instructions
6:59 – moment of noise
7:00 – Ride of Silence begins

If you cannot ride, we welcome your support for bike safety.  Join us along the route on Main Street (from Sal’s and El Charro to the Dedmon Center). Participants are invited to gather at Sal’s and El Charro following the ride to commemorate the 12th annual ride.