A gorgeous night to ride bikes for the 19th annual Ride of Silence in Des Moines Wednesday evening.
170 riders took the new 7.4 mile route that added some trails miles around Gray's Lake,out to the Papa John's Sculpture Park and and back throughout the metro via Locust and Court Ave and finishing with a photos at the Capitol Building.
Like you, we'd much rather be riding somewhere else and for another purpose. So THANK YOU for attending this year.
It's not a ride we like to host, but it is needed to remember, reflect and educate.
Every year we have this list of names. And the names may change each year, but the One thing that hasn't changed in 19 years is the alarming number of Iowans being injured or killed while cycling in our "bicycle-friendly" state. The list grows.... and Unfortunately, the state laws have still not changed and our legislators can't get behind even a safe passing law let alone increased penalties. The number of cyclists on the road have increased.
- THANKS to those who have volunteered to help with course support along the route tonight
- THANKS to Jeff Corcoran for being the official event photographer
- THANKS to Ken Sherman for his drone footage (drone photos coming soon!).
- THANK YOU for showing YOUR support by attending the Ride of Silence!
The number of distracted and impaired drivers has increased. The technology that can distract us has increased (car, phone smart-watch, fast food)
The RIDE OF SILENCE is NOT SILENT AT ALL. It is a VERY POWERFUL and VERY EMOTIONAL EVENT. I think we've proven that over the last 19 years with this ride. This event exists to HONOR and pay respect to those who have been injured or killed while cycling on public roadways. It exists to To RAISE AWARENESS to motorists, elected officials, and law enforcement that Cyclists have every legal right to ride on the roadways. It Signifies the importance of staying safe and letting others know that CYCLISTS ARE NOT DISPOSABLE!
#DidYouKnow - 42 states have some sort of “safe distance passing” laws. Wisconsin became the first state to enact such a law in 1973. Eight states have no specific law for passing a bicyclist and even though Iowa is such a bicycle-mecca, Iowa are one of those states WITHOUT a safe passing law.
The Iowa Bicycle Coalition is working on strategies to enact a safe-passing law in Iowa. It is not an easy feat. The topic is never popular with our large rural population, so PLEASE get involved when that time comes to contact your legislators. It takes ALL of us to gain their attention and make change.
There were 226 ROS events world-wide Wednesday night
45 US states, 12 countries, 4 continents, 0 words spoken, and A million powerful memories
There were 7 locations in Iowa hosting their own Ride of Silence tonight.
Cedar Falls | Des Moines | Marion | Marshalltown | Mason City | Sergeant Bluff | Sioux City
Since the last ROS, 21 cyclists have been added to "the list". 5 cyclists were killed and 16 were injured while riding.
Why do we only have 21 on our list? We know there are way more than that! right?!?
Because that is all we have data on. Not every crash makes the news. Not every incident has a police report. Many victim names are not provided for privacy purposes.This list is derived from various news, social media feeds, the Iowa Highway Patrol and folks alerting us of crashes around the state.
We also believe a non-life threatening bicycle crash is not necessarily "news" anymore to most media outlets. Most newspapers have fewer reporters and many smaller local newspapers are closing..
We also try to follow-up and find out if the driver was charged, but sometimes it takes months or years or sometimes the information is never posted.
The Iowa Department of Transportation (IDOT) lists 297 crashes in 2022 and already 49 crashes in 2023. And of those crashes, they are ONLY bicycle crashes with motor vehicles. So Bicycle/Bicycle, Bicycle/Pedestrian, or other types of crashes are not part of the IDOT's data.
BIKEIOWA estimates 800-1000 bike/car crashes per year in Iowa. So we are really riding for thousands of Iowans tonight.
WHO WE ARE RIDING FOR
These are the cyclists who have been added to the list since the last ROS in 2022. Each name was called out during the event with the crash date and details.
|Status ||Incident Date ||Name ||Age ||City ||State ||Link |
|Killed ||12/26/2022 ||Phillip Watterson ||27 ||Cherokee ||IA ||INFO |
|Injured ||10/25/2022 ||Larry Wrede || ||Lone Tree ||IA ||INFO |
|Injured ||10/22/2022 ||Claudio Verzilli || ||Knoxville ||IA ||INFO |
|Injured ||10/22/2022 ||Angela Stanford || ||Indianola ||IA ||INFO |
|Killed ||10/19/2022 ||Clark Pfeiferling ||57 ||Keokuk ||IA ||INFO |
|Injured ||10/4/2022 ||Greg Lage || ||Des Moines ||IA ||INFO |
|Injured ||9/30/2022 ||Unknown Person || ||Argyle ||IA ||INFO |
|Killed ||9/21/2022 ||John Forrest ||67 ||Clinton ||IA ||INFO |
|Injured ||9/20/2022 ||Michael Ahlers ||59 ||Sheldon ||IA ||INFO |
|Injured ||9/19/2022 ||West Dawson || ||Johnston ||IA ||INFO |
|Injured ||9/19/2022 ||Unknown Person || ||Bettendorf ||IA ||INFO |
|Injured ||9/17/2022 ||Unknown Male ||9 ||Council Bluffs ||IA ||INFO |
|Injured ||9/4/2022 ||Unknown Male || ||Des Moines ||IA ||INFO |
|Injured ||8/28/2022 ||Unknown Male ||15 ||Bettendorf ||IA ||INFO |
|Injured ||7/21/2022 ||Michael Huizenga ||12 ||Orange City ||IA ||INFO |
|Injured ||7/21/2022 ||Barbara Ellen Gartner ||63 ||Shingobee TWP ||MN ||INFO |
|Injured ||7/19/2022 ||Michael McKinley || ||Waterloo ||IA ||INFO |
|Injured ||7/9/2022 ||Linda Boote ||45 ||Sioux Center ||IA ||INFO |
|Killed ||7/1/2022 ||James Deal ||57 ||Urbandale ||IA ||INFO |
|Killed ||6/16/2022 ||Unknown Male ||9 ||Macedonia ||IA ||INFO |
|Injured ||5/24/2022 ||Unknown Male ||12 ||Des Moines ||IA ||INFO |
|Injured ||5/18/2022 ||Unknown Male ||8 ||Storm Lake ||IA ||INFO |
Special mentions to four members of the Iowa Cycling Community who passed away this year from other causes.
Mark McGrew- Feb 17th 2022 - Mark was 51 when he passed. In 2008, Mark received the gift of a new heart and it lasted until 2022. Mark enjoyed biking with the Des Moines Cycling Club, camping and taking his Jeep offroad.SPECIAL:Diane Wise 5-31-22
Diane Wise May 28 2022 - From John at All Ability Cycles in Jefferson- "Our dear friend, Diane Wise, died this weekend. She helped us as a volunteer in many situations including providing test rides at care communities.Her energy, her kindness to others, and her determination were some of her qualities we admired."
Tad Costello-Jan 25 2023 - Tad was killed in a tragic accident at his shop in Des Moines. He owned Eastown Tire & Auto Care. Tad was a staple in the Des Moines cycling scene since the 1970's when he was into BMX. Those skills led him to mountain biking, gravel and racing bikes all over the Midwest.Tad was 55 years young.
Other Updates & Followups
UPDATE5/29/22 -Roxana (Roxy) Fudge was on our list last year as an "Injury".
Roxy was struck on March 30th 2022 in Tucson AZ while riding a tandem bicycle with her husband Lee.
She died on May 29th 2022, 2 months later from her injuries .
Roxy lived in Storm Lake for 45 years was acurrent resident in Iowa City.
Roxy is the mother of Geoff Perrill of Geoff's Bike and Ski Shop in Iowa City.
Ellen was killed in Charles City Aug 2020.
Ellen Bengston's parents have become great bicycle safety advocates since losing their daughter. They are from Washington state and came to the Iowa Bicycle Day at the Capitol Iowa this legislative session to increase awareness and attempt to educate our legislators to try and get better bike laws passed. Her killer was a distracted driver and went free on a technicality when a district judge deemed the case "insufficient evidence to sustain a conviction," (something about picking up a phone to read a message, but not actually using the phone). Her parents have filed a civil suit.
UPDATE 6/28/22 - Cody Skiye, 29 of Mason City, was charged with homicide by vehicle-OWI for the death of 62 year old James Powell that happened in Mason City on June 21st 2021. Court documents state Skiye had a blood alcohol content of .222 was arrested for OWI 2nd offense, an aggravated misdemeanor, making a false report to law enforcement, no insurance, and operating a motor vehicle too closely to a bicycle. Skiye has entered an Alford plea to a reduced charge of unintentionally causing serious injury by OWI. An Alford plea means he does not admit guilty but will accept sentencing. https://www.bikeiowa.com/News/9511
UPDATE5/12/22 - Davenport man receives 55-year prison sentence for killing bicyclist
A Scott County jury in March found Bobby Fitzgerald Hunt Jr., 34, guilty of homicide by vehicle-operating under the influence, homicide by vehicle-reckless driving, leaving the scene of an accident resulting in death and operating under the influence-third offense in connection with the death of 40-year-old Alex Marietta. He must serve a minimum of 31 years, before he can become eligible for parole
UPDATE5/13/22 - Seth Thomas De Jong pleaded guilty to homicide by vehicle due to reckless driving in connection with the death of a bicyclist near Hull last year.
De Jong struck 69-year-old Lorna Rae Moss near Hull on Sept 3rd 2021. He must also pay $150,000 in restitution to Moss’ estate and a $5000 fine. His term was not set, but would be under 10 years as part of the plea.
UPDATE10/21/22 - Update from Aug 2019 - Guillermo Romano Ibarra was hit from behind near Iowa City as he pedaled a half-mile stretch of Iowa Highway 22 between trails. He was hit from behind and sustained critical injuries.Ibarra won a $15 million settlement in court, an amount based on the extent of his injuries and his likely loss of future earnings in his potentially-limited medical career. Ibarra was in the Iowa Medical Scientist Training Program which is a rigorous 7-8 year program that results in an M.D. and a Ph.D.. As Ibarra looks ahead, he said he hopes to use his experience to advocate for greater safety measures on Iowa roadways. https://www.bikeiowa.com/News/9572
We are still contacting media outlets and educating them on "Object blaming" too.
"Object blaming" is words that attach blame to inanimate objects - like stating a "gun killed a person and not the shooter".
"a pick-up killed a Cyclist vs the driver".
If you see object blaming take a minute to contact the source. Every bit of education helps.
Next year will be the 20th year for the Ride of Silence in Des Moines, It will be held on May 15th 2024.
RIDE SAFE !!