Cyclists across Quebec held a silent demonstration Wednesday evening to honour other cyclists injured or killed on the road.
Riding in small groups, hundreds took part in the Ride of Silence, heading out onto Montreal streets with a clear goal: to share the road.
“We’re all on the road. It happens that bicycles share the road with cars, with pedestrians and the idea is really everyone should be trying to get along, being careful and respectful of one another and aware that they’re there,” said ride organizer Geoffrey Bush.
The Ride of Silence was started a dozen years ago in the United States to remember cyclists killed or injured in collisions. Since then it’s mushroomed to about 300 rides worldwide.
This year, 24 rides were held across Quebec, with cyclists wearing black arm bands to remember those killed.
Helene Massé and her daughters took part in the event, commemorating the life of her sister, killed in a cycling incident in Mont Laurier on the day of the Ride of Silence two years ago.
Guy Brulotte took part for the second time. In April 2013, his 42-year-old son Christian was killed on Wellington St. in Griffintown.
People have to be made more aware of the danger on the road, he said.
“To reduce the risk. There’s a lot of risk and there’s not enough infrastructure to take away this risk,” he said.
Since his son’s death, Brulotte said he’s changed his own riding habits.
“I take less chance. I don’t go near big trucks or big buses to take away the risk,” he said.
Eleven cyclists were killed on Quebec roads last year. While that’s a 45 per cent decrease from 2013, the ride’s organizers say with increasingly crowded streets, people have to be more aware.
“Cyclists have to realize how vulnerable they are and how invisible they might be,” said Bush. “And motorists have to realize that there are objects moving faster and in places that they’re not usually used to looking at.”