Eastern Carolinians ride in silence in honor of cyclists hurt or killed on the road

Published: May. 18, 2022 at 9:27 PM EDT
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GREENVILLE, N.C. (WITN) - Eastern Carolina cyclists rode in silence Wednesday evening in honor of riders who have been killed or injured on the road.

The Ride of Silence is a worldwide event advocating for safer streets for cyclists. Eastern Carolinians taking part rolled out at 6:30 p.m. at the Greenville Bike Company on Clark Street.

Steven Hardy-Braz mounted his bike for the first time since a crash almost left him dead. The thing he loved most, cycling, became one of his hardest moments to overcome.

“In life, we have to make sure our fears don’t dominate us, but we can overcome them,” Hardy-Braz said. “But we always need to take precautions and be safe.”

Hardy-Braz followed that mantra and organized a Pitt Counter chapter of the 12-mile Ride of Silence.

In the East, cyclists have formed a strong community.

“We just enjoy being out in the country on our bikes, fellowshipping with each other, just talking and having a good time out in the open,” cyclist Johnny Fleming said.

Four feet of space is the law in our state that motorists have to give room on the road. Hardy-Braz sees that as an ultimate liability.

“If I’m going to be a responsible husband, father, friend, brother, son... I need to be careful, and I always have to outweigh the dangers of anything I do in life versus the enjoyment,” Hardy-Braz said. “But for me, it’s a recreation or a choice in transportation. Other people, it’s the only choice they have.”

Hardy-Braz advocates for everyone moving on two wheels, but cyclists know they have a responsibility on the roads too.

“Follow all the traffic laws, ride with the traffic, and don’t weave in and out in traffic,” he said. “That’s what I do when I’m riding.”

After 12 miles of silence, the riders had a lot on their minds.

“Just thinking about being able to ride free, have fun, remembering some of the people that got injured just trying to cycle on the highway,” Fleming said.

People can see pictures from those who participated in the ride across the globe by searching the hashtag: #RideofSilence2022 on social media.

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