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'Ride of Silence' event in Greater Lansing to promote bicycle safety

The 2021Greater Lansing Ride of Silence gathering at the state Capitol.
The Greater Lansing Ride of Silence
The 2021 Greater Lansing Ride of Silence gathering at the state Capitol.

Hundreds of bicyclists are taking to the streets of East Lansing and Lansing Wednesday in an annual ride promoting safety.

The Ride of Silence was started in Texas 20 years ago after a fatal car-bicycle accident. Lansing's event is in its 15th year. Riders will gather at Michigan State University’s Wells Hall for a ride to the state Capitol building. It’s nine miles round trip.

Organizer Tim Potter says the ride is silent on the way to the Capitol building, so people will focus on the message of safety.

“It really helps people think about what we’re riding for and maybe what some of the solutions are," he said. “It’s a really special part of the ride.”

Potter adds that police will accompany the bicyclists participating to regulate traffic.

“They keep us flowing through the intersections, and if they have to, they’ll close an intersection, like any parade. They treat us more on less like a parade.”

Helmets are required, and the ride will go on even if there’s rain. Saturday is the alternate date if there’s a thunderstorm with lightning in the area.

The Greater Lansing event is one of about 15 in Michigan. There will be about 300 rides around the world.

Registration starts at 5:15 p.m., and the ride begins at 6:30 p.m.

Scott Pohl is a general assignment news reporter and produces news features and interviews. He is also an alternate local host on NPR's "Morning Edition."
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