Hundreds take part in annual "Ride of Silence"

CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - If silence speaks louder than words, more than 200 cyclists sent a deafening message in support of bike safety Thursday.

Charleston Moves held its annual Ride of Silence around the peninsula.

"It shows the community is fully behind safer streets for biking and walking," Kurt Cavanaugh, the Executive Director of Charleston Moves said.

The Ride of Silence is remembers those hurt or killed while cycling.

"I was plowed down by a passenger van," Glenn Orange, who took part in the ride said. "I spent two weeks in a coma. They never caught the driver."

Orange still carries the remains of the bike he was riding when he was hit on the James Island connector five years ago.

"It was important to bring this with me and hopefully anyone who saw it is going to maybe think a little more when they see cyclists on the road," Orange said.

In the past year, six people in Charleston County have died while cycling. One of them was Brett Mullen.

"He rode his bike to work," Edward Mullen, Brett's father said. "Probably about a 30 or 35 mile round trip."

His father and friends rode for him Thursday.

"I really couldn't believe it," Edward Mullen said. "It's a parent's worst nightmare that their child goes before them and I really didn't want to believe it. It took a few days for it to set in."

They're just some of the many who joined together in silence and solidarity.

"Something needs to be done," Mullen said. "We need a little bit better bike paths for bikers."

"We know that these sadly are preventable things, and they don't get better with just 'Share the Road' signs and a prayer," Cavanaugh said. "They get better with real infrastructure starting with paint for things like protected bike lanes."

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