MASON CITY — Kathy Broman of Mason City, one of about 70 bicyclists participating in the Eighth Annual Ride of Silence in Mason City Wednesday, recalled the day years ago when she was struck by a car while riding her bike.
“I was in college,” she said. “I was riding down the street. It was dusk. The person turned in front of me and they didn’t see well.”
She acknowledges she didn’t have a light on her bike either.
“Both of us were at fault.”
In the days before bicycle helmets were common, Broman, a medical doctor, suffered a mild concussion and had to get her head stitched up, she said.
Held annually to raise awareness of the need for drivers to share the road, the Ride of Silence is also held in memory of bicyclists who have died when struck by motorists.
Steve Schurtz of Mason City, organizer of the event, reported that two bicycle riders were killed in Iowa last year and 23 injured.
Two weeks ago a bike rider was injured in Mason City.
He reminded the riders, who started the ride single file, that no talking is allowed during the six-mile ride around Mason City. Speeds must be lower than 12 miles an hour.
The Rev. Duane Miller of Trinity Lutheran Church told the group he has been a bicycle rider for 15 years but this was the first time he participated in the Ride of Silence.
“We come tonight in solidarity with all those around the world who use a bike for transportation and recreation,” he said, in a prayer prior to the ride. “May we ride peacefully and safely.”
An onlooker at the send-off in Central Park was Rick Brush of Clear Lake, who came in honor of his friend, Phil Smith, who was struck and killed seven years ago by a distracted driver while riding his bicycle in Washington State.
“I just came to think about my friend, Phil,” he said. “I miss the guy.”