Sponsored by ring

ST. CHARLES—Nearly 100 bicyclists will take to tri-city streets Wednesday evening as part of the International Ride of Silence, a 10 mile trek to honor those killed or injured by motorists.

At 6:30 p.m., bicyclists will set off from the Kane County Government Center and start a silent procession through St. Charles and Geneva. The ride is intended to mimic a funeral procession and bring awareness to the legal rights of bicyclists on the roadways.

Being honored is Fox Valley Bicycle and Ski Club member Willard Hooks, Jr. who was struck by a car in Geneva in 2016 and dragged 84 feet. He spent 2 years recovering from life-threatening injuries. The driver was convicted of a felony as the crash was apparently intentional.

According to the League of American Bicyclists, not every injured bicyclist makes it home alive. Over 700 cyclists are killed on the road every year in the U.S.

In northeastern Illinois in particular, bike fatalities rose from 12 in 2019 to 26 in 2020. This leap is credited to not only the biking boom, but also vehicles traveling at higher speeds, the league said.

This year, there are 117 confirmed rides being held throughout the world, including the United States, Canada, Germany, Hong Kong, Israel, Mexico, Romania, Tanzania and Turkey.

In Illinois, 10 rides are scheduled on the same date and time in St. Charles, Arlington Heights, Bloomington, Chicago, Downers Grove, Elk Grove Village, Elmhurst, Evanston, Mount Prospect, Ottawa and Rock Island.

Organizers said the ride will be slow and focus on safety. Cyclists are asked to wear helmets, subdued clothing (safety vests or reflective clothing are a good idea), front and rear lights are recommended, and tributes are welcome (signs, posters, flowers, etc.).

All are welcome on any type of bike.

Riders will gather at the Kane County Government Center, 719 Batavia Ave., Geneva, IL at 6 p.m.. A poem will be read, tributes will be issued, and then cyclists will ride at 6:30 p.m. in a silent, solemn, single-file procession through Geneva and St. Charles.

To learn more and to register, please visit the Ride of Silence webpage.

To request removal of your name from an arrest report, submit these required items to arrestreports@patch.com.

The rules of replying:

  • Be respectful. This is a space for friendly local discussions. No racist, discriminatory, vulgar or threatening language will be tolerated.
  • Be transparent. Use your real name, and back up your claims.
  • Keep it local and relevant. Make sure your replies stay on topic.
  • Review the Patch Community Guidelines.