Cyclists from across the community are invited to join in an event that aims to draw attention to the safety of all road users, while remembering a life that was lost too soon.
The Ride of Silence, an annual memorial ride held across the world to commemorate cyclists who have died on the roads, will pay special tribute to 23-year-old Jason Lowndes in its 13th year in Bendigo.
Jason, a much-loved and respected professional cyclist, died after he was struck by a car while training at Mandurang just a few days before Christmas last year.
Next Saturday’s Ride of Silence will be led by Jason’s father Graeme and his coach Matt Wallace, along with his sisters Meaghan and Rebecca.
“It’s an honour to be asked to lead the group, and hopefully we can make small steps in progressing to make safer roads in the future, so accidents don’t happen,” Mr Wallace said.
Ride organiser Edward Barkla, from the Bendigo Cycling Network, said the Ride of Silence aimed to promote respect and awareness between cyclists and other road users, to make the roads safer for everyone.
The ride is held in silence, a stark contrast to the usual conversation that flows between cyclists on rides.
Mr Barkla said the silence reflected the loss of the person, and the loss to the community that resulted when a cyclist was killed on the roads.
Jason’s tragic death had left a “huge gap”, he said.
As well as the ride, Mr Barkla said the Bendigo Cycling Network was promoting cyclist safety in other ways.
The group has started an initiative called ‘Lights for Lowndesy’, encouraging lights on bikes so cyclists can be seen, and is a;sp conscious of wearing clothing in colours that increases the visibility of riders on the road and the amount of road being used.
Cyclists of all backgrounds – from commuter riders to competitive cyclists – are invited to take part in the Ride of Silence.
The May 19 ride will begin at 8.45am at 148-151 Midland Highway, Epsom, and finish at the Alexandra Fountain.
The ride is taken at a pace of 15 km/ to 18 km/h, to make the event accessible to as many as possible.
Victoria Police will provide rolling road closures through traffic light-controlled intersections. For further information, contact Mr Barkla on 0419 422 628.