CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- The Mountain State Wheelers will participate in a nationwide event called the Ride of Silence, which mourns cyclists killed by motorists.The event will be held at 7 p.m. Wednesday at the state Capitol Complex. Cyclists should gather on the interior plaza behind the main building. About 50 cyclists participated in last year's event.The group will ride a nine-mile course through Charleston, in complete silence, communicating only through hand signals. The course of the Ride of Silence will be entirely flat, going from the state Capitol Complex, down California Avenue, to Kanawha Boulevard and turning around at the Drug Emporium Plaza on Patrick Street, then back to Greenbrier Street and the state Capitol.The Ride of Silence, now in its eighth year, was started in 2003 after Texas cyclist Larry Schwartz was struck and killed by a school bus mirror. Ten days after his death, more than 1,000 Dallas cyclists joined together for a memorial ride.
Charleston's Ride of Silence will mourn a cyclist killed in West Virginia in September 2008. Daniel Duncan, of Norwalk, Ohio, and a student at West Virginia Wesleyan College, was riding his bicycle on W.Va. 20 in Hinkleville, Upshur County, when he was struck and killed by a drunken driver. Also remembered will be Charlie Williamson, who was killed in March 2008 while riding his bicycle on the Coalfields Expressway, and Cecil Jarvis of Harrison County, who died in May 2007 from a crash by a harassing pedestrian.There is no registration fee for the ride and you do not have to be a member of the Mountain State Wheelers to participate. The only requirement is that participants must wear a helmet to ride with the group.