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CHICAGO — A poem paved the way Wednesday night for a ‘Ride of Silence’ through Chicago streets.

“The Ride of Silence tonight, we number many but ride as one in honor of those not with us,” said organizer Elizabeth Adamczyk. She feels the city is losing too many cyclists to preventable crashes.

“Since 2005, we’ve been riding in here every third Wednesday in May to honor cyclists who’ve been killed or injured while riding on a public roadway,” Adamczyk added.

Bikers participating wore black armbands to remember loved ones and friends gone too soon.

Crash survivors wore red armbands.

In 2022 and 2021, at least 11 cyclists have been killed, with one victim as young as 16. The oldest victim was 81.

Of the 11 killed, three occurred in 2022, the most recent being that of 22-year-old Nick Parlingayan two weeks ago. 

John Greenfield runs a site that tracks biking-related fatalities.

“We’ve had three fatalities this year and in each case it seems infrastructure change might have made a difference,” Greenfield said.

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Though painted biking lanes span the city, many say the marking doesn’t offer the protection that a concrete median would.

“It might be a concrete curb, something where the bike lane is above the level of the street, that would really save a lot of lives,” Greenfield said.

May is National Bike Safety Month.