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Ride of Silence to honor bicyclists hurt or killed

Avondale Estates Decatur Metro ATL

Ride of Silence to honor bicyclists hurt or killed

A picture of the "ghost bike" created in memory of cyclist Paul H. Taylor created by David Matthews. Photo from https://www.facebook.com/BikeFriendlyAtl

The “ghost bike” created by David Matthews in memory of cyclist Paul H. Taylor. Photo from https://www.facebook.com/BikeFriendlyAtl

A bicycle ride Wednesday evening, called the Ride of Silence, will honor bicyclists hurt or killed while riding. The ride kicks off at 7 p.m. at 120 W. Trinity Place in Decatur and will go about nine miles through Avondale Estates and Oakhurst, before returning to Decatur.

Cyclist David Matthews planned the first Decatur Ride of Silence, which is an international event. Matthews started the group Bike Friendly Atlanta and began creating white “ghost bikes” after cyclist Paul Taylor was killed while riding in Decatur in 2012. Matthews didn’t know Taylor, but was emotional when he heard about his death.

“He was the first fallen that I built a ghost bike for,” said Matthews. “Actually, his birthday is today, so that was a very coincidental, significant thing.”

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Matthews said he almost died in a car accident while on his bike a year before Taylor was killed. Matthews used his mangled bike from that accident to create the first ghost bike in tribute to Taylor.

Matthews said, sadly, the Paul Taylor ghost bike disappeared from the intersection of Superior Avenue and North Decatur Road — the same intersection where a cement truck rolled over on a car earlier this month. But Matthew’s ghost bikes can be seen around Atlanta — there are now about 25 in the metro area.

“That’s what really the ghost bike is meant for. It’s just to slow people down … just be safe,” said Matthews.

Matthews said he’s expecting between 75 and 150 riders to show up, including family members of cyclists killed on the road.

Describing a near miss on his bike just this morning, Matthews said, “It’s sadly not getting better, and that’s what we’re trying to attack.”

Dena Mellick

Dena Mellick is the Associate Editor of Decaturish.com.