More about the Ride of Silence:

facebook.com/rideofsilenceboulder

To donate:

ROSBoulder.myevent.com

As the line of bicyclists pulled out onto a Boulder County road, the only sound was the spinning of spokes and the click as shoes snapped into place.

For the cyclists participating in the first Boulder Ride of Silence, their silence was a way to be heard.

"We want to honor those who passed away or were injured while cycling, and to raise awareness of cyclists' rights," said Sharon Howrey, who spearheaded the ride. "We want to share the road."

The inaugural Ride of Silence took place in Dallas in 2003 to honor fallen cyclists and raise awareness of sharing the road with them, and today there are more than 300 rides across the U.S. and in countries around the globe. But Howrey, whose husband, Phil, died in a bike-vs.-truck collision in Lefthand Canyon in 2011, wanted to bring one to Boulder.

"I wanted to honor Phil, knowing how much he loved cycling," Howrey said. "This is to honor his memory."

At noon Wednesday, about 50 cyclists gathered at the Boulder Country Club to prepare for the 12-mile loop along Lookout Road, 95th Street, Valmont Road and then back on to 75th Street.


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Cyclists donned arm bands for people they knew involved in collisions with cars while cycling — red bands for those who were injured, and black bands for those who died.

After going through safety tips, a rider read a list of cyclists who died while riding in Boulder as well as Boulder cyclists killed in crashes everywhere from Fort Collins to Belgium.

"Think about the many memories of those who are no longer with us," Howrey said.

Will Raatz donned a red arm band for someone he knew who was injured on the road. He said he heard about the ride as a member of the Boulder Cycling Club and thought it would be a way to send a message about bike safety.

"It's worth bringing more awareness to," Raatz said. "I think this is one part of a larger effort."

Rob Bestow and Nancy Easton, of Chicago, lost a friend in a cycling collision and participate in the Ride of Silence there every year. This year they were on a two-week camping trip in Boulder when they saw there would be a ride here.

"We thought it was important enough to come out here," Bestow said.

Easton said in the Chicago ride, hundreds of cyclists pass by dozens of memorial ghost bikes.

"It's really moving," Easton said. "In some instances, we are remembering people we know."

Howrey had previously hosted a memorial ride in her husband's name, but she wanted a way to spread awareness of sharing the road with bicyclists and honoring all the fallen cyclists in the county.

"It's very personal for me," Howrey said. "I don't want anybody to have to go through a loss when someone innocent dies in a bicycling accident."

Contact Camera Staff Writer Mitchell Byars at 303-473-1329, byarsm@dailycamera.com or twitter.com/mitchellbyars.