May 15, 2008
Deputies from the Pima County Sheriff's Department
motorcycle unit led the procession of bicyclists during last
year's Ride of Silence. This year's ride will begin at 6 p.m. on
Ride of Silence for bike safety
Everyone is invited to the Santa Cruz
Valley event, which also is a memorial for slain cyclists
By Danielle Sottosanti
Bicyclists of varying skills and interests will band together on
Wednesday and ride through parts of Green Valley and Sahuarita as
part of international and local efforts to make it safer to ride.
They will ride in a silent, single-file procession as part of the
2008 Santa Cruz Valley Area Ride of Silence, an event meant to both
raise drivers' awareness of bicyclists and honor bicyclists who have
been killed or injured while riding.
The Sahuarita and Green Valley area has been safe for bicyclists
this year, law-enforcement records show. Neither the Sahuarita
Police Department nor the Pima County Sheriff's Department's Green
Valley District Office has recorded any bicycle accidents involving
motorists so far this year. Sahuarita police Officer Sam
Almodova attributes the lack of accidents to several factors.
For the most part, bicyclists in the area ride in neighborhoods or
along large, wide roads such as South La Cañada Drive, said Almodova,
a police spokesman. Another factor: People are
obeying the law. The Sahuarita Police Department enforces the
same bike-safety laws that other local law-enforcement agencies do.
Drivers must follow state laws about not driving too close to a
bicyclist, and bicyclists should not ride in the center of the
street or ride two abreast, Almodova said.
For more information on what to do and what not to do while riding,
bicyclists can go to free bike-safety classes offered by the Pima
County Bicycle & Pedestrian Program. A class schedule is available
online at www.bikeped.pima.gov, or call 243-2453. And the town
of Sahuarita is working toward keeping bicyclists safe, too.
The town is increasing the quality and quantity of its multipurpose
lanes lanes that run along roadways and can be used for bicycle
riding. Sahuarita resurfaced West Pima Mine Road from South
Nogales Highway to the town's western boundary and added a
multipurpose lane, its December 2007 newsletter said. The work was
part of the town's capital-improvement plan. That newsletter
also detailed three other improvement projects that included adding
or enhancing multipurpose lanes along Sahuarita roadways. The
improvements go along with the town's general plan, which deals with
promoting different modes of transportation, said Barbara Dolan,
Bicyclists Bill Adamson, left, and Jim Jordan join Lt. L.T.
Pratt to plan the route for the Ride of Silence through
Green Valley and Sahuarita.
Damian Leuck, shown here working at his Green Valley Bike & Hike
shop, will offer free
bike check-ups before the ride at the starting
The town is fantastic for bicyclists,
as is Green Valley, said John Pilger, president of the Santa Cruz
Valley Bicycle Advocate Committee, a grass-roots organization that
works with local governments to promote safe bicycling.
"Everything they're doing now is biking-oriented," he said.
The committee advocates for multipurpose lanes in its master plan
and includes Sahuarita's La Cañada improvements, along with other
projects it pushed for from 2004 to 2007.
The committee organizes an annual Ride of Silence for its area.
The first Ride of Silence took place in Dallas in 2003, drawing
1,000 riders, according to the Ride of Silence Web site,
From there, it has spread across the United States and
internationally. There are 206 confirmed Rides of Silence scheduled
to take place worldwide in 2008, the Web site said.
In Southern Arizona, Rides of Silence are scheduled for Wednesday in
Tucson, SaddleBrooke and the Santa Cruz Valley area. Tucson's ride
will start at 6 p.m. at Sears Park, 5900 E. 14th St. More
information on any of those rides is online at www.
It will be the third annual ride for the Santa Cruz Valley area,
committee webmaster Chuck Hill said.
About 50 people took part in last year's ride, and the committee is
hoping for many more bicyclists this year, Hill said. Anyone
interested in joining in the ride just needs to show up at the
starting point the parking lot at Green Valley Recreation's East
Social Center, 7 S. Abrego Drive. There are no fees or registration,
Bicyclists participating in the area's Ride of Silence will leave
from the Green Valley center together at 6 p.m., ride on a
seven-mile route through parts of Green Valley and Sahuarita, and
end at the starting point. But bicyclists can arrive as early
as 5:30 p.m. to socialize and enjoy free refreshments fruits,
juice and water provided by Green Valley Bike & Hike, a shop at
125 Calle de Las Tiendas.
Shop owner Damian Leuck will have a bicycle-repair stand set up in
the parking lot and will conduct free bike-safety checks before the
Leuck, who is an avid bicyclist, explained why he so strongly
supports the Ride of Silence. "I lost a lot of friends due to
bicyclist death in traffic," he said. Green Valley Bike & Hike
promotes bicyclist safety throughout the year by offering free
safety checks. People can bring their bikes in anytime no
appointment is necessary and Leuck will check things such as wheel
alignment and the brakes to make sure there are no safety issues.
The shop doesn't charge for air and lubrication, Leuck said, but it
does charge for other maintenance work. Green Valley Bike & Hike is
open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Mondays through Fridays, and from 10
a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturdays. For more information, call 393-7433.
Contact reporter Danielle Sottosanti at 618-1922 or at email@example.com.