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Bicyclists ride to raise awareness

Participants in the 2017 Ride of Silence/Bob Philips Memorial Ride line up before the event starts Thursday evening. Among the group are Philip's wife, Mary, and granddaughter, Anika Philips. Press photo by Bob Steenson
Participants in the 2017 Ride of Silence/Bob Philips Memorial Ride line up before the event starts Thursday evening. Among the group are Philip’s wife, Mary, and granddaughter, Anika Philips (without bicycles). Press photo by Bob Steenson
Bicycle riders, gathered at the Charles City High School Thursday evening for the Bob Philips Memorial Ride, bow their heads for an invocation by Pastor Mike Downey of the Evangelical Free Church (in red shirt) before starting out. Press photo by Bob Steenson
Bicycle riders, gathered at the Charles City High School Thursday evening for the Bob Philips Memorial Ride, bow their heads for an invocation by Pastor Mike Downey of the Evangelical Free Church (in red shirt) before starting out. With the group are Mary Philips and Anika Philips (left), Bob Philips wife and granddaughter. Press photo by Bob Steenson
By Bob Steenson bsteenson@charlescitypress.com

A small but dedicated group of bicycle riders took part in a Ride of Silence around Charles City Thursday evening in an event dubbed the Bob Philips Memorial Ride.

Thursday, June 8, was the one-year anniversary of the day when Philips, of Nashua, was killed on a bicycle when he was struck by a pickup truck on a county road south of Charles City.

The ride Thursday was a replacement for the annual Ride of Silence bike ride, which this year was canceled by a storm May 17.

Mary Philips, Bob’s wife, was at the event Thursday along with their granddaughter, Anika Philips, to give the participants encouragement and thanks.

“I thought it would be nice to see the people off and participating, raising awareness of bike safety,” Mary said.

Bob was killed last year while training for RAGBRAI. Although he had participated in part of the ride in previous years, 2016 was to be the first time he went border to border across the state.

“For us, RAGBRAI was a family event,” Mary Philips said.

Bob Krueger, an avid cyclist who organizes the annual Ride of Silence in Charles City, said Thursday evening, “There are distracted drivers, impatient drivers out there. Do anything you can to be bright and be seen. Ride in a group when you can.”

The Ride of Silence began in Dallas in 2003 to honor a local bicyclist who had been killed. Since then it has grown to include thousands of riders in cities around the world.

The Ride of Silence is held to remember bicycle riders who have been killed or injured while riding, and to raise awareness among motorists of bicycles’ presence on the road and their right to share the road.

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