An annual ride to remember cyclists who have been killed or injured by motorists will happen Wednesday, just days after a bike messenger’s life ended abruptly when he was hit by a car at 10th and Spring Garden Streets.
The “Ride of Silence” is scheduled to begin at 6:45 p.m. at the Philadelphia Museum of Art and continue eight miles around the city. The route goes along the Benjamin Franklin Parkway, past City Hall and Independence Hall, over the Walnut Street Bridge, and back to the Art Museum steps via the Spring Garden Street Bridge. The event is being held in Philly for its 14th consecutive year, according to its Facebook event page.
Philadelphia’s ride is hosted by the Bicycle Coalition of Greater Philadelphia and is rain-or-shine. Similar events are expected to take place worldwide Wednesday.
The memorial ride isn’t the only national biking event this week. Friday is Bike to Work Day.
But this year, those events come after two high-profile cycling deaths in Philadelphia in the past six months.
Pablo Avendano, a 34-year-old cyclist and courier for the food delivery service Caviar, was struck and killed while riding in the eastbound bike lane on Spring Garden Street shortly before 8 p.m. Saturday.
Sparrow Cycling, a separate courier company, remembered Avendano in an Instagram post, calling him “a teacher, an activist, a great rider, and a true friend to all of Sparrow, the messenger community, and Philly as a whole.”
“He’d talk to you like you were the only person that mattered in that moment and was truly a special special person,” the post read. “He will be very missed.”
This is for our dear friend and rider Pablo who was hit and killed on his bike last night on spring garden. He was a teacher, an activist, a great rider, and a true friend to all of sparrow, the messenger community, and philly as a whole. He spent all of yesterday helping run our alleycat checkpoint, guiding people to their next stop. He was instantly friends with everyone he meant. He’d talk to you like you were the only person that mattered in that moment and was truly a special special person. He will be very missed. We’re closing for the day, feel free to stop by the sparrow office today if you want company or want to talk. Rest in power bud, we love you forever #725
A post shared by Sparrow Cycling Couriers (@sparrow_cycling) on
In November, 24-year-old Emily Fredricks was killed by a trash truck while she was riding to work.
“She was in a biking lane, and she still got hit,” her father, Richard, said at the time. “Hopefully this won’t be in vain.”
The coalition has organized a database documenting Philadelphia’s traffic injuries and fatalities.