Ride Of Silence To Honor Tulsa Cyclist

Wednesday, September 2nd 2009, 4:20 pm
By: News On 6

By Dan Bewley, The News On 6

TULSA, OK -- Bicyclists in Tulsa mourn the death of another rider.  A ride of silence was set for Wednesday evening.  It's a tribute to Beverly Duffield who died on Tuesday morning when her bicycle was hit by an SUV in west Tulsa.

Beverly Duffield was the third cyclist killed in as many months in the Tulsa-area.  It has cycling advocates speaking out and asking for help from the community.

09/01/2009  Related Story:  Arrest Made In Deadly Hit And Run Of Tulsa Cyclist

The 74-year-old woman died after being struck by an SUV.  The scene was a near repeat of what happened nearly three months ago when bicyclists Christa Voss and Matt Edmonds were struck by an accused drunk driver while riding on the side of Highway 51 in Sand Springs.

06/11/2009 Related Story: Friends Remember Victims Of Deadly Bike Crash

Ed Wagner is a proud cyclist and teaches bicycle safety courses. While both tragedies had different causes, he says they're good examples of the dangers bicyclists face when they go out on the road.

"Cyclists are human, they have faces, they're people. In a lot of cases they're just people who are out for some healthy exercise or, a lot of times, they are people out here just going to work," said cycling advocate Ed Wagner.

Wagner says Oklahoma and the city of Tulsa are in the middle of the road when it comes to keeping cyclists safe, but he has some suggestions to protect riders.

He'd like to see speed limits on city streets lowered, saying it increases reaction time for drivers giving them a better chance of avoiding a collision.  He'd also like Tulsa to follow the lead of San Francisco and form a bicycle coalition where the city has added more than 200 miles of bike paths and doubled the number of riders in 10 years.

Or Tulsa could follow the Boston Bicycling Plan and work with city leaders to focus on safety and to become more biker friendly.

"We're teachers and doctors and parents and husbands and wives and kids," said cyclist Chris Zenthoefer.

Zenthoefer says drivers and bicyclists need to be more aware of one another and learn how to interact and share the road.           

"A little mutual respect goes a long way," said cyclist Chris Zenthoefer.