Ride of Silence in Honor of Slain Bicyclists

(Hernando, MS) More than 40 people biked Wednesday night, to remember fellow cyclists killed by drivers.

The Hernando Bicycle Club, which included Mayor Chip Johnson, biked more than eight miles around town at a slow pace.

Bo Mcaninch, co-founder of the club, said the event was also “to raise awareness that we do have a right to be on the road, and we do have to follow the same rules as the cars.”

In the last year, several incidents involving cyclists have happened on the Natchez Trace Parkway.

In May 2012, Dr. Gary Holdiness was killed by a driver, and almost a year later in April 2013, George Wimberly was also hit and killed.

The latest case is still under investigation, and no one has been charged.

In March of 2013, Ken Thompson was beaten up by a driver who told him he should not be on the road. That incident also happened along the Natchez Trace Parkway, north of Tupelo.

That attacker has not been found. He was driving a white crew cab pickup. Anyone with information is asked to call (662) 680-4002. There is a $1,500 reward through Crime Stoppers.

“I thought that was the most bizarre thing I’d ever heard. We all know that bicycles share the roads,” said Mayor Chip Johnson.

Johnson added, “It’s so unfortunate. Because if people would just pay attention, when you see a cyclist on the road, give him the three-foot berth that he needs.”

Drivers in Mississippi, Arkansas and Tennessee are required to be at least three feet away from a bicyclist.

Because debris can sometimes be along the right shoulder, cyclists can come into the lane as far as they need to stay safe.

Drivers should only pass the cyclist slowly when there is no oncoming traffic in the opposing lane.

Cyclists should bike with the direction of traffic, wear brightly colored clothes, and wear helmets.