Memorial ride in Decatur remembers victims of traffic tragedies

Cyclists gathered in Decatur on Wednesday night for a Ride of Silence. The group rode slowly and silently. With each pedal stroke, their thoughts were on fellow cyclists who have been hit and killed while on their bikes. 

"It's a way to remember them, commemorate them and come together as a community," said Bruce Hagen with Bike Law Georgia. 

The group stopped at a white bike rack on Decatur Square, which bears the name of Paul Taylor, a cyclist who was killed in 2012. 

"The city of Decatur, after Paul got hit and killed in 2012, dedicated the rack to him and to all cyclists around that lost their lives," said David Mathews with Bike Friendly Atlanta. 

After Paul's death, David Mathews built his first ghost bike, a white bike placed at the spot where the tragedy took place as a reminder of a life lost. 

Since then, Mathews has placed 121 more ghost bikes across Georgia and surrounding states. 

"I know what these families are going through, this devastates families," said Mathews. 

Cyclists also want to remind drivers to share the road and to raise awareness about bike safety laws, such as the 3-foot law. 

"Spread awareness to motorists that, cyclists and motorists we've got to comingle in the same space," said Robert Wilhite, cyclist. 

"If something as simple as seeing 50 or 60 cyclists out commemorating some fallen cyclists is enough to get drivers to recognize that they do have a duty to slow down when approaching someone on a bike, a duty to leave 3 feet when passing someone on the bike, it's worth doing that. It's worth reminding people," said Hagen. 

This is an international event. Similar Ride of Silence events took place in more than 100 cities around the world.