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Bike ride honoring those who died on the road - WCAX.COM Local Vermont News, Weather and Sports-

Bike ride honoring those who died on the road

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MONTPELIER, Vt. -

They ride for those who can't.

"I'm riding for Amy Dombroski," said Susan Stephen.

The Vermonter and Burke Mountain Academy grad was hit by a truck while riding her bike and killed.

"Amy was a wonderful gal, full of spirit," said Stephen.

Wednesday evening she embarked on the annual "Ride of Silence," a 12-mile bike ride from Montpelier to Middlesex in honor of cyclists who died or were injured in crashes with cars.

Riders wore bands around their arms bearing the names of those they were riding for.

For Lieutenant Governor Phil Scott, it was personal.

"My wife Diana was hit by a car last fall; this is her first ride since then. She had a broken rib, contusion on the lung; she's very fortunate but survived," said Scott, R-Vermont.

Many accidents occur on roads where bike lane ends, and bikers are forced to narrow shoulders, if there even is one.

"We have an aging infrastructure. We're trying to do the best we can with what we have, so every time we do revitalization of a road we widen the shoulders out to accommodate bikes," Scott said.

Over the past three years, bicycle crashes have gone down in Vermont. In 2013 there were 99, with no fatalities.

Nancy Schultz of the Vermont Bicycle and Pedestrian Coalition says the new legislation banning hand-held cellphone use while driving and greater enforcement of impaired driving laws will help with distracted driving. But she stresses safe behavior needs to be practiced by all road users.

She said, "We have bicyclists who perhaps don't know the rules of the road or don't follow them as carefully as they should."

The lieutenant governor hopes you will give them some extra thought the next time you take to the road remembering those who did not make it home.

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