Thomas Palermo. Stan Miller. Thomas Bruni. Lynne Rosenbusch. John Fauerby.
Those were some of the names that came up Wednesday, having been killed in bicycle accidents over the years.
A group of about 20 bicyclists — including friends of the victims — went on a 10-mile Ride of Silence through Frederick in memory of those who have died or been injured while riding bikes.
“It’s like a funeral procession,” Bill Smith, president of the Frederick Pedalers Bicycle Club, said in the parking lot of Monocacy Middle School before the ride began. “We shouldn’t have to do this.”
The number of bicycle fatalities in Maryland doubled from five in 2014 to 10 in 2015, according to the Maryland Motor Vehicle Administration.
Smith said other bike rides are normally collegial and everyone chats along the way. But the annual ride is somber, Smith said as it started to rain lightly before the ride.
The Ride of Silence was an international event, held around the world, according to the organization’s website. Other Maryland cities participated, including Hagerstown, Olney, Baltimore, Annapolis and Rockville.
Hagerstown resident John Munns participated in Frederick’s ride instead of Hagerstown’s because Rosenbusch and Fauerby, who were his friends, did most of their riding in Frederick County. They were killed riding a tandem bike in Calvert County last year when they were struck from behind by a drunken driver.
“They weren’t the fastest, but they put the miles on,” he said. “They could outride anyone in distance.”
The trial of the woman accused of killing the Clarksburg residents is set for Friday, which is also Bike to Work Day, Smith said. He said he will be thinking about them as he rides his bike to work.
Middletown resident Dave Sweeney said the ride brings riders who might not normally interact with one another, such as mountain bikers with cyclists.
This was his fourth year participating. “It’s something I put on the calendar every year,” he said.
The bicyclists took off around 7 p.m., pairing up and riding side by side on Opossumtown Pike, followed by Frederick Police Chief Edward Hargis in a car. Hargis said he opted out of riding, as he had originally wanted to do, because he did a 250-mile ride last week.
Steve Miller, interim executive director of Bike Maryland, said the number and variety of people who come to the Ride of Silence is remarkable. He said the organization teaches children that a bicyclist has to follow the same rules as someone driving a motor vehicle.
“We’re all about advocating for safer biking,” he said. They work through legislation, advocacy and working with groups such as the Frederick Pedalers Bicycle Club.
Smith said bicyclists can lessen the chance of getting in a crash with defensive bicycling techniques.
“But you can’t defend yourself against a drunk driver,” he said.
And although there’s a risk to riding a bike on the roads, bicyclists do it because they enjoy it, he said.
“It’s a part of our lifestyle,” he said.