Ted Chauvin wasn’t able to bike to work this week.
In fact, he isn’t able to ride at all. The cyclist was on a training ride April 15 in preparation for an amateur road race when he was hit by a car along Cheney-Plaza Road.
The crash left him with a broken arm and leg.
“I know the rules of the road well. In fact, I’m very sensitive to it,” Chauvin said. “I’m a visual of what can happen.”
Although he couldn’t ride, Chauvin showed up Wednesday night to support the more than 50 cyclists who pedaled through downtown for the Ride of Silence as part of Bike to Work Week activities.
The international event was meant to draw attention to the need for increased awareness among those who share the roadways.
“Everyone needs to be looking out for one another and following the rules, and that’s cyclists as well,” said Barb Chamberlain, co-chairwoman of the city’s Bicycle Advisory Board.
The ride began at the corner of Division Street and Sprague Avenue, where 56-year-old David Squires was killed in a hit-and-run bicycle accident in March.
Statistics show that from 2004 to 2009, there were more than 400 serious injury accidents involving motor vehicles and bicycles in Spokane.
“And those are only the ones serious enough that they are reported to police,” Chamberlain said.
Wednesday’s riders wore black armbands in memory of fallen riders. Those who have survived accidents wore red armbands.
In rows of two, the group rode west on Riverside Avenue from Division, with signs that read “Share the Road” and “Same Rules, Same Road, Same Rights” pinned to their backs.
“He (Squires) got hit at the same time I usually ride home every day,” said Tomas Lynch, who works at Spokane’s Two Wheel Transit bike shop. “I didn’t know him personally, but we shared the love of cycling.”
Riders said cycling as an alternate mode of transportation has grown in Spokane since in the early 1990s, with the completion of the 37-mile Centennial Trail. Riders are also discovering the environmental, physical and financial benefits of commuting by bike.
“I started riding to work three years ago when gas hit $4 a gallon,” said Phillip Lindstrom, who works in maintenance for Spokane Public Schools. His commute is only a few miles, but he says it’s still worth it. He’s recruited at least four other co-workers to join him in biking to work.
“It just makes me feel better,” Lindstrom said. “I feel more alert and I’m happier when I get to work in the morning.”