FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) When Larry Schwartz died in 2003 by the mirror of a passing bus and was killed, the impact of his passing became the launching point for a national campaign to honor cyclists injured or killed while riding.

Bicycle Friendly Fort Wayne is having a Ride of Silence and Blessing of the Bikes event Wednesday, May 20. Cyclists are invited to meet at Emmanuel Lutheran Church on Union Street downtown for a blessing form the church’s pastor at 6 p.m. and a silent ride at 7 p.m.

The Ride of Silence is part of several events going on for the month long Kickstart festival, which centers around biking activities in May, which is national Bike Month.

Leading the ride will be a hearse from D.O. McComb and Sons. The funeral home is sponsoring the ride while setting a serious tone to raise awareness of cyclists on the road, Vince Serrani with Bicycle Friendly Fort Wayne said on Frist News Saturday.

Serrani had four suggestions for people looking to help raise awareness for bicycle safety.

  • Go ride a bike and experience Fort Wayne’s Trails
  • Support local bike shops
  • Wear a helmet
  • Behave like traffic

“When you are cycling, if you’re in the street, make sure you’re behaving like traffic,” Serrani said. “We have a right to the road, but we also have responsibilities as cyclists to behave like traffic.”

Indiana was recently ranked 37th for “bikeability” by the League of American Bicyclists. By hosting an event like this, Bicycle Friendly Fort Wayne helps increase its “bikeability” stats.

To watch the full interview, play the video above.