Tour de silence remembers cyclists killed on Montreal roads
Published Wednesday, May 16, 2018 9:38PM EDT
Last Updated Thursday, May 17, 2018 8:16AM EDT
Hundreds of cyclists in Montreal took part in the annual Tour de silence Wednesday night, honouring the memories of cyclists who were killed in traffic.
One after another, they took to the streets of Rosemont-La-Petite-Patrie, riding in silence to remember those killed – but also to send a message.
“It’s to make people aware that on a bike, you are fragile,” said organizer Marc-Antoine Desjardins.
The Ride of Silence began 15 years ago in Dallas, Texas, and has since grown into an annual event worldwide, including in 23 locations in Quebec.
In attendance in Montreal was Catherine Bergeron, the mother of 18-year-old cyclist Clement Ouimet who was killed while riding on Mount Royal last October.
“To remember what happened helps us as a society, I think, to do better,” she said.
Bergeron said that after her son died she was surrounded by support from the community.
"It means that we're not alone. After Clement's death we were very well surrounded by 'nos proches,' family friends," said Bergeron.
Eleven cyclists were killed on Quebec roads last year, three more than in 2016.
Organizers of the Montreal ride stress caution when on the road and the importance of mutual respect between cyclists and drivers.
“We live in the same world. A cyclist is a driver. I am a driver myself. I have a car. I bike 12 months a year. What is the point of being aggressive towards a bike?” said Desjardins.
Bergeron says the hot-button issue of closing Mount Royal to through traffic isn't something she'll venture into, but instead wanted to use Wednesday's event as an opportunity to pay tribute to her son and focus on safety.
“What's the most important thing?” she said. “It’s life. It's human life.”