Austin bicyclists honor injured, killed riders on Ride of Silence day

The City of Austin officially proclaimed May 15 as Ride of Silence Day. It is a day when bicyclists across the country are honoring riders who have been injured or killed by drivers.

During the 17th annual International Ride of Silence, the Austin cycling community made their way through the streets of Austin.

"We are in this thing together. We want to create awareness, it is kind of a quiet protest, we don't say anything," says bicyclist Manuel Zapata Jr.

The Ride of Silence started in Dallas in 2003. It is held every May in more than two hundred cities.

"The purpose of this ride is to bring awareness to other people of cyclists and of people that have died in this city," says Ride of Silence leader Ricardo A. Trevino.

Former FOX 7 employee Tony Diaz was killed when the bus Stafford was driving ran over him while he was biking on the UT campus on Jan. 28, 2019.

Those that participated in the Ride of Silence in Austin pedaled through the city streets, stopping at nine crash sites, including a FOX 7 employee, Anthony Diaz, known as Tony. He was killed in 2019 after being hit and trapped under a CapMetro bus.

"It’s an eerie feeling, you know. If you don't know about the ghost bikes around here, people just see a white bike, but for us, when we see it, we are like, oh shoot somebody died there," says Zapata.

The group of cyclists are working to solve open hit-and-run cases and hold drivers accountable for injuring and killing bike riders, like Merry Catherine Daye.

"Hopefully, we can shine some light on this situation to make you aware of them and for somebody to catch the killer. There is a killer out here, and he has killed our niece," says family member of Merry Catherine Daye, David Burnham.


According to family members, Merry Catherine Daye was killed by a driver in December 2019. The driver did not stop to render aid.

"It feels really good to be here but all at the same time it feels so sad to be here because it feels like it is unnecessary, but our heart goes out to the rest of people's families," says Burnham.

According to TxDOT, there has not been a death free day on the roadways in more than 20 years.

The group of Austin cyclists are sharing tips to bring the streak to an end.

"Slowing down is really important and just staying off of your phone and being more aware and giving yourself time to react," says Zapata.

The Austin Ghost Bike Organization placed white ghost bikes at crash sites to serve as a memorial.