Dozens of cyclists ride in memory of Clement Ouimet and other cyclists killed in traffic accidents
Honouring the memory of a young cyclist whose death on Mount Royal shocked the city last fall was a rallying cry for hundreds of cyclists who took part in Montreal's Ride of Silence on Wednesday night.
Around the world, 50 000 cyclists are killed every year, but it was the death of one 18 year old riding on Mount Royal last fall that made this Ride of Silence that much more meaningful, and personal for Clement Ouimet's mother, Catherine Bergeron.
"Of course my son, I will think about him a lot, " says Bergeron.
Last year, 67 people biked in Montreal's Ride of Silence, this year 300 cyclists took part.
It was one of nearly 400 rides around the world, in this 16th edition of the annual event to honour cyclists killed or hurt on the road and to call for better sharing of the roads between drivers and bike riders.
Quebec humourist Maxime Martin says the death of Ouimet, his daughter's boyfriend, made him re-evaluate his role both as a driver and cyclist.
He is the Quebec spokesperson for the nearly two dozen local Ride of Silence events around the province this year.
"Don't wait until it's your sister, your brother, your son, your parents or someone you know, a friend, to make a difference. It's changed my whole life," says Martin.
Bikes aren't going anywhere, Bergeron and Martin agreed. They echoed each other in saying both drivers and cyclists need to better respect one another and the road.
Ultimately, people need to be mindful that not everyone on the road is protected by thousands of pounds of machinery, Bergeron added.
" We wanted to give meaning to a tragedy that has no meaning," she says.