Annual Ride of Silence honored 3 fallen cyclists

McALLEN – February 19, 2018 will be a day Sam Robles will never forget. As he and his sister, Melissa, were out for a morning bicycle ride, she was struck and killed by a motorist.

“It's something I wouldn't ask for anyone,” Robles said. “It was devastating for myself, my family and my loved ones.”

For the last few weeks Robles has met several people who had cycling relationships with Melissa and the feeling was overwhelming to see the impact she had locally.

Robles admits he thought it would have become easier to live without her in his life but in fact it has been the opposite. The first few weeks there was shock but now he realizes that he will never share experiences with Melissa.

Stories like Melissa's death are instances that happen too often in the Rio Grande Valley.

McAllen Commissioner Veronica Whitacre said since 2014 Run, Ride & Share campaign has been in place since the death of cyclists Eddie Arguelles.

The campaign aims to raise awareness to share the road with not only cyclists but runners and other people who are using the streets aside from driving.

“We do now have an active community where we have people going to work on their bicycles, people who actually bike to work and unfortunately for so many years we didn't have that,” Whitacre said. “So we're trying to educate drivers to make sure they are aware of their surroundings, aware of red lights, not texting and that drivers are paying attention to everything happening around them.”

The campaign also raises awareness for cyclists to use safety gear.

Whitacre said a lot of cyclists will think that because they are riding early in the morning it will make for a safer ride. Unfortunately that isn't the case.

“Most of the fatalities have happened early in the morning,” she said.

The Ride of Silence is held during National Bike Month. This year the 10-mile ride was in honor of Melissa Robles, Matthew Scott Yeager and Mary Cloud.