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RAGBRAI Starts With ‘Mile of Silence’

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GLENWOOD, Iowa -- Riders got underway Sunday morning on RAGBRAI 2016 from Glenwood.

This day there will be a special event during the ride called “Mile of Silence” to remember riders killed and injured in bicycle accidents.

This year, Iowa has eight bicycle fatalities, double this time last year, according to the Iowa Bicycle Coalition.

"We’re 35th in bicycle fatalities. In state rank, we're in the lower half of states, so bicycling is inherently safe,” said Mark Wyatt, Executive Director of the Iowa Bicycle Coalition. "I don't want to scare people away, but when bad things happen they are very terrible, very tragic, we want to make sure everyone ends their ride by going home.”

Riders will be asked to sign a petition at the end of the Mile of Silence to ask for a tougher law in Iowa regarding passing bicycles. The coalition is lobbying for a law which would make all vehicles have to change lanes in order to pass a bicycle.

The proposed law was passed in the Senate last year, but not in the House.