Ride of Silence honors Kent County bicyclists killed in crashes

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. -- Dozens of bicyclists participated in a "Ride of Silence" Wednesday evening to honor two men who were recently killed after riding their bikes in Kent County.

Dave Draugalis and Charles Driggers were killed in separate crashes in August.

“It shows support from the community that cyclists are a brotherhood and we support each other,” says Mark Hagar with the National Ride of Silence organization. “And if one of us gets hurt or killed, we support each other. And we all feel it and we all mourn and it helps us support the family members that are dealing with the loss.”

Avid cyclists and children showed up at the ride. A friend of Dave Draugalis - Dave Trepke, who rode with him every Sunday - says nothing would make him miss this tribute ride.

“He meant a lot to the community, and to Z’s, and to the biking community,” Trepke said.

Chalres Driggers had overcome cancer and was training for a triathlon when he was struck and killed in a hit and run crash.

“I’m riding for both of them to help bring awareness and do what we can," said cyclist Tim Guikema. "It’s a little scary out there, that’s for sure."

The 4-mile tribute ride ended at Z’s Bar, where Dave Draugalis worked as a bartender for more than 20 years. To help raise money for his family they held a silent auction and the owner donated 20 percent of Wednesday night's sales.

Cyclists are hoping the awareness raised from the tribute ride will help save lives down the road.

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