West Michigan cyclists to memorialize injured, fallen with annual National Ride of Silence

West Michigan bikers to memorialize injured, fallen with annual National Ride of Silence.{ } (File from 2017 Ride of Silence)

Kalamazoo Bike Week is in full swing and Wednesday is the National Ride of Silence.

The Ride of Silence is set to begin in Portage on Wednesday. Bikers will meet at Millennium Park, across from Pedal’s on Romence Road, for a 6:30 p.m. takeoff.

Cyclists will take to the roads in a silent procession to honor bikers who have been killed or injured while cycling on public roadways.

The ride is free and there are no registration fees. Helmets are required and the rules of the road should be followed.

There are several Ride of Silence memorials happening in Michigan.

Information has been posted about the Battle Creek ride, the Kalamazoo ride, and the Grand Rapids ride.

The Chain Gang Bicycle Club gathered Tuesday off Gull Road for a celebratory 33-mile ride through the country.

The group included survivors of the 2016 bike crash that killed five members. Charles Pickett junior was convicted of murdering those five bicyclists just a few weeks ago.

Pickett was high on drugs when he plowed into a group of riders north of Kalamazoo in June 2016.

Tony Nelson, Debbie Bradley, Melissa Fevig-Hughes, Suzanne Sippel and Larry Paulik were killed.

The Chain Gang is planning to dedicate a permanent memorial near the crash site on June 7, the two-year anniversary of the Kalamazoo biking tragedy.

Joyce Beebe, a Chain Gang member, said, "It's just kind of a moment that we can all get together for the folks that we have with us, and the ones we don't have with us."