Ride of Silence is personal for Charleston widow

By Valencia

CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCIV){}-- A Ride of Silence event was held in the Lowcountry on Wednesday. Hundreds of similar events{}were{}held around the country in honor of cyclists hit and killed by cars every year.

Whitney Powers vividly remembers the day her husband was hit by a car.

"It was 8 in the morning and he was coming back from rowing," Powers said. "It wasn't like there was a lot of cars on the road. It was just circumstance. He was a victim of circumstance."

After three days in the hospital three years ago, Edwin Gardner, a transportation activist, died from his injuries.

"He is missed by many people in many different walks of life," said Powers. "He had a way of bringing parties and different views together to reach solutions. He was a great listener."

Gardner's death is one of many that were a result of accidents involving cars and bicycles.

"Every one of them is a monumental tragedy," said Tom Bradford. "But every one of them represents the shortcomings that we have to overcome."

Powers hopes her husband's life and death encourages cyclists and drivers to share the road.

"We take our safety for granted. We take the conditions for granted that nothing's going to happen. And the reality is that something could happen at any moment," Powers said. "He made a lot of people feel that, 'Yes, I can make a difference if I take a stand for something.'"

The Ride for Silence is sponsored by Charleston Moves, a nonprofit organization which promotes bike-friendliness and healthy lifestyles.

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