Allison Bell Dulac leads the way down College Street in Lewiston during the Maine Cycling Club Ride of Silence on Wednesday. Sun Journal photo by Daryn Slover

LEWISTON — Each spring, members of the Maine Cycling Club head out together on their bicycles for the annual Ride of Silence.

For Leslie Shields of Auburn, it’s the silence of the event that gives it power.

“For all these people — for this whole, big group of people — to ride in total silence in honor of all the cyclists we’ve lost, it just gives me goosebumps,” Shields said Wednesday night, as the ride got underway in the lot at Geiger Elementary School. “Nobody speaks the entire time unless there’s something safety related. It’s a very strange feeling. It’s so meaningful.”

Bob Marcotte of Poland rides down College Street during the Maine Cycling Club Ride of Silence in Lewiston on Wednesday. Marcotte’s wife, Laurie, is one of three MCC members who passed over the past year that club members rode in memory of on Wednesday. Sun Journal photo by Daryn Slover 

Meaningful, indeed. The group, nearly three dozen strong, rides in memory of cyclists who have been seriously hurt or killed on the roads by motorists. But they also ride in honor of club members who have died in other ways, and this year, there were plenty of those.

According to Ron Baril of the Maine Cycling Club, three members of that group have died over the previous year.

“We honor them tonight, also.” he said.

Internationally, the Ride of Silence takes place every year on the third Wednesday of May. Last year, riders from 20 countries, 47 U.S. states and seven continents participated.

The route this year covered 6.3 miles. The riders, with a lone police cruiser as an escort, pedaled along at 10 mph, the silence broken only by the sounds of deep breathing and tires on pavement.

“It’s just an incredible ride,” Shields said.

Allison Bell Dulac, right, and Karla Leandri lead the way up College Street during the Maine Cycling Club Ride of Silence in Lewiston on Wednesday. Sun Journal photo by Daryn Slover

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