On the morning Oct. 12, 2016, another life from Indiana’s cycling community was senselessly taken. Erika Wells, an accomplished cyclist, teacher, and a friend to many, was riding her bike on the shoulder of S.R. 37, when she was struck by a box truck traveling in the same direction, resulting in her death.
The staff, board, and members of Bicycle Indiana were saddened and angered to learn of this tragedy. “Erika Wells was one of the most kind and cheerful souls I’ve ever had the good fortune of meeting. She shared her beliefs and passions freely – especially her love for cycling and running – and encouraged others to join her,” stated Jessica Hall, communications director for Bicycle Indiana. “Erika was a ray of sunshine, everywhere she went. She is, and will continue to be, missed by all who knew her, including the Central Indiana cycling and running communities.”
A ghost bike has been placed along S.R. 37 in Erika’s honor. On Sunday, Nov. 6, Bicycle Indiana will lead a short ride honoring Erika’s life, and dedicating the ghost bike in her memory. Cyclists will gather at Glenns Valley Elementary School, 8239 Morgantown Rd, Indianapolis, at 9 a.m.
Bicycle Indiana hopes that this highly visible ghost bike will remind all motor vehicle drivers to be cognizant that our roadways are used by many, including bicyclists and pedestrians, both of which have a legal right to do so.
A recent study conducted by People for Bikes cites that 103.7 million (34%) Americans, age three and over, rode a bike at least once in the past year. That percentage equates to roughly 2.2 million Hoosiers who rode a bike at least once in the past year. Every one of these people is someone’s parent, spouse, sibling, child, friend and loved one. And every one of them has the right to arrive at their destination safely.
Bicycle Indiana’s vision is zero bicycle/motor vehicle collisions, and we will continue our work with elected officials and employees at all levels of government to improve our state’s infrastructure and legislation. No one should ever have to endure the pain and sorrow of a loved one not returning home from a bike ride.
Bicycle Indiana is the statewide voice of bicyclists. Since 1995, Bicycle Indiana (Indiana Bicycle Coalition) has led the effort to make Indiana a better for bicycling by protecting the rights and safety of cyclists through education, advocacy, legislation and encouragement. We support biking and walking for health, transportation and recreation. For more information: bicycleindiana.org or visit https://www.facebook.com/events/701791883303878/?active_tab=discussion.