• Fri May 21 2021
  • Posted May 21, 2021
A rainy day brought a gloomy sky for the 17th annual Ride of Silence in Des Moines Wednesday evening. Riders stayed dry for the majority of the ride with only a few sprinkles at the end. Riders took a new 8 mile route that used a mix of roads and trails throughout the metro.

Last year's event was virtual due to covid. A lot has changed since then and was great to see everyone in person again. One thing that has NOT changed is the number of Iowans being injured or killed while cycling each year.

Distracted and impaired drivers, the number of cyclists on the road AND crash statistics are ALL on the rise and Unfortunately the state laws have still not changed.

The RIDE OF SILENCE is NOT SILENT AT ALL. It is a VERY POWERFUL and VERY EMOTIONAL EVENT. I think we've proven that over the last 16 years with this ride. This event exists to HONOR and pay respect to those who have been injured or killed while cycling on public roadways. It exists to To RAISE AWARENESS to motorists, elected officials, and law enforcement that Cyclists have every legal right to ride on the roadways. It Signifies the importance of staying safe and letting others know that CYCLISTS ARE NOT DISPOSABLE!

#DidYouKnow - 42 states have some sort of “safe distance passing” laws. Wisconsin became the first state to enact such a law in 1973. Eight states have no specific law for passing a bicyclist and even though Iowa is such a bicycle-mecca, Iowa are one of those states WITHOUT a safe passing law.

The Iowa Bicycle Coalition is working on strategies to enact a safe-passing law in Iowa. It is not an easy feat. The topic is never popular with our large rural population, so PLEASE get involved when that time comes to contact your legislators. It takes ALL of us to get their attention and make change. Jared from the IBC is here tonight and has been chatting with folks and he'll be around after the event too.

Tonight there are 194 153 373 ROS world-wide
40 US states, 9 countries, 3 continents, 0 words spoken, and A million powerful memories

Since the last ROS, 27 cyclists have been added to "the list". 12 cyclists were killed and 15 were injured while riding.

Why do we only have 27 on our list? We know there are way more than that! right?!?
Because that is all we have data on. Not every crash makes the news.Not every incident has a police report. Many victim names are not provided for privacy purposes.This list is derived from various news, social media feeds, the Iowa Highway Patrol and folks alerting us of crashes around the state.
We also try to follow-up and find out if the driver was charged, but sometimes it takes months or years or sometimes the information is never posted.

The IDOT lists 300-400 bike/car crashes per year and of those crashes, they are ONLY bicycle crashes with motor vehicles. So Bicycle/Bicycle, Bicycle/Pedestrian, or other types of crashes are not part of the IDOT's data

BIKEIOWA estimates 1000 bike/car crashes per year in Iowa.


These are the cyclists who have been added to the list since the last ROS in 2020. Each name was called out during the event with the crash date and details.

Unidentified Male, Russell (Killed)
James Junkman, Waterloo (Injured)
Spencer Weir, Burlington (Injured)
Unidentified Juvenile, Cedar Falls (Injured)
Unidentified Male, Sioux City (Injured)
Unidentified Female Juvenile, Decorah (Injured)
Ricky Cullum, Fort Dodge (Killed)
Unidentified Juvenile, Waterloo (Injured)
Stephen McDonald, Knoxville (Killed)
Blake Corporon, Cedar Rapids (Killed)
Ellen Bengtson, Charles City (Killed)
Trevor Brunsvold, Mason City (Injured)
Nicole Kulaszewski, Waterloo (Killed)
Thomas Rowland, Solon (Killed)
Mason Gravely, Knoxville (Injured)
Kelly Swanncut, Spencer (Injured)
Desean Hoffman, Estherville (Killed)
Steven Towne, Tiffin (Killed)
June Darlene Judd, Danville (Killed)
unknown male, Davenport (Killed)
unknown male, Protivin (Injured)
Andrew Pavlovec, Coralville (Injured)
Devell Johnson Junior, Davenport (Injured)
unknown male juvenile, Davenport (Injured)
Ann Knupp, Springville (Injured)
Larry Ritland, Cedar Rapids (Injured)
Mark Templeton, Des Moines (Injured)
Ed H., Des Moines (Injured)

Special mentions to four members of the Central Iowa Cycling Community who passed away this year from other causes.
Paul Black
Rick Cheevers
Kyle Platts
Don Reynolds

A full list of 400+ cyclists from previous years can be found at


THANKS to Cory, fellow cyclist at Metro Rental in Clive for donating the PA System.
THANKS to Jared from the Iowa Bicycle Coalition for coming out tonight.
THANKS to those who have volunteered to help with course support along the route tonight.
THANKS to Steve Fuller for being the official event photographer.
THANKS to everyone who attended a Ride of Silence this year.


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