Hundreds of cyclists will ride in solidarity Saturday as Heather Caron leads them on a ride that remembers cyclists hurt or killed in the Waterloo Region.
The ride, called Together We Travel - Ride With Angels, started in 2012 just one week after Caron’s husband Barrie Conrod was struck and killed while cycling on a road in Wellesley Township.
Still in a state of shock, Caron lead that event alongside a group a close friends, with over 500 cyclists behind her.
"I didn’t have any idea what the magnitude of that ride would be," Caron told The Morning Edition, on Friday.
Caron said their goal is to raise awareness of cycling safety for riders and motorists; for example participants must wear helmets.
In particular, Caron wants drivers in the region to recognize how vulnerable cyclists are on the road.
Caron hopes to turn tragedy into lasting legacy
Caron, an avid cyclist prior to the fatal crash, said she struggled to get back on the bike. A recent close call with a honking motorist who sped past her didn’t help. But she isn’t giving up.
"Barrie and I just loved to cycle," Caron said.
"You get out in the fresh air and the green and the sea of blue sky and it’s just an amazing experience … I really didn’t want to lose that."
Organizers said they hope around 1,000 riders will come out for Saturday’s event, which is an easy 3-kilometre loop around Waterloo with a police presence to protecting cyclists from cars.
For Caron, the ride is about turning Conrod’s death, which she calls "the worst experience of my life," into something positive and lasting for the region’s cyclists.
Together We Travel, Ride With Angels is a free ride. Registration begins at 4:30 p.m. at the CIGI parking lot, at Caroline and Erb Streets, and the ride gets rolling at 5:30. Cyclists are asked to dress in white.