(Times Free Press) -- They've been run off the road, clipped by passing cars and flipped onto windshields. They've met the pavement too many times to count, earning scraped skin and torn ligaments and shattered wrists. They've lost friends, friends of friends, and fathers.

A group of local cyclists gathered in a Finley Stadium parking lot on Wednesday evening before the 14-mile Ride of Silence, a ride that is about bicycle safety and little else.

Before the ride, most of the cyclists chatted with each other, some catching up with fellow riders, others sharing stories about the damage endured on the road. Some have been lucky. Others are now too scared to bike alone.

But when the ride began Wednesday, the whole group -- all 55 cyclists -- stopped talking. Silent and slow, they rode.

Read more from our news partners at the Chattanooga Times Free Press.