Cycling advocates are encouraged to wear black this Friday in an event called to mark the death of a Kelowna bike rider.

Dozens of people have indicated on a Facebook page that they’ll participate in a so-called “Critical Mass” bicycle rally, to begin at The Sails at 6 p.m.

“Wear mourners’ black. But dress for the heat,” organizer Michael V. Smith, an assistant professor at UBC Okanagan, writes on the Facebook page.

Participants will cycle as a group around Kelowna streets, including a stretch of Bernard Avenue where cyclist Patricia Keenan was fatally injured on July 14. She was hit when someone opened the driver’s side of a parked car.

Despite wearing a helmet, Keenan suffered serious head injuries. She died in hospital two days later.

Critical Mass bike rides are staged to call attention to what cycling advocates say is the need for municipalities to improve infrastructure for bicyclists.

Smith says conditions for cyclists in Kelowna have improved in recent years, but he also says

police should be more willing to charge drivers who hit and injure cyclists, park in bike lanes, and “throw things from their window” at cyclists.

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