THE RIDE OF SILENCE WILL NOT BE QUIET
I encourage all members of the cycling community to participate in your local Ride of Silence tonight. If you’re not in Chicago, check to see whether your city has its own ride and if not, organize your own. We ride at 7 p.m. in solidarity. www.rideofsilence.org
The Ride of Silence is a free ride that informs motorists, police and city officials about cyclists’ legal right to share the roadways. It is also a chance to honor those who have been killed or injured while bicycling on public roadways. It is a free, slow-paced, silent ride of about 10 miles. The annual Ride of Silence occurs worldwide on Wednesday, May 20, 2009, at 7 p.m. local time.
Whether you are a recreational cyclist, bike messenger, bicycle commuter, mountain biker, professional cyclist, or a parent riding around the neighborhood with your kids, you share an experience with millions of people on this planet. Unfortunately in the US alone, nearly 700 cyclists die each year in traffic accidents with an additional 44,000 injuries.
In 2003, Chris Phelan organized the first Ride of Silence in Dallas after endurance cyclist Larry Schwartz was hit by the mirror of a passing bus and was killed. The ride is unique, as a free event organized totally by volunteers. Ride like you’ve never ridden before, for those who cannot be here. The greatness of this ride is made up by individuals, choosing to be together in peaceful and silent assembly on the same day, at the same time.
International Ride of Silence organizers expect at least 277 separate rides in 17 countries with more than 22,000 cyclists participating.
Organizers request that participants wear black arm bands to show solidarity with victims and their loved ones, or red arm bands to signify a personal injury from a bike/motor vehicle accident. All participating cyclists are asked to wear a helmet.
Here in the Chicago metropolitan area alone we have rides in five locations (www.rideofsilence.org/chicago):
Arlington Heights – Recreation Park
Chicago – Daley Plaza
Downers Grove – McCollum Park
Evanston – Chandler Center
Joliet – Joliet Memorial Stadium
Be safe out there and let the silence ROAR tonight.