You are special people, for you have taken on the leadership of organizing a memorial ride in your area, like no other. Before The Ride of Silence, there was no single event that united the world like this free event run by volunteers. Isn’t it amazing what passion can do? I praise you and thank you for that passion! “Thank you!”
I want to let you know about a couple of things to help you get the word out to your local cyclists and media, and then wish good weather for everyone.
One, is the NEW Craigslist posting you can put up using the following as a template. This is only an example due to the location mentioned:
Second, there is NEW Public Service Announcement (PSA) for this year on the front page of the web site and at youtube.com. The new feature this year is it has a closed caption button (bottom right corner) that can access 30 languages. This will be very helpful to the rest of the world.
Please do NOT submit your post ride reports to the web master. A NEW self-serve web form will be up for you to enter your information there. After you’ve reported your numbers, this could be the most accurate total we’ve ever had. Every ride counts, as does every rider. Isolated rides of two’s or three’s are welcome and encouraged. Among other things, one day I hope The Ride Of Silence will take place in EVERY town. With your help, it will. Today is a fine place to start with that fantasy.
The ride is set for you to be autonomous, meaning you have a lot of control over your ride. We have very few rules so that we all send the same message (free, less than 12 MPH/20KPH, 8-12 miles, May 20, 7 pm, black arm bands to show solidarity, red arm bands to show you’ve been hit, and silence). After that, many sites use a variety of things to “get the word out,” such as: the use of a hearse, the use of a coffin, stopping at Ghost Bike memorials, bag pipes playing Amazing Grace, bugle playing Taps, the reading of those that have been killed, the reading of the R of S poem, and so on. Do what you want to do to make the ride personal to YOU and your area, within good taste and common sense.
A quick look shows were at 262 rides, in 16 countries, with more locations to be put up. I’ve said this many times, but, I am truly amazed at its growth. I never imagined it and nor did anyone else back in 2003. I will continue to say this because it should humble all of us where we started and where this ride is today.
You will be reaching people who have never heard of this message, or seen this ride before. You will be the first to impress them. I have personally gotten several emails from new people. But, also, statistically speaking, chances are you will be riding with some one who won’t be here next year. It will be their last time to hear this message because they will be killed by a motorist. Ride like you’ve never ridden before. This could be your last time.
Thank you, each and every one of you, sincerely, from the bottom of my heart. 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. Thank you.
Tail winds and sunny skies!
Chris Phelan, Founder
The Ride Of Silence
Wednesday, May 20, 2009, 7 PM
One day. One time. World Wide.
Let the silence roar.
Larry Schwartz, whose death inspired the first Ride Of Silence in 2003, and stands now representing all those who have also been killed by a motorist.
THE SOUND OF SILENCE
Hello darkness, my old friend
I’ve come to talk with you again
Because a vision softly creeping
Left it’s seeds while I was sleeping
And the vision that was planted in my brain
Within the sound of silence.
In restless dreams I walked alone
Narrow streets of cobblestone,
’neath the halo of a street lamp,
I turned my collar to the cold and damp
When my eyes were stabbed by the flash of a neon light
That split the night
And touched the sound of silence.
And in the naked light I saw
Ten thousand people, maybe more.
People talking without speaking,
People hearing without listening,
People writing songs that voices never share
And no one dare
Disturb the sound of silence.
"Fools" said I, "you do not know
Silence like a cancer grows.
Hear my words that I might teach you,
Take my arms that I might reach you."
But my words like silent raindrops fell,
In the wells of silence
And the people bowed and prayed
To the neon God they made.
And the sign flashed out it’s warning,
In the words that it was forming.
And the sign said, "The words of the prophets
Are written on the subway walls
And tenement halls."
And whisper’d in the sounds of silence.