(I have a ton of things to get done. I bet I’m two weeks behind on everything. But The Ride Of Silence rolls on. It’s coming whether I’m ready or not.)
As of today, there are 163 Ride Of Silence locations in the world, with only 10 U.S. states not reporting a site (Utah, Idaho, Montana, North Dakota, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Vermont, New Hampshire, Mississippi, and Arkansas). That’s good. …so far.
Yes, I’m happy about the locations so far. But, my psyche pulls at me. “Why are there 10 states that do NOT have rides?” Alaska I could understand. But even they are in. (Thank you Alaska!) But these 10 are part of the “Lower Forty-Eight?” Why?
I am struck year after year why our ride is so strong in some places and not in others. Austin, Texas, four hours away in the state where the ride started, the home of Lance Armstrong, biking Mecca for many, struggles every year. There have been years when there was NOT a Ride Of Silence there, while last year there were 300 other sites that were successful. Go figure. I shake my head.
Tami, this year’s organizer tells me, “We have done a Ride of Silence in Austin in the past, but with not a huge turnout – I am told. A few of us are trying to get the message out this year for a great turnout. A couple of my friends met this weekend and were up met with some road blocks.” Why? Road blocks? Really! The doors should fly open for the city to host the ride. FLY OPEN. Geez. I don’t get it.
This year Louisville, Kentucky is throwing in the towel. The organizer says the local cycling community doesn’t support the ride, doesn’t come out for the ride. I am shocked. Why? How can it NOT?
What we ride for affects all of us. You can NOT come up with a demographic the bumper of a motorist doesn’t avoid. The bumper doesn’t care who you ride for, or what’s on your jersey. Blood and life seeps through them equally. Your bike jersey will hold a dead body as well as a live one, and in most cases without you having a choice.
Upset? How can you look at The Ride Of Silence Memorial Page and NOT be. Did you read the Bicycling Magazine article on the damage being done on the roads? It was one of the most profound bike articles I have ever read. It was stupefying in its list of those hit, and killed, where the motorist walked. How can one NOT be upset when someone passes up the chance to light a candle, to assemble peacefully, and stand in silent defiance? How can someone be that callous, preoccupied, or worse, ignorant? NOT.
Some days, it just doesn’t matter how busy you are. You just can NOT say, “NOT.”
Buttons of Hope
Started in 2003 to honor and remember Larry Schwartz (above) who was killed while cycling on May 4 2003, the Ride of Silence (learn more here) has grown to over 300 sites worldwide and has become the preeminent testament to cycling awareness and safety.
Michael Gibbons is a Ride of Silence organizer [Charlotte NC] and founder of Buttons of Hope. He is proud to partner with the Ride of Silence to provide custom photo buttons to wear in honor of fellow cyclists.
You can upload a digital photo and add your custom text on the Buttons of Hope website [it can be ordered by clicking here]. There are NO minimums (you can make and order a single button) and 20% of all proceeds are donated to the Ride of Silence to advance their mission! (We can also post a button image in the Ride of Silence gallery alongside Larry's so other people can order the button). Orders by regular delivery must be placed by May 12! (FedEx available at cost) Questions?? Please email or phone Michael below.
We are honored to be working with The Ride of Silence to help put a face on this cause ~ let the photo buttons speak as together we LET THE SILENCE ROAR!
Please feel free to forward this information to area bike clubs and individuals interested in Ride of Silence.
Phone: 704.341.1954PO BOX 470246 • Charlotte NC 28247
Buttons of Hope [email@example.com]
Link to French Logo – The Start of Inclusion
Thanks to Alain Couët of Quebec, Canada, who started getting us to ask about our/your logo for The Ride Of Silence, we are now sporting the logo in different languages.
Personally, I think the time has come.
Last year The Ride was on every continent in our world. EVERY CONTINENT!! Unbelievable, given our meager beginnings. This has become an event that refuses to be contained.
That’s a good thing. The more people on our street, in our neighborhood, city, state, country, and world that hear and know about this one-time year, only event of its kind, the safer we, others, and even motorists will be.
Here’s to different languages.
Here's a link to it: