Ride of Silence



January 3, 2011: "HPPY NY :) "

(The title is a play on texting, something we are all trying to live with, especially motorists.)

I stared out the second floor bedroom window of my sister-in-laws house. My wife Janalou was in the bathroom. We were both getting ready for bed, barely hanging on to midnight to see the year in. Since their house sits on a hillside with downtown in the far distance, we could almost watch the fireworks from our bed as we drifted off.

The world was “out there” beyond the window and in the dark. I was looking for sign posts to guide me into the year that was about to start. Other than my own insight, there was none.

I continued to look into the dark. I was trying to find a reason and make sense of the past year, and years that have brought me to this point in space and time. The trails, roads, fields, mountains, and oceans I’ve traveled; the sorrows and joys; the disappointments and victories; the loves and friendships won and lost; the lost opportunity but intuitive luck; the set backs over come by persistence; and the realization of what I needed, instead of what I thought I wanted.

Despite the year it’s been for you, never forget to include the blessings of all the intersections you crossed safely. Don’t forget the good things. Don’t let the clouds block out the sun. May your failures be forgiven, and your hurts healed.

If I asked you what your prized possession was, hopefully you wouldn’t include something material, something that could be burned up in a fire, would rust, or be stolen. I would hope you’d include a memory, maybe of a person you met, fell in love with, and remained in touch with. (If you’re not in contact, call him or her. It might take two calls, so be patient.)

This post is the official kick off of something I wish weren’t necessary. Though The Ride Of Silence has been accepting submissions of ride locations since September, early January is when things seemingly go into “high gear.” This is a ride that I wish didn’t happen. Sad. But there is no one, but us, who holds a memorial for lost cyclists. Yet the number of cyclists killed dictates that such an event of acknowledgement as ours should exist.

Please sign up your ride. Now is the time.

Check here to see if there is a ride near you; if not please consider telling the world you will be riding May 18, 7 pm, by going here to fill out a form which takes only a couple minutes.

This year, I am hoping to be one of the speakers at the National Bike Summit on March 8-10. I want to address the US cycling lobby, as well as speak to as many Congressmen, face to face, as possible. I want to lobby them to: 1) get on a bike; 2) ride with The Ride Of Silence: and 3) show solidarity with us.

This is an opportunity to help this movement forward. This is a chance to for this volunteer organization that hosts a free ride to become a louder voice in the US, where we are drowned out by full time lobbyists with a budget.

Here’s the budget:

The Summit costs $580 per person to attend. But, if we receive permission for our representatives to give a presentation, our cost goes down to $375.

Looking at air travel from Dallas to Wash., DC, we think we can get it a single round trip ticket for $500.

Lodging at the Sofitel (806 15th Street NW, (202) 730-8800, Mention League of American Bicyclists) is $259 per night (three nights) is $777. But, I am hoping to use the “Home Stay” program. (If one of you would like to host us while we're at the Summit, please let me know, so that we don't have to stay with strangers that have no interest in the RoS.)

The TOTAL we are looking for is $875. Can you help? Are you able to assist The Ride Of Silence? We still need help with transportation, both to get us there, and once we get there, to get around. Can you help? If so please send a donation via check to:

The Ride Of Silence – Nat’l Bike Summit
609 Trail View Lane
Garland, TX 75043Or, via PayPal online by going to our Donations page on our website.

Last year I was able to attend the Michigan Bike Summit and it was wonderful to be around such encouraging and supportive people. We drove each other with the common interests of bicycle safety and inclusion into the main stream. It would be a great step for The Ride Of Silence to be among the policy makers to spread the word about this great event.

But we won’t be able to without your help? Please consider us in your giving.

Other Ride of Silence Happenings:

We're excited about an event that a our key organizers in the Chicagoland area (Gary Gilbert and Elizabeth Adamczyk, also on the RoS advisory board) have organized for January 15th.

Gary says, “Each of us have different issues surrounding organizing the Ride of Silence from engaging the community, police, press, cyclists in the planning to actually holding the ride. We can all learn from each other to make the 2011 ride a success.”

It's a Ride of Silence Organizer's Camp which is open to any RoS organizers in the Midwest and may also be web-casted for others around the country and the world to tune in and benefit from the discussions. Gary and Elizabeth hope that participants will share ideas for improving their events, promotion tips and challenges among many other topics.

Contact Gary by Jan. 13th if you're interested in attending in person or if you'd like to receive details for the possible webcast/conference call: gary.bicycles@comcast.net

Thank you. Here’s to 2011. Here’s to you. Stay active.