...Don't we all fear this could happen to us?
SHHHH! Or shhhh?
This is a memorial event, no different than Memorial Day 21 gun salute held in the U.S., or a funeral service. Granted, there is usually a parade involved with Memorial Day , but even then there are moments during the parade where people are silent, solemn, out of respect and introspection.
Secondly, The Ride Of Silence is also a protest of sorts. It’s a show of solidarity among ALL cyclists, while also a show of strength, of numbers, of being able to come together showing the general public (motorists, governments – local, state, and national - authorities, and city planners) we are countless, more wide spread than many realize, with the same concern: living. This is an important, dammit!
Though I quietly resent Bill’s comment about a lack of conversation and that it “just kills it for me,” I respect his opinion and in turn, ask him to respect us and not come, not join in the procession, the grief or closure, or the empowerment I hear consistently from people after they’ve ridden.
However, I would argue every great solemn event has within it a moment of awe and introspection. And this is nothing if not solemn. (Reference the sentence toward the top of this page where it begins "First, and foremost,...") Sorry, Bill and others, that we’re not chatting meaningless conversation over clinking champagne glasses, listening to a party band with balloons strung about. For you, there’s Applebee’s to mourn those killed.
Not that “most of the people” Bill talks to who “feel the same” aren’t important, but I’m willing to bet any Ride Of Silence organizer hears more feed back than Bill does. I know I see, hear, and read more feedback than most local organizers. Trust me, Bill, people aren’t attending because we are silent. One look at the increase in the number of locations last year can answer that question.
Finally, about Bill saying we "might want to reconsidering,"…in the words of Winston Churchill getting pounded in London daily by rockets during WWII, “Never, never, never.”
Bottom line, “Sorry you missed the point, Bill. Bye.”
Further discussion needed?
I will not be going to the National Bike Summit to lobby for safer roads, or to enlighten congressmen about The Ride Of Silence, or meet up with other R of S organizers from around the country who will be attending.
After sending out my plea for donations back in the January 3 blog post to attend the National Bike Summit, we received one donation. Fifty dollars was sent by Mike Keel (Bikin’ Mike Keel), and he was alone.
I’ll more than likely contact him and ask to return the donation since it won’t be enough to help us/me out. After all, he has his own financial concerns being a R of S ride organizer, as well as a bike educator and ride director of several of his own rides.
For those going, Tim Potter from Lansing, MI (“as part of my job here at Mich. St. Univ.”), Lois Moss from Portland, OR, and Jody Orlovick of Cleveland, OH, are all attending and would like to meet up with other Ride Of Silence people. Tim is asking “any other organizers going to the Summit to get together while we're there, a mini RoS Organizer Camp.
“National Bike Summit - Ride of Silence Organizer's Gathering:
“If you're planning on attending the National Bike Summit in DC this year, Tim Potter (the Ride of Silence webmaster and board secretary) would like to organize a gathering one of the evenings during the summit. There are at least 3 organizers and one former board member who'll be there that we know of. Please use this Doodle Scheduler to indicate if you'll be there and which evening you'd be able to attend a gathering: http://www.doodle.com/8mevgzcx48dyz49n.”
The hope is that R of S people can meet each other, and maybe meet with a specific Congressman together. There’s strength in numbers.
Also, J. Steve, our Portland, OR organizer said, “I'd like to invite the organizers to the R of S Google group to provide a place to discuss challenges and success stories.” Please take a peak!
And here’s something extra to help spread the word about The Ride Of Silence: a video.
(The video has enclosed captions in case English is NOT your first language.) Thank you for being partners with us.
Keep the rubber side down and stay active!
Ride Of Silence Volunteers Rewarded
As the Vice President of The Ride Of Silence, he created the highest concentration of ride locations anywhere on earth. With over 20 locations in his home state of Michigan last year, Mark made it a mission to not let larger US states forget about the northern “ice box” state.
California and Texas (the home of The Ride Of Silence) only tied with 8. Pennsylvania came in 2nd place with 7 ride sites. (New York and Oregon had 6, while Arizona, Florida, North Carolina, South Carolina, Washington, and Georgia all tied with 5 locations each. As of this writing, there were already 29 US states that have locations, and 92 world wide.)
Realizing his talent for growing the ride, Mark has been shifting his focus to help grow it around the rest of the country and the world.
The second person being recognized for his tireless volunteer work and sacrificing his own time as Volunteer Of The Year is TIM POTTER (pictured far left), the Secretary and Web Master for The Ride Of Silence. A quiet thinker, Tim is many times a voice of reason during discussions within board meetings. He also sets up the technology to allow us to talk by phone from our various locations around the world. Currently he works with BEN VALLIN in Singapore to make our web site technology the best it can be without a budget. Tim is active at the state level with the MLB, works with the Ride Of Silence, and attends the national bike summit in Washington to help convince law makers that there are cyclists out here whose lives matter. Tim heads up the bike shop at the Michigan State Univ campus, is married and has three kids.
Both of these people spend many hours on the phone and internet making the roads safer for you and me, while also honoring those who have been killed by motorists.
I personally congratulate each one for their service and this honor bestowed on them.
Thank you Mark and Tim for being part of us! I look forward to rest of our journey.