By Bob Mionske
This year marks the 17th anniversary of the Ride of Silence, which honors cyclists who have been killed by a motor vehicle collision. In 2003, Chris Phelan organized the first Ride of Silence in Dallas, Texas after Larry Schwartz was killed by a bus while riding. Larry’s death was horribly tragic for the Dallas cycling community. Over 1,000 cyclists gathered to commemorate his life as they rode in silence.
Since then, the Ride of Silence has spread across the world in order to honor cyclists, raise awareness for the rights of cyclists, and increase road safety. Cyclists have organized the Ride of Silence in 22 countries worldwide, and rides have been held in nearly every state in the union since 2003. This year, a total of 285 rides will be held on Wednesday, May 15th at 7:00 PM or Saturday, May 18th at 10:00 AM (southern hemisphere).
Oregon will host rides in Bend, Corvallis, Eugene, and Medford. Information about those rides can be found at the Ride of Silence website.
With that being said, I want to share the Ride of Silence poem by Mark Murgas:
Tonight we number many but ride as one
In honor of those not with us, friends, mothers, fathers, sisters, sons
With helmets on tight and heads down low,
We ride in silence, cautious and slow
The wheels start spinning in the lead pack
But tonight we ride and no one attacks
The dark sunglasses cover our tears
Remembering those we held so dear
Tonight’s ride is to make others aware
The road is there for all to share
To those not with use or by our side,
May god be your partner on your final ride.