The Seattle 2009 Ride of Silence quietly rolls out from Gas Works Park at 6:30 this evening. The ride, if you aren’t familiar, is an international event intended to honor those killed or injured cycling on roadways.
I participated last year and was marked by the ride. It’s a rather eery experience when a few hundred normally chattery cyclists string out along the road for a completely silent, solemn parade. Other than the whir of tires, ratcheting of freehubs, or squeals of wet, longbike disc brakes (sorry about that), it really is a ride of silence.
Interested? Plan on a slow-paced, 12-mile tour of Seattle. You’ll see entire race teams in full kits, hipsters on fixies, city folk on city bikes, handcycles, and maybe even some Xtracycles (two last year!). Assuming you can ride safely in traffic, you’re encouraged to join with however you want to pedal.
The ride is timed to start late enough that motorists see us sharing the streets, but not so close to rush hour that the ride becomes a Critical Mass-style traffic hindrance. The mood is serious, contemplative, civic, and positive. Quietly.
I hope to see you there.
update: Your city probably has a ride tonight, too. Find it <a hrefhttp://www.rideofsilence.org/main.php”>here</a> and then let us know how it went.
More Images and video from last year in the Car Free Days Ride of Silence flickr set.