Heading out with a small group on the 2009 Ride of Silence
As I mentioned, Wednesday was the 2009 Ride of Silence. Having been impressed by last year’s numbers and the diversity of participants, I was really looking forward to paying my respects by riding with an even larger group this year.
Upon arriving at Gas Works Park, it was quickly apparent that I was a bit optimistic. In fact, riders were so sparse, my first thought was that I missed the roll out and had showed up at a Cascade evening group ride. Last year’s rider count was in the mid-hundreds (Wednesday’s ride leader mentioned “600” in past years), this year I counted 43 or 44 riders TOTAL.
I’m just going to come right out and say I’m really disappointed by Seattle cyclists. While other cities had growing numbers of riders, Seattle fell flat (Portland drew about 75 for their 2009 ride). Continue reading
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.
A quick reminder (thanks Janet!) that today is the annual Ride of Silence, Seattle edition. The purpose of the ride is to honor cyclists who have been killed or injured while riding on public roads. So far, 285 rides in 17 countries are planned.
Seattle participants should meet at Gas Works Park (by 6:10 pm) to conduct a silent, easy-paced ride through downtown, the U-district, Fremont and other areas. Black (for riders killed) and red (for those injured) armbands are recommended. More rides are planned around the state. For full details, visit the Ride of Silence or Bicycle Alliance site. If you aren’t in Seattle, check the schedule for your nearest ride.
I plan to make at least part of the ride, assuming I can escape the office. Frankly, I’d much rather scramble to make time for the ride than explain white bikes to my children!
Curious about the ride? Check out this short PSA video: