MassBike will lead the Boston-area Ride of Silence on Wednesday, May 19, 2010, one of hundreds of such rides taking place worldwide in memory of bicyclists killed or injured while riding on public roads. The ride occurs during Bay State Bike Week, the statewide celebration of bicycling. We’ve seen lots of you riding this week, and we urge as many of you as possible to attend this important ride tomorrow evening. We need to send a strong message to the public that bicyclist safety on the roads is an important issue that affects many people. Let us know if you plan to attend by RSVPing to Shane@massbike.org.
Steady rain cancels, we will post an update on this site on Wednesday if we need to cancel.
The idea of the Ride of Silence is to draw attention to the human toll caused by roads that are poorly designed for bicycling and by motorists who fail to drive safely around bicyclists. The need for the ride, and the need for more attention to bicyclist safety is clear – just look at the recent toll with three bicyclists hit in Boston last month (one of them fatally) and one killed in Newton just yesterday.
The ride will depart Seven Hills Park behind the Davis Square MBTA Station in Somerville at 7pm, then make its way through Cambridge to Boston where it will conclude at the Charles Street entrance to the Boston Common. The six-mile ride will take place in total silence, at a slow pace, with only signs worn by the riders to explain the purpose of the ride. The route intentionally takes busy streets in order to draw the greatest amount of attention, though the riders take care to follow the law and minimize interference with motor vehicle traffic. The ride will conclude with brief remarks at Boston Common.
In addition to the Boston-area ride, there are rides in Leominster, Martha’s Vineyard, and Worcester. Check our calendar or the Ride of Silence website for details.
This year, the Ride of Silence goes hand in hand with several MassBike campaigns. The And I Ride campaign is an ongoing series of personal stories and photographs that put a human face on bicyclists. The Same Roads, Same Rules campaign educates bicyclists and motorists about how to interact safely on the road. Finally, MassBike intends to introduce a bill in the Legislature next year that will toughen penalties and make prosecution easier for motorists who kill or injure bicyclists or other Vulnerable Road Users.
I have been leading our local Ride of Silence for several years, and the power of simply riding a bike in silence with my own thoughts, yet still with a large group, always moves me, so please consider joining me or one of the other Rides of Silence tomorrow night.