We Need You On The Ride Of Silence This Wednesday

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.

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5 Responses to We Need You On The Ride Of Silence This Wednesday

  1. ydnas May 18, 2010 at 1:58 pm #

    too depressing….

    • David May 18, 2010 at 2:39 pm #

      You know, it really isn’t depressing, it’s life-affirming in a way because we do it to make everyone safer on the roads.

  2. Paul Schimek May 19, 2010 at 9:58 am #

    “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.”

    Really, except for removing or at least warning about trolley tracks, how would better road design and safer motoring have prevented these tragic crashes?

    When will you have a ride that also draws attention to the need for police officers to treat bicyclists equally by stopping them when they violate the traffic law?

    How can we ask that motorists operate more safely without always and at the same time recognizing that many bicyclists operate unsafely — and will continue to do so as long as they are ignored by the traffic enforcement system?

  3. matt May 19, 2010 at 11:04 am #

    Amen, Paul. Just yesterday I was sitting at the B.U. Bridge light on Comm Ave when a helmetless college student blew by me and through the red light.

    When it turned green I started off, only to be passed by a policeman on a bike. I thought, “Great! He’ll give that kid a ticket.” And the officer did catch up to him … but then kept going.

    Sigh.

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