Don Poole writes a great report of how the May 20th Goshen Ride of Silence went down, after the jump.
On May 20th, 2009 Goshen, Indiana, hosted its first Ride of Silence on a beautiful sunny evening.
The Ride of Silence, www.rideofsilence.org, is a worldwide event to remember those cyclists who have been killed by motorists. The ride takes place every year on the third Wednesday in May at 7:00 local time. This year there were over 300 rides in nearly every state in the US and in 16 other countries around the world!
The idea for the ride came to light after a Dallas, Texas, rider Chris Phalen wanted to do something to remember a friend who lost his life in 2003 at the hands of a bus driver. After a few emails, nearly 1000 riders showed up.
Recently, as many of you are aware, there have been many cyclists killed in this area; I felt it was time to draw the same kind of attention to those who have lost their life doing what we enjoy. I contacted Mark Hager, who oversees the Michigan rides, and asked what we could do here in Indiana.
The date was set, now we needed to get the city officials involved. This was much more involved that I thought it would be but not insurmountable. After calls to the Mayor of Goshen, the Parks department, the police department, and the board of works, we were set. The flyers were printed, the press was notified, and we were off.
Not knowing what to expect I arrived at Lincoln Avenue Cycle early to set up and wait. First rider showed up at 5:30, then a few more, by 6:20 I felt like we would have enough to have a good ride. As I talked to the participants, I learned of the people they knew or knew about that had been killed and why they were riding.
I talked to one family, Kevin and Lisa Miller, who had recently lost a family member in Colorado but joined our ride to help share his story and to help keep his memory alive. Others added to the list of 13 riders I had listed of those in this area who had lost their lives. By the end of the night, 15 names were on the list. WSBT-22 showed up and did a nice story about the ride and the stories behind the ride. After a short prayer we were off. The riders came from as far away as Warsaw and South Bend and even included a rider from Notre Dame’s cycling team. 32 riders in all pedaled off on a 12-mile loop around Goshen.
It was a good ride but strange in that most group rides have some level of conversational chatter that adds to the atmosphere, whereas this was to be a silent ride out of respect and memory for those lost. Different riders commented on the fact that at some point it hit them that over the last 3 years, a group numbering half of ours has been lost to motorists.
We finished in just over an hour shook hands and agreed that this was a worthwhile ride that we will do again.
God willing we will all be able to.