The first Ride of Silence (ROS) took place in 2003 in Dallas, TX, after endurance cyclist Larry Schwartz was killed by the mirror of a passing school bus. Out of that tragedy grew an annual international event where cyclists worldwide participate in a silent slow-paced ride in honor of those who have been injured or killed while cycling on public roadways.
We have been holding a Ride of Silence event in my community since the death of our friend Fess Green 9 years ago, and I’ve written about it twice. The posts here and here offer more history and photos about the ROS.
Cyclists take to the road at 7pm their local time, and this year there were 416 Registered Events, from all 50 states, all 7 continents, and 38 countries. The Ride of Silence – NRV is one small part of that massive international ride. It’s incredible to know that thousands of people the world over, are riding at the same time, for the same cause.
Our small locality has had as many as 100 cyclists, of all ages, turn out to ride. This year the cold temperatures and drizzling rain kept some folks at home. The 35-40 riders who showed up despite the weather were safely escorted through the ride route by officers from the Radford City Police Department. We are fortunate to have the support of the local government and police department year after year.
We ride in silence, at a slow, reflective pace and whether on bright, sunny evenings, or when it is chilly and damp, it truly is a powerful experience.
I’m thankful to have a passionate group of people on the planning committee who believe in the mission of this organization, and work together every year to make the event happen.
The Ride of Silence organization exists:
To HONOR those who have been injured or killed
To RAISE AWARENESS that we are here
To ask that we all SHARE THE ROAD