On Your Left

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Arlington Heights Ride of Silence

  Ride of Silence 2010

 Before the ride I spoke to the riders.  These words are the result of many discussions and suggestions and editing by Tim Potter (Ride of Silence Website Manager),  Elizabeth Adamczyk (Chicago Ride of Silence Coordinator), Mark Hager (Michigan Ride of Silence Coordinator), and Chris Phelan for without his inspiration none of this would be.

Please sign in so we know how many riders we have. I report our numbers to the Ride of Silence world wide team who promote the ride globally.  Please pick up an armband.  These are made from  recycled innertubes and are reused from year to year.  (note provided by Working Bikes Cooperative, hand made by Alan Lloyd)

This is a slow paced ride, not a race.   There are lots of intersections so be prepared to slow down and stop.  As the group will stretch out, we will stop occasionally to come back together.    After we’re through talking, please line up side by side, with a bicycle length in front and behind each bicycle.  Arlington Heights Bike Club members are spread throughout the procession to assist us.  If you have a problem with your bike and have to stop, I ask that someone please assist.  While this is a 10 mile ride, we’re never more than a couple of miles from the park at any point in the ride.

 This isn’t a race; think of it as a funeral procession, so the pace is a lot slower for a good cause.

 This ride is unique – a grass roots movement with universal appeal –  there are over 300 events in all 50 states; 25 countries covering 7 continents.  In fact, I’ve already heard the first report — from Hong Kong where 380 riders rode in the rain.   It first started in 2003 in Dallas, TX, as a result of a friend wanting to honor and remember a fellow cyclist who’d been hit and killed by the mirror of a bus passing too close. First ridden in Arlington Heights in 2005 after Barb Barr heard about the ride in Dallas and told me we should do this.  In Chicago the riders are passing the sites where many of the Ghost Bikes are installed.  In Joliet riders are honoring Sara Jo Briese’s mother who was killed by a driver while leading a Joliet Bicycle Club ride.

 Ride of Silence  people say Let the Silence Roar — Silence is a powerful message. 

 We honor those who have died or been injured while riding.  Unfortunately such events happen daily if not more.  Since May 1 in Des Moines IA, Ottawa Canada, Newton MA, Sioux City IA, Burnsville MN, Quebec, Arlington Heights, West Hartford CT, Stuart FL, Tempe AZ, Ocean City NJ, Fayetteville TN, Belleville IL, Flint MI, Bellefonte PA, Ford City IL, Chicago IL, Tampa FL, Los Lunas NM,  El Reno OK, Chicago IL, Warner Robbin GA, Kenosha WI, Visalia CA, Bollingbrook IL, Naperville IL, Renfrewshire UK….

 I thank every individual who participates tonight for their own personal reasons. The ride appeals to me personally in the non-violent  spirit of Mahatma Gandhi and Martin Luther King. 

I invite each and every one of you to return next year on the 3rd Wednesday evening in May.

I thank the Mayor of Arlington Heights Arlene Mulder and Governor Quinn of Illinois for their proclamations that today is  Ride of Silence  Day.  We are fortunate to live in a town that supports bicyclists. I thank the Arlington Heights Police Department and Officer Bob Hess for their support of tonight’s activities.  Finally I thank Jeremy Whetstone  who will be joining us with they playing of Taps when we return to the park.

We assert our rights to use the roads; respect our obligation to follow the vehicle code; and ride aware of our surroundings.  We are saddened by the loss of life; the impact on the families of the victims and everyone involved; but celebrate the lives of the victims as they motivate us to be noticed.

Photos from the ride. 

102 riders signed in and our best guess is that there were an additional 20 or more riders.

(I’m trying a different Wordpress Photo Album plugin for this blog post compared to previous posts, click on an image to see it larger)

Larry Arends sent me these photos after the ride

Photos from the Chicago Ride of Silence

Chicago RoS

Photos from Lauren Williams

Dottie has a nice post about the Ride in Chicago.

Photos from Paula Matzak

Daily Herald article 5/28/2010.

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3 Responses to “Arlington Heights Ride of Silence”

  1. Debbie Watson says:

    Gary – Great job of organizing and leading the ride!

  2. Dottie says:

    Thank you for sharing the story of the Arlington Heights Ride of Silence.

  3. Bob Skwarek says:

    The ride gets bigger, more touching and more amazing every year. 2010 was mind-blowing when the boy/cub scout was playing “Taps” on his horn when we arrived back at our destination. Very touching. My pix are on the official Facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?pid=13533395&id=33924790161.
    I continue to ride in memory of Dr. Adam Raymond who was killed while bicycling down in Texas in 2007. We will never forget you brother!

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Posted on: Thursday, May 20th, 2010 at 10:00 am

Posted in: bicycle