The highlight of this week’s rides (Days 20 – 25 of National Bike Month) was our Wednesday, May 21st Ride of Silence. The Ride of Silence is an international event where cyclists “take to the roads in a silent procession to honor cyclists who have been killed or injured while cycling on public roadways.” With several recent deaths and injuries to riders in our local area, this year’s ride took on a special significance.
We joined about 200 other cyclists in Fort Myers, starting with a group reading of the Ride of Silence Poem:
The Ride of Silence…
Tonight we number many but ride as one
In honor of those not with us, friends, mothers, fathers, sisters, sons
With helmets on tight and heads down low,
We ride in silence, cautious and slow
The wheels start spinning in the lead pack
But tonight we ride and no one attacks
The dark sunglasses cover our tears
Remembering those we held so dear
Tonight’s ride is to make others aware
The road is there for all to share
To those not with us or by our side,
May God be your partner on your final ride
Then all 200 of us rode an 8-mile route through downtown, down one of the busiest roads in the area – US 41, and along McGregor Blvd back to Centennial Park. It was a very somber ride, yet meditative and relaxing. This long procession of silent riders was moving. The News-Press captured the event in photos.
Without talking, but using hand signals, riders communicated road hazards, turns, and even a pull-over stop for a passing ambulance. The quiet ride gave us the opportunity to reflect and be grateful, and to unify riders of all levels and interests to promote road safety and awareness to drivers.
Other rides this week included, sunset neighborhood rides, a nice long morning road ride, a test-ride of a newly refurbished Phoenix ReCyclery bike, and a 23-mile new (to us) bike path/lane ride in Cape Coral.
One more week of National Bike Month to go…and we intend to end it with a big event!