Ride of Silence 2010

Ride of Silence 2010

Written by The Amateur

Topics: Event Reviews

Ride of Silence LogoRide of Silence 2010

Having been a two to three ride per week cyclist for quite a while now, there’s one feeling I haven’t shaken.  The feeling in my stomach and the quick surge of anxiety when I hear the wheel roar of a car behind me, as the call “car back!!” comes cascading up the pace line.  I’ve gotten fairly adept at gauging said drivers mood and/or urgency level just by the sound behind me.  The therapeutic sound of engine downshift as a car slows to safely pass, allowing at least 3 feet of buffer zone between me and their vehicle, its music to my ears.  Then there’s the sound of an engine revving impatiently or, just as disconcerting, the steady sound of acceleration as the approaching vehicle has no plans of letting a few guys in tight clothes make him another 30 seconds late to get his/her latte.  Just last week I was driving behind a minivan who waited patiently for a good 10 minutes through 3 light changes to turn at a ridiculously short left turn arrow, then actually sped up, barely moving over a foot and a half to pass a road cyclist considerately hugging the right edge of the pavement.  As I passed, I recognized the cyclists all too familiar facial expression of relief, quickly turning to anger.

Knowing that for every dangerous driver like the above-mentioned minivan, there are 100 careful, respectful drivers, the harsh reality is that cyclists vs automobile accidents happen all the time.  Evidenced by Arlington Hts. IL Ride of Silence organizer, Gary Gilbert’s On Your Left Blog Post.  He’s compiled a list of Recent Bicycle Related Accidents since May 1st, 2010.  The vast majority of the incidents are motorized vehicle vs bike accidents causing major injury to the cyclist.  Another depressing theme is the infrequency that the motorist stops after the accident, felony Hit-and-Run.

Today, May 19th, 2010, is the Worldwide Ride of Silence.  There are rides in all 50 states, over 300 registered rides worldwide.  Riders participate in a silent procession in remembrance and to raise awareness of those killed and injured in Bicycling Accidents.

There are 4 Chicagoland Rides of Silence:


Distance -- 12 mi

Where – The Eternal Flame in Daley Plaza at Washington and Dearborn

When – May 19th, 2010.  Cyclist should gather at 6:30, ride departs at 7pm.

Notes – “The 12-mile route is set to pass the sites of several Ghost Bikes, which are powerful memorials to fallen cyclists created by painting a bicycle white and placing it at or near the site of the cyclist’s death. The Ride will end at the Ghost Bike at the intersection of Damen and Wellington.”

Arlington Heights

Distance -- 10 mi

Where – Recreation Park, 500 E Miner St, Arlington Heights.

When – May 19th, 2010.  Cyclist should gather at least 20 minutes before ride start, ride departs at 7pm.

Notes – “The Arlington Heights Bicycle Club and the Arlington Heights Bicycle Commission are pleased to sponsor the Ride of Silence. All cyclists are encouraged to join us.”


Distance – 10 -- 12 mi

Where – Chandler-Newberger Community Center, 1028 Central Street, Evanston, IL 60201

When – May 19th, 2010.  Cyclist should gather at least 20 minutes before ride start, ride departs at 7pm.

Notes – “EBC (Evanston Bike Club) will be participating in the 2010 Ride of Silence. The purpose of this ride is to raise awareness for road safety and to serve as a memorial to riders who have been injured or killed on the roads. We will ride in silence (other than the usual safety calls such as “car up” etc) for about 10-12 miles or about one hour. This ride will proceed at a slow pace and will loop back toward Evanston or Skokie where we will then open our mouths and discuss the ride over dinner.”


Distance -- 9 mi

Where – Memorial Stadium, 3000 W. Jefferson Street (Rt. 52)

When – May 19th, 2010.  Cyclist should gather by at least 6:45pm, ride departs at 7pm.

Notes – “In Memory of Jan Briese, killed on May 26, 2005, while leading her Thursday morning Joliet Bicycle Club ride as she had for more than 12 years.“

Additional Resources:

Ride of Silence Chicago 2010 Site

Ride of Silence Main Site

Gary Gilbert’s On Your Left Blog

Illinois DMVs Bicycle Rules of The Road (PDF File)

Added bonus “1000 Ghost Bikes” at Lillstreet Art Center in Chicago

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