Wednesday, May 17, 2006
Ride of Silence
I first heard about this ride when I was attending Texas Hell Week in March of 2004. Larry Schwartz a very well known long distance cyclist had been struck and killed by the mirror of a school bus. Larry's fiance and a few friends organized the first Ride of Silence in the Dallas area. Not long after Ken Kiefer and Bob Breedlove were also killed by motorists. These folks had years of experience cycling and were struck down by inattentive motorists. Some say Bob Breedlove crossed the center line - I have heard otherwise most likely we will never know what happened to the RAAM legend.
Last year on a Sunday morning ride one of our own Gail Alef from the Seattle Community was struck down while doing what she loved riding her bicycle with her friends on a quiet road. This hit too close to home, this was on a ride I have attended many times and a road I have ridden on and I knew all the folks she was riding with. I just had not crossed paths with Gail. We attended Gail's Memorial Service and found out more about how special she had been to her family and friends. I was especially spooked to see all the pictures of Gail wearing bicycle jerseys I also own.
I attended the Ride of Silence last year - only 4 riders attended this year it is expected to be much larger due to Gail's death and the organization of Gary Straus and Duane Wright.