Doylestown and CBBC co-sponsor Seventh Annual Ride of Silence
Cyclists of all ages and skill levels will begin gathering at Central Bucks West High School student parking lot as early as 6pm on May 20th for Doylestown’s 7th Annual Ride of Silence at 7pm. The ride honors cyclists who were injured or killed in bike/car accidents. We are part of a wave set starting in New Zealand and continuing through time zones all around the globe. Our local event is co-sponsored by the Central Bucks Bicycle Club and Doylestown Borough. Please join your fellow cyclists to send this important and powerful message.
Last year, 12,434 cyclists took part in 372 locations on all seven continents (including Antarctica). Although cyclists have a legal right to share the road with motorists, most are not aware of these rights nor are the cyclists themselves. The Ride also aims to raise this awareness by motorists, cyclists, the public, police and elected officials that, legally, we must SHARE the ROAD.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Acting Deputy Administrator Ron Medford said, "The most important thing bicyclists and motorists need to remember is that they both share the road equally." Since 1932, more than 50,000 cyclists have been killed in traffic accidents in the U.S. It has been estimated that 40 percent die in accidents caused by motorists who didn't pass safely, but that number has decreased by 26 percent in the past decade. We’ll review the new PA law about cars passing vehicles.
The event began when Chris Phelan hosted a ride to honor a fallen buddy, Larry Schwartz, who was struck and killed by the mirror of a passing school bus while cycling outside of Dallas on May 6, 2003. The news media picked up the story and it began to spread. It even extended into the pro ranks as riders in the famed European bike race, Tour d’Giro, now wear “Ride of Silence” armbands to show solidarity with the rest of the world.
As sobering as these statistics are, it’s a small number compared to the estimated 300,000 premature deaths estimated to result from overweight and obesity-related illnesses. According to the League of American Cyclists: “Bicycling is part of the solution to many of our nation's problems: the obesity epidemic, traffic congestion, air pollution and more. Some 64% of adults and over 15% of kids are overweight today, resulting in 300,000 premature deaths and a cost to society of $117 billion a year. Over 22% of all motor vehicle trips Americans take are less than one mile long, and 50% of the working population commutes five miles or less to work, an easily bikeable distance. If the average person biked to work or shopping once every two weeks instead of driving, we could prevent the pollution of close to one billion gallons of gasoline from entering the atmosphere every year.” Done more often, it would be a boost to the US becoming energy independent.
Our 2009 inaugural Doylestown with 204 cyclists topped all venues in the Northeast, including Bike-friendly Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, New York and Boston. Our ride continues to be one of the top-attended rides with more than 100 riders each year. Let’s keep it so. Please save the date.
Central Bucks police, Central Bucks Ambulance & Rescue vehicles, and our Fire Department lead us out of the CB West HS parking lot and guide us through the borough. There are no stops as police stationed at intersections stop traffic and waive us through. In past years, as we pedaled the flat six mile route, folks stopped what they were doing to acknowledge, wave, clap, smile, and cheer us. Through it all, we remained amazingly silent. Riders of all levels are encouraged to join this silent, slow-paced ride. There will be remarks and safety tips preceding the ride, and riders may don armbands (provided) to remember those who have passed. Helmets are mandatory.
It takes a village so please contact Don at firstname.lastname@example.org if you’re able to help with the ride or if you have any questions. We need volunteers to direct parking, hand out armbands, and get waivers signed by all the riders.