The Ride of Silence honors fallen cyclists.
Cyclists' Video Evidence
Rides of Silence will take place at hundreds of locations around the world on Wednesday, May 15th 2019 (always the 3rd Wednesday of May) at 7:00 pm (local time)
The Austin, Texas Ride of Silence and www.CyclistVideoEvidence.com have created an innovative model that can be copied by all other Rides of Silence. The ride organizer, John Koonz, has shared all of his planning recommendations and promotional materials for you to copy and modify below.
There are a lot of things we need to do to make our roads safe for vulnerable road users. And everyone who walks, or scoots, or cycles, or rolls in a wheelchair, can find something to do to make a difference. For some it may be as simple as filling out an online 311 service request about a missing wheelchair ramp or a traffic signal that isn’t triggered by a cyclist. For others it may be getting involved with local cycling advocacy groups. If you have a safety/action camera, you can upload near miss incidents into the Cyclist Video Evidence incident management system, but you already know that!
Another thing you can do is to sponsor a Ride of Silence if there is not one in your area already. If there is, then consider getting involved in that ride. Contact the ride leader and volunteer to help. Let the ride leader know about Cyclist Video Evidence. We can reach cyclists who are very aware of how dangerous our roads can be. The organizers of Ride of Silence and Cyclist Video Evidence agreed to putting both logos and information on event fliers and announcements.
For the last two years I have been sponsoring a Ride of Silence in North Austin. My ride takes place in the poorly-connected subdivided suburban wasteland where, compared to downtown Austin, very few people use bikes for transportation. But that makes my ride stand out! We get a lot of attention from passers-by who are surprised to see so many cyclists in one place at one time. I have learned a few things along the way - some of them the hard way. Every situation is different, but here are my thoughts on what makes for a successful ride in this particular environment. If you take on a Ride of Silence, adapt as needed.
- Map out a ride. Choose roads that people who are not strong and confident cyclists will feel safe riding. The recommended distance is 8-12 miles, but really it is best keep it to 8 miles.
- Consider starting and ending where there is a place to have a post-ride social gathering. This provides an opportunity to build local cycling community and to organize to make the area safer.
- Include Hard Stops at key points such as before and after intersections and on top of hills. Here, the group stops to make sure everyone is together. Choose a route where these Hard Stops can be done without interfering with the normal flow of traffic.
- Register your ride on the Ride of Silence website and follow all of their procedures. Take some time to familiarize yourself with what the ride is all about.
- Advertise your ride by posting on social media, putting up fliers in bike shops, libraries, and gyms/recreation centers. I have even taped fliers onto bike racks at local stores. Contact local media outlets about posting information about your ride. Be sure to include information about both Cyclist Video Evidence AND Ride of Silence. My flier has all of the necessary information.
- Try to get local law enforcement involved. If you anticipate riding with a lot of people through a high traffic area this would be very helpful. Some cities have special Bicycle Patrol officers, and they like to help – for the same reasons we like to help.
- Identify a few volunteers to help you manage the ride. At the very least you will need one person to lead it, and one person riding sweep. If you have more than 10 people, you will also want someone who can ride quickly up and down the line to relay messages.
- Make sure ride leaders and helpers have their phones (with each other’s numbers!), tools to make basic repairs, extra tubes, and pumps.
- Consider arranging for a sag wagon. The more riders you have, the more likely you will need one. And don’t forget, the people who show up at a memorial ride are more likely to be focused on grieving for a loved one than on being prepared for a self-contained cycling tour.