Thursday, May 20, 2010

Ride of Silence AnnArbor Mi 2010

Cyclists crossing the Broadway bridges during the Ride of Silence

I hate to have to admit this but, I was not able to attend the 2010 Ride of Silence in AnnArbor Mi this past Wednesday evening. Had I been able to get an early start it might have worked out ok. But unfortunately there was a Haz-Mat situation on one of the major expressways between here and AnnArbor. Which caused our east-west highway (M59) to jam on the west side. When I realized that there was no-way I was going to get there in time for the start. I turned the truck around and headed back home.
I promise I will try to make it next year. And I will make it a point to allow extra time. Just in case some situation pops up.
So here is what I have been able to find out about the ride. First: About 50 riders participated in the ride. Second: The ride was a 6.6 mile loop. Not the 10 miles I thought it would be. Third: The ride was escorted my three AnnArbor bicycle officers Not a police car.This is a good thing because. I have heard that it is nearly impossible to drive a patrol car at 12 miles per hour.(I couldn`t do it)
Fourth: Some riders wore black arm bands In honor of friends or family killed in car- bike collisions. Others wore red arm bands signifying that they had been injured in a car-bike collision. Fifth: Kathleen Donahoe (one of the organizers)Instructed cyclists to be cautious while riding and to signal motorists. Also She spoke about a cyclist who was killed earlier in the day in Grand-Rapids Mi. The fatal collision involved a city dump truck. Sixth: The purpose of the Ride of Silence is to remind motorists to be aware of cyclists on the road. And hopefully respect their right to use public roads.(We are traffic too!)
That is pretty much all I know about the ride. When I read that only 50 riders participated I was surprised. AnnArbor is a very bicycle friendly town. There
are bike racks everywhere. And being a college town with lots of young people. Well, I just pictured a larger turn-out. But who the hell am I to criticize. I did not make it to the ride myself. So a few less people didn`t get the message? I don`t even like to think about the possible consequence of that.
So I make this pledge to myself, I will make it to the event next year "No Matter What". And I will talk about it on my blog and in my life in the weeks leading up to the ride. And I will proudly wear my Ride of Silence Tee-Shirt and explain what it is to anyone who asks.
Till next time, Ride Safe and remember to always Rescue-Restore&Recycle.

PS: Here are a few pics of the Le-Tour with the new saddle choice.


  1. I didn't know about the ride of silence until 2 or 3 years ago, when I happened to be in Ann Arbor while it was going on. I haven't participated, but I guess I should - I will try to make it to the Ann Arbor or Ypsilanti ride next year. If I do, I'll be wearing a red armband. The '72 Super Sport that I am currently working on was purchased to replace my Continental that got trashed in the accident that nearly killed me. In this case, though, it was not really the car drivers fault.

    I was 17, just out of high school, and riding in my first organized road race. As it turned out, it was also my last, at least so far. It was put on by the Ypsilanti Press (remember them?) - their first, and last, bike race, for reasons that will be obvious. There was a big turnout, of all ability levels. The police had been stopping traffic for the racers, but as the pack got spread out, they were no longer able to keep the intersections blocked for everyone. There was one group of really fast riders out in front, then a big gap, then me, then another big gap, and the rest of the riders, really spread out. For most of the race, I was able to get through the intersections on the heels of the serious riders, but when I arrived at Whittaker & Stony Creek Roads, the police had just left. I blew through, just as I had with the others, but there was a car coming. Just to complete the debacle, my father was there to watch me come through, and the driver of the car was a classmate from school.

    I spent the next month in St. Joes, with a punctured lung, and 11 breaks in 8 ribs - my chest bounced off the windshield. Fortunately, in those days of no helmets, I escaped any serious head injuries.

    I guess the take-home lesson here is that we are all ultimately responsible for our own safety. We certainly need to educate drivers to be watchful for cyclists, but we also need to be sure to pay attention to our surroundings, and anticipate possible dangers

    Be safe, people..

  2. Hey Jay,
    Thanks for sharing your story. Sometimes I think It`s a miracle that any of us survived our youth. And I agree,We are all responsible for our own safety.And I also agree that we need to educate drivers, and other riders too.
    I once saw a tee shirt that said on the back boldly "WE ARE TRAFFIC" And as this is true, We need to obey the same rules that we do when we drive. I rode motorcycles for well over 30 years. And I agree 100% with what you said, and I quote "but we also need to be sure to pay attention to our surroundings, and anticipate possible dangers"
    That more than anything else will help get a cyclist home alive.
    Thanks, Hugh


Cycling Blog Directory