Over 70 people rode in near silence from Gas Works Park to City Hall and back Wednesday evening in memory of people who have been seriously injured or killed while biking.
The annual Ride of Silence takes place in cities all over the world. Wednesday’s ride was the 8th such ride in Seattle, and friends and family of people hurt and killed came out to honor their loved ones.
Anne-Marije Rook (AKA The Riding Reporter) wrote about the pre-ride rally over at the Ballard News Tribune:
Jose Hernando. Mike Wang. Larry Kemp. Cecy krone. Fred Rehberger. Brad Nakatani. Kevin Black. Bryce Lewis. Terry McMacken, Marvin Miller. Carol Salomon. Susanne Scaringi. Joel Silvesan. Well over 70 cyclists came out on Wednesday night to ride in memory of these people and many more who were killed or injured by motor vehicles on the road.
Google any one of those names and you’ll find a tragic ending. “Many of which could have been prevented,” said ride organizer J Steve Mayo in his opening words at Gas Works park.
“Today there are a lot of cyclists that have passed away in the last years. These are not accidents. These are collisions and fatalities. Punishments have been trivial,” Mayo stated. “We ride tonight to be visible. To remind people to share the road.”
In the midst of all the excitement of Bike Month, the Ride of Silence is a grim (and not officially Cascade-sanctioned) reminder that increasing road safety is, indeed, a matter of life and death.
In fact, as the Ride of Silence was nearing it’s final stop back at Gas Works Park, Kathryn Rickson died after colliding with a delivery truck in a Portland bike lane. Friends and supporters are gathering at Portland’s SW 3rd and Madison Friday evening to remember her.
While we make great strides to increase road safety in our cities, we have a long way to go. No traffic deaths are acceptable. We can and must do better, both in the form of government investments and as a culture that respects and protects life.
Here are a few more photos I took from the ride: