Thursday, May 22, 2008

Ride of Silence. May 16th. 2008

Ride of Silence.


Lightening, thunder and downpours of cold rain didn’t deter nine riders from meeting in Elizabeth Park yesterday and riding together to honor and remember fellow cyclists who have been killed or injured on the public roads as part of the international Ride of Silence. The worst of the weather occurred just before the ride as Rachel, who rode all the way from New Britain, got to experience in all its wet glory! And DANG! Did it rain! I think it started just as I left my house and continued for a while after I got to the park.

We all certainly enjoyed the ever-changing weather. The ride left Elizabeth Park in a light sprinkle and retuned with sun shining between brooding clouds. All went well. No issues with downpours, motorists or flat tires.

We rode down Asylum Avenue into downtown, under the arch, around the Capitol Building, down Capitol Avenue, down Boulevard in West Hartford, right onto Raymond Rd, past the Police Station, meandered through Blue Black Square and its live and rockin’ 50’s band and returned east along Farmington Avenue and down a side road back into the park. wow. Can you say that all in one breath?

I kept stopping myself from talking, which was hard, as part of the ride. It was also hard as I am sure there were things other people wanted to say or share as well. It was weird not talking at all and knowing there was a line of people behind me! But it did force me to think and ponder much more, which was interesting. A few times I felt more celebratory than somber and wanted to smile and shout…but didn’t.

Though we all knew what we were doing, nobody watching us ride by had any idea of what was going on; we were just nine people on bicycles. The Ride of Silence idea wasn’t clear. Next year I will certainly make a pair of signs to put on my rear rack and will encourage others to make signs as well. “Ride of Silence” or remember “Joe Smith” or “share the road” would all be great messages.

I did make a sign incase we needed to block traffic that said “Thank You For Waiting” on one side. The other side is for people who feel the need to honk their horns and reads, “Honk If You Love Bicycles.” I never got to use the sign on the ride, but I did later on by accident at The Half Door. I was showing it to Rachel, Rich H (the cool eyeglass case dude) and Steve Tizzle when another table must have seen it and a young woman gave us a “HONK” later as she left. Good times. Good Times.

Well, I have no idea who everyone was and I was a bit nervous, but I think it all turned out well and I am super happy so many people braved the weather and came out to support something important. Thank you to everyone. Keep riding safe and see you next year.

one last photo, and what a great one too! i think i really captured the essence of everyone's shoulder.

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