On the evening of May 15, the Ride of Silence will traverse and unite the globe. Cyclists will take to the roads in a silent procession to honor cyclists who have been killed or injured while cycling on public roadways. Although cyclists have a legal right to share the road with motorists, the motoring public often isn’t aware of these rights and sometimes not aware of the cyclists themselves. In 2003, Chris Phelan organized the first Ride of Silence in Dallas after his friend and endurance cyclist, Larry Schwartz, was hit by the mirror of a passing bus and killed. In 2018 the Ride of Silence was observed in close to 400 locations including 47 U.S. states, 20 countries and seven continents.
Cyclists participating in the local Santa Cruz Valley Area Ride of Silence will gather at the GVR East Social center at 5:30 p.m. and begin the ride at 6:00 p.m. Riders will observe the world-wide guidelines for the Ride of Silence and ride at a slow and comfortable pace while conducting the ride in total silence. The ride will be led by local bicyclists and supported with assistance from the Pima County Sheriff’s Department, the Sheriff’s Auxiliary Volunteers and the Green Valley Fire District.
On May 15, we will remember the life of Mason Taylor who would now be a sophomore at Walden Grove High School. His life was cut short when colliding with a vehicle on July 3, near Quail Creek. Mason always loved music and found his potential through the encouragement of Continental School music teacher Joe Ferguson who taught him to read music. Joe said that ‘Taylor was a very treasured musician and one I will remember forever’. Mason was later a member of the Walden Grove jazz band as a guitarist but also played piano, marimba, ukulele and percussion instruments. He enjoyed annual family camping trips where he cruised though forests and also loved building music projects with his engineer dad.
Cyclists are invited to the Green Valley/Sahuarita area to enjoy the safety of seventy-five miles of bike lanes and opportunities to travel to and explore nearby communities. Bike lanes help separate cars and bicycles, but do not guarantee safety. Both motorists and cyclists need to be observant and aware of each other. A recent safety trend is riders with flashing front and rear lighting. This has been proven to more than double rider visibility.
For information on the international Ride of Silence go to rideofsilence.org. For local bicycling opportunities and information on the local Ride of Silence refer to scvbac.org.