On the evening of May 20, the international Ride of Silence will be observed in close to 400 locations in the United States, and in fifty international countries on seven continents. Cyclists will take to the roads to honor cyclists who have been killed or injured.
The Green Valley/Sahuarita event has been observed for the past fifteen years to honor those many cyclists. Beginning on May 17, 2006, 20 local cyclists rode from the GVR West Center to the south to honor Fred Hettig, who had lost his life while cycling on Nogales Highway. Last year, 112 cyclists rode a seven-mile loop from the GVR East Center to remember the life of Walden Grove High School freshman Mason Taylor.
With the date for the ride coming up, May 20, the board has decided to change the format for this year’s ride. Instead of group rides, we are recommending that participants do solo rides or rides with their household members and 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.
Ghost bikes are somber memorials for bicyclists who are killed or hit on a roadway. A bicycle is painted all white and located near the crash site, sometimes accompanied by a small plaque or flowers. They serve as reminders of the tragedy that took place, and as a quiet statement in support of cyclists’ right to safe travel.
On Feb. 16, 50 cyclists and friends gathered near the entrance to the Coronado National Forest entrance on Madera Canyon Road, to dedicate a ghost bike to the memory of George ‘Fred’ Dillemuth. Fred, a fifteen-year resident in Rancho Sahuarita, was involved in a collision on Labor Day while returning from a ride to the end of the canyon road. He died the next day. His family and friends will join cyclists on May 20, at the Green Valley/Sahuarita Ride of Silence event to remember his active life.