The Ride of Silence Is Back!

Friends of Mason Taylor join the 2019 Ride of Silence.

After two years of celebrating the Ride of Silence in virtual mode only, we are now back for real! On the evening of May 18, the international Ride of Silence will be observed in close to 400 locations in the United States and in 50 international countries on seven continents. Cyclists will take to the roads in a silent procession to honor cyclists who have been killed or injured while cycling on public roadways.

The Green Valley/Sahuarita event has been observed for the past 17 years to honor those many cyclists. Beginning on May 17, 2006, 20 local cyclists rode from the Green Valley Recreation (GVR) West Social Center to the south to honor the life of Fred Hettig who had lost his life while cycling on Nogales Highway. In May 2019, more than 100 cyclists rode a 7-mile loop from the GVR East Center to remember the life of Walden Grove High School freshman Mason Taylor.

Cyclists participating in the local Santa Cruz Valley Area Ride of Silence will gather at the GVR East Social Center on Wednesday, May 18, at 5:30 p.m., and begin the ride at 6 p.m. Riders will observe the worldwide 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.

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.

In February 2020, 50 cyclists and friends gathered near the entrance to the Coronado National Forest on Madera Canyon Road to dedicate a ghost bike to the memory of George “Fred” Dillemuth. Fred, a 15-year resident in Rancho Sahuarita, was involved in a collision on the previous Labor Day while returning from a ride to the end of the canyon road. He passed away the next day. His family and friends will join cyclists on May 18 at the Green Valley/Sahuarita Ride of Silence event to remember his active life.