Friday, May 20, 2016

This ride of silence was a good way to raise awareness; but could I really be silent the whole time??


      For the past eight years there has been an annual ride that takes place around the country in remembrance of the cyclists who have lost their lives in a traffic accident.  It's a way of keeping their memory alive while raising awareness for cyclists safety on the roads as well as reminding motorists to be mindful to cyclists.

     This ride is very somber because of the unfortunate fatalities, and my smile would seem to be counter intuitive. But the fact that we are able to raise awareness is reason for me to celebrate.

      The biggest challenge however, for me, is that it is a memorial ride and in total silence.  Anyone who knows me will tell you that is very hard for me.  But I really wanted to do this for the sake of the riders who lost their lives doing something we all love.  I mentioned to several people that I was doing this ride and they all thought there was no way that was possible...Guess we'll see:)  

     So the evening of the ride we all met at the University of Toledo.  Until we actually started the ride I was free to talk, so it was like taking my last breath...

     It was very unfortunate that lives were lost, but it was amazing to see the community come come together in memory of all those cyclists.

   The Toledo Police, as well as the Ottawa Hills Police, escorted the entire ride; some on bicycles, some on motorcycles, and others in squad cars blocking traffic.

        I know this was the ride of silence, but I'm not gonna lie; It was a real test of will power to ride ten miles with out saying a word.

     The first place we rode to was Ottawa Hills High School, where one of the riders who lost his life had taught.
     From there we went to Toledo Children's Hospital.  I took out my camera to take a couple of pictures, and by the time I put it away and started back up I found myself at the very tail end of the pack.  

     At first I was a little worried that my riding buddies were all up ahead and if something was to happen I was on my own.  But just then I noticed that the two riders right ahead of me were Toledo Police Officers, and I looked in my helmet mirror and noticed two Police Officers on motorcycles right behind me.  I don't think I have ever felt safer riding.  In fact, I kind of felt like I had my own motorcade.  I could get used to this:)

      I've never felt extremely comfortable riding on city streets with traffic, but this ride taught me a few things; I will certainly be very considerate of cyclists when I'm driving, I will also be conscious of motorists when I'm riding, but most of all I think if we are all conscious of each other on the road, we'll find out there's plenty of room for all of us:)

Have a great day!!


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