Join us tonight, Wednesday, May 17, for the Ride of Silence, as we meet once again at Irvine City Hall to remember and honor cyclists who have been killed or injured while cycling on public roadways.
We will begin gathering at 6:00 p.m., assemble at 6:30, and start the ride at 7:00 p.m.
We ride to promote sharing the road and provide awareness of the rights and safety of bicyclists. Our silent ride also commemorates those who have been killed or injured doing what each of us has a right to do – a right that, far too often, motorists fail to recognize, sometimes with deadly consequences.
Irvine is a wonderful city for biking, whether for commuting, exercising, or just enjoying the outdoors. We have more than 300 miles of on-street bike lanes and more than 50 miles of off-street bikeways. Our bicycle trails are some of the most beautiful, and peaceful, places in Irvine.
Yet in Irvine, as everywhere else, motorists must learn to better share the road safely with cyclists; that cyclists have the same rights to the road as motorists; and that cyclists are the most vulnerable users of the roadways.
A dozen people were killed in Orange County in 2016 while riding their bikes. This year so far, three cyclists have been killed. The youngest victim, Brock McCann, was only eight years old.
These individuals were fathers, mothers, sons, daughters, brothers, sisters, husbands, wives, boyfriends, girlfriends, friends, co-workers, as well as cyclists.
Irvine’s Ride of Silence is part of a larger, international movement to commemorate cyclists killed or injured while riding on public roads and to raise awareness among motorists of the dangers they pose to cyclists.
As a bicyclist myself, the mother of a bicyclist, an Irvine resident and an Irvine City Councilmember, and as an advocate for more active transportation as a way to cut pollution and our reliance on fossil fuels, I will ride in the Ride of Silence as a way to honor cyclists who have been killed or injured while cycling on public roadways and to urge the public (and local governments) to do more to protect bicyclists’ safety.
The Ride of Silence asks its cyclists to ride no faster than 12 mph, follow the rules of the road, and remain silent during the ride. Helmets are mandatory. There are no sponsors and no registration fees. The ride aims to raise the awareness of motorists, police and city officials that cyclists have a legal right to the public roadways. The ride is also a chance to show respect for and honor the lives of those who have been killed or injured.
As the organizers of the Ride of Silence have said: “A pack of single file – silent riders – pacing out for 8 to 10 miles. We will share this hour with each other, and know that thousands across the planet will also have marked the hour in their own time zone; but also raise awareness among the many local motorists who will be witnesses of our sombre parade.”
We must remember that cyclists have legal rights to the road as do motorists and bicyclists are the most vulnerable users of the roadways.
We ride to show respect for and honor the lives of those who have been killed or injured.
We ride to promote public awareness of bicycling safety.
We ride so that no bicyclist is ever again killed or injured because of a motorist’s failure to share the road.
See you there.