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Ride of Silence planned for Portland

Posted by on May 10th, 2006 at 11:52 am

On May 17th at 7:00PM, thousands of cyclists around the world will gather and ride in silent solidarity to remember cyclists that have been killed. The Ride of Silence started in Dallas, Texas in 2003 and will happen in 225 cities in the U.S (including five in Oregon).

Amazingly though, until today there was no ride planned for Portland. Good thing local cyclist John McCaffery came along. In the last few days he has organized a route, obtained a permit, and has just announced the details.

McCaffery’s father-in-law was killed last July while riding near St. Louis, Missouri. As a memorial, McCaffery is encouraging everyone on the ride to “show support by wearing a black arm band for those who have been lost. Wear a red arm band if you yourself have been injured in a motor vehicle/bicycle accident.”

He has planned the route to pass by six Ghost Bike installation sites. Here are more ride details:

Date: May 17, 2006
Time: 7:00 pm
Where: Beginning and ending atWilshire Park (NE 33rd and NE Skidmore)
We’ll ride a 12 mile loop with MLK and Killingsworth as the NW limit and SE Belmont and 49th as the SE limit. We’ll pass six Ghost Bikes. The ride will be slow and silent.

Portlands Ride of Silence was made possible by generous support from:
Bike N Hike, Biycleattorney.com, CyclePath Bike Shop, Sellwood Cycle Repair, and The Bike Gallery.

NOTE: We love your comments and work hard to ensure they are productive, considerate, and welcoming of all perspectives. Disagreements are encouraged, but only if done with tact and respect. If you see a mean or inappropriate comment, please contact us and we'll take a look at it right away. Also, if you comment frequently, please consider holding your thoughts so that others can step forward. Thank you — Jonathan

15 Comments
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    Aaron May 10, 2006 at 3:41 pm

    Kudos to you John!

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    none May 10, 2006 at 3:55 pm

    Will the cops be there to mess everything up for everyone again?

    Thanks for setting this up John! Go you!

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    Randy May 10, 2006 at 9:22 pm

    Speaking of the police, after less than a month on the job, newly appointed traffic commander Marty Rowley is starting to show his true colors. First were the uncalled for arrests on the April Critical Mass ride, and now an eight to ten fold escalation of traffic stings aimed at bicycle commuters on city-designated low-traffic bike boulevards, where you can receive a $240+ ticket for rolling a stop sign at a speed most motorists roll stops signs at without a second thought. This is not maintaining public safety, this is a vendetta against cyclists. Rowley’s appointment to this position was a huge mistake; and the Mayor, who is the police commissioner, after all, should have known better than to allow Rowley’s appointment to this position go through. It makes you pause and wonder about the priorities of ‘interim’ police chief Rosie Sizer, as well.

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    John McCaffrey May 11, 2006 at 7:58 am

    Yes, the police will be there. They will block intersections for us so we can roll through together as a group. This ride will be like a funeral procession; silent and slow. The purpose of this ride is to remember those lost; not to yell at cars.

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    Ethan May 11, 2006 at 12:12 pm

    I sure wish I could go, but I have a class. 🙁

    Memorial rides are particulary special cycling events. Kudos to Sara for her hard work on these in years past.

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    Sue May 11, 2006 at 12:15 pm

    As the widow of a bicyclist killed last year, I want to thank those who will participate in the Portland ride this year and who will thereby help raise awareness of the need for increased bicycle safety.

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    Darrel Condra May 11, 2006 at 12:16 pm

    Thank you.
    You may know that we lost a well-loved retired teacher on Tualatin-Sherwood road recently. We need this so of event.

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    David May 11, 2006 at 3:13 pm

    This is a great idea. I hope there is a large turnout. … But please note that St. Louis is not in Ohio; it’s in Missouri–the beginning of the Lewis & Clark trail which ends in Oregon!

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    Sara Stout May 13, 2006 at 8:05 am

    Thanks John for organizing this ride. I think the Ride of Silence is a great idea and I am looking forward to participating in Portland, but I do have one concern about the police escort.

    In my experience, permitted bicycle rides are facilitated by motorcycle police. These officers do a great job of blocking intersections so that the ride can pass through safely and stay together, but motorcycles make quite a bit of noise and I think their presence would mkae a true Ride of Silence impossible.

    I understand the reasoning behind applying for a permit and I support this approach, but I’d be interested in making a special request to the permit department, asking that bicycle officers escort the Ride of Silence.

    I think there is a good chance that the permit department and the traffic police would honor this request, but if not, I think we should at least ask that motorcycle officers refrain from revving their engines loudly and zooming past riders at close range.

    I’d be happy to make this request myself, but I wanted to share my thoughts here, so that the people who applied for the permit could consider my concern. I’d like to work in cooperation with ride leaders and the traffic police. I’d also like to honor fallen cyclists with a true Ride of Silence.

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    John McCaffrey May 14, 2006 at 8:04 pm

    I agree a bicycle escort would be nice but due to the number of busy streets we’ll be crossing in order to pass a few of the Ghost bikes, I don’t think that it would be possible. I’ll feel much safer crossing Sandy Blvd. on a red light if there is a motorcyle with lights versus a bicycle trying to stop traffic.

    A ride in the city won’t be silent. We will be silent but the dogs, kids, lawnmovers, on-coming traffic, air traffic and maybe a frieght train will still be making noise.
    I do think us rolling down the street silently will make an impact on the people watching us go by however.

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    Jan May 16, 2006 at 4:09 pm

    I get off work at 7:30pm and hope to join you during the ride, or at least at the end. Can I get a copy of the route and some idea when you expect to be at certain points in the ride?
    Thanks!!

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    Jonathan Maus May 16, 2006 at 4:24 pm

    Jan, the organizer of the ride created the route using Gmap Pedometer.

    Here’s the link.

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    Kay May 17, 2006 at 9:05 pm

    Wonderful ride, after the comments about the police, they were wonderful. Thank you for holding the ride.

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    patrick May 18, 2006 at 10:23 am

    i want to thank John for organizing this. it was a good ride to be a part of. a poignant and appropriately bicycle-centric way to remember a fallen friend. Thanks. –patrick

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  • […] 05/17 • Ride of Silence @ Wilshire Park, NE 33rd Ave. & Skimore St. A worldwide, memorial ride starting at Wilshire Park. Show support by wearing a black arm band for those who have been lost or wear a red arm band if you yourself have been injured in a motor vehicle/bicycle accident. Ride will be a 12-mile loop passing six ghost bikes, slow and silent. 7:00, FREE, bikeportland.org […]

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