Portland’s version of the Ride of Silence is set for May 19th. Ride organizer Brian Echerer has been working with other citizen activists and partners in hopes of re-invigorating the ride after a disappointing turnout last year and he got a boost in that regard yesterday when Congressman Earl Blumenauer endorsed the event.
The Ride of Silence started in 2003 in Dallas Texas and has since spread to hundreds of cities throughout the world. It’s a somber and silent affair meant to draw attention to road safety issues and remember people who have lost their lives while biking in traffic.
Echerer has been actively rounding up support and endorsements and yesterday he got some welcome news. A signed letter of support from Congressman Blumenauer. Here’s the text of that letter:
I am honored to support the 2010 National Ride of Silence. This somber event will be held in many communities on May 19 to remember and honor those who have been injured or killed as they bicycled along our nation’s roadways.
Americans should not have to subject their lives to injury or death simply because they choose to walk or bicycle. Yet for too long we have ignored their right to safe passage. The National Ride of Silence calls attention to the need for all those who use our roadways to be safe.
I urge Americans to participate in the National Ride of Silence and to honor the memory of those who have been lost by treating all roadway users with safety and respect every day of the year.
For more information on the 2010 Portland Ride of Silence visit its Facebook page.
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.pdf of the letter itself is at
With any luck at all, I’ll be there.
I think we should have a ride of silence for the 40,000 motorists and passengers killed in traffic accidents each year. It’s monumental compared to the hundreds of cyclists, or even the few thousand pedestrians, and I think people are much less aware of that number, that it is so huge. And really, those people deserve mourning just as much as anyone else.
Or at least, lump us all together and have a ride of silence for the victims of our poorly planned streets and traffic policies.
I implore everyone who participates (or rides a bike in general, for that matter) to wear a helmet. The last thing we need is some ironic display of neglecting your own personal safety.
re comment 3, no real quarrel with you, dave, and anyone who cares to can organize that ride, which is not this ride. bicyclists are in a somewhat different category from motorists and their passengers because they have chosen not to participate in the slaughter you describe, and yet they remain vulnerable to it.
@are: how many BikePortland readers do you think own and operate a car? Probably the majority of them. I ride my bicycle for 98% of my trips, but I do drive sometimes, and if I were to be killed while doing so, you would consider me just one of the people participating in the slaughter?
direct link to oregon rides…
dave, not to diminish the auto fatalities but this ride is about bicycle fatalities… it’s different because of the physics of sociology involved when a car and a bicycle collide… america doesn’t need to be made aware that they are supposed to share the road with cars… what they need to know is that cyclists aren’t prey and they should take special precautions…
(awaiting forum activation)
@Spiffy: I know, I wasn’t intending to suggest that this ride shouldn’t exist, just suggesting another possibility.
my suggestion comes from the place of seeing traffic overall in the U.S. being a disaster, and the fact that when put in a bike-only light, traffic safety has a tendency to get marginalized as “just drive a car, then you’ll be safe” – which is clearly a fallacy that many people don’t recognize. I think also coming at traffic safety from a different angle than “lots of cyclists die” is probably a good idea.
That last sentence wasn’t very clear – I just mean that approaching the issue of traffic safety from all angles would be good – presenting a full picture of what the realities of our traffic are.
As the roads become safer for beings outside of a car the roads become safer for those inside the car.
Worried about turnout? Ok, well don’t hold in on a Tuesday…
it’s okay, the 19th is a wednesday.
Is somebody going to be watching Blumenaur to see if he is going to remain silent during the whole ride?
If he’s not than his endorcement means nothing
Blumenauer says he is supporting it and urging people to participate, but I didn’t see him saying he’ll be there. It would be really nice if he does show.
No politician would show up to an event where they had to remain silent
As you are aware, on 7-2-09 Portland community activist, Bonnie Tinker was killed in a crash with a truck while riding her bicycle on the VA Tech campus where she was attending a Quaker conference. On May 19, in the city of Radford, VA not far from Blacksburg, VA where Bonnie tinkerer was killed, there will be a Ride of Silence, where Bonnie’s memory, among others, will be honored. Please be sure that in Portland’s RoS Bonnie Tinker’s memory is also honored.