Ride of Silence, May 19, 2010

This worldwide event is to honor the memory of those who have been killed while riding and for those who have been injured and yet survived.  If you ride long enough you will, unfortunately, know someone in either or both categories.

Atlanta has two ride locations for this event; Piedmont Park and Marietta.  As the name indicates, this is a ride of total silence; total quiet.  Black arm bands were worn by the 70+ riders and the website mentioned of wearing red arm bands if you were a survivor; Kelly and I wore both.

This ride is not about speed; it’s about honoring.  The 12mph avg speed was kept throughout the ride in and around downtown & Virginia Highlands.

I don’t know how I missed hearing about this ride last year but I am glad I learned of it this year.  Personally, I have survived two horrific crashes, that for all practical purposes, I should have been killed multiple times.  I sort of blew off my own past  ‘sudden get-offs‘ but when my new bride suffered a near-fatal crash last October, crashes took on a whole new perspective for me.

The timing of this ride created an opportunity, at least for me, a little soul healing, as I truly stopped and reflected on my own near-death experiences and realizing I almost lost my bride of 5 months.  Soul healing for me in that I was able to actually be present for an event like this, to thank my Lord that I was still here; I was a surviver.  That’s a big deal, whether it’s a disease or whatever; when you survive against all odds, that changes you.

Be on the outlook for this event next May, save their website in your ‘favorites’ and ride for those who cannot.

CNN heard about my crashes and Kelly’s recent crash and somehow we were chosen to be highlighted in a story they are doing about this ride.  They came to our home and set up a mini-studio for the personal interview part and then a camera was mounted on my bike that captured pictures chronicling the ride.  Once finished, they will feature this on CNN.com website.  I will update you when we are notified when the story will be featured.  Yeh, it’s cool to have CNN feature you in a story but our hope is that the general public (non-cyclists) will recognize that we (cyclists) are no a faceless rider on the road just getting in their way, but that we deal with the same things in life that they do; we just happen to enjoy a sport that is inherently dangerous and that we both need to work together to cohabitate safely.

See ya on the road…

Robert

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