Ride of Silence: May 16th, 2018

Ride in silence to honor victims of traffic violence on May 16, 2018

An annual, international event, The Ride of Silence brings together community members who have been affected by traffic violence. On this day, bicyclists, friends, and family members gather for a ceremony and bicycle ride to bring visibility to the cause for safe streets.

Bike Pittsburgh believes that every person has the right to safely use our streets as pedestrians and bicyclists without fear of death or serious injury–this is the work that we are committed to every day, but traffic violence is still happening in our city. From unsafe street design to irresponsible driving, bicyclists are at risk every day, and loved ones have been lost.

When I received a call from Lori McDermott telling me her husband Mike was hit and killed by a car while commuting home, I immediately felt sadness and lost. Mike was a friend and a vital part of our youth program. All the kids would want to ride next to him because he made each one feel special, he made all of us feel that way.

-Bruce Woods, President Pittsburgh Major Taylor Cycling Club

Honoring the lives of our friends and family who have been hit by motorists is an important part of this day. We ask you to join us by sharing your story at the ceremony, riding in silence with us, and speaking up about the change we need to see to protect the lives of others.

About the Event:

Pittsburgh’s event is co-organized by The Western PA Wheelmen, Pittsburgh Major Taylor Cycling Club, Bike Pittsburgh, 412Flock, and additional cycling community members. This event is held: To HONOR those who have been injured or killed; To RAISE AWARENESS that we are here; To ask that we all TRAVEL WITH CARE.

Event Details

When: Wednesday, May 16, 2018
Time: 6:30pm – 8:30pm
Where: Dippy Dinosaur, 4400 Forbes Ave, Pittsburgh, PA 15213
The Ride: 12mph max

You are welcome to join for the ceremony if you cannot join us for the ride. The ride will have ride marshals and we will follow safe riding etiquette.

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While I have had a million close calls, I am very fortunate to not have been hit (yet). My husband has, but he always managed to walk away with only a few scratches. I worry about my son when he rides his bike. Too many cyclists are injured or killed while riding. We are asking drivers to put down their phones, share the road, and give us 4-feet when passing, so we may all safely get to where we are going and back home to our friends and family. 

– Sarah Quesen

 

I have been hit 3 times and I think this event is important because Pittsburgh drivers who do not cycle on the street need to be reminded that cyclists are here and we’re not going away. We matter. 

– S. Bailey

 

As an avid cyclist active in the bicycle community for the last 8 years, it has been great to see how the number of people riding bikes has increased in the city, as well as support from local enforcement and officials. Regardless of this progress, we still have multiple cyclists hit by cars every year as well as some fatalities, and every person who has been affected by this is one too many. Living with the loss of a family member or friend, or the loss of a clean bill of health, is a lifetime loss that should not be set aside as an statistic. I’m still in brief contact with Dr. Vacarallo’s sister Kathi (Dr. Vacarallo was killed in DuBois in 2010), and every year, for the last 7 years, she still mourns her brother, as I’m sure the rest of his family mourns him too. That is why events like The Ride of Silence are important to continue, to honor those who have left before us, their families, and to continue bringing awareness to the community at large.   
– Lucia Aguirre

The Ride of Silence is important to me because it calls attention to the deaths, the injuries, and the risk shared by all cyclists. One of the fallen Pittsburgh cyclists could have easily been me. 

The city and the drivers routinely and smoothly forget about the cyclists killed. “It was an accident”, they say, perhaps with “they should have been more careful” thrown in. At least we will mark our community’s deaths and call attention to crashes which are all too often forgotten in the mistaken premise that it’s a cost of living in a city.

It’s not a cost of doing business. It’s not an accident. It’s a crash, usually caused by a driver – and often a distracted, speeding driver. You should stop killing us.

– Ed Quigley

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