The Ride of Silence – Chris Phelan Shares The Ultimate Goals of The Ride

Background Reading





What are the future plans for the Ride of Silence?

From Tim Potter, Board Member, web master:

“I really believe we (RoS) need to figure out a way to offer hope and a possible solution to this endemic problem that is so painfully obvious to all of us. 

It seems like people look to us for more than just a place to register names of people deceased and as organizers of an annual global event; they’re coming to us for hope, for possible answers or solutions to these horrible injustices that happen every day around the country.

We all know the League of American Bicyclists isn’t helping in these cases. Their state bike organizations aren’t. Their police agencies aren’t; the courts aren’t, but I think we can, in some way, offer some hope, that something will change, someday. 

What that will be I really don’t know but I feel like that’s our challenge and should be our mission.”

From Mike Keel, Special Projects:

“We ARE going to do something about it. We are going to engage the media around the country in getting the message out about what is really happening out there on the roadways – the lack of charges being brought – the meaningless wrist slapping and the lack of accountability within the court system – and the need for education/enforcement to generate safe roads. 

Within the year, we will be just the type of agency that you describe – one that can recruit people to join our activities and help change the dynamic.”

True, true.

When this got started in 2003 after Larry Schwartz’s senseless death, and the ideology of the The Ride Of Silence began to spread from town to town, then state to state, and eventually country to country, I had a secret wish that one day there would be a Ride Of Silence in every town, much like the Memorial Day parade.

I have a hope, not just thinking of the U.S. here but other countries too, that a ride to remember the staggering number of cyclists killed each and every year takes place as a solemn event in every town, city, municipality across the country, on the same day, at the same time.

All 50 states are represented already. It’s just a matter of spreading the word.

That said, there are two U.S. states that we always have problems with getting on board. You’d think there wasn’t a bicyclist or bike shop in the entire state.

I’ve mentioned this before but one gets the feeling these two states think The Ride Of Silence is part of a government takeover.

If they only knew how grassroots this organization really is. (Occasionally, I get phone calls from people who think we’re in a glass building downtown with secretaries and limos. Instead, it’s me on a lap top in my bedroom with a library of books, a pair of hockey skates, running shoes, swimming goggles, and a Fender Telecaster leaning up against a black faced twin reverb with the “Exile On Main Street” LP on the turntable. Oh, and there’s a Ride Of Silence poster on the wall from 2006. That’s the “office” I’m writing from.)

Sorry, Tim. But your comments come off as being dismissive of others. One thing you need to answer (at least for me). Why do you not honor the lives of those killed by cyclists? All Lives Matter.