Ride of Silence set for May 17

By FloridaBicyclist
Ride of Silence

The annual Ride of Silence, a worldwide event organized to honor those who have been killed or injured while cycling, takes place at 7 p.m. Wednesday, May 17.

The Ride of Silence is a free ride that asks participants to ride no faster than 12 mph, wear helmets, follow the rules of the road and remain silent while riding. The ride, which is held on the 3rd Wednesday of May during National Bike Month, aims to raise the awareness of motorists, police and city officials that cyclists have a legal right to the public roadways. The ride is also a chance to show respect for and honor the lives of those who have been killed or injured.

Many Florida bike clubs are participating in the ride. A list of rides happening in Florida is available on the organization’s website.

In Pensacola, the ride will be escorted by the police department and Santa Rosa Pipes and Drum band will initiate the ride. In St. Petersburg, riders will meet up for food and beers after the ride to share memories. The North Florida Bicycle Club will sponsor a 7-mile, funeral-type procession in Jacksonville.

In 2022, there were more than 220 rides across 45 states and 12 countries.

The first Ride of Silence took place in 2003, after cyclist Larry Schwartz was struck by a school bus mirror and died in Dallas. Meant to be a one-time, ride, more than 1,000 cyclists answered a word-of-mouth campaign and attended the event.

As of April 22, 65 bicyclists have been killed and 2,361 have been injured in Florida, according to crash data from the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles.