“Ride of Silence 2008” Bendigo

Cyclist wait for Police escort of ride of silenceBendigo cyclists will join a worldwide bicycle rally to raise awareness that cyclists, pedestrians and motorists all share the road.
Reason:

To honour those who have been injured or killed on our roads

To raise awareness that we all share the limited transport infrastructure of this city

To ask that we all share the road in a considerate and safe manner

To highlight the urgent need for suitable, safe infrastructure of cyclists

Cycling and walking are safe activities. Riding a bike or walking to work, school, the shops or just for fun also has a health benefit that driving doesn’t.

Sadly many cyclists and pedestrians are injured or killed in the process of sharing the road. Although cyclists have a legal right to ride on the road, drivers often aren’t aware of this and are sometimes not even aware of the cyclists themselves.  It is hoped that the ride will promote a mutual respect of the need for all shared road users to be responsible in the manner in which they co-exist on the road.

Rides of Silence will roll across over 250 cities in North America, Europe, Asia and other northern hemisphere countries on the evening of 21 May Since this is an autumn evening in the southern hemisphere, Rides of Silence in Australia’s major cities will be held on Saturday morning 24 May 2008 to increase the safety of participants.

Cyclists will ride in a sedate, silent procession to honour cyclists killed or injured while cycling on public roads. The Ride Of Silence is a free ride that asks its cyclists to ride no faster than 12 mph and remain silent during the ride. There is no brochure, no sponsors, no registration fees and no t-shirt. The ride will come from Howard Street Epsom along Napier Street White Hills past Lake Weeroona to the Fountain in Pall Mall and disperse up Mitchell Street.  The ride is ably supported with a Victorian Police Escort to assist at controlled intersections.

This is the third year that the Bendigo Cycling Community has conducted the Ride of Silence and the impact will be none the less this year.  To ride in silence is a reminder of the value of having friendships on the bike in community. When these friendships are broken through an accident or death there is a void of conversation a deafening silence.  This aspect of the ride impacts the cyclist as they reflect on a loved one a close friend that has been involved in a shared road cycling incident and were possibly at no fault of their own. The silence also is a stark reminder that motorist don’t hear cyclist coming and quite often combined with not seeing them can result is serious consequences.

While motorists are requested to be more considerate towards sharing the road in a responsible manner, cyclist are also to mindful of being more considerate on how they conduct their time on the road to increase their own visibility at all times and not be obscure.

 

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