Quiet Please: Ride of Silence Recap

On Wednesday evening, I joined Along for the Ride's Julie Lorch at the annual Ride of Silence, an hour-long cruise in memory of cyclists killed or injured on local roadways.

The event provided an interesting—and inspiring—snapshot of the Philly bike community. There were teenagers with tattoo's and homemade rides cruising alongside AARPers on $5,000 folding bikes. There were mountain bikers, spandex-clad racers and hipsters on fixies.

The ride itself—which began at the Art Museum steps after a short presentation memorializing those lost in the Delaware Valley this year—curled through the city at a leisurely pace, aided by Bicycle Coalition Ambassadors and a police escort enforcing rolling street closures. People stayed quiet throughout (even when confronted by angry, impatient motorists) providing a serene atmosphere in which to enjoy the city. Free from being on the lookout for cars—or thinking of interesting things to say—I took immense pleasure in simply watching Philadelphia roll by.

As mentioned above, the evening began with a presentation featuring short bios of all the riders killed in our area this year. It was heartbreaking, but one amazing fact stood out: There were ZERO bike rider fatalities within the city limits of Philadelphia. As one speaker said, "Every time you double the amount of bikes on a street, the rate of accidents goes down by a third." More riders, safer streets—I can get down with that.

For more on the Ride, check out next month's installment of Along for the Ride. More pictures, after the jump.