Ride of Silence honors fallen cyclists and underscores that bikes belong on Maine Roadways
April 17, 2019 (PORTLAND, Maine) – Bicycle riders in Portland, Maine, and numerous other locations across the state will take part in the worldwide Ride of Silence on Wednesday, May 15, 2019.
The Ride of Silence is a solemn event in which communities across the globe honor bike riders who have lost their lives or suffered injuries in traffic crashes. The event also serves as a visual public reminder that bikes belong on roadways.
This year, the Ride of Silence will be taking place in nearly 300 communities from Antarctica to Tanzania. In Maine, rides are scheduled in Portland, Lewiston, Brunswick, and Bangor.
The Bicycle Coalition of Maine will be hosting Portland’s Ride of Silence. Riders are asked to gather at 6:30 p.m.—rain or shine—at the Coalition’s East Bayside headquarters at 38 Diamond Street to prepare for the 7:00 p.m. event. Before departing for the ride itself, Coalition representatives and public officials will briefly speak to attendees about ways to make Maine’s roadways safer for all users.
The Coalition says it views the various Rides of Silence taking place across the state as opportunities for Mainers to take pause and collectively reflect on the state of their state’s roadways. The non-profit organization, whose mission is to make Maine a better place for walking and bicycling, believes that bicycles are a part of our traffic system and most traffic crashes are preventable. Coalition representatives say they have been saddened by the number of bicycle rider fatalities and injuries over the past several years in Maine, including the two children whose lives were lost within the last year.
Those interested in participating in the Portland Ride of Silence should know that the ride is a short, slow-paced, inclusive ride for people of all ages and bicyclists of all types. It is not a race, and fast riding will not be allowed.
Riders will travel together along Portland’s Eastern Promenade, ride down Commercial Street, up Center Street to Monument Square, and then down Congress to Pearl Street. During the ride, riders will be asked not to talk, the silence acknowledges those who have been killed and forever silenced. However, participants should speak to alert other riders to safety hazards, and riders are encouraged to tow trailers with commemorative signs or ghost bikes, as well as to communicate through the use of clothing or armbands that they are riding in honor of someone who has been hurt or killed.
Riders must be 12 years of age or older, will be expected to follow the rules of the road, and must wear helmets. All riders who anticipate riding at nighttime (either during or after the ride) should be aware of and follow Maine’s lighting and reflector requirements.
There is no charge to participate in the Portland Ride of Silence, and the Coalition says it hopes to see participation from families, club riders, commuters, recreational riders, mountain-bikers, and all other types of cyclists. Participants are asked to check in at the BCM information booth upon arrival to go over ride details and requirements.