The Grand Rapids Ride of Silence. Wednesday, May 15, 2019.

A bagpiper plays in remembrance as riders stop around John Ball Park Circle.

A bagpiper plays in remembrance as riders stop around John Ball Park Circle.

The Ride of Silence is a yearly group bicycle ride, held simultaneously at hundreds of locations worldwide, to commemorate cyclists killed or injured while riding on public roads. It helps raise awareness among motorists, the public and decision makers of the dangers cyclists face on the roads, especially from traffic. Grand Rapids has hosted a Ride of Silence event every year since 2004, making this our 15th event.

The first Ride of Silence was organized by Chris Phelan and held in Dallas, Texas in 2003 after a cyclist was killed by a passing bus mirror on an empty road. Although the ride was conceived as a one-time event, it’s been repeated every year since. Cyclists in cities around the globe have joined this movement. It’s grown each year, with around 400 locations participating, most in the United States, but typically on all seven continents, including Antarctica. 

Please join the Grand Rapids Ride of Silence on Wednesday, May 15 as we ride a 6 mile slow procession in total silence to honor those killed or injured and raise awareness that we all share the road. We will start and end at 6th St. Bridge Park on Monroe NE and ask that you arrive by 6:30pm for signup, riders meeting and to hear a few words about how you can make your next ride safer. Scheduled speakers include Grand Rapids Mayor Rosalyn Bliss and Rev. Christopher Roe from Fountain Street Church. The ride leaves at 7, it’s a free event, participants must wear helmets and lights are encouraged. The Grand Rapids Police Department and the Rapid Wheelmen Bicycle Club will help get us safely through traffic. A brief stop for a commemorative bagpiper is planned at John Ball Park circle before we return.

We’ll have post-ride gathering at Creston Brewery where a percentage of proceeds will be donated. You can help make Grand Rapids an even better place to ride a bike.

Mayor Bliss reads a proclamation as Commissioner Kelly and crowd listen.

Mayor Bliss reads a proclamation as Commissioner Kelly and crowd listen.

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