Cyclists around the world are participating in silent, slow-paced rides (maximum speed of 20kph / 12mph) in honour of those who have been injured or killed while cycling on public roads. In North America, rides began at hundreds of locations at 7 PM on Wednesday. The rides follow all road rules, are polite and respectful of other road users, and are conducted in silence unless speaking is absolute necessary.
"Not only is cycling fun, it is rapidly increasing in importance for community health and is now chosen by many as a sensible transport option. All levels of government should recognise these facts and do more to assist to increase shared education and awareness, and also reduce the numbers of incidents resulting in death and injury," said Rob Eke, Melbourne Ride of Silence spokesperson. "It is absolutely vital that bicycling is accepted by all road users as a normal part of daily life." The Melbourne ride will be held Saturday May 19 at 10 am.
The ride was first organized in 2003 by Chris Phelan in Dallas, Texas, after endurance cyclist Larry Schwartz was hit by the mirror of a passing bus and was killed. The goal of the ride is to increase awareness, of motorists, police, city officials, and cyclists, about the rights of cyclists to be on the roads. In the US, rides are being held in conjunction with Bike Safety Month.