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Ride of Silence, All Over California

From the 2017 ‘Ride of Silence’ in San Francisco. That’s Kate Slattery’s ghost bike. She was killed in 2016. Photo: Paul Valdez

The 2022 worldwide Ride of Silence will, for the 20th year in a row, honor people killed or injured while riding a bike on public roadways. The silent group rides are both a remembrance of lost loved ones and a call for drivers and policymakers to do more to keep cycling safe.

There’s nothing quite like joining – or witnessing from the sidelines – a group of people riding slowly along without making a sound.

In 2020, at the beginning of the pandemic, many of the usual rides shifted to do-it-yourself rides as a way to avoid crowds. This year, group rides are back across the country. Most of them will take place this Wednesday, May 18 (but some will happen on different days this week; see below). Double check for updated information before meeting up.

Many of the rides commemorate specific people, with some groups listing the names of the fallen on their websites, or creating memorials where people have been killed. Below is an incomplete list of rides happening this week around California. If there doesn’t seem to be one near you, try a web search for “Ride of Silence” and the name of your city. Also try poking around Facebook, where many groups have a presence.

Or create your own.

On Wednesday, May 18: (Other dates listed farther down)

    • Alameda: Ride departs at 7 p.m. from Central and Park, “on Kaiser side.”
    • Bakersfield: Meet up at 6:30 p.m. at Bike Bakersfield, 1708 Chester Avenue. Ride out at 7 p.m.
    • Fresno: Meet at 6:30 p.m. at Clovis West High School parking lot. Please register ahead of time.
    • Lafayette: Meet at 6:30 p.m. at Acalanes High School; Roll out at 7 p.m. after a brief ceremony to honor Joe “The Legend of Mt. Diablo” Shami, Roger Russell from Moraga, and Greg Knapp from San Ramon. Wear black armbands. “No sprinting, no talking.”
    • Palm Desert: Gather at the Palm Desert Civic Center at 6:30 p.m. to hear comments from community leaders at 6:45 p.m. before the ride.
    • Redding: Meet at South end of Sundial Bridge; ride start time 7 p.m.
    • Sacramento: Meet at Southside Park at 6:30 p.m. near the corner of 6th and T Streets. Ride leaders plan to stop near the Capitol for a group photo, then continue to 10th and H Streets for a flower drop, to pay respect to fallen cyclists, and to recite the Ride of Silence poem at the site where Trevor Micarelli was killed.
    • Santa Cruz: Meet at 7th and Brommer at 6:15; ride starts at 6:30 p.m. It will honor friends, loved ones, and fellow cyclists with a slow roll, mostly featuring Santa Cruz’s coastline.
    • Sonoma County will host rides in Sebastopol (meet at the downtown Plaza), Petaluma (meet at Walnut Park), and Sonoma (meet at Operation Bicycle, 207 Nino Marco Square). All rides meet up at 6:30 p.m. and roll out at 7 p.m. These rides will honor ten cyclists who were killed on Sonoma County streets and roads from 2018 to 2021: Lusiano Garcia, Sidney Falbo, Joseph Converse, Gary Begley, Valerio Estrada, Genaro Viramontes Tavares, David Davison, Bryan Cacy, Adrian Albert, and Mark Osborne.
    • Thousand Oaks: Meet up at 5:45 p.m. at The Lakes at Thousand Oaks, 2200 Thousand Oaks Blvd.

On Thursday, May 19:

    • San Francisco: Meet at In Chan Kaajal Park, on 17th Street between Shotwell and Folsom, at 6 p.m.; roll-out at 6:45 p.m. Riders will stop to place flowers and observe a moment of silence at the sites of recent biking fatalities and honor those lost, while spreading the message that people who bike represent precious lives. The ride will also install a ghost bike at San Francisco City Hall.

On Saturday, May 12:

    • Larkspur: Meet at Piper Park at 10:30 a.m. to ride to downtown San Anselmo and back. The ride will stop briefly in downtown San Anselmo for a short ceremony, to include the reading of the names of cyclists known to have been killed or severely injured on Marin County roads. The group will then hand out flyers calling on Marin County and its towns to adopt Vision Zero strategies. After returning to Piper Park, there will be an informal BYO picnic, weather permitting.
    • Pasadena: Meet at the Rose Bowl at 10:30 a.m. at the north end of Lot K, where the parking lot meets the golf course. Please bring lots of friends!

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