|Over 400 cyclists in Arizona, ages five to mid-eighties, joined others at 350 locations in the United States and 100 international locations in the Ride of Silence the evening of May 17. Two years ago, only two Arizona locations observed the Ride of Silence. This year that grew to seven. The Ride of Silence began fifteen years ago in Dallas by a cyclist who lost a friend to a passing bus and is a silent ride to remember those killed and injured on our roads and highways.
In Tempe, more than one hundred riders stopped at two locations where friends had lost their lives when struck. The wife of Jay Fretz was on hand to share some words. It was seven years to the day since he had died. Bagpipes played in Tucson while 160 riders gathered. The mayor and a councilman spoke to cycling issues, and spouses who had lost partners offered words of encouragement. Police cars and motor units provided escort for the ten mile ride. In Williams, High School mountain bike coaches, team members, and friends and families honored Chloe Schneider. Chloe was a fellow MTB team member in Buckeye who was struck from behind this past November. In Sedona, it was cool but that did not stop a small number of riders from departing from the city hall on their ride through West Sedona.
Eighty-five cyclists rode in Green Valley under sunny skies but with some wind. They welcomed David Waechter from Phoenix who talked about his 3feetplease.org initiative. He also announced the naming of the Jim Jordan Bikeway in recognition of his advocacy efforts, and welcomed LT Pratt back to the community as a staff person with the Fire District, having previously been with the Sheriff Department in Green Valley. Saddlebrook had 32 cyclists participate plus a few golf carts. They paused to remember friends who had been killed or injured in past years. After the ride, refreshments in the local club house were enjoyed. Wind and cold did not deter over 35 riders and volunteers for Prescott's second annual participation in the Ride of Silence. Riders were led on a quarter mile "Parade Loop" around the historic Courthouse Square, then on an eight mile "Tour Loop" by three members of the City of Prescott Police Department Bike Patrol. In Cottonwood, many riders showed up for their ride which was combined with a City Parks and Recreation event.
Chuck Hill, Arizona State Coordinator, Ride of Silence