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The longest leg of any triathlon is the biking portion. Triathletes spend countless hours on the road, training on their bike. Most triathletes also compete in road races and other cycling events — such as riding a century or other popular long-distance rides.
Yes it is truth that a triathlete is a swimmer, a cyclist, and a runner. But on May 20th, being a cyclist pulls rank.
I want to encourage you to consider participating in The Ride of Silence.
Ride of Silence
The annual Ride of Silence is set for May 20, 2009 at 7 p.m. local time worldwide.
The event honors cyclists who have died in accidents with motor vehicles, and it seeks to raise awareness of cyclists’ right to the road.
Participants ride no faster than 12 mph for no longer than an hour, and they maintain silence as in a funeral procession.
The first Ride of Silence was held in Dallas in 2003 after well-known endurance cyclist Larry Schwartz was hit and killed by the mirror on a passing bus. The movement has grown to include more than 300 rides in the U.S. and 17 other countries. All cyclists who ride the road are welcome to participate.
Every year, cyclists are killed while riding their bike. 698 bicyclists died on US roads in 2007. Over 90% died in crashes with motor vehicles. Two-thirds of the deaths were from traumatic brain injury.
Florida once again leads the U.S. in bicycling fatalities.
According to federal statistics just released for 2007:
- 119 cyclists were killed in Florida, 10 more than in second-place California, which has twice the population.
- Florida had 28% of all cyclist fatalities in the U.S. and a rate of 6.52 cyclists killed per million people, nearly 3 times the national average of 2.31.
- Second and third in fatality rates were Louisiana at 5.12 and South Carolina at 4.54.
- Texas, with more residents than Florida, had 48 cyclist deaths for a fatality rate of 2.01.
- The total number of cyclists killed in the U.S. in 2007 was 698, or 2% percent of the 41,049 traffic deaths.
Eleven Rides of Silence are scheduled in Florida.
New communities on the list are Cedar Falls, Iowa; Columbia, Missouri; Tulsa, Oklahoma; Columbus, Ohio; and Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Six states have been recognized for improving conditions for cyclists: Washington, Wisconsin, Arizona, Minnesota, Delaware and Maryland.
National Bike Month – Ride Of Silence Events
Consider riding in one of these events or organize a Ride of Silence yourself in your community.
Here are other ways you can participate in National Bike Month.
Below is the official Ride for Silence poem, which will be read by many groups before they start their ride:
Tonight we number many but ride as one
In honor of those not with us, friends, mothers, fathers, sisters, sons
With helmets on tight and heads down low,
We ride in silence, cautious and slow
The wheels start spinning in the lead pack
But tonight we ride and no one attacks
The dark sunglasses cover our tears
Remembering those we held so dear
Tonight’s ride is to make others aware
The road is there for all to share
To those not with us or by our side,
May God be your partner on your final ride.
I’m over 40 years old, but I don’t give up easily. It wasn’t too long ago that I was exploring the idea of doing my first triathlon. If I can do it, you can too! I'm proof that with a little determination and training, you can get a great deal of fulfillment participating in marathons, triathlons… even ultramarathons.