Doom, Gloom & Death On My Ride Of Silence

The Ride of Silence, by its very nature, is a somber affair. It’s an event to honor cyclists who have died while pursuing the joy that ALL of us on Cycle365 know very well. It is also a time to reflect on how easily such a fate can come to any one of us as long as we have to share road space with cars and trucks. Heck, it can even happen in circumstances that have nothing to do with cars and trucks: Hitting a pothole at 35 m.p.h. Wild animal attacks. Crashing on ice. Heart attack on a big hill. Hypothermia and hyperthermia. Heavy objects flying around or sharp objects sticking out of places they shouldn’t be sticking out of. Yet, we keep riding.

Those were some of the sorrowful thoughts that went through my head today on my personal Ride of Silence.

But, apparently, it wasn’t enough that I should feel a little sad about all that stuff on my Ride of Silence. Almost everything else about the ride added to my gloominess–the cloudy skies, the humidity, the occasional drops of rain, the vultures circling overhead, the dying and the dead, and the fact that I rode my ghost bike today. I guess I should display a few pictures to explain.

My Ghost Bike and the clouds of an impending storm.

Oh, Mr. Vulture, harbinger of death, cease your expectation of carrion bones. Fly not overhead, I am not ready to go.

There is death on the highway. The raccoon succumbs to a 55 m.p.h. machine.

Old, Rusty, dying machine. Ghost bike. Where’s the mercy?

Death on the tendrils of a once-beautiful yellow flower.

I had ridden several miles of my Ride of Silence before I realized that I hadn’t really been all that silent at all. Early on, I got the Simon and Garfunkel song “Sound of Silence” in my head and it wouldn’t leave. I kept singing the opening line “hello darkness my old friend” and then I’d hum the next few lines because I didn’t know the words, until I got to “the so-o-o-und of silence.”

As a result, I kept having to re-set my Ride of Silence. A Ride of Silence doesn’t count unless you are actually SILENT.

The cars and trucks passing me on the highways certainly weren’t silent. So I worked my way to a deep, dark bike trail through a forest of view-blockers. Silence at last!

No view. Dark. Somber. But gloriously silent. And I didn’t sing.

Ghost rider on a ghost bike.

As I was writing this, The Feeshko came down to the Greg Room and saw me coloring The Reckless Mr. Bing Bong to look like a “ghost bike.” She thought it was disrespectful to actual ghost bikes. If she thought that, maybe others might think that too. I swear, that was not my intention.

Hi. My name is Greg and I ride my bike a lot. That is to say, I ride my bike almost every day. I go on long rides and short rides. Sunny rides, cloudy rides, and rainy rides. I like commuting, errand-running, day-tripping, overnighting, and touring on my bike. I ride on city streets, highways, gravel, single track, and snow with equal enthusiasm. Sometimes I ride fast and sometimes I ride slow. I try to keep my feet on the pedals at stop lights and I do not dismount when I hop up on a curb. I have a roadie bike, a mountain bike and a touring bike. I try to accept any challenge a bike ride can throw at me without complaint. But I don't like bugs.

2 response to "Doom, Gloom & Death On My Ride Of Silence"

  1. By: Rich-Illinois Posted: May 19, 2021

    Thanks for posting.
    I actually thought you wrapped your bicycle in white at first. I thought it very appropriate.
    Yes, it is indeed a sad thing this Ride of Silence — I too managed to get in a ride between sprinkle storms all day.

  2. By: Suzanne Posted: May 25, 2021

    Thanks for posting your ride of silence. It’s all a good reminder that we are lucky and to be careful.

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