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.
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!
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.