On Wednesday, more than 100 bike riders rode in a “Ride of Silence” to honour those who have died in collisions. In 2021, 16 cyclists were killed in Quebec, which is the highest number of riders who died since 2013. With more and more cyclists riding, in light of rising gas prices, and people driving once again on a regular basis, the ride’s importance has never been more relevant. Although many Canadian cities continue to expand their cycling infrastructures, drivers colliding with cyclists are increasing.
Over 450 cities in the world held a ride of silence. The ride began in 2003, after a cyclist was killed in Dallas, Texas. He was clipped by a bus that passed the rider much too close. To honour his memory, Chris Phelan, a cycling advocate, organized the first-ever Ride of Silence. Back then, the ride was only intended to be a one-time event, but cities across the world soon began hosting their own rides to honour those killed while riding.
Nineteen years later, the Ride of Silence continues to take place, always on the third Wednesday of May. The ride takes place in five continents, and 11 countries, including Canada and the United States. The rules for the ride are simple. “The Ride of Silence is a free ride that asks its cyclists to ride no faster than 12 mph, wear helmets, follow the rules of the road and remain silent during the ride,” reads the description on their website. There are no fees to ride, it and its goal is to raise the awareness of drivers, authorities and city officials of the the fact that all cyclists have a legal right to the public roads. It also provides cyclists a way to show respect for the lives of other riders who have been killed or injured.
You can watch a video of the ride in Montreal from CTV here.