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When I first heard the term "Ride of Silence" I didn't really know what it was. However, the second time I was confronted with the term "Ride of Silence" was when an acquaintance named Jill Christie with the Texas Department of Transportation was explaining to me what the ride was all about.

So as the ride comes to Abilene, I thought it would be a great idea to share what the ride is all about. So here goes, in 2003 the first Ride of Silence took place in the Dallas Fort Worth Metroplex after a nationally known amateur cyclist named Larry Schwartz had been killed when he was riding his bicycle and was hit by a school bus on a wide-open empty road.

On the first Ride of Silence around the White Rock Lake near DFW, thousands of cyclists showed up to honor the memory of Larry Schwartz by riding, they are bringing attention to the dangers cyclists face when they ride on the open roads.

Since the very first ride, it has grown tremendously. It is now an international event and is done on the third Wednesday in May during National Bicycle Month. The ride encourages all participants to ride in silence, ride no faster than 10 to 12 mph, and wear all the appropriate riding apparel including riding helmets.

While the Ride of Silence doesn't have an actual set length to it, organizers say it's a short ride. The main focus is to raise awareness among all motorists and remind one another that we must all share the road.

Organizers Ask That Everyone Rides in Silence

By the way, the Ride of Silence got its name because organizers suggest to all cyclists participating to do the ride in silence. The ride is free and anyone over the age of 14 can participate. Everyone meets at McMurry Univesity.

The most important part is, that it doesn't have to be national bicycle month for all of us to remember to share the road from bicycles to motorcycles to vehicles of all sizes, we must all remember to share the road and be kind to one another.

To sign up, participate, or learn more go to RideOfSilence.org.

Jill Christie / Texas Department of Transportation
Jill Christie / Texas Department of Transportation
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