‘Ride of Silence’ Will Honor Cyclists Killed and Injured While Biking in Boston

The ride has been around for a decade, and is coming to Boston on Wednesday.

Photo via thebicycle-chef.com

Photo via thebicycle-chef.com

The message is simple: Roads are very busy, but everyone needs to share the space around them.

That’s what Brookline resident Joel Feingold says he hopes people take away from the city’s “Ride of Silence,” a trek through Boston in honor of cyclists that have been hurt or killed while pedaling through the streets. “People don’t talk during this ride. We pay respect to fallen cyclists and we have one message ‘share the road,’” he says. “It’s a non-political message that is all about the fact that there are riders and pedestrians out there.”

A worldwide event that first started in Texas in 2003, Feingold says he tried to get a Boston-based ride off the ground last year, but due to timing, plans fell through. This year, however, with the help of officials from Mayor Tom Menino’s office, he was able to carve out a time for the roughly four-mile ride through Boston.

Participants that show up on the day of the silent ride, Wednesday, May 15, at 7 p.m., are encouraged to wear white shirts or armbands in a “show of solidarity” for those who have lost their lives while biking. The group will meet at City Hall Plaza. Feingold says the white was meant to mirror the “ghost bikes,” white-painted bicycles placed at the scenes of fatal accidents, seen around Boston. In 2012 alone, five cyclists were killed in traffic accidents in the city. “We are appreciative of the work that people do to make our roads safer with lanes and better signage, and there are great groups out there advocating for better streets,” he says of the city’s current infrastructure.

Feingold says he doesn’t know how many people will show up for the ride, which is happening during the state-sponsored “Bike Week” campaign, but so far nearly 100 participants have signed up on the event’s Facebook page. “[I just hope] we get enough cyclists to make a significant statement… and that it is a very manageable number so it will run smoothly and safely for its first year,” says Feingold. “It’s a small event with a big message.”

Safety was also on the minds of police on Monday. Officers were out in full force giving away free helmets and bike information to cyclists going to and from work, along Commonwealth Avenue, where one of the cyclists was killed last year in an accident.

In the past, the ride has been hosted by the advocacy group MassBike.