We had a well-attended ride this year, thanks again to Marin Cyclists Club. As always, we did a slow ride from Piper Park in Larkspur to downtown San Anselmo where we stopped briefly to hand out flyers about the meaning of our Ride of Silence and the urgent need for Marin County and its several cities to adopt Vision Zero strategies to hasten street safety work. The Marin Cyclists group then continued on to West Marin for a much longer ride, stopping at several places where cyclists have been killed. The rest of us returned to Piper Park. There were 228 other Rides of Silence in 40 States and 16 Countries. See https://www.rideofsilence.org/main.php to see where those rides occurred.
MEMORIAL BICYCLE RIDES
The 2022 Marin Ride of Silence was the largest we have ever had, thanks to Marin Cyclists Club whose contingent of 18 joined us for our regular slow ride from Piper Park in Larkspur to downtown San Anselmo. We stopped briefly to hand out flyers about the meaning of our Ride of Silence and the need for Marin County and its several cities to adopt Vision Zero strategies to accelerate the work of improving street safety. The Marin Cyclists group then continued on to West Marin for a much longer ride, while the rest of us returned to Piper Park for a picnic under beautiful skies. Marin Cyclists had another unofficial ride in Novato which stopped briefly to remember the fallen.
Rides have been held every year since 2010 but I neglected to post many of them on this website. Details of all of them can be found on the Ride of Silence website. http://rideofsilence.org/reports/reportView.php . Once on that page, choose the year and State (California) and look for Marin County.
Once again Francoise and I will be joining Sylvia’s friends in Cleveland for our 8th annual bike ride to remember her and others killed biking in Cleveland. She was killed biking to work on 9/15/09.
We will visit her best friend Jill, Jill’s husband David and their year-old baby named…. Sylvia (nicknamed Via). I hope you will take a moment on the 15th to reflect on Sylvia and how important it is to make the roads safer for cyclists. One concrete thing you can do is to use the Dutch Reach when exiting your car and tell others to do so. Up to 20% of major crashes are because cyclists are “doored.” See the Dutch Reach graphic posted here.
2015 Ride of Silence May 23. Our annual Marin County Ride of Silence took seven of us once again around the Tiburon Peninsula on a gorgeous Saturday. We chose to ride on Saturday rather than the regular RoS Wednesday in hopes of increasing the number of riders and also because past participants have generally been relatively inexperienced and uncomfortable with riding in the evening when there’s little light at the end of the ride. Sylvia Bingham’s parents organized the ride and were pleased to have one of Sylvia’s friends and her dad join the ride. We once again read the names of all those we know of who have been killed biking on Marin’s streets. The ride was publicized in the newsletter of the Marin County Bicycle Coalition. We still hope to get MCBC to sponsor future RoS rides, as this would ensure greater participation.
What is the Ride of Silence? A slow and somber ride to honor the lives of bicyclists who have been killed or injured while cycling and to raise the awareness of motorists, police, city officials, and the general public of the need to share the road safely with cyclists who have a legal right to use the public roadways. Our Marin ride will NOT be on May 20, the official international date of the ride, but on the following Saturday. This because we have been unable to interest more than a handful of the Marin cycling community in coming to a 7 pm mid-week ride.
Ride of Silence Website
The Ride of Silence website lists hundreds of people including Sylvia who have been killed while riding their bikes. See http://www.rideofsilence.org/memoriam.php
Steve represented SBF in a jointly sponsored bike ride November 12 to promote safety and especially California’s new law prohibiting vehicles from passing bikes with less than 3 feet clearance. The other sponsors were Trips for Kids, Alcohol Justice and WheelEscape, whose director, Kathy McLeod, a bike instructor certified by the League of American Bicyclists, gave a short safety lesson before the ride to the 15-20 kids and adults on the new 3-foot law and bike safety in general. The ride was held in the low-income Canal District of San Rafael, in an effort to reach a population little-served by the more traditional cycling organizations.
Steve and Francoise participated in a ride in Cleveland to remember Sylvia on the 5th anniversary of her death. The ride left from Tremont where Sylvia lived and ended at 21st and Prospect Streets, arriving in time to remember Sylvia at the moment she was killed, 8:48 a.m.
Channel 19’s story is here and the Channel 5’s uncut video is here. Those in the videos include Sylvia’s then-boyfriend Alex, her closest friend Jill, Jim Sheehan playing guitar, head of Ohio City Bicycle Coalition, and Jacob, head of BikeCleveland.
A wonderful memorial ride took place in Cleveland on 9/22/2013, a week after the 4th anniversary of Sylvia’s death. Around 40 people participated. Click here to view event photos. The ride left from the Sculpture Center, whose exhibit on Mourning included the bike Sylvia was riding when she was killed. In conjunction with the Cleveland ride, Jim Sheehan of the Ohio City Bicycle Co-Op where Sylvia bought her bike, wrote this commentary about Sylvia and the origin of the “I Ride for ____” T-shirts.
Pre-Event Announcement for Memorial Bicyle Ride on 9/22/2013
This Sunday, September 22nd, at 5pm in Cleveland, there will be a silent memorial bicycle ride in mourning and memory of Sylvia’s Bingham’s death as the result of a collision with a truck while riding her bicycle to work on the morning of Tuesday, Sept. 15 2009. This will be the fifth ride held in her honor.
The ride will begin at The Sculpture Center, where, as part of a new exhibit called Made in Mourning, a ghost bike made in Sylvia’s honor will be displayed outside the gallery on Euclid Avenue from the exhibit’s opening on the evening of Thursday, September 19th until the the ride on Sunday, when it will be re-installed at the site of her death, at East 21st St and Prospect Avenue.
Sylvia’s ghost bike outside the gallery will be juxtaposed with the bike she was riding when she was killed, displayed inside as part of the exhibit, with spoke cards on which gallery patrons and ride participants will be invited to complete the phrase, “I ride for _______.” These spoke cards will then be affixed to Sylvia’s ghost bike when it is left at 21st and Prospect, near a sidewalk plaque her parents commissioned and had installed there in 2012.
These cards will echo the slogan that her friends printed on t-shirts for the first ride in her honor shortly after her death — “I ride for Sylvia” — inspired by the fact that, during her brief life in Cleveland, Sylvia used to joke that she needed an erasable T-shirt that said, “I RIDE FOR _______ .” so she could just fill in the blank with a different reason every day, because her co-workers would invariably ask her, “Why do you always ride your bike to work?” and she had so many answers to choose from.
In honor of Sylvia’s life, The Sculpture Center is sponsoring a free Traffic Skills Seminar from 2-5pm on Sunday Sept. 22, immediately before the memorial ride. This brief discussion and short ride examining how bicycle crashes happen, and how to avoid them, is free and open to anyone over 16, but registration (here) is appreciated. The exhibit will be open at 1pm on Sunday, before the class, and before the 5pm memorial ride as well.
The ride, which will be held in silence, will stop at East 21st St and Prospect Avenue for a period of reflection, after which participants may either return to The Sculpture Center with a group, or continue on with some of Sylvia’s friends to Edgewater Beach, one of her favorite places in Cleveland, and make their way home or back to the start on their own. Participants are encouraged to wear white shirts.
Our condolences are extended to Sylvia’s family and friends, and our commitment to making cycling safer for all has been sadly strengthened by the tragedy of her death. Donations in her honor can be made to the Sylvia Bingham Fund, which promotes bicycle safety and environmental concerns.
A memorial bike ride was held in Cleveland on September 15, 2012, the 3rd anniversary of Sylvia’s death. Around 100 riders participated, all wearing white T-shirts, many with “I Ride for Sylvia” on the back. The ride paused at 21st and Prospect to dedicate this bronze plaque embedded in the sidewalk. The ride ended at the former address of Hard-Hatted Women where Sylvia was headed for work the day she was killed. Bike Cleveland helped promote the ride with help from the Ohio City Bicycle Co-op. Here’s some links related to the ride: newsnet5; facebook.
2012 Ride of Silence Events Report >>
Under “State” choose 2012 and California, then scroll down to Marin County on the results page.
In Cleveland, about 40 cyclists ignored the pouring rain and thunder to join Jody Orlovick who organized the ride. A number of councilmen, representatives from the Mayor’s office and local members of the police were also present. Emelio DiSabato, Sylvia’s friend and roommate, spoke about Sylvia. His moving speech is posted on YouTube. Pictures and other videos of this event can be found on the Ride of Silence, Cleveland, Ohio Facebook page.
Steve and Francoise with their friend Angelo Douvos joined local cyclists for a Ride of Silence in Tiburon, in Marin County, California. The event was organized by The Marin County Bike Coalition and was dedicated to Sylvia. The turnout was small, 15-20 riders, but more than twice as many as last year. The weather was perfect and the route around the peninsula spectacular. Thank you to all of those who joined us for this event.
Here are some pictures:
In the morning of September 15, 2010, exactly a year after the tragedy, Steve, Francoise, their nephew Alfred, Sylvia’s close friend Jill and a group of other friends and bike activists left Sylvia’s house in the Tremont neighborhood of Cleveland to retrace her route to work at Hard Hatted Women. They stopped at the corner of Prospect and 21st Street and placed flowers on the Ghost bicycle, which is still there, then completed the ride to Hard Hatted Women, where they were received by the director, staff and board members and Americorps VISTA volunteers.
Ride of Silence events are held every year on May 18 at 7:00 PM in hundred of locations world wide.The first Ride of Silence took place at White Rock Lake in Dallas in 2003. This unformal event, attended by 1000 cyclists, was organized by Chris Phelan to honor the memory of his friend Larry Schwartz who was killed by a school bus mirror on May 4 2003.
The mission of the world wide Ride of Silence is to honor bicyclists killed by motorists, promote sharing the road, and provide awareness of bicycling safety.
For more information go to http://www.rideofsilence.org.
2010 Ride of Silence Events Report
Total 2010 Riders: 1138
Total Reported: 3 Cities
Cleveland, 350 Riders
Two starting points (Cleveland City Hall and Whole Foods Market) converged at a central meeting place (University Hospitals). 350 riders, mostly wearing white.
We had wonderful support from Cleveland Police as well as a number of other police departments along the route. It was an uplifting and inspirational event that included speakers who talked about the growth of bicycling for transportation and the need for all road users to respect each other and share our roadways.
Speakers also included Bob who has rebuilt his life after being partially paralyzed in a crash, Alex who read a statement from the parents of Sylvia who was killed by a right-turning truck and Gary who talked about his co-worker Charles who was killed while commuting to work.
This event has helped galvanize and strengthen the budding bicycle advocacy movement in northeast Ohio.
Photos From Rides of Silence in Cleveland
By Joe Guillen, The Plain Dealer
Originally posted on Cleveland.com
CLEVELAND, Ohio — As someone who was passionate and city living and the environment, Sylvia Bingham’s preferred way of getting around Cleveland was on her bicycle.
While riding her bike to work about a month ago, the 22-year-old died when she was hit by a truck near East 21st Street and Prospect Avenue.
On Saturday, Bingham’s family and friends gathered for memorial bike rides — here in Cleveland and others in her home state of California — to remember the way she lived and to promote safer roads.
“It makes all of us involved in organizing it feel like something positive came out of her accident — even if it’s just all of us being together,” said Alex Nosse, 25, who was Bingham’s boyfriend.
Nosse was among about 30 people who arrived on Saturday morning at Edgewater Park, the starting point of the memorial bike ride here. Bingham, who lived in Tremont, liked to swim at the beach at Edgewater, Nosse said.
From there, the bikers planned to split up into groups and head to different destinations: Clark Fields in the Tremont neighborhood for a bike education event; the Morgana Run trail in Slavic Village to paint a mural Bingham helped design; and an East Side urban garden that supplies produce to local markets.
After the bike ride, everyone planned to meet at Edgewater to pick up some of the litter nearby — a tribute to Bingham’s concern for the environment.
“I just want to keep thinking about Sylvia and things she wanted to do,” said Jill Collins, Bingham’s best friend, who lives in Ohio City.
Bingham’s parents, meanwhile, organized a separate set of bike rides in California to honor their daughter, who grew up in San Rafael, Calif.
Bingham arrived in Cleveland not long after graduating from Yale University in May. She had friends here and found a job at the Hard Hatted Women office, where she helped women working in the building trades become mentors to other women.
Stephen Bingham, her father, said he wants to prevent similar deaths. He said his daughter was almost certainly in the truck driver’s blind spot when she was hit. She was not wearing a helmet, he said, but it would not have prevented her death because the truck struck her in the midsection.
The driver faces possible criminal charges, police said.
Stephen Bingham said he is dedicated to making sure trucks, within the next five years, are required to have technology to alert them when somebody is in their blind spot.
“If there’s something we can do so that her death means that a whole bunch of other young people may not die, then we can get some meaning out of this horrible thing,” he said by telephone Saturday.
Nosse, Bingham’s boyfriend, said drivers on the road need to be more aware of bicyclists and their right to the road. Nosse said he has been car-free for six years. Instead, he relies on his bike and public transportation — a philosophy Bingham held as well.
“She and I both thought biking was a healthier way to live,” he said.
As he got ready to begin riding, Nosse fixed a helmet on his head — a requirement for Saturday’s ride in Cleveland.
On Tuesday September 22, 2009 about 150 Cleveland friends, neighbors and sympathetic bike riders joined a silent memorial ride to commemorate the death of Sylvia Bingham. She was killed on September 15 while riding to work.
This Little Light
The Sylvia Bingham memorial ride will be taking place this Tuesday, September 22nd, at 8:00am (that’s the same day as the general interest meeting, just 12 hours earlier). Here are the details: Meet at Sylvia’s Tremont home at the intersection of Fairfield and West 11th at 7:30 AM. The ride will begin at 8:00 on Tuesday, September 22nd–on the 1 week anniversary of Sylvia’s accident. We will have a limited number of white “I RIDE FOR SYLVIA” T-shirts available for a goodwill donation. Please wear white shirts. Helmets are required, and loaners will be available at the site if you don’t have your own.
This is an incredibly important event for all of the greater Cleveland cycling community, and we hope you can make it out. 4000 More will be helping organize carpools (with bike racks, of course) to head out from Oberlin in time for the ride– if you have a car and want to help get people out, or you don’t but you want to be there, PLEASE email [email protected] and we will help you get transportation.
These are our shirts. The design, inspired by Sylvia’s idea, was a collaborative effort by her friends. On Monday night, Ayla and Alex went to the Oberlin College Silkscreen Studio to print shirts for Tuesday’s ride. Thanks to guidance and help from Asa, a senior at Oberlin, they were able to print 200 shirts by hand. Above is Alex holding a freshly printed shirt in the studio and two bikers at Sylvia’s house before the ride. We will be printing more “I Ride For” shirts for the next ride on October 17th so be sure to let us know if you would like one. We ride for Sylvia.