The uncomfortable truth about the everyday meeting place for automobiles and bicycles is that we both share the same width of road, despite a significant discrepancy in power, weight, and protection from the environment. The very same feat of civil engineering that makes road biking so pleasant (smooth pavement) facilitates distracted drivers continuing the culturally acceptable bad habit of driving too fast.
If bike meets car, the bike usually loses.
The Annual Ride of Silence is a memorial event encouraging “cyclists of all abilities and levels of experience” to honor and remember cyclists who have been injured or killed on public roads. In recent years, phenomena called Ghost Bikes have appeared at the site of deadly bike/auto accidents. “Small and somber memorials for bicyclists who are killed or hit on the street,” Ghost Bikes are like striped bike lanes in that, by serving as a visual reminder of the responsibility to share the road, they create the expectation that bicyclists will be on the road, even if they are not there right now.
This Saturday (June 6th, 2009) in Durham is a free, all-abilities cycling event to promote bicycle safety and remember someone who was the victim of our cultural unwillingness to slow down. The 12-mile Ride for Clive is at once a memorial ride for Clive Sweeney and a celebration of Clive’s life and love of cycling. Whether you knew Clive or not, all are welcome.
Sweeney was killed in an unfortunate meeting of car and bicycle, of inattentive driver and dedicated cyclist. To say he was killed by “wreckless driving,” as WRAL writes, is insensitive. To call it a bike accident is to miss the point. His “bike didn’t kill him,” said one commenter on the durhambikeandped listserv, “Clive was killed by a reckless person driving a weapon.”
The route for Saturday’s Ride for Clive follows the American Tobacco Trail, the focus of the ride is safety, and the spirit is sure to be positive.
- 8AM registration
- 8:30AM safety tips
- 9AM ride
Before his untimely death, McKinney (advertising firm in Durham) interviewed Clive talking about himself and his passions in life. If you would like to know more, you can watch the video here.
Read more about both the ride and about Clive Sweeney at http://rideforclive.com/
UPDATE: Forgot to mention that the good folks at Bull City Cycling are behind this, organizing and planning the ride.