Paying tribute Ride of Silence 2017

Amazing Grace … Bag pipes … A solemn and haunting start to the 2017 Tucson Ride of Silence.

This annual event, hosted by Look Save a Life and GABA, met at Reid Park. Survivors and family were among those who spoke or rode in the police escorted 10 mile ride through the heart of Tucson.

Beverly Lucke who lost her husband just weeks ago on these same streets, was present and made sure that participants had black arm bands securely in place for the ride.

As the sun was setting and the wind whipped the riders on the last leg of the ride it seemed fitting to see riders shaking numb hands and shifting in the saddle.

Most of these riders ride for speed. At a minimum we all ride at our own varied pace. It is painful to ride at a slow clip, bunched together, balancing, juggling for a lane in the flow, and listening to some irritated drivers and their road rage engine revving or cat calls.

It’s painfully clear as we round the last corner that the bag pipes, speakers, promised pizza, and arm bands are just props. The pain in the hands, knees, seat in the saddle, winds, they are the point. That pain is the what those who have been killed by a careless and distracted driver felt acutely and tragically at the end their life.

They can no longer jostle for position with their friends on a club ride. They can no longer be present in the lives of their friends and family. They are gone too soon but they won’t be forgotten because people will remember them.

The third Wednesday in every May there will be a Ride of Silence in every state and 45 countries around the world. This ride will continue until there are zero deaths of bicyclists at the hands of motorists.

As one of the mom’s who tragically lost her son to a bike vs. auto collision said: “be careful out there.”