This year was my 10th Ride of Silence and the 10th one Bike Law North Carolina has co-sponsored in Charlotte. Hearing the poem read and seeing the throng of bicyclists roll silently out, is always chilling, no matter how often I see it. And rolling back in, knowing that music, refreshment and followship await, is always uplifting.
Last night was no different. This year Triple C Brewing hosted us and we enjoyed music by Camel City Blues (their 3rd visit to Charlotte’s Ride of Silence). People showed up on bicycles in kits, casual clothes and work clothes. It never matters. We’re all there for one purpose.
I went home, as always, thinking, maybe we can make a difference. What I did not expect, though, was what I saw in my social media feed the next morning. Multiple cities in North Carolina had great turnouts for the event. So far, I’ve seen posts from Durham, Greensboro, Winston-Salem, Asheville, Gastonia and even Banner Elk. I know I’m missing some. All of these cities have great bicycling communities, made up of people who deserve to have their voices heard. Like many of us in the Bike Law network, these posts dominated my social media pages this morning.
I am encouraged to think that, when the time comes, these groups will again come together to stand up for what is right, to be involved and to be heard.
In the meantime, we continue to remember those who are gone, because we were not heard and because we did not show our strength. May we continue to fight in their memory.