National Bike to Work Week is just about wrapped up. I'm sad to say I missed most of the event because of wind and rain, but this Wednesday I'll be ready and waiting on the Statehouse lawn, helmet in hand, ready to embark on this year's closing ceremony: Ride of Silence.
Columbus' cycling community has blossomed since I started commuting on two wheels, but we still face the absence of legislature that would protect us and the perils of impatient and ignorant motorists.
Friends have been sexually assaulted from passenger side windows, others have been chased down by pickup trucks carrying dozens of Natty-toting drunken bros. I have been called a cunt, told to go fuck myself, showered in trash and come within an inch of my life more than once. (Just last week I had to dodge an SUV when its driver ran a stop sign in a school zone. "I just didn't see you!" she said.)
The Ride of Silence is an international event: a slow ten-mile ride to honour the bicyclists who have been killed, harassed or injured on public roadways. It is a way for us to say we're sorry we added thirty seconds to your commute because we had to make a left-hand turn and no, we don't want the rest of your Frosty, thanks.
The Ride is happening this Wednesday the 21st of May. The Columbus ride begins at 7:00 in front of the Ohio Statehouse. To find starting locations for the Ride of Silence in your area, visit rideofsilence.org.