The Greater Lansing Ride of Silence — an annual event to honor cyclists who have been injured or killed while using public roadways — is back for a 14th edition in 2021, after Covid-19 prevented proceedings a year ago.
The silent procession of cyclists will start at 6:30 p.m. on Wednesday, May 19, traveling from Wells Hall on MSU’s campus to the State Capitol, with a police escort keeping the road cleared.
“All of the traffic all the way down Michigan Avenue has to wait for us, you know, like a funeral procession,” Diana Twede, an organizer of the event said in an interview with ELi. “Everyone rides in silence, and it’s to respect and remember the people who have been hurt and killed by crashes with cars when they were riding their bicycles.”
Registration will occur starting at 5:15 p.m. the same day at Wells Hall Plaza, according to a press release from the Tri-County Bicycle Association.
The Tri-County Bicycle Association, which co-hosts the event with MSU Bikes, said in its press release that the event requires helmets and for all riders to comply with applicable Covid-19 precautions. The event will continue through rain, but not thunder and lightning. May 22 at noon is the rain date.
“It is one of over 400 similar rides occurring across the globe annually and simultaneously,” the release read.
After reaching the Capitol, Twede said, there are usually some speeches from activists or legislators. Following that, most riders either make their way back to campus — with a police escort — or head over to Lansing Brewing Company, “where we’ll celebrate the work of those in advocacy helping to make our roads safer for all of us,” according to a Facebook event for the local Ride of Silence.
Participation is free, and you can check out the Facebook page for the event here.
Twede also pointed out that the ride this year takes on particular meaning locally, given the recent hit-and-run crash involving a car and a bicyclist at the intersection of Abbot Road and Saginaw Street. That incident involved a car speeding through an intersection and hitting a cyclist who was on his way to work — causing the cyclist severe injuries — and then fleeing the scene.
“A guy who’s just trying to get to work on his bicycle and somebody runs into him and takes off and runs through red lights apparently,” Twede said. “And jeez, you know, bicyclists are very vulnerable when we’re out there.”