Join Birmingham cyclists in the Ride of Silence on May 20 to promote safety + honor injured or killed cyclists

Birmingham, Alabama, Red Rock Trail System, Freshwater Land Trust
Will you be riding? Photo by Greg Harber via Freshwater Land Trust’s Instagram.

Did you know May is National Bike Month? To celebrate, Birmingham’s cycling community is participating in the Ride of Silence on Wednesday, May 20. Keep reading to learn more about this international event and how you can get involved.

What is the Ride of Silence?

The Ride of Silence is an event that’s observed around the world. Many of Birmingham’s traditional events that celebrate National Bike Month have been postponed. However, the Ride of Silence is rolling right along—with a few social distancing modifications, of course.

Ride of silence
Ride of Silence is observed around the globe on May 20. Photo via the Birmingham Bicycle Club.

The Ride of Silence aims to:

  • Promote cycling safety
  • Promote the sharing of roads
  • Promote the need for enhanced cycling infrastructure
  • Recognize and honor all cyclists who have been killed or injured
  • Draw awareness of cyclists to motorist and civic officials

How to get involved

The Birmingham Bicycle Club will place Ride of Silence banners throughout Birmingham. Locations include Oak Mountain State Park, Good People Brewing Company and Cahaba Cycles in Homewood.

Even City Councilor Darrell O’Quinn will be participating in the event. Here’s how he is utilizing his ride:

I will be reflecting on the lives of those lost while riding solo, rather than in a large group from Homewood Cahaba Cycles. Nevertheless, the need for awareness of our friends, family and neighbors on bikes is perhaps greater now than it ever has been.

Hold a moment of silence at a designated banner

Ride of Silence banners are used as a symbol of respect to honor cyclists who have been killed or injured on our roads. Whether you’re a cyclist or a spectator, you can pay your respects by observing a moment of silence at these banners.

While you’re there, snap a quick photo and post it to your socials, including the Birmingham Bicycle Club Facebook page.

Hold a moment of silence at the “Ghost Bike”

ghost bike near post office
Photo by Chaise Sanders for Bham Now.

If you’ve driven past Birmingham’s main post office, you’ve probably noticed a white bike at the corner of 3rd Avenue North and 24th Street North. This bike commemorates the cyclist Franklin Bradford Prude who was hit by an 18-wheeler on July 12, 2019. He was 56.

The Ride of Silence’s mission is to bring awareness to issues like this and promote safer roads for cyclist.

It’s been a joy to see so many parents out riding with their kids. I’d love to see that continue. Part of how [Birmingham] gets there is by building awareness that all streets are multi-modal. [The Ride of Silence] also serves as a reminder of the potential consequences of distracted driving and heavy governmental subsidization of motorized vehicle use.

Darrell O’Quinn, Birmingham City Councilor

If you’d like to learn more, here are 5 tips for cyclists’ safety in Birmingham + local spots to grab some gear or new wheels.

Will you be participating in Birmingham’s Ride of Silence? Make sure to tag us in your photos @BhamNow.

Chaise Sanders
Chaise Sanders
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