Ride of Silence...


The Ride of Silence is planning a National Media Campaign

We need your support to Let the Silence Roar

Let the Silence Roar

The Board of Directors and I believe that it is time for the Ride of Silence to speak up. We would like to orchestrate a national media campaign that tells the stories within the Ride of Silence. What we have accomplished to date has been a direct result of your support and involvement, so we would like to know how you feel about this campaign.
 
The Ride of Silence began very simply in response to the death of cyclist Larry Schwartz. In the days and months after the first ride in Dallas, TX, founder Chris Phelan learned that cyclists in other areas were interested in hosting their own Ride of Silence events.
 
Using a grass roots, word of mouth approach, the Ride of Silence grew into an International Event. In 2015, Ride of Silence events happened in 340 locations in 20 different countries on all 7 continents. Forty-nine states in the United States hosted Ride of Silence events.
 
The mission of the Ride of Silence is:
 
* To HONOR the memory of those cyclists who have been injured or killed
* To RAISE AWARENESS that cyclists have a legal right to ride on the road
* To ask all road users to SHARE THE ROAD
 
During these 12 years, we have focused our leadership on supporting the efforts of those individuals who want to start or host Ride of Silence events in their area. We now feel that it is time to increase our activities in support of our mission.
 
The Stories Within the Silence
 
Following the Ride of Silence in Dallas this year, local cyclist Mike Keel approached me (Chris Phelan) with an idea. Keel's idea is to coordinate a national media campaign in conjunction with the 2016 Ride of Silence. This campaign, called "Let the Silence Roar" will target the communities that are scheduled to host Ride of Silence events within the United States in 2016.
 
The board has reviewed and endorsed Keel's idea and approach. This approach focuses on bringing attention to our rides while asking the question "Why aren't these motorists held accountable?" It will not offer solutions nor will it make accusations. It will simply bring these stories to light and ask the question "Why?"
 
Before we go any further with this effort, we want to ask you to do the following:
 
* Read Keel's letter below and the outline of his idea.
* After that, if you agree with us and our decision to move forward with this campaign, please consider making a contribution to this effort.
* We need to raise $75,000 to cover the costs for website improvement, video production, mailing/distribution costs and contractor fees.
 
The decision, ultimately, lies with you. You are the cyclists who joined us. Together, we have honored those cyclists who have been injured or killed. The Ride of Silence board feels that the time is right for us to step it up and increase the awareness of the Ride of Silence and what it represents while we reveal the "Stories Within the Silence".
 
What do you think?
 
Please consider making a contribution to support this effort. Thank you.

 

Chris Phelan

Founder

 

Tim Potter

Board Member

 

Mark Hagar

Board Member

 

Lacey Nickell

Board Member



A Letter from Mike Keel

On this past Wednesday night, May 20th, 2015, at 7pm, I participated in the Ride of Silence at White Rock Lake Park, Dallas. You might have seen us out there, a group of about 500 cyclists, riding slowly and silently around the lake. As I rode around the lake, I had time to reflect on the thousands of other cyclists participating in the Ride of Silence at other locations across the globe. I also thought back to the first Ride of Silence here at White Rock Lake.
 
In 2003, Chris Phelan organized the first Ride of Silence in Dallas after endurance cyclist Larry Schwartz was hit by the mirror of a passing school bus and was killed. Phelan had a simple plan. He wanted to ride a single lap around White Rock Lake at 10mph in silence. Phelan had 3 goals:
 
* To HONOR the memory of those cyclists who have been injured or killed
* To RAISE AWARENESS that cyclists have a legal right to ride on the road
* To ask all road users to SHARE THE ROAD
 
When Phelan called me and invited my wife and me to join him and his wife for that first Ride of Silence, he thought we might be the only 4 riders there. I encouraged him to invite his friends to join him and I promised to do the same. When the night came and we rounded the corner to the starting point for the ride - we were greeted by a rather large mass of cyclists - with estimates ranging from 1000 to 3000 cyclists. It was an amazing and emotional experience.
 
As I rode around the lake on that night many years ago, my thoughts turned to my friend Kim Wheeler. As I rode on this night, my thoughts went there again.
 
Wheeler was riding his bike to see his fiancÚe on June 17, 1995 when he was struck and killed by an inattentive motorist. In the days following his death, I learned that the young man responsible for his death would not be charged with any crime. The DA explained that, without drugs/alcohol or fleeing the scene involved, that a grand jury of my peers would vote not to file charges in the case.
 
I began to look up other cases and found that to be very true, not only in Texas, but in many other states as well. I also learned that, even when there are reasons for criminal charges, the penalties are small and few.
 
As these thoughts came to mind, tears began to roll down my cheek. Many sons, mothers, fathers, daughters, wives, husbands, grandmothers and grandfathers lose their lives while riding a bicycle each year - and nothing happens. The people responsible for their deaths are not held accountable. Nobody learns a lesson. Justice is not served. Why is that? Maybe it is because nobody has been asking the question.
 
That's when the thought occurred to me that - WE - the silent cyclists around the globe - can speak for them. We can raise the awareness by publicizing this situation and asking people to help us achieve justice for those cyclists killed by the actions and/or errors made by motorists.
 
Let the Silence Roar



The Campaign Outline


Next Steps:

 

Fund Raising Campaign from the BoD to All Ride of Silence directors/supporters to fund a staff contractor and support costs (website, video production, media kit costs, postage) to organize/coordinate and execute a national media campaign

for the 2016 Ride of Silence.

• Gather stories from all the RoS markets, similar to Kim Wheeler
• Gather videos and photos from all RoS markets

• Put together a template for the press release “The Stories Within The Silence” that includes the overview and a local story

• Update website and all content, add video and photos as well as links to other videos and photos

• Produce a 3 to 5 minute video to support the campaign

• Gather all media contact info for all RoS markets

• Send out all media kits beginning early 2016, including contacts to RoS leaders in that market as well as the National Office/Chris Phelan/Mike Keel


Questions? Email the Campaign
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