Ride of Silence
Ride of Silence
57“I’ve exhausted myself with tears and questions… I find myself looking up. I think because the sky wanders into the biggest realm of the unknown and if I know Nicole is not here, feet on the ground, she’s got to be there. Sleepless and lost, looking up and the most phenomenal thing happened. It wasn’t a shooting star but more like a falling planet, white hot as the moon with a fiery tail and falling straight down to the earth for no less than 4 or 5 seconds until disappearing behind the trees. I looked at my roommate to see if I might have maybe been hallucinating in my pain, but he sat in the same amazement. She famously waved, smiled, and said hello. Nicole is sprinting in the sky. Heaven. I had to share the beauty…” Ryan Kelly processing the loss of pro cyclist, Nicole Reinhart
May is Bike Awareness Month. It includes Bike to Work Day and Ride of Silence. The 58Ride of Silence is an international event which commemorates those killed or injured while riding on public roadways.
It’s a somberly-paced ride that encourages participation from all strata of the cyclosphere – hybrid commuter to trials practitioner to professional racer. The ride lasts about an hour and is ridden by the eclectic group slowly in complete silence. Silence is the great gulf that divides the land of the living from those who’ve passed. This two-wheeled processional is hauntingly beautiful accompanied by its funeral dirge of humming spokes and squeaking brakes. No voices bring words as comforting as silent thoughts that contemplate the eternal bliss of a lost loved one.
These encouraging eulogies are meant for the living. There are no more answers from the dead, there are only questions by us forced to consider forces greater than ourselves in realizing our own mortality.
As I participate in this event, I choose to think of not just cyclists lost by tragic accidents but all those who’ve hastened across the final finish line before me. Our community has its aged who pedaled to a natural death. It has its remembered who fought disease as valiantly as the competition and finally succumbed after fulfilling some important purpose. It has its ravaged whose lives ended painfully. It is comforting to turn to my silent companions in the group and smile at their special place beside and beyond for this sacred hour’s ride.
Prayer re: Fallen Cyclists
“God’s glory is on tour in the skies…Their words aren’t heard, their voices aren’t recorded, But their silence fills the earth: unspoken truth is spoken everywhere.” 59Psalm 19:1-4
We are thankful for the time we’ve had with those we loved or enjoyed in cycling. We ask forgiveness for all that was left unsaid. We pray for comfort as we grieve and for the families and friends of all beyond the finish line. Ponder Who can I honor with a silent ride? Affirm I am alive for a reason and appreciate what the departed gave. Watch while you can; hear the truth in the silence.
57″Ryan Kelly Part II,” Special Edition News for September18, 2000 Nicole Reinhart June 3, 1976-September 17, 2000 http://www.cyclingnews.com
58Ride of Silence organized by Cumberland Valley Cycling Club, Hagerstown, Maryland on May 21, 2008 honored all fallen cyclists and especially acknowledged local resident Lloyd Clarke who was killed just months before on a training ride in Nevada. He is survived by wife and teenage daughter.
59The Bible, New International Version, Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society