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Tonight's Annual Ride of Silence Will Honor Fallen Chicago Cyclists

By Stephen Gossett in News on May 18, 2016 8:44PM

A crowd shot from 2014's Ride of Silence (photo via Frank Rico on Flickr)

The annual Ride of Silence in honor of killed and hurt cyclists takes place Wednesday evening throughout the country. A ride is scheduled here in Chicago at 6:30 p.m., with others at varying times in the suburbs.

Chicago has a stronger bike community than many cities, with plentiful bike infrastructure, repair shops and lobbying organizations. It's especially apparent on the Ride of Silence, which winds past Chicago's (too many) white, ghost-bike memorials, dedicated to cyclists who died riding. The 2016 ride passes eight such memorials; seven Chicago-area cyclists have died on the road in each of the last two years, according to WTTW.

“The ghost bikes and this ride grew together and joined hands to make this a tribute ride to those locals who've lost their lives,” Chicago Ride leader Elizabeth Adamczyk told WTTW. “But we’re also honoring those who are survivors. This is really meant to be a celebration of life."

This year’s ride departs at 6:30 p.m. from Daley Plaza’s Eternal Flame and concludes at approximately 9 p.m. with the dedication of a new ghost bike for Joseph Korner at the Burrito House (3547 N Lincoln Ave). A post-ride gathering will also take place at the site. Adamczyk asks riders to please arrive at Daley Plaza and sign in by 6 p.m.

In the meantime, enjoy one of our favorite pieces about the haunting majesty of ghost bikes, by the great culture critic Geoff Dyer.

Click here for the full Chicago route. Find details about other Illinois rides here.