Riding in complete silence through Chicago with a few hundred fellow cyclists as the evening rush swirled around us amplified the urban biking experience. In our tight pack nothing could be heard except the gentle clicking of freewheels. Around us everything seemed louder than usual. Car horns sounded like explosions. Comments from onlookers seemed like they were spoken right into your ear. Families of fallen cyclists gathering at the ghost bikes at which we paid our respects seemed like people we knew. Last night's Ride Of Silence in honor of bicyclists killed or injured riding our city's streets offered a solemn reminder to those who participated of why we ride. We ride to be in tune, connected to our surroundings, the people, the traffic, the road, ourselves. Traveling without the metal and rubber encasement a car provides means everything is allowed into our personal space. Seeing the ghost bikes and the red arm bands worn by some riders reminded that death and injury sometimes invade. We ride nevertheless; to work, home to our children, because it's fun, without illusion and with honesty to ourselves.
Below are some photos from last night's Chicago Ride Of Silence.