‘Ride of Silence’ returns to Green Valley

April 28, 2009

In this May 18, 2008 file photo, more than 80 Southern Arizona cyclists,
along with police escorts, take part in the Ride of Silence.
This year’s Ride of Silence is scheduled for May 20, starting at East Center

By Nick Prevenas, www.gvnews.com

Three years ago, the Ride of Silence was introduced to Green Valley as a way to pay to honor and remember those bicyclists who have been killed or injured on the highways.  The Green Valley cycling community was deeply saddened by the death of Fred Hettig on March 22, 2006. As a result, Hettig’s close friends and fellow cycling enthusiasts have used this event to raise awareness for cycling safety, while paying tribute to one of the area’s most beloved figures.

The Santa Cruz Valley Area 2009 Ride of Silence will be held on May 20 in Green Valley.  The ride will start at 6 p.m. Participants are invited to arrive at the East Social Center at 5:30 p.m. and enjoy some light refreshments provided by Green Valley Bike and Hike.

The Ride of Silence will begin in North America and roll across the globe at more than 300 locations. Cyclists will take to the roads in a silent procession to honor cyclists who have been killed or injured while cycling on public roadways.  “Cyclists have a legal right to share the road with motorists, but the motoring public often isn’t aware of these rights and sometimes not aware of the cyclists themselves,” said event organizer Chuck Hill. 
The Ride of Silence began in 2003 in Dallas when Chris Phelan organized an event to honor his friend, Larry Schwartz.

The seven-mile ride will be led by local bicyclists with support from several community organizations.  The ride takes place at a comfortable and slow pace, beginning at Eperanza Blvd., La Canada Dr., Duval Mine Rd., and back to the start on Abrego Dr.  Those who don’t own a bike have a bike are still invited to come and meet some of the local people who will be participating.  The Ride of Silence requires that all riders wear helmets, with the option of wearing black arm bands. Riders are asked to pedal no faster than 12 miles per hour in single file.

For a YouTube presentation from the 2008 Ride of Silence in the Santa Cruz Valley Area, go to

For more information on the international Ride of Silence event go to www.rideofsilence.org, or visit the Santa Cruz Valley Bicycle Advocate Committee at scvbac.org.