Share

Did You Know?

The Chicago region’s current hub-and-spoke transit system leaves nearly half a million Cook County residents stranded in transit deserts.

On May 18, Chicago Ride of Silence will mourn the lives lost while biking during the past year

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

Elizabeth Adamczyk
Chicago Organizer
elizabeth@rideofsilence.org
rideofsilence.org/chicago
(773) 370-2038

Kyle Whitehead
Active Transportation Alliance
(312) 216-0473
kyle@activetrans.org

 

On May 18, Chicago Ride of Silence will mourn the lives lost while biking during the past year
The annual ride will offer a moment silent reflection at the sites where drivers killed people biking near the Loop

Chicago, Ill., May 12, 2022 — On Wednesday, May 18, you’re invited to join others around the world on an annual bicycle ride to honor the people killed while biking in the past year. The event calls attention to the right of people to bike on the road and the urgent need for infrastructure that will make biking in Chicago safer and more welcoming for people of all ages and abilities.

“We need to remember that this tragic loss of life is unnecessary and completely avoidable,” said Chicago Ride of Silence organizer Elizabeth Adamczyk. “This is a chance to mourn those who have been killed while biking, visit their ghost bikes, and share a silent moment of respect and reflection.”

Beginning at the Thompson Center at 5:30 p.m., people will ride in silent procession along a 7.2-mile route through the Loop, West Loop, River North, and along the Lakefront Trail, visiting the following fatal crash sites of the past year:

  • Paresh Chhatrala was killed by a hit-and-run driver on April 16, 2022. The software engineer was struck by a driver on West Madison in the West Loop, near where he lived.
  • Broderick Adé Hogue, a bike racer and graphic designer well known in the local cycling community, was killed by a driver on Grand Avenue near DuSable Lake Shore Drive on October 29, 2021.
  • Gerardo Marciales was killed by a driver while riding a Divvy bike from the Lakefront Trail across DuSable Lake Shore Drive in the Loop. Gerardo, a technical consulting engineer, was engaged to be married.

The Thompson Center, where the ride starts, is a building designed by architect Helmet Jahn, who was killed by a driver last spring in suburban Compton Hills.

The ride honors and remembers all the people who lost their lives while biking on Chicago streets. This year we remember in particular those mentioned above as well as the following crash victims.

  • Nick Parlingayan, age 22, May 4, 2022, in Irving Park
  • Jose Velásquez, age 16, December 10, 2021, in Back of the Yards
  • Robert Earl Moore, age 59, November 15, 2021, in Back of the Yards,
  • Jason Hardt, age 48, September 12, 2021, in North Lawndale
  • George Sawicki, age 70, August 17, 2021, in South Loop
  • Thomas Travers, age 59, July 24, 2021, in Jefferson Park
  • Kevin Clark, age 32, May 26, 2021, in Logan Square
  • Helmut Jahn, age 81, May 8, 2021, in west-suburban Campton Hills

Ride participants are encouraged to join a post-ride gathering at the Emerald Loop, 216 N. Wabash.

“Deaths of people biking have increased in the past couple of years in Chicago,” said Adamczyk. “This is unacceptable. We are calling attention to this needless loss of life and demanding safer streets. This annual event strengthens our resolve to eliminate traffic fatalities and urge the city to do much more to keep people safe while they’re biking.”

An average of five to six bicyclists were killed every year 2012-2019 in Chicago. But nine Chicago bicyclists were killed in 2020, and in 2021, 10 were killed. Three people have already been killed in 2022 while biking in Chicago — even before the prime season for biking has gotten underway.

“It’s a tragedy that transportation infrastructure planning fails to make streets safe for the most vulnerable people on the road,” said Adamczyk. “There is an urgent need for safety improvements on a variety of primary biking routes in the city, including Milwaukee Avenue and access points to the Lakefront Trail. No more people should have to die while biking on any of our roadways in order to achieve needed safety improvements.”

(Here’s a printable version of the route map with turn-by-turn directions.)

This year the Chicago Ride of Silence is sponsored by the Active Transportation Alliance, F.K. Law, and Steetsblog Chicago. Ride organizers request that black armbands be worn by participants and red armbands if you’ve been hit by a driver while biking (arm bands will be provided). Helmets are required; lights are highly recommended for the ride home.

In the event of inclement weather, participants are asked to gather at the post-ride location.

This year Illinois has nearly 20 rides occurring in communities throughout the state. The Ride of Silence is held in many locations in the US, Canada, Australia, Europe, South and Central America and the rest of the world. This year there are nearly 300 locations registered throughout the world.

Chicago Ride of Silence

Wednesday, May 18, 2022
5:30 p.m. gather; 6 p.m. departure
Start: Thompson Center
End: Emerald Loop, 216 N. Wabash.; all are welcome

 

ABOUT THE RIDE OF SILENCE

Mission statement: The mission of the worldwide Ride of Silence™ is to honor bicyclists killed by motorists, promote sharing the road, and provide awareness of bicycling safety.

Founder and President Chris Phelan organized the first Ride of Silence in Dallas in 2003 after endurance cyclist Larry Schwartz was killed by a passing bus’s mirror on an empty road.

The Ride of Silence is a free ride that asks its cyclists to ride no faster than 12 mph for no longer than an hour. The ride hopes to raise cycling awareness during bike month to motorists, police, traffic engineers, insurance companies, and city officials. The ride is also a chance to mourn, in funeral procession style, those who have been killed.