Archive for May, 2012
Over 50 Missoula cyclists representing all ages and abilities participated in the Ride of Silence on Wednesday, May 16 organized by Bike/Walk Alliance for Missoula. The Ride of Silence is an international event held in cities around the world to remember victims of bike crashes on the roads and to raise awareness about the importance of safe sharing of the roads. This year’s Missoula Ride of Silence, a slow, silent 6-mile ride, was led by a Missoula police car and a hearse donated by Garden City Funeral Home. Many oncoming motorists on Third Street recognized this as a funeral procession and extended the courtesy of stopping, while on Reserve Street drivers passed at a reduced speed in the inside lane. A few drivers who found themselves behind the procession on Mullan Road were overcome with impatience and passed in the left-turn lanes, an excellent reminder of one of the factors that leads to crashes and why we were riding.
Thanks to a huge pre-event effort by BWAM volunteers, this year’s Ride of Silence received good support and publicity so that its purpose of raising awareness for safe sharing of the roads was achieved. Mayor John Engen read a Proclamation at the Monday City Council Meeting, which Chief Administrative Officer Bruce Bender read at the gathering at the County Courthouse prior to the ride. City Council members Caitlin Coppel, Marilyn Marler, Dave Strohmaier, Jon Wilkins, and Cynthia Wolken signed on to a letter of support prepared by Jason Weiner. A message of support from Jon Tester was read by Deborah Frandsen. The police car escort and hearse commanded attention as well as providing safety and we thank the City of Missoula officials and departments and the Montana Department of Transportation for granting a Parade permit and Garden City Funeral Home for providing the leading hearse. Thanks also to KECI-TV for extensive pre- and post-event coverage.
BWAM will be hosting the 6th Annual Missoula Ride of Silence on May 16, 2012 beginning at the Missoula County Courthouse on Broadway. Please plan to arrive by 6:30pm for the 7:00pm ride. See the worldwide Ride of Silence website for more information and background about this important worldwide event. See the article in the Missoulian issue Monday 5/14/12.
More details will be posted here about our local ride. Helmets will be required and while we invite riders of all levels, all riders must be comfortable riding for at least 1 hour at 10 miles per hour.
Link to our Contact Form and select Ride of Silence to ask a question about how you can participate or help with the event.
Bill Nesper, Director of the Bike Friendly Community Committee of the League of American Bicyclists, announced during his presentation about the benefits of being Bike Friendly, that Missoula has achieved Gold Level after having been a Silver Level community since the program began in 2003. We, who bike in and around Missoula, know how much the cycling environment has improved over the years. We have now been recognized as attaining a status awarded to only 14 other previously selected Gold Level BFC’s. Missoula and Durango, Colorado awarded Gold Level BFC status.
As described on the League of American Bicyclists web site, “Applicant communities are judged in five categories often referred to as the Five E’s. Read the rest of this entry »