OC Rides of Silence – Recap+

The evening of 5/16/2012 marked the 10th annual Ride of Silence (RoS) around the world.
Angelique Martinez, 16, of Oxnard organized a RoS in memory of her brother Anthony, 6, who was struck and killed by a pickup truck last Thanksgiving, was selected by the Ride of Silence board of directors as this years’ “champion and hero”.

Here in Orange County, it marked the 6th for Irvine organized by BCI, and a 1st for San Clemente organized by Sally Guon.

Intrigued as to how to form and organize a RoS,
your reporter contacted Sally to find out.

Perhaps her story will awaken desire and inspire others to do the same
for their cities.

Here are 2 pics of the San Clemente RoS with riders northbound on PCH
taken by OCBCs’ own, Pete Van Nuys:

 

Now in her own words,  the background, the process she went through to make it happen and a message for all that really want to make a difference:
“You can make it happen”.

“My husband and I moved to San Clemente 3 years ago from Plano, Tx. We were friends with Larry Schwartz, whose memory we honored in the first RIDE OF SILENCE originating in Dallas, Texas. Our friend, Chris Phelan, organized the event and over 1,000 people were there to ride silently around White Rock Lake (9.3 miles).

My husband and I are avid cyclists and have ridden many miles in several states. There is always a concern each time we ride that motor vehicles will look for us, respect that we have a right to be on the road too, and that we will be safe in our journey. I shudder each time I learn of someone being killed or injured by a motorist and think it could be me out there?

I wanted to make a difference. I am passionate about bicycle safety for both the rider and the motorist.

I reached out to Chris Phelan and he said these simple words to me, “You can make it happen”. Chris encouraged me to look through the RIDE OF SILENCE  for suggestions on flyers and video I would be able to use. When I researched the website I was impressed by how large the movement had become in 10 years time and how much aide was available to help me organize an event in my home town.

I was very surprised that in all of Orange County there was only one event and that was in Irvine. This seemed an opportunity to me in far south Orange County just because of the volume of cyclists I see in this area. I had 1000 flyers printed and posted flyers all over bicycle shops, coffee shops, bagel shops, dentists’ offices, physicians’ offices, basically anywhere I knew cyclist could be found.

I communicated on social media and face to face. I was met with an enthusiastic response and remember all of the stories that were told to me of people who know someone killed or injured while riding their bike. Pete Van Nuys was very inspirational to me here in San Clemente. He is such a bicycle advocate and is wants to get bicycle education out there, especially to our young people learning to ride. Pete met with me and was very helpful to give me suggestions on getting the word out in a bigger way publicly. Pete also suggested a bicycle safety course 101 to me whereby I can be a certified instructor and help educate at the local schools. I’ll be honest, I was not aware this existed. I assured Pete that I will follow through with this course and help educate our young people.

So, in these simple words to those wondering if you can do it. I say
“YOU CAN MAKE IT HAPPEN”!

The first ‘RIDE OF SILENCE’ in the San Clemente area started at the North Beach commuter parking lot and headed west, northwest along the PCH through Capo Beach and along Harbor Drive.

Sally Guon collecting names/emails/memorials from participants

Sally Guon talking to Fred Swegles with OCRegister as participants arrive

Mike Guon details the bike route for the RIDE OF SILENCE

Sally Guon, organizer, reading a tribute for the RIDE OF SILENCE

Cyclist making their way through Capo Beach/Doheny State Beach

Cyclist riding through Dana Point Harbor towards Kayak Beach

(photographs by Julie Springer-Anderson, San Juan Capistrano)

Our turnaround was at Kayak Beach and back again along PCH. There were fewer than 20 people in total and included people from San Clemente, Dana Point and San Juan Capistrano.

For a first event this size was quite manageable in terms of getting cyclist thru the traffic lights in one cycle. As we gathered together, I registered the riders with name, e-mail address and asked for the names of persons they were riding in memory of or those who have been injured. I gave each participant a reflective ROS sticker for their car or bicycle while my husband reviewed the course route we would be taking. I read the ROS poem and led the silent ride while my husband stayed in the back of our group. Safety was our number one concern and we did stay inside the barricades where permissible. Traffic was light on our outbound but increased as we returned home.

Motorists were very respectful and we encountered only one motorist trying to make a right hand turn in the middle of our group as we proceeded through our green light. My husband reached out and put his hand on her car to get her attention and beacon her to stop for us (also on her right).

We look forward to this being the foundation of many years to come. I personally wear a bicycle kit from TEAM CARD  which is very colorful and states the three foot law all over it. Somehow I feel I’m educating motorists while wearing it.

Most importantly we want to bring worldwide attention to motorists sharing the road with cyclists, especially as the number of cyclists increase; so should motorist alertness to us on the roadways.”

Thank you Sally, and Thanks to All Riders and Participants in the Inaugural Ride of Silence in San Clemente.