We Need Your Input!

Help direct our energy by sharing your stories: Please help Sylvia's friends plan the best way to continue to honor her life -- and create some positive result from her tragic death -- by leaving a comment to this post on what you hope for in the future of cycling in Cleveland. Feel free post a story about a cycling experience you've had that could have benefited from new project or policy to make cycling safer and more enjoyable in Cleveland. Momentum has been growing recently -- even before Sylvia's tragic accident -- among local bike-advocacy, sustainability, livability, and environmental groups for making changes to make Cleveland more "bicycle friendly." Your input here will help Sylvia's friends plan the October 17th event in her memory and direct that momentum toward meaningful policies to make cycling safer and easier here.

Flier from the ride

Below is the handout Jim supplied at last week's ride. There are many dates to note and some things we can do immediately for bike advocacy in Cleveland. Many thanks to Jim.


Ways we can continue to honor Sylvia’s memory, and help build momentum for better biking conditions:

Join us for the next event for Sylvia on Saturday, October 17, 2009.

There are many factors that contribute to any road collision, no matter who is legally "at fault." One of these factors is surely the evolution of a society in which traffic deaths are accepted as unavoidable "accidents." Whenever a collision results in this kind of tragedy, we are compelled to ask ourselves if we can change some of those factors in the customs and attitudes and laws we adopt, and how we build and use the public roads.

Sylvia's death, and those of so many other cyclists here in just the past few years, should not be accepted with societal equanimity. No unnatural death should be, but traffic fatalities are unlike, for instance, workplace falls: they are something we all, as users of the public roads, have some hand in preventing. We all have an effect on the other traffic around us whenever we use the roads, and, thankfully, we all have a voice in the process of making the rules that govern us -- when we choose to raise that voice. At this next event on Oct. 17th we’ll be addressing ways to channel our energy to help prevent more tragedies like this one. There are also several other upcoming opportunities to raise your voice for change, or simply to be the change you want to see; just by riding your bike. Fri. & Sat., Sept 25 & 26 ~~ The Bridge Project, This happening will include a bike lane stripped across the lower level of the Vet’s bridge (with a Conference Bike riding back and forth!). clevelandbridgeproject.com/ Winning permanent bike access to this space is a long-time dream of advocates here. After the stupidly-diluted “improvements” to the upper level of the bridge (recently the scene of another cyclist’s death), this ambitious goal would be especially laudable.

Wed. Sept 30 ~~ Ohio City Bicycle Co-op Winter cycling symposium and members' meeting

Thurs. Oct 1 ~~ "The Bike Rack" Cleveland Public Art will have an event to present the winner of a competition for public art at the proposed Bike Station. clevelandpublicart.org/events/the-bike-rack Sat.Oct. 10 ~~ Ohio City Bicycle Co-op Intro to Traffic Skills classFree if you wear your “I ride for Sylvia” Tshirt! OhioCityCycles.org

Sat. Oct. 17 ~~ “I Ride for ________. iridefor.blogspot.com

Sat. Oct. 24 ~~ Ohio City Bicycle Co-op Ghost Ride! Costumed night ride and party. OhioCityCycles.org Tues. Nov. 3 ~~ VOTE! Anytime soon ~~ Write to thank Sherrod Brown and George Voinovich for voting against the recent amendment excluding bike/ped funding from the upcoming federal transportation bill. capwiz.com/lab/home/

Anytime soon ~~ Write to the Ohio Dept. of Transportation, which has excluded access to cyclists and pedestrians on the proposed Innerbelt Bridge, despite strong public support. craig.hebebrand@dot.state.oh.us

Every time you ride in traffic ~~ Please remember you are an advocate for us all. Please ride safely, courteously, and as often as you can.


We Ride for Sylvia

I Ride For Sylvia memorial ride on Tuesday, September 22, 2009.



These are our shirts. The design, inspired by Sylvia's idea, was a collaborative effort by her friends. On Monday night, Ayla and Alex went to the Oberlin College Silkscreen Studio to print shirts for Tuesday's ride. Thanks to guidance and help from Asa, a senior at Oberlin, they were able to print 200 shirts by hand. Above is Alex holding a freshly printed shirt in the studio and two bikers at Sylvia's house before the ride. We will be printing more "I Ride For" shirts for the next ride on October 17th so be sure to let us know if you would like one. We ride for Sylvia.


What a beautiful morning....

So we've had a little time to come down from the emotional high of this morning's silent ride, and I can't help but feel proud of us all. The ride went as perfectly as anyone ever could've imagined.
It was a beautiful thing.

We've estimated that approximately 150 cyclists--including one particularly inspiring handcyclist--came out to honor Sylvia's life; truly an impressive showing.

If anybody who participated in the ride would like to share a reaction with the rest of the "I RIDE FOR" community, please do so in the comments section of this entry. Again, I'd like to say thank you to each and every person who took part in today's events. Together we are incredibly strong, and I think we all felt that this morning.



Listen Up

Alex on the radio. Tuesday (tomorrow) morning with Terry Moir of WDOK 102.1 at 6:45AM.


Loaner Bikes for Tuesday's Ride

If there is anybody out there who would like to participate in the bike ride for Sylvia on Tuesday but does not have a functional bike, the Ohio City Bicycle Co-op (OCBC) would like to help you.

Those of you who are interested in borrowing a bicycle should stop by the OCBC any time on Monday between Noon and 9:00 PM. The Co-op is located at 1823 Columbus Road in Cleveland. Jim Sheehan is encouraging people to go down to the Co-op to choose a bike whenever they can on Monday, then return at 7:00 Tuesday morning to meet up, retrieve the bike, and ride over to Sylvia's house as a group. Please refer any questions to the Bicycle Co-op at 216.830.2667

We don't want anyone excluded from this ride because they are without a bicycle, so please take the OCBC up on this offer if you are interested. Again, the Co-op will have loaner helmets available on Tuesday. You need not show up at the Co-op on Monday if you wish to borrow a helmet for the ride.


Please Share!

This Little Light of Mine
I'm going to let it shine. Let it shine, let it shine, let it shine.

Sylvia's smile shines so bright. Anyone who met her knows the glow. Because not everyone who was touched by Sylvia was together this week, to sing under the stars, tell stories by the fire, or laugh about her quirks on the couch, we invite you to use this space to share how she touched your life. A simple story, a conversation remembered, some detail of her crazy outfit, or a recipe she loved, put it all here!



So, just last week Sylvia was venting to us her frustration with people's constant questioning of her reasons for biking. "I want to make a Tshirt" she said, "that says I RIDE FOR, then underneath put a different reason, because there are so many."

(She also wanted to make a shirt to wear during rush hour traffic that says "Don't you wish YOU were biking", to jab at all those stuck in the congestion, as she whizzed by them in the bike lane!)

We will realize her Tshirt idea, by creating I RIDE FOR shirts to wear during the silent ride. I RIDE FOR:

Bluer Skies.
Your Lungs.
Less traffic.
Quieter streets.
Everyone who can't.

Please take a moment and share your reasons.

Memorial Ride

In mourning, memory, celebration, and honor of Sylvia's passing and love of bicycling we will ride silently through the streets of Cleveland.

Details are as follows: Meet at Sylvia's Tremont home at the intersection of Fairfield and West 11th at 7:30 AM. The ride will begin at 8:00 on Tuesday, September 22nd--on the 1 week anniversary of Sylvia's accident. We will have a limited number of white "I RIDE FOR SYLVIA" T-shirts available for a goodwill donation. Please wear white shirts. Helmets are required, and loaners will be available at the site if you don't have your own.

This will be a silent procession beginning at Sylvia's home, following her ride to work at Hard Hatted Women, then coming back through Ohio City. This is a ride solely to honor Sylvia, at which we will announce plans for a more generally accessible cycling event on a weekend in the near future. We hope you will join us.

Here is the starting location.

For those of you who may not yet have heard about Sylvia's accident, you can read about it here.