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 class – Free 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. firstname.lastname@example.org
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.
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.
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.
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!
(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:
Everyone who can't.
Please take a moment and share your reasons.
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.