On Wednesday, May 17, the Sonoma County Bicycle Coalition will join thousands of cyclists around the world in the Ride of Silence to remember cyclists who have been killed or injured cycling on public roadways. While overall traffic collisions have been declining the last few years and traffic was down during the 2020 shelter in place orders, injuries and fatalities among cyclists and pedestrians remain on an upward trend.
Participants are invited to gather at 6:45 pm for a 7:00 pm start. All are expected to wear helmets, follow the rules of the road, and remain silent during the slow, memorial ride. Each ride will pass some of these locations where a cyclist was killed, marked with white “ghost bikes.”
- Sebastopol ride hosted by Sonoma County Bicycle Coalition meets at the downtown Plaza: register
- Petaluma ride hosted by Petaluma Wheelmen, meets at Walnut Park: register
- Sonoma ride launches from Operation Bicycle in the Springs: contact Adrian for more information
(If you can’t participate in one of these rides, check the map and organize your own! Or just walk or cycle past the ghost bike that is closest to you.)
Ten cyclists were killed on Sonoma County streets and roads from 2018 through 2021:
- 35-year-old Lusiano Garcia was killed July 5, 2018 in a hit-and-run on Stony Point at Millbrae in Santa Rosa. He was on his way to visit his children, who were staying with their grandmother after the recent death of their mother.
- Sidney Falbo was run over by a dump truck on her way to a SRJC class on October 30, 2018 on Stony Point Road crossing Highway 12. She was twenty years old.
- On July 22, 2019, 39-year-old Joseph Converse was struck by TWO cars in a row on Petaluma Hill Road south of Yolanda.
- Gary Begley, sixty-one and homeless at the time, died a few days after a hit-and-run August 15, 2019 on Westside Road in Healdsburg. His killer has not been found.
- 89-year-old Valerio Estrada was riding his tricycle near the In and Out Burger on Lakeville Highway when he was killed by a milk truck on October 23, 2019.
- Genaro Viramontes Tavares, seventy-nine, was struck by a truck at the corner of Todd Road & South Moorland on November 5, 2019.
- The very next day, 79-year-old David Davison was killed on Highway 12 in Agua Caliente.
- 39-year-old Bryan Cacy was riding to work on Corona Road May 26, 2020 when he was struck by a drunk driver on the 101 overpass.
- Scientist and tech CEO Adrian Albert was killed June 5, 2020 on Highway 12 near Madrone. He was 35. His killer was sentenced to several years in prison.
- Mark Osborne died Thursday, May 20, 2021 from injuries inflicted by drunk driver Ulises Valdez Jr. on High School Road on May 12. He never regained consciousness after the crash.
They ranged in age from their twenties to almost ninety; all but one were men. These were people riding to school, work, the store, for exercise and to just live. They were parents, college students, scientists; some were homeless.
The first Ride of Silence was held in Dallas in 2003. Chris Phelan organized what he thought would be a one-time event, to memorialize his friend Larry Schwartz who was killed by a school bus. One thousand cyclists showed up, and many were inspired to recreate the event in their own communities. The movement continues to grow, with tens of thousands on every continent riding on the third Wednesday of May each year.