Good intentions, but unfortunately, poor execution. That is my feeling on how yesterday’s Ride of Silence went. The whole idea of the ride was to remember the late cyclists who died in road accidents and to raise awareness of cycling in Singapore, but I feel the way the ride was carried out did not create as big an impact as it should have.
Obviously, I totally understand how organisers of the event were restricted by rules from the people up there. I think that was the biggest stumbling block. Certainly a pity, something I liken to pooping but leaving some in the tank. Ya know, not getting the job done properly.
No doubt, cyclists were out in force at Esplanade Park. I think the target was about 100 but I believe numbers reached nearly 500 (despite reports of it just being 200… can’t people count?!).
But, instead of flagging everyone off in one large group, we had to be flagged off at 8min intervals in groups of 15, due to some rules laid on the organisers. So the impact was instantly lost, even as riders wore white and had red ribbons tied round their arms or frames. I rode with a bunch of fixie riders from Crank Arm Steady and Fixpatrix, and we got there on time (before 7pm) like almost everyone did, but had to wait, and wait, and wait to get flagged off. I think it was 7.38pm by the time we left.
Some ride leaders didn’t even know the route we were supposed to take. Didn’t help that the planned route was clogged with rush hour traffic. Very very dangerous, especially when we had to do lane-crossings a few times and with many packs of inexperienced road cyclists traveling at speeds dangerously low. (I believe going too slow or too fast is both dangerous on the road.)
The half-way mark of the ride went past my place, so I decided just to turn off for home. Would have been much safer and more impactful if the authorities had let us all ride in one big group, with police escorts at the front and rear.
Still, better a ride than nothing. I’m sure in some way yesterday’s ride would have sent a message, however small, across to the public.