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San Francisco’s Ride of Silence Honors Fallen Cyclists

San Francisco, California — The San Francisco cycling community gathered Wednesday night for the annual Ride of Silence, a solemn tribute to cyclists who have been killed or injured in traffic accidents. Approximately 50 participants cycled through the city, making stops at significant sites where cyclists have lost their lives since 1997.

Among the riders was Alex Tamez, a survivor of a severe hit-and-run incident that left her with a traumatic brain injury. “I’m super grateful that my friend Paul didn’t have to make a ghost bike for me,” Tamez shared, referring to the white bicycles placed as memorials for fallen cyclists. In 2022, while biking home from work, Tamez was struck from behind at a red light, an event that erased a year’s worth of her memories and left her with enduring physical scars.

Paul Valdez, known as the unofficial bike mayor of San Francisco, played a key role in organizing the event. Valdez highlighted the deep impact of losing community members, recalling a particularly tragic day when two cyclists died within hours of each other. “I’ll never forget that day,” he said. “It was incredibly painful for me personally and our community.

The ride included a poignant stop at 3rd and Mission Bay, where Clark Gashaw was killed in 2017. Each year, Gashaw’s mother greets the riders, expressing her gratitude and honoring the memory of her son and others like him. “To me culturally, we honor people’s family, and he’s creating his friends. Those who come to honor him, I honor,” she said.

The Ride of Silence not only serves as a memorial but also aims to promote bike safety awareness, with hopes of preventing future tragedies.

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