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SEPTEMBER 22, 2009   

We rode for Sylvia

150 riders lined up on W. 11th St.A week ago this morning Sylvia Bingham rode the same route on her bicycle, from West 11th and Fairfield to East 40th and Prospect. But she never reached her destination. At East 21st street she was hit and killed by a truck turning the corner. The driver may not have even known he hit her.

Today about 150 neighbors, friends, and sympathetic bike riders made the trip in silence. It was great to see so many people I knew gathered for the ride, terrible to think about the reason.

Bike riders and truck on the streetWe had a police escort there and back, two cruisers and a motorcycle, but it didn't make me feel particularly safe on downtown streets. Especially when rumbling semis pulled alongside.

It was very hard to not think about that truck making a right turn into our group.

People placing brightly-colored flowers on white bicycle.At 21st and Prospect, the spot of the accident, we placed the flowers we'd been carrying onto a white bicycle chained to a post.

The ride continued up the street to the offices of Hard-Hatted Women, where Sylvia had worked as an Americorps VISTA. The director and staff greeted us all warmly and talked about what it had meant having Sylvia as part of their organization.

Jim Sheehan of the Ohio City Bike Co-op thanked the many people who had helped stage the memorial, then led us in a bittersweet song dedicated to Sylvia.

The morning was a reminder of the wonderful community that I live in.

It was a reminder of how fleeting and unpredictable life can be.

It was a reminder I wish hadn't happened.


I Ride For... a blog created in honor of Sylvia

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