In surf culture, when a waterman turns out of his life’s wave his fellow surfers host what is called a “paddle-out.” When they arrive at the local wave’s line-up, they form a circle in tribute to their lost brother. They pay their respects as much in words as in silence. I’ve seen paddle-outs composed of ring after ring of surfers, perhaps fifty or more boards in concentric ‘O’s to pay their respects. I never fail to get chills when I see it.
As cyclists, we have our own tradition for the fallen, the memorial ride. With no unusual formation to signify our grief, it can be easy for the non-cyclist to mistake the memorial ride as nothing more than another group ride. If they could look with our eyes, they would see something dramatic: a peloton larger than any race, a pace leisurely enough to tell stories of our friend, the family member uncomfortable on a bike shepherded as newcomers never are.
Godspeed to our lost friends.