Don’t Ride…b/c It’s Just TOO Dangerous!

This morning, a cycling friend forwarded an email to me that he had received from a friend of his. His friend had missed being in an accident by 10 seconds. To sum it up, one vehicle ran a light. Another vehicle hit it and caused it to spin around. In the action of spinning, that vehicle hit a cyclist who was waiting for the light to turn up on the edge of the corner.

She (the cyclist) saw it happen. She saw it coming toward her. There was nothing she could do. Another person, a witness, found her and watched her breathe her last breaths.

Naturally, the author of the email is quite upset. He is concerned. He has friends who ride, and he wants to warn them not to ride in traffic, among other things. It’s just too dangerous, he says. My friend had forwarded that email to me, without adding any comments. I’m not sure what he’s feeling about what he read this morning. However, I had some thoughts/feelings, right away. I wrote an email right away and sent it back. Then, I realized that this is something I wanted to share b/c we are all riding, here. This is a topic that’s crossed our minds…more than once!

So…here’s what I had to say on the topic. …FWIW

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That’s a tough story to read. Sad.

However, a few points to share:

(a) Yes. Riding in traffic can be dangerous. So is driving in it. In fact, far more drivers get killed every year than do cyclists, and I have a higher percentage of being killed while in a car than while on my bike. I won’t stop my life because of fears. If I stop, I stop living. Then, what’s the point?

(b) I have ridden in downtown Atlanta traffic. The worst kind – morning traffic. (a la “Georgia Rides to the Capital”…tell you about that another time) It’s not my cup of tea, but that won’t stop all the Atlanta riders. Riding may not be a choice for them but a requirement. It’s life. Plus if we all quit riding then, (1) how on earth will new legislation come out that will both help protect us and educate the public further…and (2) the problem of air pollution will only get worse. There are some people who are using/offering bicycling as a choice toward a greener life and planet. In Europe (especially in the Netherlands), cycling is a way of life. B/c cycling is so immersed into the mindset, it is MUCH safer to ride over there, than here. (Plus, the number of riders who use helmets is miniscule.)

(c) This one is more spiritual. I tend to believe that we’ve all got a number somewhere along the line. [Your viewpoint maybe different, and that’s entirely okay, too!] For me if it is my “time”, it just is. I lived my life the best way I knew how up to that point. This viewpoint helps me to keep on going, keep on LIVING, keep on EXPERIENCING. B/c I will not “go gentle into that good night”. I prefer to “rage, rage against the dying of the light”. [with “rage” taken metaphorically, not literally, of course] YK? :)

  • plochman

    I wonder if this was the one my friend Alan Snel mentioned in his blog today in Tampa http://alansnel.blogspot.com/2010/10/breaking-news-bike-safety-on-wednesdays.html A lady on a bike got hit while waiting on the side of the road when I car ran a light and caused a smash up. Its realy bad here in Tampa. I with you on all points a,b, & c. I lived most of my life on the edge, now that I’m nearly 50 why should I change a thing ? I wear my road ID and try to be as safe as possible and thats about all I can do about it.

  • plochman

    After reading all kinds of stuff all over the web it leads me to one conclusion, just as in countless other doping scandels, the perp always denies knowing what happend and there was no way they could have known etc. and even in cases where the amount of the banned substance was so miniscule that it was barely measurable. Nearly all of them got banned for two years anyway. I dont know the ratio of those who got the A & B samples back possitive and got off but it is very very few. The UCI and WADA have no choice but to ban him or it would be so so unfair to the other what I call “border line and busted” riders out there. Not only that, there is the alogations of the blood transfusions that also surfaced today that is very plausable. Do the governing authorities want to set a new presidence as to how they determine what is black and white in this case that will become the new standard tomorrow, probably not. Even though I will admit to not liking Contador at all, I’m still a huge fan of the sport and I hate to see anyone and I mean anyone go down for something they really did not do, even Contador. I just dont see how they can not ban him and strip his title for # 3 based upon the testing proceedures and thier own established guidlines and historical rullings from past positive results. Really Alberto, you should just take a couple of years off, hang out with your buddies and dont fight it, you got hosed and that is it and if you lay low and gracefully assend back to your throne in a few years you will be welcomed back with open arms by all your fans. Yes it is unfair, but so is the possibility that you did something that was banned, if the sport is going to have nearly impossible standards to comply with then you have to take the good with the bad, if its to much of a risk that you may be singled out for failing a control test, then you should have bowd out before the race started. The point is to have your day in court or however they decide these things in front of a pannel and then live with the rulling and dont fight it, let it go and live to fight another day on the bike. I’ve been following Tom Zirebel’s blog and I think he realy didnt dope but he’s taking like a man, he may never race again (I think he will) but at least he let it go. We’ll see how Alberto deals with it in the days and weeks to come, I sure hope he does the right thing so we can get yet another positive test behind us and move forward. Plochman