Monday, March 10, 2008

Without Meaning...

The San Francisco Bay Area Bicycling community is in shock today over the death of two cyclists by a car who veered across the center line to hit a group of cyclists who were training. The driver was a Sheriff Deputy, adding complexity to a senseless tragedy. Right now, there's an investigation as to what exactly happened. Witnesses say that the deputy in question claimed he fell asleep at the wheel. The lack of skid marks at the scene of the crime corroborate that, but it's too early to tell.

I've ridden my bike on that stretch of road dozens of times and it's scary to think about something that seems so ordinary could be so dangerous. One of the victims was a promising cyclist who was an all too young 30. One of her friends said the following that captured the risk that you forget every time you are on your bicycle.

"I would have been right there with her," he said by telephone Sunday evening. "When you're on your bicycle, you're very vulnerable. You have a lot of close calls.... Everyone's in a rush, but you've got to chill out and be careful."

I often think of riding in a group as safety in numbers, but in cases like this it only makes things worse. My heart goes out everyone involved, let's all be careful out there.


At 7:59 PM , Blogger Green Bean said...

This kind of story is so distressing. Those brave enough and thoughtful enough to take a bike to work or school run the risk of being mowed down. I even hear safety being used as a rationale for larger cars. We need to overcome this danger to really get people out of their cars.

My son's new school is a 5 minute drive from my house. We could bike but the road is narrow and very very busy. Am I willing to put my son's life and my own on the line to get him to school without emissions? Probably I'll look into carpooling instead. It is very frustrating to have such limited options.


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