Moved here from the Junior Woodchuck Guide to Cycling blog

I wrote the following as an introduction to a piece I am working on about my Saturday bike ride. However, the tone of that blog is quite deliberately light-hearted and designed to draw laughs.

 This one sometimes is for laughs, sometimes for serious. This post is very serious to me and hard for me to write. I finally elected to move it to this blog and leave the other light-hearted in tone. To those who read both, I beg your understanding for this choice. I think more people will read it here, and I think it is important.

When I ride, I disobey a lot of conventional wisdom. I tend to believe the research that says helmets have minimal safety impact at best and hence do not wear one. I do this because I personally do not believe it has any appreciable safety benefit, though I know I am outnumbered in this belief.

When I ride alone, I wear earphones in both ears. This is probably the most dangerous thing I do as it unquestionably affects my hearing which is unquestionably not the best thing...but I do take this into account by riding on the right side, checking over my shoulder frequently to see if anyone is coming up on me, and checking behind me before making any move to the left to pass someone.

I often slow rather than stop at intersections, proceeding through if I see no traffic. I do always look each way 3 or 4 times at least before I do this.

In short, I do not believe I ride dangerously by any stretch of the imagination, but I do admit there are a few tweaks I could make to my riding style that might be beneficial. I bring this up due to something very close to my heart.

This week my riding partner lost his mother to a senseless act where, even though she was, to the best of my knowledge, properly walking through a crosswalk with the right of way, she was struck and killed by a driver disobeying a traffic law. (Accept my apologies if I have the story wrong).

It is sad to see someone behaving safely slain so tragically. It reinforces the need to take safety seriously whether you are walking, riding, driving, or any other activity. Just because YOU behave safely does not mean others will.

May she rest in peace and her family, friends and loved ones find peace regarding this tragedy. My heart goes out to you.

And to my readers, safe in all you do. We live in a world where common courtesy has become uncommon, where common sense is not so common anymore, and where people are so intent on getting where they are going in a hurry that they have decided their wants are more important than your please, please, please...take extra time to be safe. Be safe for you. be safe for others. be safe for your loved ones.

 Thank you.


G said...

A very thoughtful post.

Even though we all try to be safe and take the necesssary precautions, sometimes tragically, it isn't enough.

Riot Kitty said...

Thanks Darth...unfortunately you have it correct. She was in a crosswalk and had the right of way. The driver of a huge vehicle claimed that he "did not see" her - even though it's a tiny intersection with no stoplights. Fortunately the trauma surgeon said she never knew what hit her.

Darth Weasel said...

G, that is the hardest part of matter how careful you might be,one other person being an idiot can endanger many, many people.

RK, I try not to be vindictive, but I hope there is more than just a slap on the wrist for the driver.

Riot Kitty said...

Darth: Agreed. It's not vindictive to want to see justice served. But frankly, he's already doing a life sentence.