Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Start Seeing Bicycles

Sports Illustrated is not known for its massive coverage of the world of cycling. In fact, if it weren't for Lance Armstrong and Greg Lemond, I doubt that the words "Tour de France" would have made it into the magazine in a whole phrase like that without being accompanied by sarcastic commentary from some isolationist cretin who doesn't know that there are, actually, sports outside the US.

With that jab extended, I will now call your attention to SI's Austin Murphy and his extraordinarily fine column on the SI web page about the deaths of Matt Peterson and Kristianna Gough at the wheel of a Santa Clara County deputy sheriff, near Cupertino, CA. I won't go into the details of the accident as you can get that info elsewhere.

Murphy, though, looks further than the single incident and at the culture of the excuse "I didn't see you!"

As I've said in the past, that's not a valid excuse.

Motorists absolutely need to realize that their negligence to check around them before moving in their cars can and frequently does end in the death or injury of those around them, particularly those on bikes or on foot. The fact that motorists so frequently use this excuse simply shows that they aren't taking enough time to make sure that the way is clear before changing lanes, turning, etc.

With gas prices on the rise, congestion worse than it's ever been, and the potential for smaller and smaller supplies of oil available for our use, more people are going to be cycling for transportation all the time. Drivers need to be aware of this, and take action to make sure they're not endangering their friends, family, neighbors, etc., with their inability to check the space around them.

People, not speed.

3 comments:

  1. Thanks for that link.

    I recall the outcry and memorial rides for Krone were huge. I didn't know her (or any of the other victims listed), but it's a strange feeling to ride past that spot knowing what happened.

    I'm ready for the time when a driver claims to have not seen me. My reply is going to be that they weren't looking.

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  2. There really isn't any other answer for it! People say that like it's supposed to explain something, all it does is make them look lazy, negligent, distracted, etc. All of those possibilities make them dangerous on the road.

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  3. If you want the scoop on the accident in California, go to Velonews and read Bob Mionske's article on it. The real corker on this is the coverage by the SJ Mercury News (or as we used to call it "the murky news"). All the blame was put on the cyclists, It even says that they hit the police car, when in fact it was the other way around.

    If want to increase our visibility here in central Ohio, we should try to get the Dispatch to do some front page above the fold coverage of bicycle commuting. I'm planning to start as soon as the weather clears up a bit and get above 45 in the morning.

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