Friday, October 12, 2007

Another Bicyclist Killed

I’m probably the only one in Portland who didn’t know about last night’s bike fatality till I got home tonight at around 8:30. It so sickened me to hear it. I’m very familiar with the exact spot where it happened, I was just there the other day. I ride by there all the time.

Bikeportland has the most extensive coverage of it and links to other coverage.

I’m feeling pretty discouraged about biking at the moment. This isn’t Holland, people. The idea of combining bikes with cars on streets that busy seems less and less of a good idea to me.

I especially don’t think I’m going to be riding in the dark + rain this year – though I think yesterday’s incident happened in the daylight in dry weather. I’ve had two accidents in which I could easily have been killed, and they both happened in pouring rain, one of them when it was dark as well. I feel like I need to do something majorly different to improve my chances of survival.


Stay tuned for Alternative Transportation Plan B.

2 Comments:

At 9:21 AM, Anonymous Mick said...

Kate:

I went on the ride Friday night. It was sad and beautiful.

Before you get too discouraged about riding, try to bear in mind that this accident likely happened due to both the negligence of the truck driver and the inattentiveness of the cyclist. That the driver is not being charged with a crime or even cited for an infraction is the scariest part to me.

 
At 2:37 PM, Blogger kate gawf said...

I think was very important that people showed up for that ride, not only to make a statement of concern from the community but for the family of the cyclist.

Yes, I too have thought that it probably happened for both those reasons. Even when we are totally and completely in the right, we cyclists have to be over-careful, to make up the inattentiveness of those so much bigger than us. When I am waiting at a stop light I am constantly checking the car next to me to see if it’s going to turn right, on top of me. And I don’t rely on blinker signals because they so often don’t match up with what’s going on in the mind of the driver. My M.O. is to always assume the other person is going to do something stupid -- because I know they’re all human beings, like me. I sure make my share of mistakes when I’m driving, much as I want to be a perfect safe driver. I make fewer mistakes on a bike because my vision is so much better and broader (360) and I’m hyper-alert that I’m a sitting duck.

Even though I’m ridiculously careful, the dark + rain thing, when added to human error, still scares me. It’s like I’m putting my life into the hands of these people out there whom I don’t even know, and I just have to hope that they’re paying attention. I hate it that I can be doing everything right, but if THEY make one mistake, I’m doomed.

 

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