Tuesday, May 3, 2011

WTF?

I haven't been posting lately since I am trying desperately to finish my thesis and get the hell out of grad school. So first, it was in the fifties today, I really wanted to go on my bike, buuut I had homework. I'm also moving, so we'll see how that affects my biking, I'm really in a cyclist paradise at my current apartment.

Almost. A young man was killed on S. Lamar a couple of days ago. Riding at night, he was struck my a black SUV. They person then sped off, leaving his companion to call for help.

Its really tragic. I can't imagine having to witness a friend die. It makes me so mad there are people out there though, who will look at him and blame him because he had the misfortune to be cycling on the same street as someone with no conscience. There are plenty of people out there who say he was crazy for cycling at night in the first place, crazy for riding on the road, ignoring the fact that the person who struck him failed in their first duty on the road-not to kill.

Cycling on S. Lamar is not easy, I certainly wouldn't recommend for someone who is just beginning, mostly due to the fact you have to get used to hearing cars come close to you. Once you get passed that jumpiness, its like riding on any other street. It has bike lanes and I've seen plenty of people safely make the journey. I've done it myself several times. Where he was, if I'm remembering correctly, S. Lamar widens to accommodate its eventual merge with Hwy 360. Plenty of room. I have no evidence, but I wouldn't be surprised if the driver was drunk.

I disagree Lamar isn't wide enough to accommodate both cars and bikes, its a major north-south road with bike lines on long stretches. I also disagree riding on the sidewalk is the solution; that's what gets me the most on discussion on things like this. Sanctimonious cyclists say, "Oh well I always ride on the sidewalk, anyone who doesn't is just being reckless!" Thankfully, word is getting out that riding on the sidewalk is more dangerous, especially on roads like Lamar with a ton of intersections. It puts the blame on the cyclist if they get hit, and ignores the reality that you can get hit on the sidewalk too.

What will make us safe? I'm not totally sure, but I feel a change in the mindset of many people will be needed. A change I'm afraid, I won't see anytime soon.

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