Sunday, July 21, 2013

A bit upsetting

This friday was our monthly flock of cycles party ride. The ride was a lot of fun and the after party picnic in the park was so worth the late ride home. There was something I found to be a little upsetting. One of the girls (I won't mention names) was riding home from work and woke up in the hospital with no memory of how she got there,

"Either I wrecked my bike or it was a hit and run."

I am still having trouble believing this. I mean how could someone do something like this. I am glad she is ok, and healed up enough to go on the ride on Friday and yet I'm so upset at what happened that I really don't want to think about the next car that gets a little to close.

This isn't like me. I know this. I work hard to promote a positive outlook on cycling. I truly want more and more people to try cycling. I know that more cyclists mean safer streets.

All great things.

I for one am proud to be part of the vanguard that is out there. Part of the group that is showing people that you can cycle no matter what shape you are in.

I am also learning that being part of the vanguard also means being a target. It means being asked that stupid question everytime people see you

"You rode a bike here?"

It means being a target on the road. Being buzzed by drivers who think you have no right to the road. It means being ignored by police if you try to file charges after you've been threatened on the road. It means thinking that being a hit and run victim is no big deal, it is just something that happens.

Pardon me but that is f--ked up.

I am sorry if this post is a downer. I will try to make the next one more upbeat.

When I got to work on monday morning I heard about the girl that was struck and killed. At least this time the driver stuck around.  I am hoping that this was just a horrible accident. This unfortunately makes the third death in and around Pittsburgh in the last month. This was just the ones that were killed, not ones like my friend who simply woke up in the hospital with no idea how she got there.

Allow me to make a point here.

In an article on May 24th the Post Gazette  posted the following article.

Review finds Pennsylvania's new bike safety law not closely enforced
A year later, Pittsburgh police are yet to issue first ticket

After that we have Three cycling deaths.

John Pearson Jun 24th
Jeffrey Zietak July 12th
Emily Jancart July 21st

The first two of these deaths are listed as Hit and Run. Last year we had 2 people die within two weeks and there was an uproar nothing was actually done and Penn Ave is just as dangerous now as it was before. Now we have a new law that is being ignored by motorists as well as law enforcement and maybe I'm just out of touch but I don't seem to notice much of an uproar


  1. Somehow it's more dangerous being a cyclist than a hunter. Crazy. great post Terry. respect, V.

  2. I think that anger/frustration with the regularity of these "accidents" is itself reaching a "critical mass." Just because no one is screaming, at the moment, doesn't mean that we are internally quiet or apathetic. For me, personally, it's bottled up (as are many of my personal frustrations in life)... it will probably take being in an "accident" myself before I feel truly justified and angry enough to start burning bridges, screaming from the mountain top, and making my voice heard... if I'm still alive when that moment arrives.

  3. You're right Terry. On the whole, I think Pgh drivers are better than most cities considering the brutal terrain and narrow streets. But to have no enforcement of the 4 foot rule is absurd -- we need to see some tickets written or else.

  4. But, Safety In Numbers!! At least, that's what Bike Pittsburgh has been promising us.