One thing I do for this site is check the news for cycling articles to comment on. I mainly look for political stuff to show you guys where cyclists are trying to get dangerous new laws passed in their favor. Unfortunately mostly what I find is story after story about someone who was riding a bike and was hurt or killed. I rarely comment or link about these articles because I do not want to make the suffering for these people’s families any worse. The last thing I want is someone to Google their dead father’s wife’s name and find me ranting about cyclist.
But once or twice a week while looking for incidents to comment on, this is mostly what I find. And the question is why? Are all these accidents the fault of the cyclist or cyclists involved? No, even though, as we’ve discussed before, cyclists do often cause accidents on purpose, it is not always the case. And in some incidents the cyclists may have been, at least at the time of the accident, following the rules of the road. But pretend for a second no cyclists went around and purposefully broke traffic laws and cause accidents, there would still be many of them dying. Again I ask why?
Because accidents happen, that is why. We are human and we make mistakes, be it behind the wheel or behind the handlebars. But when it comes to an accident between a car and a bike, the car is always going to win. It doesn’t matter whose fault it was, the person on that bike is going to be far more injured than the one driving the car. And when you are riding that bike on high speed, high traffic roads, the injuries are going to be even worse.
Try to Google stories about kids on bikes getting killed in accidents with motor vehicles. There are some sure, but it’s fraction of the stories you find about accidents involving adults wearing spandex and riding a bike that cost more than their car. We know the reason for this as well. Kids ride their bikes in safe areas and they pay attention to the cars on the road. Cyclists ride in incredibly dangerous places and do so while assuming no one is ever remotely distracted while driving.
And that is why it is so sad to have to read these stories on a consistent basis. Many of these deaths could have been prevented. These people decided that, for whatever reason, they should ride a bike on major roads with speed limits up to 55 MPH. Whether the fault of the accident is of someone in a car or not, you cannot excuse someone who would do this from blame. If I play Russian Roulette and lose, I can’t blame the gun.
Please, please get off the roads. As sad and lonely as you may be, there has to be someone who cares about you to some degree. Even if your mom is the last person on Earth who will talk to you, and even she is constantly disappointed in you, she is probably going to be sad you are gone. Maybe someone at work will notice if you are gone, even if only because they noticed that, upon arriving to the office, their trash had not been emptied the night before. Thank about these people and the suffering they must endure if you are killed while riding your bike. Is it worth it? Just to cheese off some cagers? No, it’s not. If you want to ride your bike, there are trails, or just ride around your neighborhood on low volume, low speed roads. Ride it there. Thank you.