29 May 2008

Pay attention, people!

One of my co-workers is a cyclist also. He is fortunate enough to live about 5 miles from the new Frontrunner train, and has been riding his bike to and from the train for the past couple of weeks. He actually purchased a folding commuter bike so it would be easier to pack it on and off the train. He came in today, carrying his helmet, but no bike. I asked him if he forgot something, he said that no, he has parts of it with him. I will let you know in advance that this story does have a happy ending.

Turns out Bill became a statistic this morning. He was struck by a car on his commute to the train station. He was fortunate enough to hear the car coming, and was able to get himself clear before she hit him and his bike. He escaped unscathed, the bike didn't fare as well. Now for the happy part, he called the police to report the accident, and when they showed up, they cited the motorist - yes, I said that they cited the driver for reckless driving. Usually when you hear of stories like this, the cyclist is blamed, and/or the motorist gets of scot free. I guess it helped that the responding officer was a cyclist himself! Bill's bike is going to require a new seat post and derailleur before it is functional again. He said that the driver was on her cell phone AND putting on make-up while driving.

Bill was lucky this morning, but how many cyclists aren't. People, we need to pay attention! Just so you don't think that I am railing against motorists only, the other day I watched something that I couldn't believe. I will present it to you using a points system to log each item. I saw a person on a bike riding on the road (+1 point), on the wrong side of the road (-1 point) going the wrong direction (-1 point) not wearing a helmet (-1 point). He was riding past an area of construction that had taken away the shoulder of the road, so he was taking the lane (+1 point), but again, he was taking the lane heading the wrong way, against the flow of traffic (-1 point) and there were 4 cars heading directly for him, who had to slam on their brakes and wait for him to get past the construction zone and move out of their way. (-1 point). Let's add up the score: -4 points for our friend on the bike. That means he is an idiot! And what's worse is there are now several drivers out there who have set him as their own personal example of how cyclists can be expected to behave, and that makes it worse out there for the rest of us.


Kelly Hill said...

Ooooo, I can't even tell you how angry I get with women (and possibly a few men) who put their makeup on whilst driving! They oughta be slaughtered, in my humble opinion. ;)

Not exactly the point of your post, was it? Sorry.

That's great that Bill is okay. It's also great that the blame was placed on the proper person. She'll have to buy him the post and derailleur, right?

Anonymous said...

Sorry about Bill's bike...glad he is okay. Hope the driver will have to pay for his repairs, or a new bike. That's the least she can do. Soooo hope you don't run into any of those stupid people.

Bike Junkie said...

Yes, Bill got the accident report number from the officer, and got her insurance information. He then proceeded to call her insurance on the spot - even before she had a chance to call them. They told him to get an estimate for repairs, and they would cut him a check. They already had the accident report on file. Isn't technology grand?