Earlier this week we spoke briefly about the recent tragic deaths of Boston area cyclists in traffic accidents. A great deal of conversation has been doing on as to the why…
Cyclists must speak up.
Boston Magazine associate editor Casey Lyons posted a blog entry on the recent tragedies in Boston cycling. He asks cyclists to be more outspoken. It has become the tradition of remembrance, in this area at least, to erect a ghost bike at the site of an accident leading to a cyclist death. He notes that no such thing has occurred for the gentleman recently struck and killed in Dorchester. Mr. Lyons’ cry is for each cyclist to speak up, so that these things cannot remain unacknowledged. Nothing changes until we speak out.
A honk is not communication.
Boston based cycling comic, Bikeyface.com posted a comic on the relationship between drivers and cyclists. A honk is not the way to express yourself – to paraphrase the comic’s message. Cyclists travel the road without the physical security of a large metal barrier between them and traffic, vulnerable and slower - communication between motor vehicles and bicycles requires more finesse than this.
Not just in Boston.
Bicycle Retailer, one of the largest cycling industry publications, posted this article about a recent incident that occurred to well known industry training software company Peaksware founder Dirk Friel. While out for a Sunday morning ride in Colorado, Friel and his riding companion were well to the side of traffic when approached by a large vehicle which would not pass and would not stop honking. He recorded this incident and the video was successfully used to identify the driver.
While the investigations continue and more news comes out we’ll still be pedaling the streets of the world – and the conversation continues: Our best defense is polite, alert behavior. It may not be armor but obeying the law and respecting other road users, as simple as it may sound, is action we can take today to make a change. Communicate, talk to fellow cyclists, drivers, pedestrians – learn from what has happened, speak up for each life, take responsibility for whichever way you move. Cycling can and should be a joy, let’s help keep it that way. Whatever your opinion, speak up – ride safe.