San Francisco Time / UTC Time


2008-03-15

Taken in their prime

Yeah, I'm slow. Slow on a bike, slow to post, slow to multi-task without losing my place... yeah, slow. Several folks have been talking about the deaths of Kristy Gough and Matt Peterson. Jacquie did it, and there's an AMAZING article HERE.

Last week Kristy Gough and Matt Peterson lost their lives to a car. They were riding their bicycles, Kristy was training for the Olympics. A sheriff's deputy fell asleep at the wheel (some are blaming bad scheduling plus the time change), went across the yellow and crushed both of them. Kristy's leg was severed. Matt was killed instantly. Another cyclist got hit as well, though he survived. Ugly ugly shite, and everyone's lives are ruined. I read the article in the SF Chronicle and was PISSED. Pissed that these folks lost their life and PISSED at the Chronicle for letting it create fear amongst the public. I quote "Riding a bicycle in the Bay Area is an increasingly deadly pastime". That's the first line of the "Safety" article that accompanied the photo of cyclists standing looking at the memorial on the front page. Great great... let's scare everyone into thinking that bicycling is inherently dangerous. Then call it a "pastime" and marginalize it as a valid transportation source. THEN go on to publish a study to show that bicycling crashes are down but deaths are up. Then DON'T publish a similar study that would show the number of car-car or car-stationary object crashes and deaths for the same period. NO.. let's just make cycling seem more scary. I'm NOT happy with the Chronicle, but then I rarely am. Listen, you are at least a HUNDRED times more likely to die or be seriously maimed in a car crash than you are in a bike crash. Sure, you could be the unlucky person who get's killed like Christy and Matt. More than likely, you'll live a lot longer. The more of us that are out there riding, the safer it gets, so don't submit to fear. As Paul Atreides recited when facing the Gom Jabbar:

"I must not fear.
Fear is the mind-killer.
Fear is the little-death that brings total obliteration.
I will face my fear.
I will permit it to pass over me and through me.
And when it has gone past I will turn the inner eye to see its path.
Where the fear has gone there will be nothing.
Only I will remain."

RIP Kristy Gough & Matt Peterson. May you live on in the minds of those who love you and let your memory serve to inspire us to make the world a safer place for bicyclists.

As the SI article cited in it's own litany against bike accidents: START SEEING BICYCLES!

1 comment:

Me said...

Pure Tragedy
+ 101% Rage
+ 293% Grief
__________________

= Why Does This Kind Of Thing EVER Have To Happen?

...it shouldn't.

-Me