Cycling accidents not just a statistic

by Raymond Parker on July 30, 2012

in Advocacy, Cycling

Just four months before my cycling catastrophe, I’d written a letter to the editor of the Times Colonist newspaper, commenting on the violent response by motorists and readers to an accident involving cyclists, caused by impatient drivers.

I’d reminisced about the contrasting courtesy and respect for cyclists I’d discovered in France.

“In the meantime, I hope to survive the irate motorists of this region,” I concluded.

I had no idea when I wrote those words that, just 4 months later, I would come so close to succumbing. As it turned out, it was not an angry driver I’d have to survive, but simply a self-admitted “inattentive” one.

The most difficult result of the incident that put a dent in my joy of cycling is being out of “the peloton,” where a great part of my social life resided. Those who know me personally are aware I’ve made it through other challenges and I’m just going to apply the same bloody-mindedness to this setback. However, given the severity of the injuries, I must prepare myself for the worst.

Doctors warned from the outset to expect compromised movement and degeneration of the ankle joint over the long term. Three years later, both of those cautions have proved true.

Though there is nothing I could have done differently under the circumstances, as a cautionary tale my story reminds what all cyclists should already know: we share the road with inexperienced, aggressive, and a growing number of distracted drivers.

Accordingly, take nothing for granted. Accept that every motor vehicle potentially has your name on it. Never assume drivers see you or that they will yield to you.

Lobby governments, from federal to municipal, for investment in safe bicycle infrastructure. Write a letter to your local newspaper.

As a cyclist, familiarize yourself with the rules of the road and follow them. Don’t become a reason for motorists to point the finger. Don’t become a statistic.

Needless to say, those of us who also drive need to bring just as much caution to our time behind the wheel as we do on two.

Highway Code

British Columbia (BC)
City of Vancouver (BC)
Britain (UK)
Bike Sense (BC)

Bicycle safety campaigns

Yield to Life
3-Feet to Pass
Toronto Bike Safety (TO)
Quebec Bicycle Safety(QC)
Bicycle Safe
Bike Safety for Kids
Don’t Twive!
New South Wales Transport Site, Bicycles (AU)
Share The Road (MA)

{ 2 comments… read them below or add your spin! }

ofoab July 31, 2012 at 5:09 pm

Nil ilegitimi carborundum. At times I feel like Waldorph or Statler on a bike but you have to be a bit evangelical as a pastor of the Church Of The latter Day Bicycle. Saw a few of the randys, they are crazy. One Ladies watch was unreadable due to water in the crystal. To first see you, they must look for you. Mend well!

Reply

Raymond Parker August 2, 2012 at 11:38 am

Randos are the penitents of the Church Of The latter Day Bicycle.

Reply

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