Strange that I am suddenly thinking about bicycle deaths that have ‘crossed my path’. Surely there can’t be so many of them, that I would be closely aware of three? But yes, they happened.
The first was the partner of a fellow in my old neighbourhood. When I met him he was trying to raise an adolescent stepson by himself, having just lost his partner – the boy’s mom – in a bicycle accident.
The second was a cyclist who used to come to my favourite café. This young man, Galen, had a beautiful partner, Jessica Moore, who has now published a moving book of poetry – Everything, now – dedicated to him.
The third – only months ago – was Jenna, mother of two young children, killed only a 10 minute walk from my home, cycling to pick up her son from school.
My neighbourhood has recently constructed raised bike paths, that share the street with cars and streetcars. They create a kind of ‘safe zone’ for cyclists, and when I drive alongside them, I also feel better knowing we won’t cross each others’ paths. These bike-paths are not perfect – interrupted as they are by sections of parked cars. Perhaps there’s something I’m not getting, but this seems idiotic to me.
We have so many reasons to become more bike-conscious, bike-accommodating, bike-respectful. For urban life they are ideal, except on the worst days of winter. The environmental benefits are obvious, as are the exercise benefits to the human body riding them.
The pros so far outweigh the cons, that I’ve come to see those who oppose bike-accommodation, and their disrespect, as more than selfish: downright gluttonous.