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My first ever commute, & Cyclist killed in VT hit + run(4 posts)

My first ever commute, & Cyclist killed in VT hit + runDan-T
Apr 28, 2003 5:38 AM
Awoke to a beautiful, sunny 50 degree morning, just what I've been waiting for for my first commute to work by bike. Nice ride, covered the five miles through traffic in 21 minutes, only 5 more than by car. Yes, I'm out of shape, but I WILL knock that five minutes off! So I'm looking forward to the ride home tonight, but first I'm waitin for my wife to come by with the shoes that I forgot to pack :-0

Got to work, pulled up my home page with is the Boston Globe and saw this story... Not what any of us ever want to hear:

Bicyclist killed in hit-and-run

By Associated Press, 4/28/2003 06:43

ASCUTNEY, Vt. (AP) A hit-and-run accident Sunday evening killed a bicyclist on the bridge over the Connecticut River that links Ascutney with Claremont, N.H.

The unidentified cyclist died of major trauma injuries and was pronounced dead at the scene on the north side of the Route 12 bridge shortly after the collision occurred at 8 p.m., Ascutney Fire Chief Darrin Spaulding said.

Police on both sides of the river immediately began searching for a blue Dodge Durango pickup truck that witnesses said left the scene after striking the cyclist. The witnesses said the truck was heading into Vermont in the bridge's westbound lane when the impact occurred. The truck turned and went back over the bridge into New Hampshire, Spaulding said.

The fatal accident happened ''about a foot'' over the state line into New Hampshire, according to Spaulding, so a large contingent of both Vermont State Police and Claremont (N.H.) police officers were working on the investigation late into the evening Sunday.

Ascutney firefighters and state highway crews shut down the entire bridge for several hours Sunday evening while police and a medical examiner looked over the scene and took photographs.
re: My first ever commute, & Cyclist killed in VT hit + runCARBON110
Apr 28, 2003 6:39 AM
I spend alot of time in VT. I have been cycling there for years and I can tell you its very safe compared to the drivers here in Asheville. Traffic is slower and there are fewer cars. Thank God someone saw the truck or the police most likely never would have had a clue. Thats justhorrible though...anyway the assault on MT. Ascutney is a great climb. I'm really sorry for the family. The roads in VT are not very good due to winter but there is a pretty significant population of cyclists.
One one hand........BIG RING
Apr 28, 2003 8:41 AM
I want to get my wife into cycling for the fun and comraderie of group rides. On the other hand, I read posts like this and don't want to subject her to the risk. I know, I know, there is risk in everything we do, but, how many times has a side view mirror scraped your shoulder?? With three kids, what if both of us got taken out? Sorry for the bummer post, but, I've been wrestling with this for awhile.
the other hand........Dan-T
Apr 28, 2003 10:45 AM
Yesterday my wife was out with me for a seven mile ride on her handcycle (she's a paraplegic), with our three year old daughter in the trailer behind me. The whole family could get wiped out in one shot theoretically. I really don't dwell on the risks, though I felt like I came pretty close to getting clipped twice today on the 5 mile commute. After only one commute, my initial impression is that drivers are far more distracted/on autopilot during commuting hours than on the early mornings, evenings and weekends that I more commonly have ridden in the past.

Cyclists are killed and injured on a regular basis. Some by cars, some not. It sucks that it happens. I ride carefully do what I can to minimize the likelyhood of it happening to me, but that's no guarantee. Just as it seems that the VT cyclist wasn't doing anything wrong. My wife was paralyzed 7 years ago in a weird trip and fall accident while WALKING a bike through a parking lot beside a seawall. Just proves that stupid accidents can happen anytime, anywhere under the apparently most benign circumstances. Doesn't necessarily mean that you or you wife shouldn't ride, or shouldn't ride together, IMHO.

Dan