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One more death of a cyclist(10 posts)

One more death of a cyclistzeego
Sep 20, 2003 9:21 AM
As an infrequent poster but almost daily visitor of this website, I am wondering how many of you know cyclists who died on their bikes. Last Thursday night, the owner of the small shop where I bought my bike was killed by a car that hit him from behind. He was with another cyclist who also died. From what I heard, they were on the shoulder of the road and didn't do anything stupid. The driver, a delivery guy for a restaurant, wasn't speeding but wasn't paying enough attention to what he was doing... André St-Pierre, the owner of the shop, was 36 years old, father to a young boy.

I'm supposed to go for a ride this afternoon, but I can't stop thinking about him. Is the fun worth the danger?
Is the fun worth the danger?bsdc
Sep 20, 2003 10:03 AM
That's a good question. I ask myself that every time I read another story of a dead cyclist.
Is the fun worth the danger?PdxMark
Sep 20, 2003 11:18 AM
Being hit from behind is about the worst, most random, out-of-our control danger there is in cycling. It is a pretty small proportion (a few percent) of the 600-800 cycling deaths a year, but it does happen. Riding legally, like this guy apparently was, is a major help. In addition, I ride only with bright jerseys/jackets, and lots of light & reflectors at night in the hope that visibility will help my odds.

But overall, I think the danger isn't that great, particularly relative to the dangers included in driving, other outdoor activities, or the alternative of just sitting around to add to the American obesity statistics.

We hear about lots of individual accidents/deaths on this Board, but there are almost 300 million people in this country. I think we can get an exagerrated sense of the danger by hearing about a disproportionately high percentage of all the road cycling deaths.

If we also shared stories of each cancer death, car crash death, stroke, etc., that we heard about, the cycling deaths would fit into context a bit better. Of course, not everyone is a cyclist, and the statistics of general population deaths should outweigh cyclist deaths. But my point is that too much specific information, without statistical context, can give a false impression.

My heart goes out to the friends & family of the cyclist who died. But for me the fun is very much worth the "danger," so long as I ride safely, visibly, and in reasonably safe places.
Four this week in the Montreal areahudsonite
Sep 20, 2003 10:20 AM
It has been a bad week for cyclist in and around the Montreal area. As of this morning 4 have been killed, including the two you mentioned that were killed on Thursday.

Montreal, and Quebec in general, is as safe as anywhere for riding on the roads, but things are starting to get bad. When four cyclists are killed in one week, it is time for the police and authorities to start doing something. When was the last time you saw the police give a car driver a ticket for violating a cyclist right of way? When was the last time a car violated your right of way?

I was almost hit myself a couple of weeks ago but the same driver twice. The first time you could argue that he did not see me, the second time it was obvious he could not care less about me or any other cyclist.

This week Ken Kifer, a famous and experienced cyclist, was also killed in Alabama. There has also been numerous cyclist killed throughout the US this summer as well as the rest of Canada.

Over the last few years we have seen a great rise in road biking again. And with the renewed popularity we are starting to hear about more accidents. More has to be done to protect cyclists.

Many cities, states and provinces are building bike paths, wide cycling friendly shoulders and other dual use roads. But this is not enough in my opinion. There needs to be a rise of awareness of the rights and obligations of all users of the public roads.

Our public officials really should take a page from the Dutch experience. They have a very well defined strategy on making cities bike friendly. There are even traffic lights at busy intersections only for bikes, not to mention, bike lanes and paths. The cars also know that they must respect cyclists.

As for myself, I only recently returned to road biking after many years on a mountain bike. For the most part I have had no problem. But this weekend my friends and I are returning to the bike paths. Just too many deaths close to home. Our wives and children are concerned.

I lost a friend many years ago to a bike/truck accident. It was a real tragedy. It happened on a suburban street. The cyclist had stopped to tie her shoelaces. A delivery van did not see her and backed up hitting her and killing her instantly. She was not wearing a helmet, but then at the time, there were no helmets to wear.
Its been a pretty bad year for cyclists...CARBON110
Sep 20, 2003 11:24 AM
I am moving from Asheville to SF due to the fact that I got hit by a car and would not be surprised to get hit again. Asheville NC isnt the worst place by any means but there isnt any Police presence to enforce speed lmits much less anything else. There isnt even a bike lane by our velodrome. The safest place I have ever ridden is Vermont since it is a police state. Everyone does the speed limit around where I ride there. They have cut down on everything from speeding to DWI enormously.
I rode more last year and last winter then eevr before and will ride even more this winter. I dont know if I just got lucky or its due to the fact that I got hit by a car this spring but it seems like 8 out of 10 rides I do now I have overly close calls with speeding cars. I wonder what the stats will say this year compared to last year for cycling incidents
I know to many people who have gone over to Mtn biking completely due to the lack of enforcment here. Most refuse to even enter SC with a road bike. The parkway is even getting crazy. I was riding up to Mt Mitchell last weekend and a girl in a Honda was going about 55mph into a tunnel with her lights off. This shocked me since : you cant really manage 55mph on the parkway since its mostly corners and S turns, There arent any shops on the parkway, the only reason to drive on the parkway is to enjoy the view. I am looking forward tot his winter when they close it to cars. Then I will ride up there all the time
Vermont is a great state for cyclistshudsonite
Sep 20, 2003 12:10 PM
Vermont is really a great state for cyclists, and other outdoor activities. I have only gotten one ticket in 30 years of driving a car, and it was in Vermont. The police enforce the law and they do it with the full respect of the poplulation.

I appreciate the dillegence of the police. And from what I have seen, the population appreciate the lifestyle that they have because of it.

Dr/Governer Dean really did run a tight ship in Vermont for a long time. I do not normally like politicians, be his one person that truly put the needs of Vermonters before his own. I cannot say he would be a good president, but he did make Vermont a great place to enjoy life.
Here's a link to an article...PdxMark
Sep 20, 2003 3:00 PM
http://www.kenkifer.com/bikepages/health/risks.htm

Though the author was recently killed while cycling...
Jesus, that is the freakiest thing....(nm)funknuggets
Sep 22, 2003 7:25 AM
The only cycling death, that will stop me from riding,MR_GRUMPY
Sep 20, 2003 4:38 PM
will be mine.
Just think of how many auto deaths there are every year. Just think of how many murders there are every year, Think about the plane crashes. Think about the west nile virus.
If you worried about everything that COULD happen to you, you'd never go outside.
amen brother! (nm)The Human G-Nome
Sep 20, 2003 5:17 PM