Tuesday, September 13, 2011


At least 12 cyclists have died on the roads this summer in Washington, and the only thing sadder than that is reading the “Comments” section in online articles about their deaths.

My somewhat shaky faith in humanity crumbles when I peruse the hateful postings of people who use the opportunity of someone’s untimely demise to grind their axe about bicycle riders (or, for that matter, car drivers). Anyone who writes anything should imagine the dead person’s mother reading their words; maybe then they’d temper their vituperative with a bit of compassion.

As a longtime bicycle commuter, the deaths give me pause.

I’m not inclined to give up riding my bike in traffic, but I am made more aware of the dangers of doing so. I think I’ve been riding slightly more cautiously these last few days, which I think is a good thing, and I hope, an appropriate tribute to those fallen riders.

It’s also made me consider how I’d like to be remembered should a similar fate befall me.

Above all, if I die doing something dumb on my bike, I’d appreciate if my stupidity not be used as a justification for enacting stricter regulations on cycling—especially, for instance, not changing our beloved RCW 46.61.790.

Beyond that, a ghost bike would be nice, but I’d rather that whatever old clunker might be used were fixed up and donated to BikeWorks.

Love to have a big fucking memorial ride, if possible. Encourage the usual nonsense and shenanigans and if it could end with a bunch of inebriants and their two-wheelers standing around a fire late at night, that would be great.

Just get home safe, okay?

Of course, I don’t foresee any of this actually taking place, but then neither did those dozen we mourn this year, Robert “Storm” Townsend the most recent among them.

And one last thing: should I die while biking, please keep the “Comments” section on the online article about it closed.


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