Riders gather at the end of an Eastside Bike Club/Salesian Boys and Girls Club garden tour. Photo via Carlos Morales
(Following this weekend’ high profile crash and fatality at Critical Mass, there’s bound to be some discussion of fixed gears, “brakeless bikes” and helmet usage. Here at Streetsblog, we don’t want to run away from the controversy or try and tell you how to think so we decided to run a series on the issue(s) raised by the events of the last 96 hours. If you would like to chime in, feel free to do so in the comments section, or if you are interested in publishing your own op/ed, drop me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org – DN)
The news of a tragic bike accident during Critical Mass last week traveled at lighting speeds through Facebook, Twitter and text messages.
When I received the news of the crash, minutes after it occurred, my initial feeling was, I hope everyone makes it out ok. The next thing that rushed to my head was, I bet it was someone on a fixed gear / fixie / or single speed bike, without brakes, and my third thought was, were these cyclist wearing a helmets?
Some may ask, why I would rush to these conclusions or questions so quickly? In my experience, most bike accidents that are happening involve the types of bikes I mentioned above. As an avid cyclist and reporter, I hit the streets on my bicycle. I have come across several bike accidents during my travels, and have spoken to several law enforcement officials from many municipalities, other cyclist, bicycle attorneys and even insurance companies. They all agree that an overwhelming number of bike accidents that are occurring could have been avoided if the cyclist could of stop and control their bikes.
Incident after incident, Auto VS Bike, Bike VS Bike or Bike VS Pedestrian, A good percentage of accidents could have been avoided.
Not being able to stop is as irresponsible as a drunk motorist driving a car!
If you take out a fellow cyclist and he or she is injured or dies because you can’t stop or injure a pedestrian for the same reason, it is just not right. We as cyclist must take responsibility and think of what dangers we put ourselves and fellow bike riders in. I realize that these are harsh words to say to fellow cyclist who enjoy the freedom of riding a bike as much as I do. I may not become very popular saying these things, but someone has to step up and tell it like it is.
Not wearing a helmet? Read more…