five seconds

November 2, 2010 at 9:19 am 2 comments

yesterday was the second time in less than five months that i’ve seen the body of a bicyclist lying in the road. the first back in june a 20-year-old named michael. yesterday a man named anthony ~ a 33-year-old father of three young boys. it must have happened just minutes before i drove by. i’d been passed by two cops flying down the road i travel home each day. not unusual. a not so great area of town and rush hour fender-benders often plague my afternoon commute but as i neared the scene i knew it was something more.

he was laying on his back. his orange shirt halfway up his belly and a backpack a few feet away, his arm reaching out toward it as though he was still trying to hold onto it for safe keeping. i hoped he was just hurt. or better yet just resting. that anyone would chose to lie down in three lanes of  traffic wasn’t the point. in mere seconds i actually concocted the story in my head as to why he would. but i knew better. it was obvious he was dead. of the dozen or so cops standing around no one was tending to him. no one was by his side. holding his hand. telling him it would be ok.

the first, they say, was the fault of the cyclist. from sidewalk to road for no apparent reason. doesn’t make it any less tragic but i can’t help but feel for the driver as well. a guy not much older than the man he killed and a four-year-old passenger in the car. but this one … this one makes me mad. i see people make the same illegal move the driver made every single morning on my commute. impatience. hurry. why wait to merge when you can cross the marked triangle of lines that are there to ease cars into the oncoming. a five second save. maybe.

for me there have been two but for the tri-county area in which i live there have been nine ~ eight of them within the last three months. how many cyclists have to die? are people that concerned about five seconds that they fail to offer them the respect and rights to the road they deserve? is it more important to send a text than worry about drifting a few potentially life changing inches over a white line? as a runner and sometimes bicyclist i fear the road. take to the sidewalk or trails. keep a safe distance. but i have that choice. for me cycling is a hobby. a sport. fun. but for many it’s more.

the following comment was posted on a local news site in response to the story written and multiple cold and callous comments blaming bikers.

“I just want everyone to know Anthony was my husband he was not rideing in the road he was in a bike lane. He also leves behind myself his wife, Chris his 11 yr old son, Nick his 3 yr old son and David who is 8 weeks old… He was riding the bike to save money for the new baby… He was on his way home from work”

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Entry filed under: biking, life. Tags: , .

mixing it up running barefoot

2 Comments Add your own

  • 1. kitkat1126  |  November 2, 2010 at 10:23 am

    Ugh, this is horrible. It’s sickening for his family. The worst part of these accidents is that they can be prevented.

    Does Florida have bike organizations? One group that has really been heard around this area is MassBike (http://www.massbike.org/) – they have been really great about getting better biking laws/regulations/etc especially after a young girl was recently hit and killed. Some of what they have done is just getting these stories more into the media. Before I biked myself I didn’t think about bikers as much as I do now that I bike. I think organizations like this are great for making non-bikers more aware of the accidents and deaths. The group wouldn’t be nearly as effective without so many willing members.

    Reply
  • 2. TH  |  November 7, 2010 at 1:24 pm

    wow that is sad!!!

    Reply

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