Tuesday, May 21, 2013

The "legal cycling rights way" is not always the best way

Most of us know our rights as a cyclist. A friend shared a story as to why we sometimes need to think outside of the box, as well as why using a mirror makes a lot of sense.

"Hey I had a great safety situation yesterday.

You know Paradise Valley road out by Maltby and such? Well it’s two narrow lanes in the woods and the white stripe is the bike lane. Normally traffic is fairly light but I think there is a construction project for which Paradise Valley is a junction. I was coming up a rise and saw a dump truck in my mirror a ways back still. I could tell that we were going to reach the crest at the same time, give or take. As I approached the crest I could see over it to find another dump truck coming our way. All three of us were going to be at the top of the hill and the two drivers would be blind to each other until just shortly before they passed. Now, of course bikers have the right to be on the road—right? We also have the right to get the hell out of the way of colliding dump trucks! I stopped my bike, dismounted and scurried up the woodsy sloped shoulder to let the two monsters pass. It could have gotten really ugly if my presence had forced the driver away from me and into the opposite truck’s lane. So I decided to live and ride another day!

That was a first. I hope last."

Friday, May 3, 2013

In memory of Lance David, the cyclist killed Wednesday on East Marginal Way

When I read the article about this accident, I didn't see many details of what happened to cause it:

I rode through this area hundreds of times during the ten years we lived in Downtown Seattle. I've been trying to picture how this tragic accident could occur, as more details have not been forthcoming. What we do know is that the cyclist was very experienced. His name was Lance David:

Team HPC member John Pottle was good friends with Lance and rode with him a lot.  John emailed me to remind me that while I didn't know Lance, I had ridden with him on a Hills of the West Coast ride. John was on that ride, as was Team HPC member Greg Barton.

After I started writing my cycling blog in June of 2008, I would write a summary article on almost every Hills of the West Coast ride that I led, including 8/7/11, the day when Lance made the ride. I try to learn something every time I ride my bike, and that day was no exception. I learned from Greg that day, and I learned something from Lance:

In his email to me John wrote, "Your piece was a source of great amusement to Lance and his friends - good natured ribbing only." I’m honored to know that my comments were a source of amusement to Lance and his buddies. In addition to John’s comments to me, I learned of another friend of Lance’s when he posted a comment to my original blog. Clearly, Lance was a respected cyclist and a good guy all around.

It’s always sad to read about a tragedy like this. Please be safe out on the road.