Giving up, in theory, is fantastic. It's a way to make the pain stop. It's a solution for your fear. It ends conflict. It also has a bitter after taste.
I have been trying, with all my heart, to walk away from road riding. I even have new routes, that avoid some of the stressful bike lanes, on my mountain bike rides. I had convinced myself, that these were rational decisions, being made by a mature person. Why fight? The cars hate us on the road. If you fall on pavement it really hurts. Bones break, skin evaporates, bikes fold up like paper. This was the easy solution.
Friday was a hard day to be a cyclist. A kid named Rick, was hit by a car, on Monroe Street. In moments of drama, everyone wants to make grand gestures. March on the capital. Alert the media. Form a protest. The hardest thing of all, is to just do what we do: Ride bicycles on the street.
Hours after the crash, people posted comments on local news web sites, taking the side of the driver. One by one they lined up to tell the stories of cyclists getting in their way, running stop signs....on and on. Not one word was mentioned about the kid with a destroyed hip, and skin so badly damaged, he will need grafts.
When I first heard the story, my initial thought was to never ride on the road again. I ended up riding in rush hour traffic down Blairstone. It's all I could do. This weekend, I went on an epic road ride with the boys. I can't stand the thought of my friends being out there without me.
It sucks to ride with traffic. Others will be hit, hurt and killed. The best we can do, is ride on the road, exercise our rights, and encourage others to do the same. Our only hope, is to have so many of us out there, they will be forced to coexist with us.
In the immortal words of Freddie Mercury;
"Get on your bikes and ride!"