Friday, May 14, 2010

Three Ironwomen Gone, and a Ride of Silence Approaching

Three women training for Ironman Lake Placid were killed by a single driver, and three other cyclists were injured in the same accident. One of the cyclists who survived described the accident as "like a bowling match". Just imagine.

I don't know why it makes it so much harder, but knowing that one of the triathletes was my age, 44, makes it especially chilling. You think "I was on a road on a bike today with pickup trucks going too fast and coming too close to me." So as a cyclist, what do you do? Not train on roads? Not train outside? Why are our lives forfeit when people can't take a few extra seconds to pass cyclists safely? These cyclists were riding single-file.

It's funny because on my ride this morning I was looking at my average speed for the ride and remembering Jane Higdon, an amazing local triathlete who was killed on her bike here by a truck 4 years ago. She once told me that she didn't put much stock in average paces because she typically averaged 17 mph on her long rides. I have no idea if that was true or if she was just trying to make me feel better, because she was simply an amazing cyclist who turned in a smoking 5:48 bike split on the tough IM Canada course when she was my age. But it's always helped me not to obsess too much about what my average pace is and to concentrate more on other things during a ride.

All of which sadly brings me to an event I wish would never have to happen again, but obviously does. The Ride of Silence will happen next week this year, on May 19 at 7:00 pm in hundreds of locations world-wide. You can check their website to find a location near you, and help bring attention to the seemingly never-ending issue of cyclists injured and killed on public roads by motor vehicles.

2 comments:

Kristin (Triathlon Dreams) said...

Wow. My heart goes out to all these triathletes families. We are trying so hard in NY to make it Cycler friendly, but there still is alot of work to do. I don't know how many close calls I've had out there. I also read a blog that a man was hit during a race by a car. We have to fight to make it safer for us.

KJ's Restart Button said...

Thanks for the info Robin. It looks like Salem is doing one on the 19th and I will try to make it on my granny bike.