Friday, May 17, 2013

Cycling : The Beauty and the Tragedy

I felt compelled to write about cycling. It is part of my life in a big way and part of training and triathlon.It is also dangerous. why because as a cyclist on a road , we are vulnerable and always come off second best if struck by a vehicle.

Why expose oneself to such danger. Well there is a freedom in cycling and there is a  utility in riding .
There is also a simplistic beauty in the machine. There is the love and simplicity of the machine as portrayed in the short clip I stumbled upon called The Spokesman. hats off to Steven for his love of bikes and preserving them.

The Spokesman from dean saffron on Vimeo.

Then there is the dark tragic side. Death and sadness in all cases avoidable by drivers following basic road rules. I appreciate that in all cities there will be cyclist who behave with no regard to their safety and the road rules but that does not allow drivers to disregard or be reckless with the safety of cyclist especially when passing. In the Nordic states there is a requirement to keep a safe distance and the onus in the event of an accident is on the driver to show he acted properly . Education is vital but in a fast pace  hurried world mistakes and errors occur but I hope drivers learn to give cyclist the attention  and care in as much as a pedestrian or child near a road would expect from a driver .

The death of Richard Pollett in Brisbane on 27 September 2011 and the outcome of the trial against the driver recently highlights the concern in the cycling community .The state must act to protect all road users .

Truck driver Found Not Guilty- Amy Gillett Foundation

Call for cyclist gap to become law

Ghost bike' a haunting symbol of cycling danger Brisbane Times 17 May 2013

In several European countries, the higher standards of duty-of-care for more vulnerable road users include the legal responsibility for car drivers to avoid collisions with cyclists and pedestrians. In these countries the onus is on drivers to prove no-fault when in collisions with pedestrians and cyclists.
It's not just about bike lanes by Jan Garrard at ABC Environment Website

Barber Violin Concerto | 2nd Mvt | 2010 Young Performers Awards | RIP 2011

Richard Pollett was killed 2 years ago cycling on a road .A moment of gross carelessness ended a life .It is incumbent on us as a society to do our utmost to protect all road users starting with the most vulnerable .This means changing attitudes and making drivers  more accountable because that inattention , reckless action can harm the unprotected cyclist on the Road. A needless death , a lost talent and someones son/daughter /parent /friend.