August 19, 2017

Spokes of Reverence

Posted on 23. May, 2011 by Administrator in Social/Cultural

Wednesday May 18, Duke City Wheelmen Foundation together with Leigh Ann Hatcher-Inglis will host the annual Ride of Silence.  This is an international ride to remember cyclists injured or killed in collisions with motor vehicles.  rideofsilence.org There will be rides in all 50 states and many foreign countries, 315 and counting.

We will start and finish at 6711 Edith Blvd. NE, at Q Cycle.  Registration opens at 5:30 pm and closes at 6:45 pm Wednesday, May 18, 2011.  Everyone, please come early to sign a waver.  Donations accepted to cover insurance costs.   Everyone who makes a donation will receive a unique Spoke Card for the event.  Helmets required, lights if you have them. We will have one minute of silence at the start to remember Dan Montoya and to send positive, healing thought to Matt Trujillo, as well as to both these cyclists families and friends. The ride is approximately 9 miles and will proceed no faster than 12 mph so all can participate.  For a route map, visit dukecitywheelmen.org

Red arm bands will be available to represent riding for an injured rider, black armbands to represent riding for a fallen cyclists. There will be a minute of silence before Wednesday’s Ride Of Silence for Matt Trujillo and Dan Montoya, their families and friends in addition to the usual dedication of the ride to cyclists injured or killed.  For more information about this ride, go to dukecitywheelmen.org

Because we are people there will always be crashes; as a group we are just not capable of perfect driving all the time.  But the kind of crash that claimed the life of one cyclist and left another in very critical condition last week can be made less likely. One of the first complaints from motorists about cyclists is when they see a cyclist run a red light or commit some other traffic code infraction.  While I don’t think that cyclists should run red lights, can anyone site an instance where a cyclist running a red light resulted in the death of another road user?  If the NRA can say “It’s not guns that kill people, its people that kill people.” to keep guns legal, then I am going to say “Cars don’t kill people, people kill people!”  When we, you or I, drive a car in a careless, illegal or inattentive way, we are gambling with not just crumpled metal but with life.   And while some of us are more vulnerable road users than others, everyone is put at increased risk by the careless, illegal and inattentive driving habits we see around us every day.  People like Matt Trujillo and Dan Montoya can be cycling in completely lawful, safe ways, but those practices cannot protect them from all drivers.

From a KOAT online report May 12, 2011, “The bicyclist (Dan Montoya) was heading eastbound on Tramway when a car crossed the median and hit the bike head-on, (Bernalillo County Sheriff’s) deputies said.   Deputies said the driver of the car may have had a medical episode.”  Reports of the incident that caused severe bodily harm to Matt Trujillo said that he was hit by a driver who ran a red light.  Motor vehicle drivers are in control, or not, of a potentially far more dangerous means of transportation.   Our streets and highways are not a level playing field. It is not the other driver I’m asking you to look at, it’s you.  We are each responsible for our own driving habits.  Take a realistic look at your abilities, attentiveness, and habits.  What about your cell phone use, texting or talking?  Can you see well enough or do you need new glasses?  Are you healthy enough?  How is your awareness of two wheeled vehicles, motorized or human powered?   Do you obey the traffic laws?  What else do you think it is OK to do while driving, besides paying attention to the road?

Being in denial about this could have an incredibly high price.

Jennifer Buntz

 

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One Response to “Spokes of Reverence”

  1. Lynn 25 May 2011 at 4:35 pm #

    Thanks for the heads-up about the event. I know two people that are lucky to be alive after being hit by motor vehicles while on two wheels in ABQ.


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