Just what in the name of Sam Hill is going on with people and some vicious vendetta they have against cyclists this year? So far, this is the worst year I can remember for cyclists being assaulted by idiotic, careless, and pissed-off drivers.
I read an article in Velo News in April about a cop in Cupertino who crossed the yellow line and barreled head-first into a group of around a dozen cyclists – killing two. Then to add insult to injury, local newspapers began to make allusions and blame the cyclists for the accident, even though it was the officers' fault for crossing the double yellow line and reportedly falling asleep at the wheel.
A month and a half later in Australia, an enraged driver decides to screw with a group of cyclists, and when I say group I really should say ginormous peloton of 50 or more riders; by speeding in front of the group and then slamming on his brakes sending the group into a panic, into the back of his car and to the ground.
Just this last Monday in Monterrey, Mexico a driver steams headlong into a peloton during a race killing 1 cyclist and injuring 10 others, the photo on this one particularly disturbing.
Up until moving out to the East Coast, I road my bike almost daily, and for many years I road everywhere I went as I had no vehicle. During college, I road 12 miles into school and back home almost every day for 2.5 years. I have been confronted with almost every type of deplorable behavior by motorists imaginable. I have been cutoff, hit with a full big gulp cup of Orange Crush, had beer bottles thrown at me, run off the road, had a group of teenage girls come barreling by me while I was traveling around 45 – 50 mph (the speed limit) down Scholl Ferry Road in Portland and slam on the brakes because they thought it was funny. I have been lucky.
I have crashed, numerous times, I even have steel plate in my wrist as a trophy – but this sort of carnage is deplorable, avoidable and completely crazy. It's like the start of open season on bikes – what the hell is wrong with people?
I wish the best for all of the cyclists and families affected by these latest assaults, and hope to God that we have seen the last of this for a while.
At least Specialized has sent us an Angel to look out for us….
note: photo courtesy of Crilligan's Island.