Monday, May 17, 2010

Two wheels is still two wheels. Or us versus us.

Bike motorcycle crash While motorcyclists and bicyclists usually don’t have a lot in common, we do share one important attribute, and that is our vulnerability on the road. Both groups rail loud and long over the ignorance and poor driving skills of the majority of cagers with whom we must share the roadways. And we both are guaranteed to come out second best in any altercation with a larger mass of steel and chrome. In that sense we are brothers.
Well that brotherhood was tested late Sunday night in Ottawa when a motorcyclist collided with a bicyclist, killing the 16-year-old bicycle rider and sending the biker and his female passenger to hospital with critical injuries. The police report is not yet out, and charges may yet be laid, but at this point it looks like inattention and poor driving skills were the cause, with both riders sharing some responsibility. If I were to prejudge I would bet that the police report will find that the bicyclist was doing tricks on the road to impress his girlfriend, and the motorcyclist was speeding, driving way too fast for the conditions, also to impress his girlfriend/passenger.
Like most accidents, this one was totally predictable and avoidable had both parties been paying the least amount of attention to their environment and the traffic around them. Also, like most fatal accidents, this one will probably result in political calls for more restrictions and regulations concerning our respective pastimes/sports.
So while I offer my condolences to the family of the young man who died, I also grieve for our sport. Every time there is a motorcycle involved in an accident it provides more ammunition to those who would prefer to see motorcycles and motorcyclists even further restricted if not banned completely. And it sure doesn’t help our cause when one of our own is involved this way.
More on the story here: http://www.ottawacitizen.com/news/Update+Speed+factor+fatal+bicycle+motorbike+crash+police/3036045/story.html

5 comments:

  1. Tragic as any fatality is, I completely understand your views.

    In our district which is predominantly 2 lane twisty roads, whole packs of cyclists out for training rides continue to block one lane instead of going indian file when other traffic banks up behind them. These people also drive cars and ride motorcycles yet seem to lose all common sense and courtesy when under pedal power.

    My wife and I cycle too but would hate to think we behave like that.

    Sadly though, the fault may well lay with both parties as suggested.

    Thought-provoking post.

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  2. Excellent post. I live in Ottawa and ride both my Harley and my bicycle, and I had the same thought as you wrote here regarding the accident.

    I had to shake my head while watching the 6pm news on CBC. They were reporting on the accident with a live feed from the site. The reporter was sharing the particulars while cars were lined up at the traffic light behind him. A bike came up to the light, and suddenly, the rider was waving and trying to get attention behind the reporter. All I could think was that if he actually knew what was being reported, he would have stayed in the background.

    A sad story for sure.

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  3. This is tragic..no doubt and will as you say have our politicians or at least some of them anyway feel compelled, for no reason other than political gain, to call on more reforms restricting our freedoms.

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  4. :( another sad accident. thoughts and prayers going out to all affected.

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  5. I used to bicycle (to get/stay in shape) before I bought my first motorcycle, then I sold the bicycle because I never rode it afterward. I never liked riding my bicycle on the road, especially busy ones. I usually preferred bike paths instead.

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