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Was reading the latest Willamette Week at lunch and finally figured out what all those cops and cyclists around 39th & Belmont on Friday evening were all about.

Last week, a woman with a .224 blood-alcohol level (almost three times the legal limit) crashed into a group of riders, sending a 27 year old musician into the window of a parked Chevy Blazer, and flinging a 26 year old artist 400 feet from the point of impact. Both were pronounced dead at the scene. A third rider, 23, is still in critical condition.

Sigh.

It's crap like this that makes my stomach churn. (It's not just the hot dogs.) I'm by no means a member of Portland's "increasingly muscular cycling culture", but yeah: I do ride a bike. I'm going to be on the Midnight Ride in a week or so, and I'm going to be in Cycle Oregon this year. So it painful to see something like this happening. Frightening to realize that it could have been me.

I mean, yeah, it didn't have to be cyclists, it could have been a pedestrian, or another car, anything... drunk driving is just really stupid. But I know that I've been in cars with perfectly sober drivers that have cursed cyclists for being slow, or being to far out into the road, or... just being cyclists? And I drive a car, too, but I always try to remain cognizant of cyclists (or pedestrians, or skateboarders, whatever.) I mean, yes, if someone is flaunting the fact that they're an asshole, then I may get peeved, but I'm not going to start getting steamed or honking my horn just because it's going to take me two minutes longer to get to my destination because there's a cyclist in front of me on a narrow street.

I'm going to try not to slide into diatribe here, I guess I just wanted to say to anyone that happens to be reading this: please, start seeing cyclists, okay? And please don't drive drunk. There's a pair of mid-20s artists that will never be able to create another work because of what happened. And that to me, makes the world a slightly darker place.

Comments

( 1 comment — Leave a comment )
kidarrian
Jul. 4th, 2003 12:02 am (UTC)
its frightening to get hit while riding a bike, for me another few inches to the right and I would have been seriously injured or killed.
it was sobering to say the least, and it made me realize just how much cyclists rely on motorists paying attention...I ride against traffic on my way to work now because of that one incident.

and I agree, drunk driving is a very stupid choice to make, and one that all to often robs others.

creation is very precious agreed, that is truly a loss.
( 1 comment — Leave a comment )

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