Sunday, November 13, 2005

Every Two Hours

Imagine that there were a group of people in the US that killed a pedestrian every 2 hours. Surely the nation would be up in arms, demanding swift punishment and fundamental changes to make sure such a group would never form again. The statistics are real (according to the NHTSA), and the killers are drivers. Every 2 hours, on average, a pedestrian is hit and killed by a car. Killed by a car, not just injured, killed. It is unclear whether cyclers (or "pedalcyclists," as the NHTSA terms us) are at more or less risk.

I generally keep this blog upbeat and leave the ranting to those better at it. Sometimes, though, the world stirs even quiet souls to action.

Yesterday evening, I met Rachel and the rest of the cast of the local production of "Paint Your Wagon" for the cast party downtown. The casts in these community theater productions quickly become family, and we had a wonderful time celebrating the show's success after 7 weeks of work. At about midnight, the party was interrupted by lights and sirens outside on Broadway. The street was blocked off, and no one could get any information about what had happened. We rode home sobered and somewhat worried. Missoula is not a large enough town that we've become immune to tragedy.

This morning, Rachel rode in for the show's final day. She called me shortly after. A cast member had been hit crossing Broadway last night, and he died this morning at the hospital. I am overcome by the sadness of such a tragic loss, and I can only imagine what the cast must be feeling as they don costumes and try to entertain two more crowds, somehow.

Most of us realize the benefits of automobiles every day, but the costs usually ring up silently. I refuse to forget Bill, and I am dedicating the future of this blog to all of those--like him--who bear the costs of an auto culture that takes away too much life and too much of life. In other words, I dedicate Cycler's Life to all of us. We can do better. Bikes can help.

I'll continue to work to my strength, which is highlighting the positives of cycling. There will still be ride reports, but I also plan to post something at least every other day. Some tiny encouragement for all of us to enjoy life with a little less car and a little more bike. If you don't like the idea, then just read the ride reports, but do give it some thought. Think about what's not included in the price of a gallon of gas.

Over and out.


Anonymous Denny Gill said...

Excellent sentiments.
Denny Gill

9:33 PM  
Blogger scott said...

Sorry to hear about the loss of your friend. Good food for thought here.

10:26 AM  
Anonymous AJRoberts said...

"We can do better. Bikes can help."

These are inspiring words.

9:12 AM  

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