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Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Cycling and Death


In this morning news you may have read, Emma Way @EmmaWay20, posted on twitter “Definitely knocked a cyclist off his bike earlier – I have right of way he doesn’t even pay road tax! #bloodycyclist”.  Very reminiscent of the attitude of one of the characters in my novel Elijah Hael & The Last Judgement. What they don’t realise is their actions, and thoughts, have real world consequences.  The person may have died.  Luckily for Emma he ended up in a hedge and was able to get up and walk away.  My daughter, Jessica, 10 years old, said this morning on the way to school, “My uncle Andrew died before I was born. He would have been a great uncle.”  She’s right he would have been.  Explaining to children about death is difficult and in many ways drives my thinking, some of which inspires some of the stories in my novels.  Unfortunately, Andrew passed away after a cycling accident a couple of months before my daughter was born, the exact cause of what made him come off his bicycle is unknown.  Most likely a frustrated car driver startled him who didn’t realise their actions could take away a life, a father, a brother, a son, a friend, an uncle, and husband.

I’m a cyclist, and a vehicle driver.  Sometimes cyclists do slow up traffic, get in the way, and do silly things. However, they are a minority.  No cyclist I know rides to upset vehicle drivers, they are all aware vehicles will ALWAYS win in a collision.  Andrew didn’t ride a bicycle to frustrate vehicle drivers, he did it for fitness and transport reasons.  Cycling isn’t “Easier” than hoping in a car. It takes a lot of motivation to ride, especially on roads knowing you’re putting your own life at risk.

Anyway that’s the end of my rant, inspired by Emma Way, who thinks knocking down cyclist with her car is somehow cool.  For me, it brought back many memories of someone we lost, who was loved, and still is, by my family.  I pray, and hope, one day Emma Way will have a change of heart, and see people, all people, who all have their own struggles in life, as people to love and respect.
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