RIP Kalamazoo Bicyclists

Wheel full 70pxDamn it. Just damn it.

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Image credit: http://www.mlive.com

Wheel full 70pxOn Tuesday of this week some geefus driving his pickup truck with a blood alcohol level likely just this side of Everclear ran down a group of nine bike riders on a country road near Kalamazoo, Michigan.  Five of the cyclists died at the scene.  Four were seriously injured.  The geefus tried to leave the scene, but his pickup truck wasn’t up to helping him get very far.

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Image credit: http://www.mlive.com

Wheel full 70pxHe probably thought he’d hit a squirrel or something.

Wheel full 70pxYesterday the driver of the truck was charged with five counts of Second Degree Murder.  Hanging, as far as I’m concerned, is too good for him.  I was going to segue into writing about the relative safety of long-distance touring on a bike on a trip like mine, but lost heart when I saw a couple of the national press stories, which in the sternest tones have…

…admonished bicycle riders to wear helmets and follow the rules of the road.

Wheel full 70pxYeah, you read that correctly.  There is no report that indicates that the cyclists, who were members of a Kalamazoo area bicycling club out for a regularly scheduled group ride, were doing anything other than riding safely*.  I’m all for wearing a bicycle helmet, but look again at that picture of the truck.  Now look at it again.  That truck plus the driver probably weighed something short of two tons/1,800 kilograms.  That damage was caused by hitting nine objects in succession each weighing an average of about 200 pounds/90 kilograms.  “Wear helmets” my ass.

Wheel full 70pxI have other posts waiting to go up.  I’m just too bummed out to post them today. My thoughts right now are with the cyclists who were struck down, both alive and dead, and with their loved ones. So very sad. So very needless to have happened.

David Edgren

*The coverage of this terrible situation by the web news site http://www.mlive.com has been excellent and thorough. A summary through today of the stories is here [linkie].