Sunday, 4 August 2013

Perspective, Part one

Days off, blue skies, no wind, very nice temperatures.  When you have that combination on the British Columbia coast you know it is a great day, when you add a long week-end into that formula you now it is almost as good as it gets.
We went for a walk around Fort Langley this morning and looked at that area, now that the Albion ferry no longer there.  The area has become a small idyllic place, and is even nicer than when the traffic was racing through to get to and from the ferry.
I watched groups of older riders coming into the café/book store we had breakfast at.  I must admit I wasn't riding, I guess I should have been, but Kim doesn't own a bike... yet.  We are still working on that. She did see a bicycle built for two, and thought that could work for us. Yea right.
The area is wonderful for touring with friends or a group(s). I would consider the roads are country grade, with some shoulders and some not. They are older asphalt with newer sections.  The biggest thing is shadows, and that is part of the charm of the area.  The established trees and greenery in the area along the river and railway tracks. The scenery is spectacular, for both riders and drivers passing through the area.  This is the area that a few years ago when I was riding to work in Langley, I had to stop once for a peacock in the middle of the road and had to around a deer standing watching me coming.  I was headed for the ferry and was trying to make time.
I noticed that most of the riders were older, closer to my age and riding higher end road bikes.  Most were in the traditional spandex (remember spandex is a privilege not a right) shorts, cycling jerseys, bike shoes with clipless pedals, mostly look pedals and shoes, and of course helmets. Some were Shimano type clipless. Lots were wearing gloves and sun glasses, another good sign.
What I noticed, as a cycling Instructor and advocate for things cycling safety was the fact that only a hand full had lights, fewer had rear lights, and only a couple had bright tops.  Only one was of the bright lime green, or any bright safety colour.  they were riding in packs, I suspect a peloton.
With the shadows and narrower roads and drivers that aren't looking for cyclists this can cause a potential for disaster or worse.... as I see it.
Cars have day time running lights man dated for a good reason, so I believe that if you are riding your bike at anytime of the day or night or in any weather you should have your lights on and wearing reflective material that can be seen from a longer distance than a few meters. I like the idea of a few hundred meters !!!!
The other part of my thoughts that brought me to this point of PERSEPCTIVE was that we all see things differently, depending on where we are looking in from.  I thought the riders this morning could've/should've been more safety conscious and dressed for the occasion.  I am quite sure if you asked them they would tell you they were fine and because they were a large group/pack, they would be fine.
It is not my place to place blame or pass comment on an accident, that is not the point of this reference to this tragedy.  I feel terrible for the young lad and his family. I hark back to the tragedy in the ride for Cancer a couple of months ago, just South of here in Washington State, in a cross border ride for Cancer.  The lad that was riding behind a group, pulled out around them and appears to have either gotten close to or crossed the centre line, and was struck by a car coming in the other direction.  The lad lost his life riding with family and friends for a very worthy cause, a true tragedy and a life that didn't need to be lost.  I'm sure he did what he thought was right and what he was shown or had seen. when he went around the group.
These groups this morning I'm sure would say they have been riding for decades and never had a problem, and I can't argue with that, but the time can come at any time.
In the new CAN-BIKE material one of the studies we are quoting from is a study that says cyclists are likely to have a minor injury/accident every 3 years and a major accident once every 15 years.  I have been involved in a major accident, a training accident and it was not pleasant.
Most accidents/injuries can be avoided.  My accident/injury could've been avoided if the Instructor knew how to properly teach techniques, lets leave it at that shall we.
Perspective, it is all in how we look at the situation at hand and deal with it and or react to it.
I believe cycling safety is being prepared before the situation arises by using knowledge, ability and safety devices. A few well spent dollars for lights, reflectors, and vibrant coloured reflective clothing could be the difference between life and not being able to ride again... or worse.
Like I said perspective, that's how I see it. 

Thanks for stopping by
     Safe Ride Home,


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