The Chainlink

 

Hello my name is Dario.  I am typing this one handed because of an injury sustained while biking.  Obviously I did not die but if you want people to read your story you have to have a headline that grabs attention.  I am/was a year round cyclist who started commuting to work at the age of 32 (nearly 3 years now).  I know I am late to the party.  I started riding to lose weight but ended up loving it.  I love riding in Critical Mass, the clarity it gives me in the morning, and the way the way stress falls away on the ride home.  I love it so much I strong armed my best friend to follow me in biking.  It was easy to do when he saw my weight loss.  At first it bothered me to be the “crazy bike rider” who rides in the winter, but I got over it and now wear it like a badge of courage.  Besides I was never one to go with the flow.  I am a bit of a safety nerd.  While I don’t wear lime green spandex I always have lights and wear my helmet (not that it should matter).   I am extremely cautious and courteous.  I stop at stop signs,  don’t salmon, ride on side streets to minimize my interaction with “cagers”, and yell on your left when I pass people.  Yesterday while riding on the lake path a rollerblader (are they really still around), stepped in front of me after I shouted “on your left” and I ran into her.  I fell and separated my left shoulder. I have never felt pain like this.   She walked away.  In pain and furious I screamed at her to “get the fuck away from me before I beat your ass”, so I did not get her info.  Thank  God I have insurance.  Through no fault of my own, I will be out of commission for about a month.  

My wife and I brought home our newborn son Tuesday the 26th, and I can’t even hold him in my arms.  That hurts some much more than my shoulder.   This injury has saddled her with extra chores since I can do so little with one hand.  At the time in our lives when she needs me most I am a burden.  This is so unfair.  She has always been supportive(despite her reservations) and even liked buying me workout/cycling clothes.  

I cannot in good conscience continue to risk my well being with so many ignorant, discourteous, self centered, and just plain stupid people out there.  When it was just me I could rationalize it but I have a family now and I don’t want to miss any of it.  In short I am hanging it up, throwing in the towel, and giving up.   I did not write this for sympathy, or to hear people try and change my mind, i just needed to vent to like minded people.  Will I still bike, probably, but not as much.  If you’ve been a cyclist for a day you’ve probably had a close call, so you know what i mean.  I can not justify the risk any longer.  Thank you for reading this.  Goodbye.

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Life is sink or swim. And buddy, sinking ain't an option. We all know the dangers and risks of the life we live as cyclists. You're lucky. Don't give up.

I am not asking that they get out of my way, just stay in a predictable line so I can safely pass. I took the LFP home from a friends today, At noon on a sunny saturday afternoon one cannot expect or try to go more then 12-15 mph, even that is pushing it sometimes

http://connect.garmin.com/activity/102816786

notoriousDUG said:

Why should we, as cyclists, expect people to move out of our way as if we were emergency vehicles; way to share the road.

Rowbike Mike said:

 

It sounds like the response we want from pedestrians and others on the path is similar to what automobile drivers (should) do when an ambulance or fire truck is trying to get to an emergency - i.e., watch out for the vehicle that needs to get past you.  I wonder if the solution is to have, not a siren, but something that you can activate early enough, and which repeats a noise, so that people aren't caught off guard.  Maybe it's just as simple as continuously ringing a bell as you approach someone from behind to pass. 

Very well (and succinctly) put, thanks.  And a-men on the joy of late night riding along the lakefront!

Michael A said:

I am not asking that they get out of my way, just stay in a predictable line so I can safely pass. I took the LFP home from a friends today, At noon on a sunny saturday afternoon one cannot expect or try to go more then 12-15 mph, even that is pushing it sometimes

The way I read the OP is that the word 'death' was perhaps not intended to be taken literally. Rather, it may be that Dario was speaking of the death of his cycling activities because of his crash. Just my 2c...

Tank-Ridin' Ryan said:
Who died?  When's the funeral?  It definitely wasn't hyperbole - that's alive and well.  Thanks for the movie recommendation.

Here is a very nice WTTW video bit that sums up nicely the dangers of the LFP:

 

http://www.wttw.com/main.taf?p=80,1&pid=y07o3VvTg_y0sMSXEzl80Bk...

 

A high degree of accuracy in journalism, imo.

great clip

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