Monday, May 9, 2011

The Death of Pro Cyclist Wouter Weylandt

One cyclist's thoughts...

It was a tragedy on the Giro d'Italia when pro cyclist Wouter Weylandt crashed on a fast descent about 25km from the finish line. My condolences to his teammates, friends and family. I admit, that I am not an avid road race fan. Yet, as a cyclist, I feel a loss.

On the other hand, we lose cyclist ever day - killed or injured on the roads and trails. It brings me back to first time I saw a "ghost bike" along a trail in Albuquerque, NM. That day's blog post was entitled "RIP David Anderson". I learned that an out-of-control car "flew" off of the Paseo del Norte onto the bicycle path. The driver has crossed 3 lanes of traffic, through/over a barrier and landed up an embankment where the path is.

I have ridden that bicycle trail. When I saw the ghost bike, I wondered how a rider could possibly be killed this far from the highway. I would bet that David Anderson thought he was safe from cars on the bike path.

Wouter Weylandt died on a closed race course. David Anderson was killed on a bicycle/pedestrian path. The Chicago Tribune reported that in 2009 6 cyclist were killed and 165 severely injured in collisions with cars in the city.

Facebook light up with the news of the crash during the Giro. I understand that the "cycling community" is in mourning. I do not mean to diminish the loss. Yet almost every day my facebook news feed includes a notice of the death of a cyclist when crashing with a car.

Lets use the loss of Wouter Weylendt remind us of the other cyclists that have died on their bikes. Wouter Weylandt died as David Anderson died - riding his bike.


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