Friday, May 22, 2009

I'm just the messenger

There have been many bicycle-accident headlines in the news this week which either means there are more accidents or more coverage in the media due to it being Bike Month. I know it's depressing to read these headlines. It's even more frustrating to be scanning for them every day and reporting them to you. It's a real downer for me personally because I like to have a happy news filter. Some of my Twitter readers have even questioned my love for cycling because of the prevalence of the accidents that I report. So much so that I am considering just reporting them here once a week on my blog instead of as it happens. What do you think? Should I post as it happens via Twitter (hello, that's what we use Twitter for - news!) as well as blog once a week or should I just limit it to the weekly blog?

I think it's important to note that my cycling related posts tend to be fairly well-balanced because of my love for cycling. I don't just feature articles about bicycle accidents. I feature articles about the fun side of cycling, the freedom, the joy as well as the darker side where cyclists are arrested, ticketed, injured and killed.

There are no easy, one size fits all solutions. The comments and responses to any accident article demonstrate how tenuous problem solving can be and how deeply angry some cyclists and drivers are at one another. Most often any discussion seems to result in heated emotional debate rather than a candid and objective discussion of the issues.

I don't really know where I'm going with this post. My only motivation for posting these headlines is to honor those who have lost their lives and highlight the issues surrounding auto-bicycle accidents, altercations, resentment. There's healing in the simple process of acknowledging these accidents are way too prevalent. And the advocate inside me wants to bring others into the process and joy of giving back to the community that has given so much to me and helped me to truly find the simple joys in feeling the freedom of the road and the trail. It's what drives me to work so earnestly to get the Safe Passing legislation passed even if it means pulling my head out of the sand.