Four cyclists were killed two weeks ago when a passing car hit some ice, lost control, and plowed into a group ride. A father saw his son die, and other families have been left without fathers, brothers and sons.
David Banks reminds us in this outstanding essay, however, "that the reason we are so shocked by this terrible accident is because of its rarity. Thousands upon thousands of people go out every day on bicycles and do so perfectly safely." He continues:
But why take the risk? Why go out on a bike in the face of such apparent danger?
Because, after the first lung-bursting minutes, you crest a hill, your breathing suddenly becomes easier, you hit your stride and it is just... joyous. When Radio 4 asked listeners what was the greatest invention ever, what did they vote for? Not the light bulb, or even radio - but the humble bicycle.
The most fitting tribute to those who died is exactly what happened at the weekend - a legion of friends and fellow cyclists taking to the roads to enjoy the sport they loved so much.
I'm suiting up and heading out right now to ride in sunny, 60°F/15°C gorgeous Colorado weather.
IMPORTANT: Please post comments for this article at the new CYCLELICIOUS 2.0 version of this page.
I love to cycle. I cycle whenever I can in London. I cycled continously for 17 years in London. Then they brought in the congestion charge, the traffic sped up and it got too difficult and dangerous. A couple of very near scrapes from delivery drivers and I felt had to stop commuting on a daily basis. It had begun to feel like war and this wasnt something I was happy about. I only wish it felt safer here.