With years of experience of being involved in the cycling community that exists across cities, provinces, and nations all over the world, it is a fear among myself and everyone who rides a bike that it can possibly happen to them. That one day, while out on an enjoyable ride, either by myself or with comrades of the cycling world, I’m involved in a serious motor vehicle accident that takes me, or my friends, out. It is a fear from experience in seeing countless instances of motor vehicles cross the white line and come into the shoulder, possibly from being distracted in the vehicle; motor vehicles making unsafe or illegal passing of other vehicles; and even road rage directed at law abiding cyclists. Not to mention the plethora of times I’ve actually had a close call, where if it wasn’t for one simple decision, I was inches away from serious harm. And then hearing stories like what happened this weekend in Edmonton, where a large group of cyclists are hit from behind and visible to motor vehicles; we are left with the question of how did this happen? I have no doubt that we will learn a lot in the coming week about this weekend’s horrific accident, but until then, it would be best for everyone to take a break from absorbing online attacks, and seek comfort amongst members of our community.
The reality that the accident in Edmonton this weekend could have been teammates, club members I knew, or even competitive acquaintances brings that fear home. I may or may not know the cyclists personally, but I know them spiritually, we share the same love for the bike, and this is something that goes straight to the heart of our community; as the collective empathy we share becomes the bones of what sustains us. This precise collective empathy knows no borders, and when something like this happens to one of us, it happens to all of us, and we all come together in knowing someone was hurt doing the thing we all love doing.
As we’re all poised in this place of wishing we could will the recovery of all of those injured, and reach out to the families this has affected, I would like take this opportunity to tell you all that your grief is my grief, its our grief, and the communal heart of this sport will go on.