Let’s all be advocates

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Today’s post is a little different than my others. Most of my posts have something to do with the design of bicycles. This one is really more about design for bicycles. For some time, I have been involved with local bicycle advocacy issues in the larger cities where I have lived. I currently enjoy living in a smaller city, Greenville, South Carolina. I have to say that Greenville really is a great place to ride a bike. Our network of bike lanes is growing and the city is very supportive of cycling. Recently, I would say the awareness of cycling in town has been at an all time high. An end of season “welcome home” parade for local resident George Hincapie drew big crowds on Main Street, and a surprise appearance by Lance Armstrong further excited the crowd. Soon after, a big celebration was held on blocked off streets downtown on the day that the Tour of Hope riders passed through Greenville. Just a couple of weeks ago, we had some end of season pro criterium racing downtown with the Michelin Classic.

Yep, Greenville’s a great place to ride, but even in a great cycling town like this, accidents can still happen. Earlier this week, a local cyclist on her way home from work was killed after being struck by an SUV in the middle of our downtown. She was wearing a helmet and doing everything right, but tragedy struck. Though I did not know her personally, I am always saddened greatly when a cyclist is killed in traffic. I have been focusing a little more than normal on advocacy issues the last couple of days. I just want to take this opportunity to ask everyone to be an active advocate for cyclist’s rights in you own communities. Whether the issue is bike lanes, share the road signage, driver education, or general traffic calming, the loudest voices are most often the ones that get heard. We all get busy, but I just want to remind everyone to make sure that your voice is louder than the few people who are annoyed by the presence of bikes on the road.

I’ll get off my soapbox and get back to design posts next week. Have a good weekend and ride safely.

1 Comment

  1. Fritz October 29, 2005 at 11:19 pm -  Reply

    We’ve had two pretty serious accidents in the past 10 days. These were both fairly experienced road cyclists.

    The first cyclist was hooked and his arm broken in two places.

    THe second cyclist was hit frome the rear by a bus going 60 mph. Bike went under the bus and the rider was thrown 75 feet. Amazingly she’s alive though she has years of physical therapy ahead of her to recover from internal injuries and broken bones in legs, pelvis, and ribs.

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