Friday, July 24, 2009

Bruce Rosar

I'm taking off the "evil cape and mask" for a moment.

The cycling community lost a fantastic member, spokesman and champion over the weekend, Bruce Rosar.

http://www.newsobserver.com/news/story/1604320.html
http://www.vabike.org/bruce-rosar/
http://brucewr.home.mindspring.com/ec/biography.html

He was a better cyclist and better person than most of us, me included, could ever hope to be.

He died while cycling, with the current official story being that he made a left turn in front of oncoming traffic. If this is true, it is at best ironic. But I am going on record as saying I am suspicious and not convinced. It was a clear intersection with good visibility. Even an inexperienced cyclist doesn't make a left in front of traffic ( unlike cars, who often make left turns in front of approaching cyclists). Bruce was experienced and was a safety fanatic. Its just NOT the kind of mistake he would make.

Of course it is possible that he was fatigued, distracted or maybe the sun was in his eyes and did he not see the car. It's also possible and just as likely he was zapped by space aliens, which is to say damn unlikely. I'm going with Occam's Razor and say that is was almost certainly the motorist fault. I hope that more witnesses come forward to either repute or corroborate the current version. Either way, Bruce deserves to have the truth come out.

Let me be clear: Unlike many cyclists, I am not anti-car. I am not a cycling crusader who sees all cars as the enemy. I love my car. I love driving my car, and, I even share and understand many driver's frustrations with some cyclists on the road. I am certain that Bruce also enjoyed cars. He drove a gorgeous red Porsche that the liked a great deal. I also suspect he would be disappointed in some of the news coverage on this event that depicts the event as a bicycle safety issue. The coverage is clearly wrongheaded and an attempt by the local media and perhaps law enforcement to make the wrong point at the wrong time.

This event tends to shift your personal paradigm a bit. Like many riders who ride on the road, intellectually I understand the danger. However, on an emotional level, in order to keep myself a bit sane, I frame my reality a bit differently. I tell myself it won't happen to me, that I am a safe rider, that I stay aware and safe all the time. I tell myself the people that get hit are those who wear dark colors and no light at night. The people who get injured are those who don't wear a helmet, or do idiot things in traffic. I assure myself that if I can just avoid the drunk or texting drivers, I'll be fine. Events like this expose those views as what they are, little white lies that give me the courage to get on my bike everyday.

-Evil C.

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Thank you for your comments, you simpering fool. Now, await your destiny. Or have a cocktail, something fruity, maybe with one of those little umbrellas.