Anyone who has known my family for half a minute knows we’re active. From running, to riding our tandem recumbent bikes as a family to going for walks and regular bike rides, my family gets our fitness in, we do it outdoors, and often on the road. We’re put there to add years to our lives and life to our years.
Many of the roads we run, bike and walk on have 55 mph speed limits. We are alert and careful, we wear appropriately sized and secured bike helmet and bright clothing and reflectors or LED lights. I refuse to wear earbuds so I can clearly hear the traffic, but still we have had near misses.
A group of cyclists was struck by a truck in Kalamazoo, Michigan, killing several, and severely injuring others. These people who were out being active and fit lost their lives. The devastation is unimaginable. And while that isn’t about me, it is about the active community.
Many of us who are active have had our near misses. The guy who pulled into my neighborhood and ran over the spot where I would have been had I not jumped off the street, the numerous people who have flown by me at full speed within my arms reach, even when my children are cycling with me.
The point is that I, and everyone I know who street run and cycle have had near misses.
So I am using the conversation surrounding the Kalamazoo accident to get the word out for my family and my running and cycling friends.
We’re vulnerable. Even when we’re doing everything right, we face a risk every time we hit the pavement.
I ask all motorists, in these days after the most horrific car/bike accident in memory, to share the road. Pay attention. Put down your phones, drive sober, and watch out for us. You will not only save our lives, but you will save yourself a lifetime of grief.