A Kalamazoo Ride Group's Worst Nightmare

Discussion in 'General Cycling' started by Tricia, Jun 8, 2016.

  1. Tricia

    Tricia The Velvet Hammer Admin Pugski Ski Tester

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    This horrible news out of Kalamazoo Michigan -
    A weekly ride group was devastated when a (seemingly) drunk driver ran into their group, killing 5 and injuring 4.

    I can not imagine what the survivors and families of the victims are going through.
    Story here
    5 bicyclists killed, 4 injured when truck crashes into group ride

    Screen Shot 2016-06-08 at 6.00.59 AM.png
     
  2. Jilly

    Jilly Lead Cougar Skier

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    I just don't know what to say. Except the same thing happened in Ottawa a couple of years ago. The guy is in jail and Ottawa lost a great doctor. My first thought it the 3' rule, but a drunk driver isn't going heed that. Be careful out there.
     
  3. scott43

    scott43 Making fresh tracks Skier

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    It's a real problem. We just lost Jocelyn Lovell due to old age I suppose, but he was made a quad back in 1983 as a result of an incident with a truck. It's really one of the reasons I stopped riding on the road. It's not enjoyable for the most part. These types of things happen too often and the punishment won't fit the crime, I guarantee it. If you're going to kill someone, hit them with your car. It's the method that results in the least jail time!
     
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  4. RachelV

    RachelV Hi. Skier

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    This is so sad. Will be following to see what happens. Really hope there are some serious charges filed.
     
  5. crgildart

    crgildart Gravity Slave Skier

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    Biking and swimming are more dangerous than recreational skiing. Drunk driving and texting are huge contributors to making our roads way more dangerous than they should be. I've actually stopped riding my bike on streets almost entirely a little over a year ago, partially due to all the carnage and close calls I've seen and heard about. City has added a lot more space and bike lanes to try to protect cyclists, but it still seems like bad things are happening at greater frequency regardless. My kids also haven't been taking their bikes out much and I'm not going out of my way to encourage them. I'd not curtail their activity there if they choose to use the bikes more or get better ones, but not bringing it up if they don't.
     
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  6. AmyPJ

    AmyPJ Let's go! Pugski Ski Tester

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    This is the biggest reason I won't road bike. I'd rather deal with roots and rocks and possible moose than drivers.
     
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  7. Tricia

    Tricia The Velvet Hammer Admin Pugski Ski Tester

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    There are some comments on WZZM's Facebook wall about bike paths being used properly and the ride group being on the shoulder of the road instead of on the bike path. As usually its Monday Morning Quarterbacking, but some of the discussion is valid.
    This is one part of the exchange that stands out.
    From Facebook:
    Mike Lutz Please note... the person that hit, ran over the bikers was in the wrong. That being said. Here is a thought. There's a bike path that runs along that road. I feel that if the state, county, city provides a bike path that runs along a road. It should be a ticket able offense to ride/walk in the road way. Our state, county, city has not only invested big money to create those paths. But, also provided them to non motors for their safety and the safety of motorists. Just a thought. If ticket able. Roads and pedestrians would be safer. Not to mention it would help pay for the investment.
    One(of may) reply to this comment -
    Dale Brown Idiots, family's use the paths and group cycling usually moves at a pace to exceed 20 MPH and would pose a greater danger to those using the path. Quit making excuses for bad driving!!!
    And another
    Gregory Dault Colleen Fraser The bike path is in the woods nearby. It is not near the road until further north of where this accident happened. People choose to ride the path or ride the road. As a biker, I will never ride roads.
     
  8. Tricia

    Tricia The Velvet Hammer Admin Pugski Ski Tester

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    The handful of times I was on a road bike, I was extremely uncomfortable. I just don't like cars that close to me.
     
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  9. SShore

    SShore Resident Curmudgeon Skier

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    Trying to put partial blame on the cyclist for being on the road, where they have every legal right to be is part of the problem. There needs to be a consistent message, from Governments, media, driving schools on down that cyclists have the same rights and responsibilities on the road as cars do. Of course that is never going to stop the a$$holes in cars, and especially pickups in our part of the country, from seeing how close they can buzz a cyclist and obnoxious they can be towards cyclists. In the case of a drunk like this, there isn't much that can protect you.

    As the father of a bike racing daughter that has put tens of thousands of miles on the road training, I can tell you this is a constant fear. I am so happy she is now focusing her competitive efforts on the track and mountain biking.
     
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  10. Philpug

    Philpug Enjoying being back on two wheels. Admin Pugski Ski Tester

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    I am not going to lie, road biking scares the shit out of me too. It's not just the idiots like this but the others out there doing everything but what they should be doing...driving.
     
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  11. cbk

    cbk AKA Carl ... Ski with great élan! Skier

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    There's so much road cycling activity here in San Diego that along the coast some cities have taken slow lanes (rightmost lanes) and converted them into bike lanes. In other places they have "sharrows" painted on the road with street signs that indicate bicycles may use the whole lane. Not that drivers pay attention to road signs...

    But what do you do about something like this: http://www.nbcsandiego.com/news/local/Cyclists-Struck-by-Car-on-Fiesta-Island-271008751.html
     
  12. skibob

    skibob Out on the slopes Skier

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    I have a friend who is an extremely experienced road cyclist (nearly qualified for TdF in his youth, Ironmans now). He advises me to be assertive. Ride in the lane wherever you need to and make cars go around you if they want. His argument, and I think he is right, is that people give you more space when they have to slow and plan to pass you (using the oncoming lane) than if they can just "squeeze" by you w/o regard to oncoming traffic. Of course, bright colors and a flashing red light on back of bike are imperative. Mine went out mid ride once and it freaked me out. Anyway, all of this might not save you from a drunk driver . . .

    That said, he'll ride anywhere and I am still very conservative. My current loop I do a few times a week is ~30 miles, only about 4 of which are on roads and even then four lane, low speed, dedicated bike lanes.
     
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  13. scott43

    scott43 Making fresh tracks Skier

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    Depending on the "bike path", it's not really possible to ride on it. Here they're called "multi-use trails" which means anyone and their 3 unleashed dogs can use that trail..which leads to a whole other issue. The guy's drunk, he killed 5 people, that's 5 counts of homicide to me. What happens if he's drunk and shoots 5 people "by accident"?
     
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  14. Monique

    Monique bounceswoosh Skier

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    I don't road ride much - my knees don't like it - but when I commuted to work, the safest (although least pleasant) part of the ride seemed to be the Diagonal. The shoulder is maybe 10' wide in places - lots of room for a bike to ride, or even a faster rider (ie, everyone) to pass me without coming anywhere close to cars. I feel safer on a motorcycle on roads, though, where I can accelerate out of trouble.

    Front end damage implies (to me) that the driver ran straight into them.
     
  15. skibob

    skibob Out on the slopes Skier

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    Yeah, they've got their issues. Including one section so rough you can't go more than about 10mph w/o risk of being thrown right off the trail. Fortunately, its only about 300 yds long.

    Dog walkers, meandering pot smokers, gangbangers, homeless people and their various debris, broken bottles, people using the wrong side of the path (its just like a road, how hard is that?), potholes, low hanging branches, poison oak growing into the path, etc.

    But it all is MUCH preferable to a 5000lb missile in the hands of a drunken idiot.
     
  16. RachelV

    RachelV Hi. Skier

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    Exactly.
     
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  17. Tricia

    Tricia The Velvet Hammer Admin Pugski Ski Tester

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    Both the story in the OP and the story you linked are instances where its not just bad manners with bikes, its gross negligence.
    • Driving in the wrong side of the road
    • Drunk driving
     
  18. Jerez

    Jerez Getting off the lift Skier

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    We lost someone from here in March when a group of riders was stopped at a light and a driver high on pot and Meth plowed into them, killing two. Story here
     
  19. Tricia

    Tricia The Velvet Hammer Admin Pugski Ski Tester

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    ^^ Sad. :(

    On another topic, I wonder how many people have medical conditions that could impair driving.

    One of my sisters had brain surgery at the end of January and couldn't drive. Her restriction was pulled a few months after the surgery, but she still feels uncomfortable driving on a regular basis. She may feel great and drive to work, but by the end of the day the fatigue is too much and she can't drive home. Thankfully, she has a support system to pick her up and take her home, as well as the good sense to know she shouldn't drive.
    How many folks don't have that sense and take the risk?
     
    Last edited: Jun 8, 2016
  20. crgildart

    crgildart Gravity Slave Skier

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    Back around January some kid had a seizure and plowed in to a house killing someone inside the house. It later turned out that the kid had two previous episodes, already crashed in to a house once before and family doctor had pulled the kid's license two years ago. The father bought the kid a Hummer and fudged the insurance putting himself as the only driver then handed the keys to the kid that had no valid license due to medical issues.
     

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