Things That Make You Go, Hmmm…

Sunday morning at 7:45, I had just finished a very good ride on a 16-mile circuit I routinely ride for a sprint workout.  I had just completed the ride at an average pace of 18.7 mph, which is quite good for me – second fastest of the year, in fact.

On the same day at the same time, 400 miles to the north in my hometown of Rochester, NY, Heather Boyum was also riding her bike.  Her ride ended in a decidedly different manner than mine.  Heather Boyum was killed at 7:45 while pedalling her bike on the shoulder of the road and doing nothing wrong whatsoever.

Boyum was reportedly hit by a motorcycle, whose rider was cited for 2nd degree manslaughter.  The motorcyclist was (again, reportedly) doing stunts around a car driven by his girlfriend as both drove down the road.  Witnesses said the motorcycle was being ridden in a reckless manner and was doing “wheelies.”  After being hit by the motorcycle, Heather Boyum was thrown into the road, where she was run over by the car being driven by the motorcyclist’s girlfriend.  The girlfriend reportedly left the scene and was later arrested by police and arrested for DUI.  She may face other charges.

You can read more about the accident here.

So there you have it – two bicycle rides by 40-somethings at nearly the exact same time separated by 400 miles.  One ends in fine form; the other ends in tragedy.  If there is a lesson here, it is lost on me.  I know there are many ways to meet your untimely end and riding a bicycle is not statistically significantly dangerous.  I guess the lesson is to enjoy your time, because  it is impossible to say when your time may be up.  You can be doing everything correctly and be taken out by an idiot trying to impress his drunken girlfriend.  Such is life.  And death.

Sorry for the bummer.  Perhaps I should watch a few “feel good stories” on the Olympics and regain my usual effervescent demeanor…

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3 thoughts on “Things That Make You Go, Hmmm…

  1. This sort thing has been on mind recently. An Edmonton cyclist touring in PEI was recently killed by a drunk driver. She was a safety conscious rider and took care to avoid routes without proper shoulders. Despite the fact that we are all fallible, I actually do trust that the vast majority of drivers are in control of their vehicles and will not harm me. With the drunks it’s a completely different story and it’s hard to know how many of them there are out there. Many years ago, while driving, a good friend of mine was killed by a drunk diver who was driving in the wrong lane, at night, with the car’s lights turned off. You just can’t defend against that. You can’t spend your life hiding in a bunker and so, as you say, enjoy your time when it lasts.

  2. Interestingly, I’ve been thinking along similar lines, too. The uphill time trial I’m doing on Sunday had a death on it last year; apparently a heart attack. The organizers took months to decide whether to continue with the race this year, but the victim’s family encouraged them to trudge on. It made me pause for a moment, then, as you and Tuckamoredew probably did, decided there was little I could do but continue on with my plans…or hide forever in the house – statistically more dangerous than leaving it, by the way…

  3. This is a horrific story. There’s no doubt that you are very vulnerable to your own and other people’s stupidity on a bike. The thing that makes me go hmm is the general reaction to the dangers of cars to everyone, drivers, passengers, cyclists and pedestrians. Every time we get in a car we know that we could kill or injure ourselves or a stranger but somehow we have managed to train ourselves to ignore the thought… As a result car manufacturers can market cars called like Warrior and Shogun and Magnum without blinking. I was an idiot in a car when I was young so I know the rush driving dangerously can give you. Until there is a wholesale culture change (and there never will be) people will die pointlessly on roads.

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