Ever since my husband was hit by a drunk driver while on his bicycle out for a training ride, I have not been able to actually grasp my feelings, until I watched a video this morning called Dear Motorist that was posted by our friend, Dave Orlowski. Afterward, I sat down, started writing, and this just flowed out of me:
A Personal Message to Cyclists and Drivers
I have been mad. Mad at drunk drivers, mad at drivers, mad at bicyclists, mad at insurance companies, mad at the amount of my time this has used, mad at how our lives have changed and what we have missed, mad at how it affected our relationship, mad at how it hurt our twins, and mad the triathlon season was lost. I have been just plain mad and continue to have trouble getting over it. Granted, it will be a good year when we can put aside the court dates and insurance filings. I think then, the healing might finally start to happen.
I know cyclists do stupid things. They don’t wear helmets; they ride 2,3, and 4 deep; they run red lights; and they get cocky. And, I am talking about professionals, triathletes, and everyday riders. It can be frustrating. I know. But, I also know that most riders ride by the rules of the road, yet continue to get injured and killed. There are two sides to the bicyclist versus automobile issue. I get it. So, here are my thoughts.
To the cyclists: Do the right thing and follow the rules of the road. There’s no sense in frustrating drivers. Chances are these frustrations will just be taken out on a fellow cyclist. And, know even when you ride appropriately, you or a loved can still get injured or killed. Drivers get distracted. And, in my husband’s case, drivers do drive drunk at all hours of the day.
To the drivers: Share the road and don’t get distracted. Give them a wide berth and please don’t honk to show your annoyance or yell cuss words at them out your window. Cyclists are at your mercy and hitting one will change your life forever. Cyclists are trying to stay safe, too, and just like a car in the lane next to you, they may need to make adjustments for safety.
In my husband’s case, this whole situation was preventable! It was a drunk driver! We cannot control bad decisions other people make, like drinking and driving, but we can help get the word out.
I am a mother of teens, a party thrower, and I have friends who drink. I like to have a drink, too. But, I also need to do my part. Granted my husband was hit at 11:30AM, but as a mother, I will not serve underage drinkers and ask that if you are one of those parents who do, think about why you are doing it and if you decide to do it, take the kids’ keys away. Think about your role as a host and as a friend, and don’t let friends drive after drinking.
Above all, drivers – please stay alert when driving. That text can wait; pick up what you dropped on the floor when you’re stopped; and the baby or child n the back seat can wait a minute, until it is safe to pull over. You get the picture. All it takes for something awful to happen is for you to take your eyes off the road for a split second.
And, you cyclists – please remember to never ride without ID. My husbands’ RoadID saved us! It is how I was contacted and ecrumb is how I found where he was being taken.
When you get in your car or on your bike this weekend, please remember my words. We must all do our part as cyclists and drivers to prevent someone getting hurt or killed and lives being changed forever. I know I am not quite over my husband being hit, but I am getting there and this video helped. So, go get a tissue and watch this video, Dear Motorist. If it changes even one person’s behavior…
Sherry is one of the TriWivesClub and LifeDoneWell co-founders and contributes to multiple blogs. She is a former co-owner of the California Apparel News and had a career in the healthcare industry. Her passions include traveling, real food, the environment, and animal rescue/welfare. She lives a healthy lifestyle and has been a vegetarian since 1987. She and her husband are parents to two rescue pups and reside in Connecticut.