crankedmag

{ ride a bike… everyday, everywhere }

Self-important Drivel

The recent article in the Stranger regarding the death of a cyclist on Eastlake Ave is extremely aggravating to say the least. To intermittently interrupt the story of the accident by deriding a type of bicycle and a misguided opinion of it being unsafe gives the sense of “blaming the victim”, not to mention being highly insensitive and inaccurately pandering to the masses. It doesn’t even make sense; the author is completely out of her element and yet feels the need to expound on the completely irrelevant aspect of, not the cyclist who lost their life, but rather misguided aspects of a popular cycling trend. (Way to jump on the bandwagon!)

Does her riding a freewheel for 25 years have anything to do with why a kid from Colorado got taken out by a dump-truck on Eastlake? Is this investigative reporting, or some self-important drivel? How about some concrete evidence if there’s going to be an article about something that deals with life and death on Seattle’s streets? How fast was the truck going? How fast was the kid going? Were the bikers in the bike lane or not? What was the truck driver doing while he was turning? Was he paying attention? When were they weaving in and out of traffic? What’s the status of the surviving cyclist? What was his point of view? Were these questions asked or were we just curious on where we can get a Bianchi Pista—gosh they’re pretty and shiny!

I don’t know either of the bikers, but when I saw the memorial at the site my first impression wasn’t thinking it was political propaganda. But I don’t know, my eyewitness account might obviously differ with others. Is this all we know about the accident itself: Differing eyewitness accounts?

We do know the driver took a right turn directly into the cyclists’ path; that he hit both of them….

Maybe this would have been a more interesting aspect to focus on? Perhaps the fact that the driver wasn’t cited could have been investigated into? Fixed riding is not a crime. Is this article building up a case or something against shops selling fixed gear bikes? What was the point of this article? Get your fixie on Jerry Springer—you’re a freak!

I happened to read this article online when I got home last night because people’s rage at it spurred my curiosity. Now I’m aggravated by it. The email I got from Niki at Mobius asks the larger questions, What is the Real Issue? This is the more important question, why would the Stranger think any other way themselves?

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Filed under: Cranked Magazine, Select

4 Responses

  1. Charles says:

    Hello Michael,
    Every time I read that article about the dump truck running over the cyclist, the more I see how poorly researched the story was. A 10 ton truck would smash any bike helmet, so the fact that the rider did not have a helmet is a mute point. The fact the truck turned right from the far left lane would be hard to react to by any cyclist. This is definitely a wrongful death situation. Maybe Critical Mass should make a point to visit this screwed up location.

  2. Hey, I read this too and was shocked, there has been some interesting discussion on the shift list here in PDX.

    https://lists.riseup.net/www/arc/shift/2007-09/msg00174.html

  3. Lemolo Bags! says:

    We had a similar tragedy happen here in Portland recently. Tracey Sparling was killed when a cement truck turned right through the bike lane and crushed her. The driver was NOT cited at the scene. Read the original report and follow up stories by Jonathan Maus of BikePortland.org.

  4. crankedmag says:

    Yes, I’ve read of this tragedy. It is a disappointing recurrence of our plight on the roads.

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