Another Word About Safety

Honestly, I don't want to write about this.

Since I have been riding my bike there have been three fatalities in the area that I ride.  I wrote about Mike Wang’s death.  It was an actual hit and run.  Then on the Fairview, this is my route,Brian Fairbrother a manager at Vivace, took wrong turn, he crashed and died.  I ride by this spot twice a day.  I understand how this happened.   Stairs that go down to a dock were not marked; it is a very confusing point in an established city bike route.  Another cyclist was delivering sandwiches for Jimmy Johns and he was hit by a car.  His name is Robert Townsend and he was 23 years old.  These are just the fatalities I know of since I have been riding, who knows how many accidents that there have been.

That is why I am writing this.  I want to write about happy uplifting events but with the three deaths I don't want to brush over the reality of the state of biking in Seattle.

In Seattle I am seeing more people biking then ever.  On places previously reserved for cars there are new bike lanes and new bike routes are being created.

The city is changing.  Change is hard but I do not think people need to die. 

I know some bike cyclists fight with cars and are aggressive.  I have seen cyclists pull in front of a cars and purposely ride slow to prove a point, I have seen cyclists spit on cars and of course yell things that I don’t want my son to hear. 

I have seen drivers that are texting, writing, reading maps and even attending to their grooming. 

What I say is CYCLISTS PAY ATTENTION.  Don’t take anything for granted, give your self-extra time and never ride on auto-mode.  Seattle is trying to be a bike town but it is not there yet.

Drivers, really, you’re still texting while driving.  How is that even justifiable?  I suggest this idea that DRIVERS PAY ATTENTION.  Also, look left and right to make a turn.

I know, call me crazy.

There is one classification of drivers that I never have trouble with when I am on my bike and they are the delivery drivers.  I do not see them texting, they look both ways, they make eye contact and even wave to let me know that they see me.  I so appreciate that.  Drivers give it a try.

When I ride, I am sociable.  I like it.  I feel more connected to my community and it is nice to wave and smile; starts the day out right. 

I recommend driving with your windows down; be sociable, wave to let people know that you see them, make eye contact with other commuters.

I see a lot a progress with integrating bikes on the roads.  Now we need to integrate cyclist and drivers.  City of Seattle please moves fast on this.   My family is worried and with these three deaths, it is hard to justify biking. 

A Word About Safety

Of course I worried about starting the bike commute. I had read the safety reviews and other parents comments before I purchased the child seat. The one I have is made by iBert and it is called a t-seat.

I had bought the iBert the last summer and tried it out without the baby first. Then I rode with the baby for a few blocks to test the balance before I went on a longer ride.

When I ride I know and not strong enough to go uphill and I don’t try and push myself. I have also mapped out routes that, although they take longer, they have less traffic and they have office bike lanes. I tested the route on my own before I road with my baby.

Of course we wear helmets. I have a bike bell. We use the bell all the time to let other people, bikers and drivers know that we are near by. I wear an orange safety vest that has reflectors. Write now, I’ll say that I am not comfortable riding on wet streets or in the dark. It does not matter now because it is August but that is something I will have to consider when fall hits.

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