Last Saturday Nathan Barkocy’s family, friends, teammates and the community gathered for a bicycle ride on the Bosque Trail. We rode together to rally for his full recovery. Nathan was injured just over a week ago when a motor vehicle collided into him. Nathan is struggling for his life. The Albuquerque Journal published this news story on the collision and Nathan’s life.
On the ride I moved up along the left side of the group. I wasn’t sure why as I’m usually content to sit at the back of a group. I guess I wanted to get a sense of who was on the ride and visit with various people. There was a place next to one rider and I pulled alongside. It was Earl.
I like riding with Earl. We talked and caught up and worked together to safely pass pedestrians and slower riders. We glided in each other’s slipstream to close gaps. What a naturally gifted rider. We shared stories of how we fell into bicycling. How it fit us. It just clicked. The world speaks in whispers. We marveled at the excitement and joy bicycling funnels into our lives.
According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention about 500,000 injuries per year are caused by distracted driving of motor vehicles in the United States. Every day about 10 people are killed and over 1000 people are injured by distracted drivers. There are three main types of distraction. Visual: taking your eyes off the road. Manual: taking your hands off the wheel. and Cognitive: taking your mind off of driving. Every road user is at risk from distracted driving.
Nathan’s team did a wonderful job organizing the event. They had a huge card we all signed and we mixed afterwards and talked. In this country and world we can’t afford the price on human life and dignity to have random and senseless violence happening to free souls pursuing health and happiness and working toward their dreams. This problem is worth paying attention to and preventing. We must band together as a community of drivers and change our driving behaviors so driving responsibly is the norm, and nothing less is accepted. With power comes more responsibility. Exercising a responsible freedom gives everyone a chance to thrive.
Nathan’s team: https://www.facebook.com/juinorcyclingteam/?fref=ts
Nathan’s caringbridge site: http://www.caringbridge.org/visit/nathanbarkocy
CDC resources on distracted driving: http://www.cdc.gov/motorvehiclesafety/distracted_driving/
The USDOT’s distracted driving page: http://www.distraction.gov/
The NHTSA site on driving safely: http://www.nhtsa.gov/Driving+Safety
USDOT’s bike-ped safety initiative: https://www.transportation.gov/safer-people-safer-streets
Context Sensitive Driving https://bikeyogiblog.wordpress.com/2016/01/14/learning-from-trails/