It must be said- cars and bicycles hate each other.
Despite state laws declaring them both “vehicles” and directing them to obey the same rules of the road, the two forms of travel are incompatible.
The major problem, of course, is they move at very different speeds.
When a car traveling at 45 mph comes up behind a bicycle riding at 15 mph, with oncoming traffic, the car must slow until the oncoming traffic clears then move into the left hand lane, pass the bicycle and then return to the right lane, giving the cyclist ample room in the process.
But you know what really happens, don’t you. More often than not, the impatient driver “shoots the gap” between oncoming car and slowpoke bicycle, engineering a close – call scenario. And if there is a mishap, it’s almost always the cyclist who loses.
There have been several bicycle rides and races on the sportingAcause calendar so far this year with more to come. With more cyclists on the roadways, often in groups, it is imperative that everyone knows how to behave.
Car and truck drivers-
Bicycles have the same right to the road as you- that means they have access to the right hand side of the right hand lane, so don’t pass them unless it’s safe to.
Don’t overstep your “right to the road” privilege . If you have an adequate shoulder to ride on, use it.
Otherwise stay as far to the right as possible. Oh, and it is not OK to ride two or three abreast, taking up two thirds of the lane just so you can chat. And your responsibilities as a ‘vehicle’ include stopping at stop signs and red lights, signaling turns etc.
And finally to the cyclists- remember that your adversary ,the driver, is surrounded by two tons of metal while you are riding on a few pounds of tubing and little bits of rubber. Should the worst happen and your bicycle interacts with a car or truck, it will be small consolation that you were “in the right” if you’ve become road kill.
September is Suicide Prevention and Awareness Month, and there are upcoming Out of the Darkness Walks to Prevent Suicide sponsored by the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention. Last year I attended one of their events, and this is what I found.
Most of the people wore strands of brightly colored beads around their necks. There were white ones and red and gold and orange and silver and green and blue and teal. Each color held specific meaning.
All of these people, nearly 500 of them, had gathered to celebrate the lives of loved ones lost to suicide, and the beads represented the nature of the their loss. White designated the loss of a child, red meant the loss of a spouse, gold a parent , orange a sibling and so on. The beads color-coded their pain.
This was the Out of The Darkness Walk to Prevent Suicide, one of 400 held nationwide by the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP) to support survivors of suicide and work to end it.
The Walk was billed as a celebration of the lives of those who are gone by those who remain. One of the speakers addressed the seeming conflict of joy amid such pain.
“How can we feel such profound gratitude and such profound sadness at the same time?” she asked. Everyone there seemed to know. There were tears, as people stood at the microphone and explained their color “I am wearing orange because I lost my brother- my best friend”.
“I wear silver today because I lost military- a couple of them”.
“I’m wearing white because I lost my twin sons” -both of them.
Bertha, one of the event organizers, wore nearly every color- father, child and other loved ones- all lost . And she wore green to represent her own struggles with suicide.
Yes there were tears but also smiles and hugs and laughter and camaraderie. And that of course was the answer to the question- that amid that profound sadness, they could feel gratitude because they all had the support of each other- they all understood.
Suicide is the 10th leading cause of death in the United States at the rate of 129 people a day.
There will be an Out of the Darkness Walk to Prevent Suicide on Sept. 29th on the Walkway Over the Hudson in Poughkeepsie and one on October 5th at The Common in Pittsfield, MA.
Find details at sportingAcause.com.
We all have causes dear to us. We support charities that touch our hearts for the good works they do – for making the world a better place.
Sometimes we support causes that fight afflictions, like cancer, that have taken our loved ones.
For me, the Alzheimer’s Association is such a cause. Alzheimer’s disease wiped out my father’s side of my family as well as friends and friends of friends.
I hope for a cure so others escape that fate. And, because of forgetful moments, I hope for myself.
Many share my particular brand of pain and hope, and some are moved to action.
One such action is the Walk to End Alzheimer’s this Sunday, September 8th at the White Memorial Conservation Center in Litchfield. It is one of 600 Walks held in the coming weeks around the Nation.
Folks will solicit pledges from friends, family and neighbors and then walk the two – mile course through the beautiful White Memorial grounds. Over 325 people have signed up so far.
If Alzheimer’s has touched your life, consider walking this Sunday in Litchfield or on the Walkway Over the Hudson on September 29th.
And if you can’t walk, perhaps make a pledge to someone who is.
One in three seniors will die of Alzheimer’s or another form of dementia.
There are 5.8 million Alzheimer’s sufferers in the U.S., growing by one every 65 seconds.
There are16 million Alzheimer’s caregivers.
Learn more about the Walk to End Alzheimer’s Litchfield and Dutchess at sportingAcause.com.