Monday, November 3, 2008

One Man's Decision To Stay Off The Road

If you love bicycling and cycling as part of your daily rhythm to living, it's hard to explain to non-bicyclists the kind of hurt and pain and emptiness you feel when a fellow bicyclist friend is killed while bicycling on the road.

USF senior Brandon Crain has not biked on the road since his close cycling pal and USF cycling team founder Joshua Kuck (pictured) was killed a year ago when a vehicle struck Kuck during the Hilly Hundred bike ride held in the San Antonio area last year.

The St. Petersburg Times ran a recent story about Brandon's decision to not bike on roads.

Brandon rides only on sidewalks and paths. Not the road. He just feels drivers do not respect the Share the Road philosophy.

I have to confess that with all the miles and time I log on the roads around here -- I plan to bike to downtown Tampa this morning, in fact, for business -- the thought of a vehicle striking me lurks deep in the back of my mind. I bike defensively and believe in the Share the Road spirit, and my eyes constantly scope out my bicycling surroundings trying to anticipate a car's next move. But that's hardly a guarantee that I will arrive in one piece on a bicycle.

By the way, kudos to the St. Petersburg Times for its steady diet of bicycle stories. Stephanie Garry did a nice story last month on biking the Share the Road Ride and visiting the Bicycle Bash by the Bay and Times staffer Adam Newman has a terrific bicycle blog. The Times always seems to be on top of the bicycle scene. I only wish the Tampa Tribune would do the same.

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