Thursday, April 24, 2008

Adventures in cycling, part IV: Birth of a bicycle activist?

(Image: Razor Apple blog)

Having read about it on Streetsblog yesterday afternoon, I joined about 25 other cyclists last night for a ride to commemorate the untimely deaths of Alvaro Olson and Jian-Lan Zhang. We cycled from Union Square up to 36th and Broadway and then down to Hester and Allen to visit their ghost bike memorials. It was poignant to think about the lives of these two men, both in their mid-fifties, who were killed on the same day by delivery trucks, and it was a sobering reminder how dangerous our streets remain for cyclists. Some of the riders wove flowers into the ghost bikes and we all observed a moment of silence and ceremonial bicycle lift in their memory.

The ride was also for me a visible demonstration of the "safety-in-numbers" principle. I have never felt as safe riding on New York streets as I did last night surrounded by so many cyclists. All in all, it was a beautiful coming together of community.

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