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Old 09-15-09, 02:32 AM   #1
dlester
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Thread With No Real Point

I am just sitting here, everyone but me is asleep, reflecting on my ride home this evening.

This is a relatively small community compared to where most of the readers probably live. It isn't common for people here to succumb to accidental death. It happens, but it isn't common.

But, this past week has been an exception. We have had a bicycle death, and a motorcycle death. Both of them happened along my normal commuting route home. As I ride, I pass the memorials that have popped up in each location and I can't help but think of the polar opposites of the two deaths.

The first was the bicycle death. It actually happened on the MUP. The rider, who was I believe in his fifties, collided with a 16 year old girl. She had minor injuries. He was not wearing a helmet and suffered severe head trauma. He died a few days later at the hospital. He was well-known in the community, particularly among cyclists. We believe he was homeless, we know he had a drinking problem. He rode the crappiest old Schwinn, but could out crank a lot of people. He would do odd jobs from time to time at one of the local bike shops for drinking money. He was a nice guy who generally minded his own business. Just like that, he was gone. At the location where he suffered his injuries there is a ghost bike, a white cross, and a small collection of flowers. In a strange way he really won't be missed by anyone, but his absence will be noticed by many (if that makes any sense).

The second was a motorcycle death. It happened at a four way stop in an area where the speed limit is 30 mph. Police have not bothered to try and calculate his actual speed, but it was over 100 mph. He ran the stop sign and smashed into the side of a car that was in the intersection. The force of the impact spun the car a full 180 degrees. If he had hit the driver's side door instead of the driver's side wheel well, the driver of the car likely would have also been killed. The rider, a 23 year old, had a history of eluding police for several weeks. His high risk riding finally caught up with him. He was pronounced dead at the scene and was so badly injured it didn't take a medical professional to make that determination. That intersection has a large assortment of flowers and a white cross and gets larger every day.

Life is just funny sometimes. The first guy was someone who had nothing, but I know of noone who can recall a bad memory about him. Nevertheless, he will be quickly forgotten. The second was young and stupid (a combination most of us either have or had), repeatedly engaging in dangerous behavior that threatened not only himself but others as well. Friends and family are quite vocal about what a wonderful young man he was. Those words are falling on deaf ears thanks to his very public history.

Like I said. This thread has no real point. It is just me babbling.
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Old 09-15-09, 04:00 AM   #2
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Thanks for sharing that, dlester. I think I kind of know what your talking about. A man who worked at my LBS just dropped dead from a heart attack on the MUP on his bicycle. I knew his name and had spoken to him in passing but I can't say I really knew him. But I find myself thinking about him often. Probably because we are close in ages and he was in such good shape and I'm in such bad shape.
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Old 09-15-09, 05:27 AM   #3
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The young guy will be remembered by his friends who idolized his idiocy. Young guy on a fast bike. OOOooo shiny! Being one year his elder I feel qualified to state that a good 90% or so of my generation have the attention spans of dyslexic weasels with ADD. He will quickly be forgotten as his friends move on to the next flavor of the month.

It’s sad, but that is the way life goes. Be careful out there.
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Old 09-15-09, 06:18 AM   #4
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The young guy will be remembered by his friends who idolized his idiocy. Young guy on a fast bike. OOOooo shiny! Being one year his elder I feel qualified to state that a good 90% or so of my generation have the attention spans of dyslexic weasels with ADD. He will quickly be forgotten as his friends move on to the next flavor of the month.

Its sad, but that is the way life goes. Be careful out there.
More on the waste that is Bau's generation:

http://article.nationalreview.com/?q...UxMDQ4OTc5ZDc=
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Old 09-15-09, 06:28 AM   #5
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My heart goes out to all the familes involved!! I know what you mean about not missing someone but noticing they are gone. I have actually been doing that alot lately!!!

BTW... What is MUP?
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Old 09-15-09, 06:36 AM   #6
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MUP - Multi Use Path
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Old 09-15-09, 10:41 AM   #7
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I ride by a few of those white crosses from time to time. I don't know the story of any of them but one. There are one PAIR of crosses along the bank of the Willamette river where a woman and a lawyer were racing and her car left the road into the river after she lost control. The saddest part is that she had her young daughter in the back seat and both of them drowned. I think of the young girl every time I ride by and see that set of crosses.
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Old 09-16-09, 10:54 AM   #8
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More on the waste that is Bau's generation:

http://article.nationalreview.com/?q...UxMDQ4OTc5ZDc=
SSShhh Neil! Don't draw attention to this, eventually I plan to lead the feeble minded masses. Then I'll get to make the rules when the sheep are too stupid, lazy, or too incompetent to do anything about it MWAHAHA.

Just wait until you hear my foreign policy!
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Old 09-16-09, 11:07 AM   #9
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More on the waste that is Bau's generation:

http://article.nationalreview.com/?q...UxMDQ4OTc5ZDc=
Has there ever been a lack of lament for the waywardness of the young?
I see no hope for the future of our people if they are dependent on the frivolous youth of today, for certainly all youth are reckless beyond words. When I was a boy, we were taught to be discrete and respectful of elders, but the present youth are exceedingly wise and impatient of restraint. Hesiod, 8th century B.C.
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Old 09-16-09, 11:29 AM   #10
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I thought that ghost bikes were supposed to be for victims of cyclist vs automobile deaths.
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Old 09-16-09, 11:04 PM   #11
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I thought that ghost bikes were supposed to be for victims of cyclist vs automobile deaths.
I thought so as well, but I don't feel strongly enough about it to go cut the chain and haul the bike away
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