Hello, I'm Mary Ann and I've been a member of this forum for a couple of years. John Peckham was my son. He's the one that was killed in the tragedy in the Los Altos Hills in Northern California on Sept. 8, 2006. I've been reading some posts for a while and I'd really like to set some things straight. My son was a Cat 2 racer. He went from Cat 5 to Cat 2 in a year. Almost unheard of so raw was his talent. He came from many sports all his life but most recently from mountain biking. His bad knee (from multiple snowboarding accidents) put him on the bike. He excelled. His talent was on the sprints on the road. He was on the bike about 20 hours a week. He was driven but he maintained his relationships and held down a job (as as a biomedical engineer) that most of us couldn't handle. He was amazing. He was a wonderful person. He was handsome as all get out and smart as a whip. He graduated from UC Davis. He was brilliant, caring, athletic, loved his family and was happy and a contributing member of society. I have nothing negative to say about my son, nor does anyone else that knew him well. If you think I'm going overboard because I'm just "the mom" check out what his friends are saying about him at http://altovelo.org/wordpress/?p=11
Or go to www.legacy.com.
Anyway, back to the original statement that I wanted to make. Numero uno is the guy wasn't drunk. The guy was whacked out on methamphetamine and going 90 miles an hour around a curve that my son happened to be making his way up. So what happened? Straight, as in head-on into my son who was following all the rules of the road. John Peckham was doing nothing wrong. Nothing as in nothing. He was wearing a helmet, he was not wearing earbuds, he was on a training ride on a road that had no traffic ever. Along comes the guy from hell. I can't talk as much as I'd like here because I really don't want to hurt my son's case in the courts but I know for sure the guy was freaked out on Meth. Hit my kid going upwards of 80 mph while my kid was following all the rules of the road. What I'm trying to say here is that I got some vibe that some of you all think that you can be safer if you try. You can't. You're on a bike you're going to meet up with Mr. Methamphetamine. And my son got him this time. You were all spared for the moment. Nothing is going to make cycling safe. Nothing. You've got someone with nothing except Spandex and a Carbon Fiber bike going head on with a guy on Meth with a Buick from the 70's. Who's gonna win? Are you going to quit riding? No, of course you are not going to quit. My son, John, would rather die than quit riding and that's what he did. He died. Bottom line is be as careful and as safe as you can but nothing, not even a guardian angel (which I think is virtually useless in times such as these) can help you. Just be as safe as you can be. I want everyone to be as safe as possible, and as safe as possible is only what reality allows.
That's a mother's lecture. I'm not saying to stop riding. That would not do. What I'm saying is that you can't figure out what's going to happen and please don't fault my son for doing something he didn't do right. He did nothing wrong. He was perfect. Mr. Methamphatmine got him before he knew it. Let's put this particular Mr. Meth in jail. But just be aware, they are like cocroaches. They are all over the place.
Thanks for listening,
Mary Ann Parker