Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Racing more important than Life and Death

I was talking about cycling today with friend a work. She told me something EXTREMELY disturbing and I'm would like to think it is not true but I have no reason to doubt her.

2 summers ago, her daughter, grandbaby and 3 year old grandson were down at the Knik River or the Matanuska River, I don't remember which one, but think it must have been the the Knik River. They were loading water into the water tank in the bed of her pickup when the river bank gave way and into the silty water the truck, mom and 2 kids went. The mom was able to get the baby out of the truck but wasn't able to get to the 3 year old boy. There were other people around who saw it happen and called 911. They were able to rescue the mom and baby, but the truck and 3 year old were washed away.

Now that's tragic enough, but this just twisted the knife in the gut a but more when my friend told me that the ambulance and State Troopers were delayed in getting there because the bike club in Anchorage was holding a bike race. The racers would not get off the road so the ambulance and troopers could pass. There is no shoulder on the old Glenn Hwy and the racer's would have had to get off their bikes and get off the road. Instead they decided their race was more important than a possible life and death emergency and would not move.

My friend was crying when she told me this. She said "they were racing while her grandchild was dying". She didn't say that the boy may have survived if they emergency vehicles arrived sooner, but she is very hurt at the selfish heartlessness of these cyclists.

She asked me, knowing I am a cyclist, if this bike club encourages that behavior. I told her I don't know, I think it would be more of an individual racer's choice to move or not. I know I would move off the road, my time be damned, if I had a bunch of troopers and ambulance on my ass.

I apologize to my friend, her daughter and the little boy who is now with God. Not all of us are like that.

There are more important things in life than riding a bike and winning a race.

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