Written by cycleguy on July 26th, 2017

Welcome to story #3 in my Safety Week. I had surgery Monday so decided I would get some help this week. I tell my story here. Dave tells his story here. Today I welcome Floyd from theregoI. Over the past 3 or 4 years we have been blogging, Floyd and I have become online friends. I respect his thoughts and comments. His story here is actually 2 stories…both which have had an impact upon him. So I’ll turn it over to him:

I don’t know too many people that don’t remember the day they learned to ride a bike. It was dangerous and painful for the majority of us. The pavement is pretty unforgiving… So are ’65 Pontiacs. Lucky for me I hit it and not the other way around.

Another milestone in life is learning to drive a vehicle. In both milestones, we learned to drive rules to keep us and others safe and alive, but rules get broken. Lives too.

When I was in high school Shawn McCarty was the BMOC, (big man on campus). The difference between him and other typical BMOC’s is that Shawn was kind and genuinely humble. Some decades later Shawn and I worked out together at the same gym. When my wife peddled the Tour De Tucson and Scottsdale, Shawn and his group of riders looked out for her. Shawn protected her like his sister.

My wife and I had just finished a thirty-mile ride when we heard about the guy that had been hit and killed on his bicycle a few days earlier. He had been riding east on Thompson Peak Parkway by himself. The driver veered out of her lane and into the bike lane where she struck and killed my friend Shawn…

My wife and I were peddling up Pacific Coast Highway and got separated at a light. I was ahead and missed the turn to the marina. With zero chance of finding her and without my cell, I peddled back to the house and called her. She was forty-five minutes out. At fifty minutes, I called and started pacing. At fifty-five minutes and no answer I went to the street to look for her.

My wife called me at the one hour mark… she’d been hit by a car on her bicycle.

The elderly woman that hit her as she was crossing the street was doing fifty miles an hour. An eyewitness said her bike did five 360 degree spins in the air before she landed and skidded across the intersection into a curb. Divine Providence allowed my wife to walk away with some knee issues and a spine that’s been recently screwed together.

When you see someone on a bicycle, remember the first time you learned to ride, the wind in your hair, your senses fully alive. And thank God you weren’t hit doing it. Never mind the six degrees of separation, everyone, whether they believe like us or not, on bicycles, you’re related to. We’re all of One blood. Let’s treat each other like it.

No one should have to maimed or hurt on a bike ride. Give ‘Em Three Feet.

Thanks Floyd. I certainly can’t and don’t disagree with that sentiment. Don’t forget the bear giveaway and the T-shirt giveaway. For more information check here.


20 Comments so far ↓

  1. So glad your wife survived, Floyd, but so, so sad for the loss of your good friend, Shawn. Thank you for sharing your stories and raising our awareness of bicycle/car safety.

  2. Lisa notes says:

    These stories are really, really doing the job, Bill. What a beautiful idea to highlight Three Feet during this week as you recover! And I can always count on Floyd to make me cry. ha. This story grabbed my heart, as his stories always do.

  3. Betty Draper says:

    For those of us who do not ride bikes but drive we need to hear these stories. Respect is what it is all about, respect for anyone, walking, riding a bike, driving a car, it’s not all about us, it’s about being responsible to watch out for others. I almost hit a person the other day, did not see them coming up beside me. It scared enough to make me more alert the rest of the way. I am thank Bill survived and your wife Floyd.

  4. Pam says:

    Wow! I never realized so many cyclists are victims of careless, inconsiderate, and aggressive driving!

  5. Jeff says:

    A MC racer whose career I have followed for 20 years was killed in May while training on his bicycle in Italy. A bit ironic that he spent his life riding at 200+mph and gets killed going 20mph. The street is a very dangerous place. I think most accidents occur, not because the driver wasn’t giving enough space, but because the driver never saw the bicycle, or motorcycle, or person crossing the street. A person just isn’t looking for a 20mph vehicle on a 60mph highway. As long as we are willing to mix 20mph traffic with 60mph traffic and 3000lb vehicles with 25lb vehicles we will kill and injure people. It is unfortunate but….

    • cycleguy says:

      This is true Jeff but I still don’t believe it is an excuse. There still needs to be consequences. As a motorcycle rider you face this same thing. People just don’t stay alert enough.

  6. floyd says:

    Good call in adding raising awareness of others, in this case bikers, to your ministry, Bill.

    Thanks for letting me a small part of it.

  7. Wow, that’s so sad. Glad your wife made it out ok, Floyd. I’m sort of paranoid with cyclists on the road because I’m concerned they’ll lose control or fall when I’m near them. Probably not very likely, but it keeps me hyper-vigilant. Thanks to you and Bill for highlighting this. There’s no reason we can’t all share the road safely.

    • cycleguy says:

      Unfortunately, there are times when cyclists are at fault Jason. Disregard for the rules of the road, even losing control is part of it. Glad you on “high alert” when you see one of us.

  8. Lynn D. Morrissey says:

    First, Bill, sorry to hear about your surgery, and I pray that you are recovering well. Second, it’s a treat to read Floyd’s words wherever they land. Floyd, I’m so very sorry that you lost such a dear friend in this accident . . . and I remember pryaing for your precious Diane after that accident. I thank God she is okay. Mike and I used to ride bikes a lot. We’d peddle from our home on a busy road to Forest Park in St. Louis, two miles away. Once we were in the park, we were basically home free, because they have a nice bike path the circles the park. But I have seen too many close calls with people on bikes on the streets to want to cycle in traffic anymore. Sadly, motorists simply do not respect cyclists or their rights to the road, and they’d just as soon run you over as stay comfortably behind you or pass you safely. In Europe, it’s not that way at all. Many don’t even own cars and they cycle everywhere. This may sound like a cop out when it is my right to ride my bicycle in traffic, but I just don’t chance it any more. We have too many angry, careless motorists on the loose. Thanks for the good reminders, Floyd!

  9. saleslady371 says:

    Bill, I am sorry to read of your accident and I ask God to lessen your pain. I am praying for your full recovery and may it be soon. Cyclists are many here where I live near Sedona. I tense up sometimes since we drive many curves. Absolutely, we need to be respectful when it comes to sharing the road! Floyd is right and helpful.
    God bless–

    • cycleguy says:

      Thanks for your comment saleslady 371. Seems strange to address you as that. 🙂 I’d rather you tense because you are aware of the possibility of a rider than be uncaring.

  10. Cheryl says:

    Bill, I am SO sorry about your accident! Bless your heart, I hope you recover quickly and completely. God bless you. And, Floyd, I am SO sorry about your friend’s death and your wife’s accident. My, that must have scared you to death. This sure makes me a lot more aware and cautious of bicyclists on the road. Thank you for sharing and for reminding us to be more mindful of others. God bless all of you.