Sad news today. Cyclingnews.com reported yesterday that 37 year old David Blumenthal was struck and killed by a pick up truck on a forest road in near Steamboat Springs, CO while riding in the Tour Divide bicycle race. The race follows dirt roads and trails along the Continental Divide from Banff, Canada to the US-Mexican border. It was the first fatality in the 2,745 mile race's history.
According to reports, Blumenthal was riding down the narrow, dirt road when he collided with a pickup truck traveling in the opposite direction. Officials determined that the driver was not at fault. Blumenthal was transported both to a local hospital and to a hospital in Denver, but was pronounced dead shortly after he arrived there. The accident occurred last Thursday, a few days before the 7th annual Tour Divide Race finished for 2010.
Blumenthal was an avid outdoorsman, who had hiked Vermont's Long Trail and the Pacific Crest Trail. He is survived by his wife Lexi and his young daughter Linnaea.
"I'm proud that San Francisco is one of the bike-friendliest cities in the nation," he said. "We will not tolerate violence or rage against cyclists or pedestrians."
Excuse me while I rant, but what the hell is our philandering drunk of a Mayor f$&#ing talking about? Has he actually ridden a bike in San Francisco? Ever? Does he own a bike? I've ridden and commuted to work in San Francisco on and off for the last 25+ years and it's far from a bike-friendly city. Unless the coiffed one is referring to us bikers being friendly, then he's probably right on. Because otherwise, riding down Folsom every day is like running a gauntlet of cars, pot holes, delivery trucks, construction, cracked roads that will swallow your tires hole, basically a nightmare of obstacles aimed at destroying your commuting morning every day. I basically kiss the ground in front of my office every day I make it to work alive. My tally for the last twenty-five years isn't bad, one near death experience when I was t-boned by some woman rushing home to get her kids, a near miss when my tire got stuck in a street car track while I was avoiding a dooring and fell in front of a bus, countless other near misses, broken spokes from potholes, one over the hood, who knows how many popped tires from debris on the road. You bike in SF on a street like Folsom or Valencia, you had better not lose concentration for minute. And pity the people who try to get into downtown from Richmond, Sunset, Pac Heights, or some other far flung hood over the Market Street boundary. There's really no safe way to make that commute from there. I could go on for pages on the subject, obviously, but I'll spare you the poorly written diatribe. Lets talk about the latest nightmare visited upon SF cyclists, a road raging motorist hunting down cyclists in some insane, sociopathic recreation of Death Race 2000:
The grim numbers for the car-vs.-bicycles rampage in San Francisco
tell only part of the story.
Three neighborhoods invaded by one car Wednesday night with a driver
bent on mowing people down. Four bicyclists left sprawled on the
pavement. Six minutes from start to finish, from first victim to last.
The rest of the story could be found Thursday in the three victims
still recovering at San Francisco General Hospital, in the manhunt for
the driver, and in the sense of disbelief among residents and workers
that such random hostility could shatter their corners of the city.
This ain't no b-grade movie either. Real life craziness, and our Mayor is patting himself on the back for some farcical fantasy of friendliness. Everybody stay calm, me and my bike friendlies have everything under control. How about shuttingthefup and fixing some potholes Newsom? I fixed the ones you strong armed me to pay for in front of my house, how about you fix the 2 dozen i dodge into work every day? That would be a good start instead of issuing ridiculous press statements warning other would be sociopaths that the Mayor is on the case. Ridiculous.