A Matter of Importance: Finish the Ride

It may just be the most important ride you do all year.

Sometimes in life it becomes necessary to take a stand, to make a statement. A loud statement. Increasing numbers of hit and run collisions involving drunk and negligent drivers, hostility against cyclists, and weak penalties against perpetrators of these violent crimes, has prompted voices in the bicycling community to rise. It is something almost palpable in its intensity. Drivers of motor vehicles may have become inured, numbed to the hostility that takes place around them - hostility and violence that results in some thirty-five thousand deaths each year, and a hundred thousand more serious injuries. Those motor vehicles are machines of isolation, nurturing self-centeredness. When was the last time you exchanged greetings with a driver stopped next to you at a red light? A year ago, five, ten, or more? When was the last time you exchanged greetings with a bicyclist stopped next to you at a red light? Today, yesterday, every day you ride? That ability to connect face to face is what is unique about  our community, what fosters camaraderie, gives us strength, makes us feel. So when we read about another bicyclist being killed as a result of a hit and run, or someone is severely injured due to the careless inattention of another moronic driver who just does not care, the community collectively shudders and mourns.

Like most weekends in Southern California, there is a lot going on as the last weekend of April approaches. There are races and group rides, and things that have absolutely nothing to do with bicycles. By all means do those, but save just a little time on Sunday for Finish the Ride. It is past time to make a statement, to emphasize that the status quo, the continuing needless loss of life and limb is unacceptable. Make a statement with Damian Kevitt, make a statement for Luis 'Andy' Garcia, make a statement for the community, for yourself. It may be the most important ride we do all year.