Daily Hampshire Gazette - Established 1786
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Kate Queeney: Bicycle rider praises those who helped

To the editor:

This past weekend I had a bike accident in North Amherst when part of my bike frame suddenly broke under me. I want to thank everyone on the scene who helped me: the two motorcyclists who helped get me and the pieces of my bike off the road and made sure I didn’t need medical attention; the woman who offered (and gave) me and my bike a ride home, even though she had no idea how far away I lived when she made the offer; the driver across the intersection who made sure I had what I needed before he left the scene; and all the drivers present who waited patiently while I got back on my feet and cleared the road.

There is a lot of media attention to conflicts between cyclists, motorists and pedestrians, and as someone who bikes, drives and runs around the Valley, I certainly see careless and even aggressively bad behavior from all of those groups at times. But it’s easy to miss the fact that most of our daily interactions are respectful. When I come back from a bike ride, I might remember the odd driver who buzzed me, but typically I encounter many more drivers who pass me at moderate speeds with a safe buffer between us, hang back to let me pull out to make a left turn, and generally make this a great place to ride. One reason I escaped serious injury this past weekend was that all the drivers on the scene were paying attention, so no one pulled into the intersection and hit me as I lost control of my bike.

So while I am really grateful to all the drivers who helped me at the scene of my crash, I am not really surprised at all by their kindness or by the fact that they were paying attention in the first place.

Kate Queeney

Amherst

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