Monday, July 27, 2009

Cyclist Shot in Asheville

Srsly. Shot. With a gun. In front of his wife. And child.

Read the story in the Asheville Citizen-Times here.

I'm sure that there's more to the story than the article reports, but it's hard to image that the facts will look much better when we know them all. In short, the motorist pulled off the road to tell the cyclist that he should be riding with a child in a baby seat. The two got into a 'discussion,' and then when the cyclist turned away the motorist shot him in the head, fortunately missing his actual skull and simply ripping through his helmet. (Note to self: always wear helmet.)

If you read the story above and then scroll down to the bottom of the page, you'll see what might be the most disturbing thing: the readers' comments. It's here where you get a wealth of community opinion that gets very close to -- but never says -- that the cyclist deserved it simply for riding on the road.

After the death of Bruce Rosar in Raleigh earlier this month this is yet one more reason to remember that being safe and sharing the road is literally life-and-death.


co2cycle said...

Well, it goes to show you that people who comment on articles on the internet are idiots...except for people who post on this blog. But this is definitely good evidence to "play nice" with angry motorists. Just wave and smile and let them take their outrage and misguided anger elsewhere.

DukePirate said...

No kidding. Repeat after me, "I'm sorry that you feel that way, Mr. Motorist, but I thank you for letting me know. Have a good day!" I've also been practicing a friendly wave in place of other, less diplomatic gestures.

co2cycle said...

Oh swell. Now bikesnobnyc has linked this article and two people have written in the comments section that they were shot at while cycling in Durham.

DukePirate said...

This comment is pretty nice:

FardoGonzalez wrote:

I saw this same family on River Rd yesterday, causing the vehicles to slow from 45 to almost a stop and wait to go around them. I realized the parents were idiotic morons for having this baby with them while they were trying to commit suicide. I cussed these morons, but I didnt think once about shooting at them. They should have charged the mom and dad with child abuse and poor judgement too.

Granted, I'm not a parent, so maybe I don't know anything and have no room to talk, but I thought that taking your kid out for a bike ride was something that you were supposed to do. Instead, it seems that you should be arrested -- and shot at -- for this heinous act. *sigh*

curveship said...

At Josie's pre-school, 4 of the 18 kids arrive regularly by bike trailer. But a few months ago, I was inside dropping her off when I saw a cop car in the drive. I looked out and saw that the cop was talking to another dad who had just arrived with his trailer. I had an inkling what was going on so I went out. Yep, the cop was asking for his license and id and berating him for "endangering his kid." This is on Broad St., which admittedly is somewhat busy at 9AM but which is also quite wide. I also know this guy's route, and he travels on Broad for all of a block and a half.

We had a discussion that was polite but forceful. He dropped his belligerent tone, but I think he still went away thinking we were nuts.

No shots were fired.

DukePirate said...

I know that there is a long-standing discussion about the safest way to transport your child on a bike -- trailer, seat behind you, seat in front of you, etc. -- and while I'm sure those nuances are important, I figure that the most important thing is that you're out on your bike with your child. There are limits of this, of course -- I wouldn't try pulling a kid down the Jersey Turnpike, for instance -- I would think that in general kids + bikes = a good thing.

Moreover, there has to be a point where it's really not anyone else's business, right? I don't like that you let your kid play video games, drink Mountain Dew and go apeshit at the grocery, but I don't get to say anything about it, right? Isn't that the contract we've all made?

I dunno. I am glad that the cyclist wasn't injured.