Is it not enough that cyclists are apparently treated with contempt on the roads but have to hope and pray that justice prevails when matters in which they are a victim, by virtue of their cycling, go before a court?
Every time we clip-in and head out for a training ride, to simply get some exercise or just to catch the sunrise we are cognisant of the risks of injury riding alongside cars, buses and trucks. But, in the scheme of things, those risks are small, especially given the greater risk is from copping an earful of abuse.
I have been on the receiving end of verbal and physical abuse when riding more times than I can recall, usually just because I am riding a bike or wearing Lycra (which seems to cause more angst in the motoring public if comments in The Courier Mail are anything to go by). From sledging to a frozen coke to the head to a punch in the kidneys from a passenger leaning of the car, I have had it all.
But I have never been put in the position where I had absolutely no control in avoiding being hit by a driver too stupid to be behind the wheel of a car.
Unfortunately, Jorge Alvarado was. Twenty-seven years old and a pro-cyclist in a new team on the US circuit he had everything to look forward to.
The sad story of his death, over two years ago, and the lack of justice served last week in San Bernardino county, California, can be found at the blog BikingInLA. Sadly reminiscent of the July 2005 accident that took Amy Gillett and severely injured a number of the Australian women’s cycling team, it seems the only people worldwide who don’t seem to understand are those foolish enough to street race on public roads and the judiciary that hear their pleas for mercy.
Sadly this level of justice is not restricted to other countries. The death of Ian Humphrey has shown miscarriages occur here as well.
Jorge Alvarado (and Amy Gillett and Ian Humphrey)…RIP.