When I commute home from Pittsburgh I travel on rte 51 past the same spot, and at almost exactly the same time that Taylor was tragically killed. Are any more details available? Did he have lights on his bike? I plan on attending the memorial ride if I can.
I don't know and don't really care.
Many times when someone dies we look for differences between what they were doing and what we do, to find out what "mistake" they made. It's a basic human impulse, part of the way we make ourselves feel safer. And of course there are many things we can do to make ourselves actually safer (and we all do make mistakes, all the time).
But after someone dies I don't think this is appropriate. Anyone who rides on that road (as I have done several times) knows that survival there has an element of luck to it. It's quite possible that he was doing everything exactly right and still got hit -- especially after dark on Friday night.
I am extremely torn about even mentioning this for exactly the reasons Jon mentions, but one of the things that caused my heart to drop was, the family made a statement that, during the memorial, they will be wearing headphones, because "he always wore headphones when he rode"
I really don't want to make any more of this and cast any aspersions on this poor guy, and I wouldn't think of mentioning anything to the family, but,
just really hit me.
I wasn't looking to cast any aspersions on Taylor and my heart goes out to his family. I'm simply trying to understand what happened and selfishly be as safe as possible. I don't understand why we wouldn't want to learn from this tragedy.
The headphone thing hit me too... I would consider wearing a tie-dye but the headphones thing shouldn't be encouraged.
I really don't understand what difference wearing headphones makes on a road like route 51. Cars are passing you going what, 50-60-70mph? Do you think the dude could hear the difference between a car going that speed behind him on a collision course or behind him and going 4 feet to the left? It makes no difference.
I ride with an earbud in my right ear as well and all the times I've been hit, hearing hasn't made a damn bit of difference.
@5Matt, you know there are many books about how to ride safely. And I'm sure you're aware of the need for lights when riding at night, proper riding technique, keeping alert, etc. Looking at a single tragedy like this -- especially on a road that we all know is dangerous -- isn't going to teach us anything new. And it's just too easy for questions in a public forum like this to get misinterpreted as blaming the victim.
Ok jonawebb, you win.
@5Matt, I really embrace the notion of learning from the event. and if we haven't met, allow me to say: welcome to the board!
My background is in aviation and we yearn for the learning in events. We think, if we can learn from this it's not a complete waste. Plus I see trends with other events, specifically the July 2013 fatality on the Sewickley bridge.
Both on State Route A. Both at bridge crossings
Both young people riding to family from work.
At the memorial ride, I think you'll see calls for learning and inquiry.
I'm involved in coordinating the ride, and I've spoken with this family just about every day since Jon introduced us. They call me. I can say this publicly: this is a terrible scenario, probably more will be known shortly, and the family's grief is tremendous and they are in agony over their perception of the handling of the event.
They don't know how to process it. They're gobsmacked, and so you see things like headphones and t-shirts, and can children join the ride? We make allowances for their grief.
From a perspective of the ride, this ride leader is here to tell you there won't be earbuds in ears during the ride AFAIC. There's going to be a family group meeting us for a meet-greet-talk, and if they want earbuds for that it's not an issue for me.
The family is so very grateful about the ride and the cycling community, they would tell you it's the only bright spot. They're nice folks, and there's no problem that I can see.
Thanks for taking the time to respond Vannevar. The reporting has been minimal and I have a family that depends on me so as you said, I want to learn. This road is my only option unless I want to add hills and miles to my already long commute.
@Matt5, I live pretty close to the accident scene myself - Monaca Rd.
Right now there's not a lot of info because of the police investigation. I'm told we'll know more when the news breaks. I'll be real disappointed if we don't.
@Pierce, I could also argue that I don't need a helmet on route 51 because if I'm hit by a car going 50+ mph than it doesn't matter.
Some things just don't go together, earbuds and a bicycle are one of those things. If someone choses to wear them, I have no objection. I simply said that it shouldn't be encouraged.
Drew I was just going to let that fade away. Sorry I brought it up. This wasn't the place for it. There was a stupid and pointless thread on the subject from a couple of years ago and that's not at all worth reviving either.