I don’t fancy this blog becoming just another cycling blog, but yesterday saw the third fatality in three weeks, and today the second protest ride I join in two weeks.
Last Friday was for a 20 year-old girl, French like Marie, and just as young.
Here is a youtube video of the ride on Friday.
I would think it is a small obligation as a cyclist and as a friend of other cyclist, to help demand safety for us more vulnerable users.
I also saw many tears. As in, people actually crying, when we were approaching the spot where the 40 year-old was crushed by a lorry, and as we were passing it.
I don’t know why they were crying. Maybe they were friends or family of this last victim. Maybe they were friends or family of any of the many victims that the London roads produce each year.
And we are all victims.
Every year, new whole families, new whole bunches of friends and colleagues, become victims with their beloved of road policies that regard human lives very little. Every year hundreds of people get devastated beyond belief.
I believe that all those people cry every time they see a crash or the aftermath.
Maybe with time, the wounds heal, people move on. Or not.
But the utter contempt for the authorities after the treatment they receive, the complete loss of any respect for a justice system that lets those responsible for so much death get away with it, remains.
Today, at least, I saw a lot of support from the pedestrian, even by some drivers, who were held up by our flash ride in Holborn.
These occasions are becoming a bit like funerals – an important part of a community’s social life. Like families that meet mainly for weddings, births and funerals.
Some of these friends posted things on FaceBook that I would like to share on this site where you don’t need to log in to read. I’m sure they don’t mind me reposting here, but if so, you know who you are.
About 8 or 900 cyclists (really not sure where LCC got the 2500 figure from, there were nowhere near that many, but they exaggerated the numbers for Friday’s protest as well) out for the protest down at Holborn earlier, in the wake of the sad death of ANOTHER cyclist under the wheels of a lorry there yesterday morning. We rode down there from Russell Sq and stopped at the spot for a moment’s silence, and then erupted into solid applause and bell-ringing for a good minute. It was also quite touching to be applauded ourselves by pedestrians who had most likely come down especially but who could have equally just stopped out of curiosity and figured out what was going on.
We know we’ll have to step up the pressure to get something done about the problems caused by lorries in London and the inadequacy of cycling provision in the city, but as long as there are more incidents (not accidents) like this we’ll do just that. It’s a great testament to the city’s cycling community, and the strength of feeling over the issues we face, that with just 24-ish hours notice that many people made it, and it was great to see all kinds of people supporting for the campaign for safer roads for cyclists.
Take care out there, fellow two-wheelers, don’t let us have to do this for you.
For some reason I seemed to be in a different emotional space from most people on the protest ride tonight…
For me personally my mood was one more of a wake/vigil as well as an angry protest..
It really hit me emotionally that I could not believe that just 5 days after attending the previous protest vigil cycle in East London, that I was on yet another protest for another fellow human-being crushed to death under a massive heavy truck.
Behind my skull mask I actually cried quite a bit…
This must stop … 8(
If you like youtube, there is a video here that apparently has a very moving moment for reflection: