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WHAT OTHERS ARE SAYING


Dear Motorist - Guatemalan Cyclists

Dear Motorist,

I know our country is not bike friendly, and the city we share is place built for cars; yes, over the years cars have gained lots of space, taking pedestrians and cyclists to an absurd border.

You may think, that owning a bike means use it only at parks or specific places, but the truth is, the road is for you and me. My biking experience is not really long, a little more than a year, but on these time I’ve experience some really bad situations. All of them, because you, who drive a 2 ton vehicle, could not wait 30 seconds for me or any other cyclist friend to cross the street. No one has hit me yet, but I’ve been to damn close to that, I don’t like it, it is not funny or deserved for any of us.

So, I must tell you I am a son, a friend, a brother, a cyclist, a boyfriend, a student, a teacher, a person; and as you I have dreams, goals, bad days and good days. Share the roads with us, we got the same rights in the end; I promise to do everything to make myself visible, to be causious and respectful, as I expect the same from you.

From a Guatemalan cyclist, to every Guatemalan motorist.

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Betty - Dear Motorist

Dear Motorist,

In September 2013, while riding along Coast highway in Southern California, I too was hit, by a truck pulling a fifth wheel trailer.
Almost a year and a half later, I have no memory of what happened to me that day, which is probably a blessing. My first memory post accident, was being in a trauma center several days after the accident, and being in a lot of pain. I also remember being rolled back and forth down long halls several times a day for MRI’s to check the bleeding in my head.  I had sustained a severe head injury, and they were trying to determine if I would need surgery to stop the bleeding.
I am a wife, daughter, mother and grandmother who loves to be outdoors cycling, swimming and running.
As a long time cyclist, I have been very aware of following the “rules of the road” for a moving vehicle, and try to always do what is right to be safe.  I was told later, that I was not at fault, that I was in the bike lane, and the vehicle was wrong.
I have not met the person who hit me, nor am I angry at him. I know accidents happen, BUT we ALL must be AWARE while we are on the road.  I also know, that the accident has changed my life. It took months for broken bones, contusions, abrasions to heal……but the worst has been the TBI.
I continue to struggle with my brain injury complications, but also have been determined to get back to what I loved doing. It took awhile, but I am back on my bike.  Yes, I am skittish of trucks/cars behind me, riding in groups etc., but I am doing it.  I love this forum and pledge  campaign, making people aware. BOTH cyclist and motorist.

After my accident, I so wanted to do something to pay it forward, and just never got myself together enough to do it. I thank this website for the opportunity to tell a short bit of my story, and for all the advocates for promoting our streets to be safe for all.

 

Yours Truly,

 

Betty

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FIREFIGHTER Awe-Struck for Awareness, After Being Struck By a Vehicle - Look! Save a Life - Arizona

 

  brendan4
“I was there! I saw him on the road and I honestly thought he was dead, I honestly did.”
-Lorena Evans (ER Nurse)

 

brendan3

Sadly, my girlfriend remembers everything. Haunted by the memory of seeing me bloody, unresponsive, and not moving on the ground- terrified that I had been killed.
Brendan Lyons: An avid cyclist and passionate about keeping others safe, 2 years ago- he founded “Look! Save a Life / Arizona”. Not only an everyday motorist, but as a profession he also drives ambulances and fire apparatus’ to Emergencies, working as a career Structure Firefighter/EMT.

Brendan is a role model to his younger brothers, a son of two proud parents, a friend of many, and loved by his incredibly strong girlfriend, Lorena.

brendan2
It’s a strange thing, being able to ride more than a hundred miles on any given day and wake up in a hospital bed- not able to perform simple tasks such as walking or going to the bathroom. Please do not ever take life for granted!!

Our lives have changed forever.

My girlfriend and I went for a ride the morning of her birthday and were struck by a car. It is a moment we think about constantly. But through all the hardships and heartache- we will persevere. Our lives have changed forever, but that one moment will not define us. The struggles of these recent days are difficult to describe. Lorena’s following words resonate and help to comfort me.
“Brendan is my hero. He is my hero for more than one reason. He is the one that got me interested in cycling and he is the one who tried to protect me on the day of the collision. But aside from that- he is my hero for working tirelessly throughout his own recovery to ensure the safety of cyclists everywhere and driver awareness.”

 

October 4, 2013 – 10:00AM
No matter how hard I try, I am unable to remember the very incident that left me incapacitated on scene.  The official Crash Report states that while cycling in a bike lane, a vehicle struck us from behind traveling approximately 45mph.

Brendan1The collision immediately ejected me, propelling me through the air, from the position next to my girlfriend. The impact catastrophically exploded my bicycle into a multitude of fragments, scattering debris all over the road. Both shoes that were clipped to my pedals had been hurled from my feet. The degree of damage sustained to my helmet was significant. Some believe that helmets give a false sense of security or are not “cool” to wear. What’s not cool is being dead. If I had not been wearing a helmet- I’d be dead!!

I was informed that bystanders had stopped instantaneously to render aid. One passerby, who arrived just seconds after the collision stated:

“We stopped, there was a lady picking up stuff off the road, we helped clean the road so traffic could pass. Your bike was scattered a good 30’ down the street. I’m pretty sure the radiator was leaking. I picked up plastic from the front of the car off the road, not sure if it was the lower valance or from underneath or up in the fender well, but the front end had a lot of damage. There was a woman helping your girlfriend and a man with you. I did stand over you for a couple minutes. Although, not trained in first aid, didn’t know what else I could do. We heard sirens approaching, knew we were in the way, so we went ahead and left.”

“The Brotherhood of Firefighters” cannot easily be defined. Some define Brotherhood as “The belief that all people should act with warmth and equality toward one another, regardless of differences in race, creed, nationality, etc.”\

 

brendan5

The sirens that were heard screaming en route to our aid were in fact my “brothers” from the very Fire Department with whom I’m employed. I’m told; at first they didn’t recognize me. However, the mechanism of injury required these trained professionals to kick into high gear and command the scene flawlessly without incident. At a certain chilling moment, they would recognize me, briefly stunned that they would be treating one of “their own”. My brothers then, prepared and packaged the two of us in full-protective spinal precautions, immobilizing us to long backboards. Two fire apparatus were taken out-of-service to follow-up to the hospital so that additional manpower could be utilized on the ambulance because of the severity of injuries. They expedited and transported us separately to Southern Arizona’s Level-1 Trauma Facility.

brendan6

What I do remember- did not occur until two days after my near-fatal collision. I remember awaking in a hospital bed with excruciating pain. I remember a cornucopia of wires, tubes, electrodes and multiple IV lines extending from my body. I remember the profound burning sensation from the deep abrasions, lacerations, and avulsions from sliding across the rough asphalt. I remember a team of doctors; nurses and therapists sit me up for the very first time and recall screaming from the piercing pain, which echoed throughout the halls of the hospital. This incident left me with serious injuries, a multitude of fractures, and an extensive three-week stay in the hospital.

I recall a previous cycling collision, resulting from a motorist’s unsafe lane change. During that recovery phase, I felt compelled to do something, utilizing that experience to create a campaign of awareness through Look! Save a Life / Arizona.

Disconcerting, I was crushed to realize that I was right back there again. Without knowing my own prognosis, I was humbled when state Sen. Steve Farley (D) and state Rep. Ethan Orr (R) came to my hospital room to discuss ways of how to make our “cycling friendly” streets safer.  It’s alarming to watch the news about cyclists or pedestrians struck by vehicles on a daily basis; nonetheless I was once again living the painful reality.

We talked and agreed that SAFETY IS EVERYONE’S RESPONSIBILITY. We know that many cyclists as well as drivers are unaware of the rules and laws governing bicycles on public byways. The goal of Look! Save a Life- promotes safety to both cyclists and drivers through education, raising awareness, and provides opportunity to have an active part in the community for positive change. Our goal is to build a more respectful relationship between drivers and cyclists. From this mutual respect, greater awareness will grow, which we believe WILL SAVE LIVES.

A great life is when you live up to your potential and give back to others. This is my attempt to transform our community in making it safer. Make everyday for the rest of your life count! Cherish everything that you possibly can, for you may lose it in a moment- never to be experienced again.

“Bad things do happen; how I respond to them defines my character and the quality of my life. I can choose to sit in perpetual sadness, immobilized by the gravity of my loss, or I can choose to rise above the pain and treasure the most precious gift that I have – Life Itself.” -Walter Anderson

PLEASE SUPPORT BRENDAN & LORENA 
Currently many are banding together to support Firefighter Brendan Lyons and girlfriend Lorena Evans, an ER Nurse. Due to the financial setbacks after both were struck by a vehicle, bills are piling up. Please donate to offset some of Brendan’s and Lorena’s bills by clicking here.

brendan8

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Dear Motorist - Mark

Dear Motorist,

When I ride on the road, I ride by the same rules that you follow. I do this because, not only is it the law, but it makes it easier for you to know what I am doing if we both follow the same rules.

I ride in the lane, not on the shoulder or in the gutter, because it is easier for other vehicles to see me. You will see me sooner and be much less likely to overlook me and sideswipe me if you drift off the edge of the road. You will see me sooner coming around a curve. If I am in the lane, you have to look at me. You will see me in time to slow down or change lanes to pass me.

I am a cyclist, and I am a driver. I also own and operate a motor vehicle. The things I’ve seen cycling have made me a better and more aware car driver. So, I am not anti-car, but what I am telling you comes from experience on both sides of the issue.

When you see me riding in a travel lane, please think of me as no different than a slow truck, bus, farm tractor, or horse carriage. I have a right to use the road and you have a duty to yield the right of way when appropriate. I am not impeding traffic, I AM traffic.

The speed limit is not a guarantee. It is a maximum speed you are allowed. There is no promise that you will always be able to go the limit, especially when it is not safe to do so.

If I am riding in the lane, I have a good reason to do so that is for my safety, and maybe even yours. It might be my way of telling you that it is not safe to pass me right now.

There are many styles of cycling. Some people ride bikes for sport or exercise. Some ride to commute. Some people use it as their only form of travel. Some are touring cross-country. Some are experienced cyclists, some are total idiots. Please try to let them live long enough to become experienced.

If you see another cyclist doing something that irritates you, riding against traffic, weaving in and out of traffic or parked cars, or blowing through traffic signals, please don’t assume that I do those things. I don’t. I can’t control how other bicyclists ride, but I can control how I do.

I understand that the laws apply to all vehicles equally. All I ask is that use of the road is also allowed equally.

Sincerely,

Mark

p.s. I pledge to ride with excellent lights in the dark, never under the influence, and to ride so that I inconvenience other road users as little as possible — as far as is consistent with safety. Most drivers I encounter are excellent, considerate, skilled, observant, and courteous… however, I video all my rides in HD, front and rear. If you do something irresponsible, negligent, and/or illegal that endangers my life simply to shorten your journey by a few seconds, footage may be used in a court of law to establish fault — if it comes to that. Note that our — my and your — right to privacy is very limited in public spaces; and video keeps me on my toes too.

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Daniel - Dear Motorist

Dear Motorist,

When I ride on the road, I ride by the same rules that you follow. I do this because, not only is it the law, but it makes it easier for you to know what I am doing if we both follow the same rules.

I ride in the lane, not on the shoulder or in the gutter, because it is easier for other vehicles to see me. You will see me sooner and be much less likely to overlook me and sideswipe me if you drift off the edge of the road. You will see me sooner coming around a curve. If I am in the lane, you have to look at me. You will see me in time to slow down or change lanes to pass me.
Dear Motorist,

I am a cyclist, and I am a driver. I also own and operate a motor vehicle. The things I’ve seen cycling have made me a better and more aware car driver. So, I am not anti-car, but what I am telling you comes from experience on both sides of the issue.

When you see me riding in a travel lane, please think of me as no different than a slow truck, bus, farm tractor, or horse carriage. I have a right to use the road and you have a duty to yield the right of way when appropriate. I am not impeding traffic, I AM traffic.

The speed limit is not a guarantee. It is a maximum speed you are allowed. There is no promise that you will always be able to go the limit, especially when it is not safe to do so.

If I am riding in the lane, I have a good reason to do so that is for my safety, and maybe even yours. It might be my way of telling you that it is not safe to pass me right now.

There are many styles of cycling. Some people ride bikes for sport or exercise. Some ride to commute. Some people use it as their only form of travel. Some are touring cross-country. Some are experienced cyclists, some are total idiots. Please try to let them live long enough to become experienced.

If you see another cyclist doing something that irritates you, riding against traffic, weaving in and out of traffic or parked cars, or blowing through traffic signals, please don’t assume that I do those things. I don’t. I can’t control how other bicyclists ride, but I can control how I do.

I understand that the laws apply to all vehicles equally. All I ask is that use of the road is also allowed equally.

 

Sincerely,

Daniel

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TAKE THE PLEDGE

I pledge to be more aware of my surroundings on the road. Beginning right now, I will do my part to help put an end to cyclist fatalities by committing to drive and cycle as responsibly as I can.

In the last 10 years nearly 7,000 cyclists have been hit and killed in cyclist-motorist accidents. Our goal is to reduce that number by creating an alliance between Cyclists and Motorists to be more aware of each other and to share the road. Join us and together we can make a difference. I pledge to be more aware of my surroundings on the road. Beginning right now, I will do my part to help put an end to cyclist fatalities by committing to drive and cycle as responsibly as I can. By providing your email we will send you deep discounts from our various sponsors to get you safer on the road. Together We Can Save a Life.
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