LETTER – Grieving brother pens cyclist awareness letter

Dear editor,

My youngest brother Dave was the cyclist killed in Merville on Aug. 16 – the day before his birthday. Our family has been overwhelmed by the outpouring of sympathy and our hearts go out to the driver of the vehicle involved in the collision. I cannot imagine how badly this person must feel.

Reckless cyclists are common in the Comox Valley. I see them riding without helmets, in crosswalks, on sidewalks, on the wrong side of the road, side-by-side on narrow roads, wearing headphones, talking on cell phones, carrying food or drinks, and ignoring stop signs and traffic lights. Every time I see a cyclist or a driver do something dangerous, I think of my brother’s broken body lying in the hospital morgue and I just feel sick to my stomach.

Please understand that in a collision with a vehicle, the cyclist ALWAYS loses – and you cannot count on a helmet to save you. (Dave’s helmet shattered into pieces!) And please remember to carry ID when you are riding alone. My brother did not and his wife waited four agonizing hours to find out why he hadn’t come home.

Dave was an experienced and careful cyclist. We may never know what caused him to be broadsided by an oncoming vehicle on a busy highway: a moment of inattention, a split-second miscalculation, a sudden loss of control, an equipment failure, a medical issue, or a random twist of fate. Whatever it was, it cost him his life. Please don’t let this happen to you or your children!

Bill McLeod,

Comox

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