Today I am not grateful.

Today I am not grateful. 

On Friday five of the cycling family of Brisbane got hit by a car. They were out on their regular Friday morning river loop when a car did a u turn in front of the group descending Doorknock Tce. All five of them had to be taken to hospital in ambulances. All five of them have significant injuries. I think they are all going to be ok. 

My husband David was in the group that day and was not involved in the crash but was one of the first on the scene. He said it was terrible. Bikes and people all over the road. He called me at 620am that morning. His first words to me were – I am ok but there has been a big crash. He asked me to get dressed, put the bike rack on my car and come to the scene. As so many had gone to hospital in ambulances they needed to get the bikes off the road. I got dressed and got in the car and got 1km from home when he rang again to let me know I wasn’t needed. I then went back home and waited. Waited for news of all my friends. Waited while  I was seeing and reading the news reports about the accident. 

It was a very distressing morning. Because I have been in a cycling accident I know how hard the coming days and months may be for my friends. 

I found the day they all had the accident difficult for a different reason. There were media reports all day about the accident and how serious it was. I was incredibly distressed by the comments by the people of Brisbane about who’s fault it was and the hate that was articulated about cyclists.

I actually got so angry I had to post on the Queensland Police Service Website myself. This is what I said -” I am appalled at the comments by the people of Brisbane on this post. None of you were at the accident. Drivers do not hit cyclists on purpose. Cyclists do not hit cars on purpose. This is a terrible accident and my thoughts and prayers are with all the people involved – cyclists, driver, bystanders, ambulance drivers and police on the scene. Instead of hurling blame at each other put your energy into sending love to all those involved for their wellbeing.”

I know there are many wonderful people in Brisbane but I am saddened at how many angry people are happy to blame another. The whole incident has really shaken my belief that people are intrinsically good and that people are generally kind. 

I think this incident is a good reminder to us all that 

The incident has left me feeling very empty. I feel very selfish because my thoughts and prayers should be for all the riders involved for their care and improvement. I do send prayers and love to them all. 
I also feel this is another incident that has effected how I feel about riding my bicycle. I have spent 2 years getting over my accident. I am now incredibly well. Over the last two years everything I have done has been to help make me stronger and fitter. It has been a long process with lots of hiccoughs. All the time I have worked towards getting back on my bike. Many people have expressed their concern for me getting back on my bike. I was determined to make my decision based on my reasons not based on other people’s fears. Three weeks ago I did my first full river loop. I was so excited. I loved it. I did another river loop two weeks ago and loved it even more. I loved coming around through Chelmer and seeing the sun come up over the river. I loved the chatter. I loved the company. I did not love the impatience that one of the drivers showed our riders going up a steep hill. There was nowhere to pass this rider so the driver had to sit behind them as they climbed the hill. The driver sat on the horn. This was very impatient. The length of the hill is only a couple of minutes. This driver had the potential for making the rider feel incredibly anxious for the sake of a couple of minutes. I have ridden in Europe where the drivers are incredibly patient, sit patiently behind cyclists until it is safe to pass. I cannot understand why Brisbane drivers are so impatient. I chose to ride on the River Loop because I thought this was a pretty safe option for riding. The incident on Friday where the car did a u turn into my friends has shaken my desire to continue riding my bike. I think it may be time to hang up my bike for a while and concentrate on walking. 

I am very very sad that I feel like this. As you all know I love riding. Maybe the future will hold more cycling adventures but at the moment my adventures are going to involve my feet and beautiful scenery not two wheels and beautiful scenery. 

I wish all of those riders in Brisbane and beyond care and safety. I also ask all those drivers of Brisbane to be more patient and caring of our fellow human beings. Please be kind and patient when you are near a rider. We are all mothers, fathers, sons and daughters. We all deserve care and we can all share the road. 

Until next time 

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3 Responses to Today I am not grateful.

  1. Meredyth Howard says:

    Well said Jennifer. Everything you mention is correct. I wish everyone injured a speedy recovery.

  2. Remember Me says:

    ‘Please be kind and patient when you are near a rider. We are all mothers, fathers, sons and daughters. We all deserve care and we can all share the road’. I think this is a great metaphor for life Jen whatever our mode of travel!

  3. Theresa Grahame says:

    Hi Jen
    I didn’t realise David was there too. I heard it on the news and the horror of seeing our friends being reported about has not left me.
    I am glad you did not get there to see it.
    I have rarely been so angry as I was reading some of the posts.
    Jen please don’t hang up your bike. You love it too much.
    Riding will also make you feel better.

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