18 Jun 2013

"...see the cyclist...give them the space, time and respect they deserve...beyond the metal, they are a human being."

Today morning the day started with the news of a tragic accident a few kms from where I live. Roma Chatterji, the Head Coach of the National Cycling Team (Juniors) was with her team for practice on the expressway when a speeding cab came and hit her bike from behind. It didn't stop until she fell head down on the road, the impact of which somehow loosening up her helmet and flying into the air. She was rushed to the hospital by her fellow coach but very sadly there were no signs of life detected upon arrival. 

It's not a mere coincidence then that I stumbled upon this video made by the family of a Cyclist killed in a hit and run albeit in a distant country. I like to believe that we Cyclists are a community sans borders and the same issues assail us wherever we ride. Please, please sensitise those around you to, "...see the cyclist...give them the space, time and respect they deserve...beyond the metal, they are a human being." as so beautifully said by Tanya Pavlis sister of the Cyclist Kevin Pavlis in whose memory this video has been made. 
Please read on....

"Today I saw a silver pickup truck going down the road with a sticker on the lower right bumper. The sticker read “biker repellant” with and arrow pointing to the diesel exhaust pipe. That bumper sticker stirred a dormant anger and sadness in me.
I talked to my 37 year old brother Kevin almost every day. Kevin was my brother and my best friend. Often he told me stories from his daily bike commute to work. “Someone purposely tried to run me off the road today.” “Someone yelled ‘Get off the road’ and honked at me today.” “Someone threw an almost full can of soda at me today.” I finally asked him to stop telling me about the harassment. It was difficult to imagine that he was being treated this way. I often wondered if these drivers ever stopped and reminded themselves that the cyclist was a human being who had a mother, a father, a daughter, a wife, a sister and friends. Kevin was a kind and giving person. He genuinely loved helping others. He had a difficult life, but was one of the happiest people I have ever known. His smile was unforgettable.
On June 11th 2009, while riding his bike, Kevin was struck by a teen driver. He died in the early hours on June 12th.
In memory of Kevin, I would like to ask drivers to see the cyclist. Please give them the space, time and respect they deserve.
They are more than a machine.
Beyond the metal, they are a human
-Tanya Pavlis sister of Kevin Pavlis
*The people on the side of the road, in this video, are not actors. They are Kevin's family, including his now 6 year old daughter, and friends.
Beyond the Metal


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