Sunday I biked up to the Summit of Mt Diablo with my friend Michiko. Lucky me, she is training for a hardcore mountain biking extravaganza in Costa Rica, so after the Summit we got to go back up to the Ranger station. That is more climbing than I have done...well, ever. It was a great ride and with great company! I really love riding with Michiko. Even though she could kick my ass with only one foot clipped in, she still lets me come with her-- always talking me up hills with funny stories, cheering for her "team" on rides (that is, anyone wearing a red jersey), giving me descending tips and other free coaching services, and providing excellent company. That, and she rides a hot-t-t-t steel bike, understands the importance of ride pimping, and can TT up Tunnel in 0:00! (These are all very braggable qualities, and I list them because I can say I say I know and ride with someone this cool.) Anyway, the ride was great, and Michiko let my slow butt draft her all the way to Pleasant Hill BART cause I was too tired to bike back to Oakland.
I hear today that a Cal cyclist, Corinne, passed away. She was hit by car on the corner of Olympic and Newell, after biking home from a ride on Mount Diablo. Here is the newspaper article and a link with more information. I did not know Corinne, but my condolences go to her friends and family.
Hearing this really hit home, especially because I was riding in the same place that day, and I'm around Corinne's age. Personally, I don't think there is anything to say about drivers and cyclists or whatnot. It is just sad. Very, very sad.
Often I think, if only I improve my skills more I will be safe on the bike. But there are those things I can't control, just as there are many things off the bike I can't control. My time here is unexpected. I can just be thankful for the present. On Sunday, I am thankful I had a beautiful ride and wonderful conversation with a friend. I am sure Corinne had a great ride that morning/afternoon as well. Sadly, this death will not be the last of a cyclist. The ride is a beautiful thing, and if my life ends that way, at least my last moments were spent doing something I love.
Corinne, family, and friends, I am very sorry. You are all in my thoughts and prayers.