Tuesday, March 11, 2008

To Swerve and Protect

A beautiful Sunday turned tragic for three innocent cyclists by an out-of-control car. Were the cyclists riding three abreast or doing other "crazy stuff" as Leslie Griffy, writer for the San Jose Mercury News implied online Sunday? That we know to be untrue. Was deputy James Council asleep at the wheel, as he was overheard to say by several witnesses? Was he hung over from partying all night? We may never know since there is still no indication that a breathalyzer test was administered. We do know that he had two previous drunk driving arrests in Los Angeles (though he was not and will never be an LA County Sheriff's deputy).

We also know that he did not administer CPR to any of the victims as Sgt. Don Morrissey proudly told the media Sunday - all of whom regurgitated it to the general public that night. Kristy Gough's riding partner tried to render aid while she lay dying from a severed limb and massive head injuries, while the deputy in question wandered around muttering that his "life was over".

I was almost there Sunday. I rode up Stevens Canyon road a little after 10am, but decided to turn left at McClellan - something I rarely do - instead of riding up the canyon. I took the back way to Saratoga and up Big Basin way. Immediately after turning right on Pierce Rd., I was passed by a sheriff deputy in a white SUV going about 45mph up the hill on the wrong side of the road. No lights. No siren. I wondered at the time where in the hell he was going at that speed, and I was glad I was not descending Pierce Rd. in the other direction. Twenty minutes later I reached the roadblock and found out why the SUV was in such a hurry. They needed to do damage control and get deputy Council away from scene before he blurted any more self-incriminating statements.

As I rode up the canyon today, the slower speeds of the quarry trucks were noticeable. They typically roar down the road at 40+ mph. Today they were going 20MPH and making wide passes around cyclists. I'm sure they don't want to be ticket fodder for the obvious presence of the sheriff's department. I counted four deputies within two miles of the scene today. Stevens Canyon might be the safest place to ride this week.

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