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Cyclists applaud Street Smarts’ bicycle and cars education efforts
Recent columns and blogs about cyclists and motorists interactions have generated an array of responses. Below are some positive thoughts from local bike riders. “I'm a retired police supervisor and wanted to tell you how much I appreciate your articles. I was in the Santa Cruz County Cycling Club group on San Jose Soquel Road last week. I recall the large bob-tail truck behind us. We were not altogether, as the group of 25 or so will space out immediately into about three groups of varying abilities and we had started from downtown Santa Cruz that morning. I was totally conscious of how close the truck was and appreciated the driver's concern by following at a safe distance and not trying to pass until safe. As you mentioned, any small rock, pebble, broken glass or even acorns can cause a bike to lose control or a tire blow out. Debri is kicked out from vehicles to the sides of the roadway. “On a previous occasion, I had separated from the group and was near exhaustion. I started up Graham Hill Road Southbound – not recommended – and did not realize how narrow and long the uphill road would be. Cars and large trucks were passing me within inches and it was a harrowing experience. I pulled into a turnout and fortunately, a young man in a small pickup stopped and offered me a ride to the top. I first declined, and he offered again, saying he figured I did not know how long and narrow the uphill road was. He turned out to be a fellow bicyclist and I really appreciated his sense of safety and rescue.” -- Pete Pearson, via email “This isn't a piece about good bike routes, places to ride, or exotic biking vacations, although this ride included coming down Glen Canyon Road, which is my all time favorite bike experience. This email is to acknowledge the outstanding care I got from the city of Santa Cruz when I got doored at the Goss/Market/Branciforte intersection on May 25. “I was coming to the stop sign behind two cars. The first car went, the second car didn't proceed to the stop sign, so I pulled around to the right of the car to approach the stop sign, having no clue what the car was doing. Then I found out as the passenger door opened and the passenger began getting out of the car. The door caught the left side of the handle bars and my left hand. The bike and I flipped around the door and with all my momentum, I landed square on my right shoulder. “I lay on the road with a stage-three separated AC joint and a bleeding hand. A motorcycle rider parked his bike to block cars and talked me through an inventory of the state of my body and mind. 911 was called, the police came, a fire truck really blocked the oncoming traffic, and an ambulance. The passenger stuck around in shock until the police report was done and the I was handled by the service men. “I called my wife so she would be part of this care taking team of two paramedics, two fire men, and policeman. We've been living in Santa Cruz for only three years and this was the first time we were to test our Kaiser insurance coverage in another facility. So, we all conferenced on how to proceed in the most economically effective way. “The consensus was to go by ambulance to the local ER and trust that the insurance will handle it, either mine or the passenger's. Once in Dominican, I was again given great care and treatment from the staff in ER. “In a time of need, we were greatly served by the employees of our community and so grateful for our health and well being.” -- Michael Burns, 64, via email “I really appreciated the Old San Jose Road bike-car respect everyone discussion and Cory's quotes (in the Thursday, June 21 column). You both really nailed it. I was out (that) night on my bike for a couple of hours and noticed how polite 99 percent of the motorists were. Waiting quite awhile and then to passing safely. My buddy and I were being polite too, with very limited side by side chatting ! It was as if almost everyone had read the column. Thanks!” -- Chris Schneiter, assistant director of public works for the city of Santa Cruz Thank you all for sharing your stories of cycling on Santa Cruz County's roads.
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