This has been a sobering ending to what passes for summer in Seattle, with three recent cycling deaths on and around Capitol Hill. I was down in South Lake Union today for lunch and saw the sobering “ghost bike” at the corner where Mike Wang was killed in a hit and run accident; Cafe Vivace manager Brian Fairbrother suffered fatal injuries in a crash only blocks away; and this last weekend brought news of a Jimmy Johns delivery rider, Robert Townsend, dying after a crash in the U-District.
I’m sure to a certain extent this is just tragic coincidence. Cycling in Seattle doesn’t feel any less safe to me. But it’s distressing all the same. And in the case of Townsend, the investigation may well reveal that his choice of fixed gear fashion (he was apparently riding a fixed gear bike with no brakes) contributed to the result.
Folks, if you’re going to ride fixed-gear in Seattle, either get some brakes or stick to the bike polo courts. Stripping off the safety gear for fashions’ sake is as pathetic as being the latest hipster sporting a full beard and porkpie hat – and a hell of a lot more dangerous.