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Friday, September 18, 2009

Danny Hernandez Guest Blog: Can You See Us NOW?

This is a guest blog by Albuquerque's Danny Hernandez, who has been involved with local politics for many years, as well as serious bicycling.

Long before I became involved in local politics, I was an avid bicyclist and a bicycling advocate. In a word, I was a bicyclist.

What this meant then as it does now is that I was part of a tight-knit community that spent many hours together every week – about elbow to elbow fifty miles at a time together. On race weekends we often traveled in caravans and shared motels rooms. Many of us even lived together in bicycling households.

What this nearly daily interaction created was rich camaraderie that didn’t end even when some of us moved on.

At the time, most of my friends were “racers,” and we talked about racing, training, the latest wizbang equipment and occasionally about crashing.

It was not unusual for some of my friends, or me, to be roadrashed and bruised after a race or off-road training ride. Occasionally one of us would even break a collar-bone, a rib or a wrist. We all have glory days stories of that tree branch that jumped out of nowhere or that white stripe that became slippery in the rain.

You don’t get out of bicycle racing unscathed, but scars are one thing – losing friends is a totally different experience.

My mortality as a cyclist first hit me in 1994 when John Dunn; my friend, long-time riding buddy and former roommate; was killed on Singing Arrow on his way to train out in Tijeras Canyon. Although John was not the first cyclist I knew to be killed by a motorist, he was the first cyclist I knew really well who was killed by a motorist.

Not for the first or last time, our community was devastated.

If you have been riding for any time, you have your own tale to tell. If you don’t, consider yourself fortunate.

This Sunday, a bunch of us cyclists will be doing what we do in commemoration of the 100 New Mexican bicyclists who have been killed in crashes with motor vehicles in the past 20 years. Please join me this Sunday to say, “Enough is enough!” We don’t want to lose any more friends to careless motorists.

The ride starts at 4:00 p.m. at High Desert Yoga (Jefferson and Copper) and will slowly wind itself west to Tiguex Park in Old Town.

If you ride a bicycle and want to help us make a statement, please join us. for more information: www.nmcycling.org

This is a guest blog by Danny Hernandez. If you'd like to submit a piece for consideration as a guest blog, contact me by clicking on the Email Me link on the upper left-hand corner of the page.

September 18, 2009 at 01:22 PM in Events, Guest Blogger, Sports | Permalink