Saturday, December 4, 2010

Link the Lake Ride, Tempe Town Lake, 12/4/2010

Riding with the group around the lake

I joined in a ride around Tempe Town Lake on Saturday called "Link the Lake", an event in memory of a commuter cyclist named Jay Fretz who died on a ride in 2010, organized by Not One More. Several notable local blogs have stayed current with his story with comments and follow-ups:

AZ Bike Law
Tempe Bicycle Action Group (TBAG)
Nancy Puffer with more on Jay's Story, w/Photo of Jay

While commuting to work every day on my bicycle, I sometimes think about what happened to Jay: if something similar happened to me, how would it affect my own family? 

But I don't dwell on the negatives, the traffic, the unpredictable, events beyond my control, cars, and so on. Rather, I try to keep my mind open and receptive, aware of my surroundings, "head on a swivel" as Jay's brother Kevin commented in one of the posts linked above. I ride because I love it. I look at that picture of Jay in the Nancy Puffer post, above, and I think about saying just that to him: Jay, I ride because I love it. It seems to me that the guy in that picture might appreciate that thought. 

We were all thinking of you when we rode around the lake today, Jay. Ride in peace. Get up. Go ride. 

Crossing Mill Avenue Bridge

The Nutty Putty Cyclers, I presume. Spare wheel on back. Hardcore.

I rode a short distance with this group back into Phoenix


  1. Such sadness with Jay's death. I truly hope his family finds peace.

  2. I just read Nancy Puffer's story. That' depressing. I hope everything works out for her and her child.

  3. So what is the lesson on how to avoid a repeat? The motorist said she didn't see Jay. I doubt neon was the reason.

  4. JK and RTP, I later found this photographer, RB Jones, who documented a lot of the event that I missed. I hope the gathering and the money help some, too.

    Steve, I'm not sure. In general, I always treat every intersection as if someone is going to run the sign or signal and hit me. And I mean that both when driving my bicycle and my car. When I read that, I realize that approach demonstrates a level of paranoia or caution that is above the threshold of discomfort and even practicality for most people. I'm not even sure if intersections would work if everybody else were that cautious, except during change phases, when I do advocate that everyone take that approach. The only evidence I can offer for the soundness of this approach is my driving record (car and bike) of zero accidents involving cars, and many accidents avoided, over my several decades of driving in urban and rural settings. In this way, regardless of the color of the lights, if someone doesn't see you, at least you may see them.


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