Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Man vs. Machine

I believe that bicycles are the transportation of the future, or will at least a big role in it. I would like to offer more insight on our blog about the ins and outs of bicycles, but to do that, I'm going to turn to my friend and avid bicyclist, Kenny Cotten. -Jason

Why I ride

I ride a bicycle for many reasons. I ride for fun. I ride for fitness. I ride to save money. But one reason stands out above all. I ride for advocacy. You see, I advocate cycling as it is my legal right to share the road. It is also a means of reducing our carbon footprint. It is a means to reducing a litany of health problems. It is a means to reduce stress and burn anxious energy built up throughout my day. It is so many things to me. I want to share my story with you, why riding a bike safely is so important to me.

Invisible me

You see, about four years ago, I was involved in a hit and run accident on my way home from work. It was a cool March afternoon and all was right in my world. Until, POW! I was lying on my back in the middle of an intersection. I remember hitting the ground hard and thinking that this was very bad. I knew my left knee was dislocated and my elbows were bleeding badly, but what I didn’t know yet was how I ended up in this dismal situation. I was hit from behind by a person in a mini-van. The individual was talking on the cell phone and I presume never saw me.

Now before you get all upset about poor little ol’ me, I want to share my part in the fault of this accident. You see, I had just begun commuting to work on my bike. I knew very little about the law as it relates to operating a bicycle on public streets. I had been riding with my earbuds in and my music volume loud. I was also riding on the sidewalk and entered the intersection at about 15 mph. I was basically invisible to the motorist. So I share the blame in the accident.

I came away from the accident utterly dismayed that I almost died and was shocked at how little humanity is left in this world. Not a single person at the intersection bothered to render aid or check to see if I was okay. Beckley and Ninth Street is a killing zone I discovered. The motorist watched me stumble from the wreck and then screeched toward the highway! WOW!

A Proposal

I would like to begin a series of posts on how a person might manage to avoid this situation and actually share the road with cars while enjoying a childhood pastime. So I leave you with this, riding a bike is no more dangerous than it was when we were kids, it just seems that we are merely mortals after all. -Kenny

Kenneth Cotten has been a European Import Auto Tech for the past 17 years. He's taught Automotive Technology at W.H. Adamson High School (Dallas, TX) for the past eight of those years. He drums for two locally performing bands, and works part-time for a custom bicycle manufacturing company as the sales and marketing specialist. Kenny has been married for over 14 years and has two young daughters (6 and 9). Four years ago, Kenny quit driving a car as he discovered it is not a necessity for him here in Oak Cliff... so long as he has a bike.


  1. On my way to the county library the other day, I noticed that after widening one of the roads, they had put in bike lanes. I was very pleased to see this, because in our part of the South, biking for transportation is pretty rare. I love to ride my bike. Unfortunately our roads are so narrow and curvy, and drivers are so distracted and in such a hurry, that I do not feel safe. Hopefully there's a new trend coming up that will help change all that.

  2. Leigh, change is coming. As ridership increases in a certain area, so does awaresness of cyclists. I am fortunate to live in the "worst city in America" for cycling. That statement leaves plenty of room for improvement!