11 December 2007


Posted by todd under: Crashes; Words from cycling sages .

“One lovely spring afternoon in May I was peacefully and happily cycling across the Hood Canal Bridge over Puget Sound, my mind on a hamburger and a malted milk at that noontime hour. The wind was gusting to around 3 knots from the side.”I was warned, before going over the bridge, by the toll-booth keeper, that many cyclists had cracked up in the middle of the bridge, where the openable span joins the fixed section of this structure.”I was barreling down an incline into the movable section of the bridge, marveling at the beauty of the Cascade Mountains on one side, the Olympic Mountains on the other, whose snow-capped peaks gleamed in the distance.”I did not watch carefully enough for cracks in the pavement, and suddenly found myself flying through the air, over the bars. I landed about 15 feet down the road on my right shoulder and suffered a rather painful separation. The bicycle simply broke in half at the top tube …

“My front wheel had slipped into the 2-inch-wide crack between the spans, right up to the axle, and the bike stopped dead, as I almost did. The accident was not entirely in vain, however, since I spent considerable time while in bed the next day complaining loudly to the Washington State Highway Commission about the need for protection for cyclists at the joints of this bridge …

“I would suggest you squeak loudly to the proper authorities any time you see a road hazard condition of any type, on behalf of future cyclists who will come that way.”

Eugene A. Sloane, The New Complete Book of Bicycling, 1974

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About the picture atop the page

Yes, that's me, Todd Van Campen. No, I'm not wearing a helmet. Yes, I usually wear one, so please don't scold! Seriously, I endorse wearing a helmet! Pinky swear! In fact, I almost ALWAYS wear one (while riding a bike anyway). (On the other hand, if YOU don't want to wear a helmet, I have no problem with it.) I don't remember what happened on this particular day. Fortunately for all of us it makes for a less-nerdly picture. My exceptionally talented professional photographer friend Charles Bertram took this photo.



Art for art’s sake

I asked my 6-year-old son, Caleb, an avid bicyclist and artist, to draw a bike for me. I think he did a great job!




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