Friday, May 25, 2012

It's Been a Year...

 I'm going to forgo Famous Friday today. But I will come back to it next week. Promise. Until then here is a little tribute to Jim Henry. Gone, but certainly not forgotten...

It's been one year since Jim Henry had his fatal crash on a group ride.  We were having a talk about it on a group ride (The same route as a matter of fact.) last night. It's so strange, in one breath it feels like time has gone by so quickly. In another it feels like it was ages ago.

Here is the little blip I wrote the day after it happened~

May 25th, 2011

 Before I get into today's post I just wanted to take a minute to talk about a really bad crash here in Salem that happened last night. It was within the fast group of the Scott's ride. From eye witness accounts  a large portion of the group went down at 28+ mph. There was a lot of broken equipment, bangs, and bruises. Two people went to the hospital. One came out pretty banged up but "okay". The other did not. He is laying unconscious (Induced coma) in the ICU. With a hemorrhage in his brain and Lord only knows what else. The doctor's are optimistic about his recovery thank goodness. But it's still very scary. It makes us all stop and take pause on how much we really rely on each other when we ride in a group. Not only for our own safety but also during an emergency. So thank you to all the people who helped out on the road, the medical staff, and the social networking grape vine that keeps us all informed. I wish for him a speedy and complete recovery. Thanks. Now on to the fun at hand.  

Here is the post from the day after he passed~

June 6th, 2011

Jim Henry passed away yesterday because of complications from his bicycle crash two weeks ago.

I really don't know what to write...

It's always sad when we lose someone we know. It blasts us in the face with our own mortality. And the thoughts that we will never be able to interact with that person again. He'll never be on a group ride again. He'll never be able to squeeze his boy's. He'll never get to kiss his girlfriend. It makes me sick to my stomach.

Especially when the cause of his death is something we all dearly love.

I believe that part of the reason there is such a thrill and excitement about bike riding is the inherent risk that is involved. We all know it's there. But over coming that fear and being successful at coming through the other side is, in part, where the satisfaction comes from.

But then something like this brings it all crashing back down to reality.

Cycling is risky. Period.

I know it, you know it, and Jim knew it.

That doesn't make it any less beautiful, fun or scary. It just is what it is.

Christ, I'm just rambling...

I want to yell and scream and tell everyone that we should be more aware. Enjoy more! Love more! Laugh more! And LIVE. Live while you have the chance.

It sure seemed from the small, tiny sliver of Jim's life that I saw that he did all those things. And that's all you can really ask of this life.

Take advantage of it while you are here. Cuz we aren't here long. And you never know when it will end.

I'm sure Jim would have agreed with me.

Rest in peace Jim...

This is also Memorial Day weekend. Which is great time to enjoy friends, family and this beautiful place we live in. Because it really is beautiful...

Enjoy it all guys.

Live well, laugh often and love lots!

Allez Jim Henry!!!!

Rubber side down,

Big E


  1. Re: "Cycling is risky. Period."

    With Jim Henry, David Apperson, and Hank Bersani, it has been a sad year indeed.

    Notwithstanding the rare catastrophe, if we want to attract more people to bicycling, perhaps we should think more about the ways that bicycling improves lifespan, reduces risk, and contributes to safer public spaces. It is sometimes troubling the way we might focus on the generally small risk of catastrophe, a risk that sometimes does entail terrible and tragic loss, but also a risk we share in activities like walking across the street, climbing a ladder, or operating a chainsaw, and perhaps lose sight of the larger picture and ancillary benefits to bicycling.

    For example, one study of mortality (cited here),concluded:

    "For individuals who shift from car to bicycle, we estimated that beneficial effects of increased physical activity are substantially larger (3–14 months gained) than the potential mortality effect of increased inhaled air pollution doses (0.8–40 days lost) and the increase in traffic accidents (5–9 days lost). Societal benefits are even larger because of a modest reduction in air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions and traffic accidents."

    Between 30,000 and 40,000 people die year in the US as a result of automobile use. But we don't think about getting into the car as a generally risky activity. While bicycle crash rates still might be somewhat higher than car crash rates, I think it is almost certainly true that we overstate the risks of bicycling and understate the risks of automobile use.

    So while we should never deny the risks of bicycling, I wonder if don't spend enough time talking about bicycling as a prudent choice, a choice for health, thrift, and community.

    1. Thanks so much for the comments. I appreciate your thoughts and whole heartedly agree. However I feel like the phrase "Cycling is risky. Period" wasn't taken in the "spirit" that I had intended. That was meant more in the context of a fast group ride or race. In which the fatal crash had occured. I still firmly believe the positives of participating in cycling far out way the risks. However, in this context I felt that saying something like that was appropriate. Thanks so much for your thoughts.