Cyclist Killed in Ballard

kevin.jpg

Kevin Black, an Alki-Rubicon team member, was killed today in an accident. My Ballard has an eye-witness account; the Seattle Times and SeattlePI both reported the incident.

Sadness and our thoughts to the family and Seattle cycling community.

Update

The SeattlePI updates it coverage with more details about the accident and Kevin. There was an impromptu memorial last night and it made the local TV news.

New reports and comments indicate that Kevin was possibly right-hooked while passing a van. The van driver was not identified and reportedly distraught. The local community rushed to help Kevin.

Kevin previously raced on Wines of Washington, the team Bike Hugger races with, and will be greatly missed. Bike Hugger received many reports on Twitter and in email about the accident and heard the Seattle-area racing community’s distress.

A fellow cyclist and racer leaving behind 2 daughters is especially difficult and we’re all feeling it and sharing condolences with the family.

Memorial Ride

Being Planned for this weekend – check Alki-Rubicon Racing’s site for updates.

Vigil

02.05.09 – Meet at 5:30, 24th and 65th in Ballard.

Street View of the Intersection


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12 Comments

Kevin was a great friend and father.  He will be missed.  This is a really dark day for the Seattle racing community.

Thoughts and prayers to his family.

I’m in shock; Kevin was a great guy and he loved his girls.  I’m so sad they won’t have their dad.

Condolences to his friends and family.

A reminder of how dangerous what we do is and the close calls we’ve all had.

Very sad news. My condolences to his family, teammates, and family, especially to his two young daughters.

 

 

So sad. Condolences to friends and family. We all need to slow down and open our eyes more.

Very sad.  Condolences and positive thoughts to Kevin’s family, friends, and team.

Horrible loss and as a parent I can’t imagine what his children must be going through.

It’s still hard to say what happened but to all you racers out there for the love of God please stop treating public roads like a weekend crit! Beyond the matter of your own safety your also making your sponsors look bad. I long ago lost track of the number of club racers I’ve seen ride in an incredibly dangerous manner. Hagens Berman, Wines of Washington, Alki - I’ve seen riders from all of them do extremely dangerous (and illegal) moves in traffic. Non-racers are also bad but racers should be better since they’re supposed to be more skilled, not less. I personally nearly ran over a Wines rider when he blew through a stop sign as I was starting through the intersection. He didn’t even bother to slow down and clearly didn’t see my car starting into intersection. I’ve worked hundreds of races and non-race rides all across the country as a mechanic and volunteer and it’s usually the “experienced” racers who have the worse crashes, not the newbie cyclists. The reason is simple: All that skill breeds confidence which in turn pushes you to take risks. That’s great on the race course but potentially deadly on the roads. Your life isn’t worth getting from A to B 15 seconds faster. Next time you think of blowing a stop sign stop and think about your kids, spouse, friends and loved ones.

As for 24th, I still don’t understand why they have a bike lane there. Ditto for Stone Way. I can’t believe Cascade actually encourages such poor planning by the city. Riding on major arterials is dangerous. I gave up on 24th and instead ride down 28th. It has a fraction of the traffic, cars drive slower, less glass/debris, and is just as fast since there are fewer lights. In most cases a side street is just as fast as a main arterial. In a car this isn’t true because a car has the horsepower to go faster. Cyclists don’t which means a side street is effectively just as fast as a major road. Bonus is there’s usually less debris and fewer lights. Problem is too many cyclists plan their routes the same way they would drive them which isn’t always a good idea. Next time you think about riding down a major street pop open Google maps and look at some of the side streets instead. Chances are there’s a safer and more pleasant route available.

@Cyclocrossmechanic

I share your exasperation with the choices the teams make, including my own. Just two weeks ago, groups were passing each other on Issaquah/Hobart road. One of the most dangerous road we ride on. Riding tempo right into Southcenter traffic on Petrivisky and have you ridden on Rainer lately with the mudslide repairs?

I think it’s less, “hey idiots” and more, “stop and think how dangerous what we do is and how can we still enjoy it and lessen the risk.”

Case in point—Hugga will not participate in Alley Cats. Unsanctioned racing on open roads is not “extreme, edgy, or urban cool.” It’s stupid and what I called [The Hip and the Dead](http://bikehugger.com/2008/02/the_hip_and_the_dead.htm) when a cyclist died during the [Tour of Chicago](http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/local/chi-biker_fatal_26feb26,0,533633.story).

Cyclocrossmechanic threw up a lot of discussion fodder in his comment, but I’d like to talk one aspect of it:

*Why encourage advocate for bike lanes on major streets?*

I can’t speak for 28th in Ballard, but one advantage of using Stone Way is that there are stop lights to allow you to cross the major East-West Arterials along the way, where as if you take the side streets you have to try and dart (frogger-style) across Bridge Way, NE 45th and Greenlake Way (all are 2 lanes of traffic each way with a suicide lane).

I bike that route every day, and I can’t say I have a preference. Some days I take the back streets and some days I take Stone Way.

I think parallel to Greenwood Ave they created a bike route that is on a side street, but also has lights (that bikes actually trigger) to get across major cross streets. Maybe that is “the” ideal solution. Has anybody ridden that area?

“I think parallel to Greenwood Ave they created a bike route that is on a side street, but also has lights (that bikes actually trigger) to get across major cross streets. Maybe that is “the” ideal solution. Has anybody ridden that area?”

I agree, the ideal is a side street with facilities to safely cross major arterials.

Nate:
When I lived in Maple Leaf I commuted down to Fremont so I know what you’re talking about. At first I took Stone Way but then switched to Wallingford, a couple of blocks east, which was quieter but still had lights to cross 45th and 40th. Helped me avoid that intersection at 40th/Bridge Way/Stone Way (I hate that intersection even in a car!) Instead of bike lanes/sharrows on Stone I think they should put up signs directing riders to Wallingford and put sharrows on that street. They could have avoided a lot of strife that way.

I also avoided the intersection of 71st/Greenlake/Ravenna (where Gregg’s is located). Going south it isn’t a problem but heading north you’re dealing with traffic coming from multiple directions and drivers who don’t always understand how stop sign intersections work. Instead I’d swing off Greenlake at 4th (just past Spud) and take Woodlawn which was much safer/calmer to cross. Again it’s an example where the less obvious route can be safer and faster.

Google Maps is super handy for this sort of stuff and the street view can help you find crossing point with traffic lights for busy roads.

I’m a big fan of bike boulevards. Vancouver BC has implemented them nicely with bollards/planters that allow bikers to continue on along routes, but cars effectively can only travel a couple of blocks with out taking another street.

On the other hand, it is a lot more fun/interesting to be riding on the street with the shops rather than the residential block behind it.

Heart broken to hear about the accident involving kevin Black.  Just praying for his precious girls, sweet parents, sister, brother, extended family and friends. 
Kevin, May you rest in peace knowing they are stuck together with the memories of you. 

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