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Cyclists must ride more defensively -- James P. (Pat) Goldschmidt

Cyclists must ride more defensively -- James P. (Pat) Goldschmidt

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Another crash between a car and bike claimed a cyclist recently on Highway PD. A couple years ago, former Madison Police Officer Cheri Maples did not survive a similar crash. Both were needless losses.

I know drivers and bikers feud. We both yell and rage at each other -- equally. We both violate the laws of the road -- equally. Enough said, you've all seen it. What is not equally experienced are the results. Blow the stop sign, biker friends, and you lose -- simple as that.

Cyclists have no power to change bad drivers (who weren't at fault in these two examples), so you must take responsibility for your well-being. Ride defensively and obey the laws, even if you feel it is unfair, because you will not survive a collision at speed.

Try to accept the fact that bikes are not equal, or superior, to cars and that you cannot afford to fight with one. I know I would be permanently scarred (as I'm sure the two drivers in these incidents are) if I hit a biker -- my fault or not. So, please help me by riding more safely.

James P. (Pat) Goldschmidt, Verona

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