Urban Velo

Cincinnati Cyclist Killed

Yesterday morning a 27-year-old Cincinnati cyclist was killed while riding down a 2-way street. He was riding with the flow of traffic and wearing a helmet, unfortunately, all safety precautions became mute when the driver hit him from behind. The accompanying photo tells a cut and dry story and highlights the vulnerability of cyclists no matter what safety measures we take. Although I was hesitant to post this image, if the effect is a reminder to always keep an eye on what’s coming, then our job is done. Unbelievably, the author of this article openly wonders “why Gast was riding on the road instead of on the bike path along the side of the road”. Look at the wider image in that article. The “shared use path is gravelly, broken and filled with potholes still retaining water. Yeah, WHY wouldn’t he ride in that? And maybe the more pertinent question is why the driver HIT AND KILLED A CYCLIST RIDING PROPERLY? I’m sure this author is getting reamed, but feel free to have a cathartic release of your own.

Anyways, be safe out there friends. Tailwinds Andrew.

About Scott Spitz

Commuting, touring, kid hauling, couriering, mechanic work, sales, advocacy, fixed, free—Scott has had his hands in it all over the years.

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  1. DerekAugust 29, 2012 at 8:35 am

    Cincinnati is a bad city and its Enquirer is one of the worst newspapers in America. The reporter here turns what should be a story about accountability for this motorist, or the memory of this poor cyclist, and makes it into a dry civics planning story about bike policy in the city. Most of the story is an interview with another cyclist about Cincinnati’s bike friendliness and contains no detail about our poor victim! It’s embarrassing. We learn the driver is “cooperating” with police — um, OK, was he charged with a crime? Was he arrested? We see from the photo he’s got a disabled license plate — is his driving ability impaired? Did that contribute to this death? Another terrible story from a consistently terrible newspaper.

  2. Rudy GonzalezAugust 29, 2012 at 9:23 am

    It’s interesting to note that the driver was apparently handicapped.

  3. DanielAugust 29, 2012 at 11:12 am

    A sad situation indeed.
    I will applaud the author for doing the research and listing the upcoming improvements and other details about the bike infrastructure there. Most articles I read like this would leave it after the ‘wonder why he was riding on the road?’ part.

  4. Richard MasonerAugust 29, 2012 at 12:36 pm

    I’d be riding in the road, too, there. The “bike path” mentioned in the article The Ohio to Erie Trail, but here it’s just a sidewalk.

  5. 5chw4r7zAugust 29, 2012 at 12:48 pm

    I can tell you the author is not getting reamed. I asked some of these questions on facebook and started a flame war.
    It blows me away they’re all trying to figure out how the cyclist is guilty instead of handcuffing the car driver for murder.

  6. sarahelizabethAugust 29, 2012 at 1:22 pm

    :( so sad that cyclists get the blame the majority of the time.

  7. Lloyd LemonsAugust 29, 2012 at 9:20 pm

    Another senseless death. A crappy bike path, and a handicapped driver whose car was apparently veering off the road. I’d like to know what happens to this driver. I’ll bet I can guess the outcome.

    RIP my cycling friend.

  8. Ryan T.August 30, 2012 at 6:22 am

    I am sorry for every person that gets injured or killed in this type of collision. I find it hard to even want to try to fix blame to any one side as not being there precludes me from having insight into the individual situation. But I do have thoughts on this type of thing in general.

    I find it interesting that the author describes a “bike trail” but then a sentence later refers to it clearly as mixed use(MUT). And if a biker is “well within their right” to be some where why should there even be a consideration as to where the biker was riding.

    That said I see many bikers who have no concept of the physically menacing authority of motorists. Like it or not if a car and a bike collide it will usually be the biker who is injured or worse. Why do bikers seem to want to tempt fate? I see this all the time in MPLS. Bikers running reds when cars are waiting for the light. Bikers running stop signs when the motorist clearly has the right of way. I bike more than I drive but I find myself struggling to feel much empathy/sympathy for the types of behaviors that I see from bikers when I am behind the wheel. It seems to be some sense of entitlement that allows them to think that they won’t get hurt. And ultimately many of those bikers just create resentment among motorists toward other bikers.

    Sad news anytime someone dies on a bike.

  9. Nate SteeleAugust 30, 2012 at 9:18 am

    If a bicyclist killed a pedestrian on a sidewalk, would people be asking why the pedestrian was not walking on the muddy grass?

  10. LaurentAugust 30, 2012 at 9:28 am

    On the picture, riding on that road seems a bit dangerous. Even if the bike lane was shitty, I’ll definitely ride it.
    The fatal danger on a bike often coming from behind.
    And even here in Belgium, drivers didn’t see us, not there fault, it’s the brain that focus only on cars when you’re driving. (I have seen to much funeral flowers on roads like that)
    Sad story anyway.
    (sorry for my bad english)

  11. BenAugust 30, 2012 at 8:30 pm

    Sadly we have also lost two cyclists in Columbus this week to accidents with vehicles.

  12. judiAugust 31, 2012 at 10:20 am

    members of the cycling community and our bike co-op, mobo, has built a ghost bike for andrew and will be mounting it this tuesday.


  13. ChristianSeptember 1, 2012 at 2:22 pm

    Here in Minnesota we have so many people with handicap tags that are just overweight. I’m not saying this is the case, but what if more people could drive less and bike more?

  14. Christopher BoyleSeptember 2, 2012 at 10:15 pm

    The article allows you to email the writer by clicking on her name.

  15. PCSeptember 4, 2012 at 11:06 am

    Andrew Wrote: “Look at the wider image in that article. The “shared use path is gravelly, broken and filled with potholes still retaining water.”

    FYI, you seem to be describing the area that separates the road and the path. The path may not in the best shape, but you cannot tell one way or another from that photo.

  16. OTRSeptember 4, 2012 at 4:01 pm

    Thanks for covering this tragedy. Andrew was a great guy. The cycling community in Cincinnati has done a few memorial rides (tonight’s will be the biggest) and we’re installing a ghost bike at the scene of the crash. Stay safe, friends.

  17. DonqOctober 5, 2013 at 1:31 am

    GOOGLE “cyclist killed” and on any given day in any given state in the USA (and worlwide) what will appear is a slaughter. The automobile and bicycle were not meant for each other (NMFEO), period. There are; however, risk factors that are attributed to auto/cyclist crashes; hence, fatalities: 1.) Riding in traffic without a dedicated cycling lane, ie cycling lanes can reduce crashes and fatalities by up to 40%. 2.) Auto speed and lack of situational awareness by the driver are significant contributors. 3.) Situational awareness also very important for the cyclist as well; to not only obey rules of the road, but to have a heightened awareness of what’s going on around you. Prime examples include the death of former Amazon.com executive, Joy Covey, whereby an OnTrac delivery van took a left turn off a highway when Joy was descending down a hill going north; Joy broadsided the van and died at the scene of the crash (Bay Area, Calif). Perhaps if Joy or the driver had taken a moment to view the visual field this tragedy could have been prevented; needless–to–say, Joy had the right of way. The other crash concerns 6-time Hawaiian Ironman world champion, Dave Scott, who was hit by a woman making a U- turn in Boulder, Colorado. Dave survived, thank God; however, this accident illustrates the rapidity and unpredictable [sudden] events leading to tragedy on the road. Be careful out there, and enjoy the ride! ~~Don Winant/ fellow cyclist.

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