The Ottawa CitizenPublished: Monday, August 18, 2008
Re: Avid 27-year-old cyclist dies after being hit by pickup, Aug. 6.
It is with great sadness that I write this letter after the tragic death of April Nauta on a road trip back to Ottawa from Montreal.
I did not know April personally, although like her I am a recreational and competitive cyclist so this tragedy hits very close to home with so many friends and like-minded people in the Ottawa region. Clearly April loved life, lived it to its fullest, and died doing what she loved -- cycling.
In a collision between a 20-pound bike and a two-tonne car, the car will always come out on top regardless of the circumstances and the results will be devastating. In only an instant, one person's life can come to an end or another's could be wrought with a lifetime of emotional scars. All users of our roads and highways share the responsibility to drive and ride with caution and prudence. In doing so, we can all work together toward a common goal of mutual respect and greater safety.
As you are watching Canada's finest athletes at the Olympics please take a moment to think of April and others like myself who are out there every day, training, competing and loving life. Those Olympians, just like us, got there by doing the same thing, training and competing in the real world around us.
Ottawa has been blessed to have produced many world-level athletes and Canadian national champions -- some of whom are my friends.
We are out there riding and training and doing our best to live a fit, fun, healthy and competitive lifestyle. When approaching cyclists on our roads and highways, please exercise extra caution so that we can continue to be fit and healthy and do what we love.
Let's all take a step back and look out for one another as human beings sharing our fragile lives and limited space on this planet. Please drive cautiously -- lives are at stake.