Area cyclists react to video of car versus bike - WKOW 27: Madison, WI Breaking News, Weather and Sports

Area cyclists react to video of car versus bike

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MADISON (WKOW) -- One avid cyclist after another had similar reactions when we showed them video of the August 18 car versus bike accident at Webster and Hamilton.  They included the quick "ouch" to the visceral reactions of grimaces and grunts.

"I've had close calls before, but I've never been hit," said Sarah Mominee, one of many workers Friday morning at Williamson Bicycle Works and Fitness on West Washington Avenue. "I'm completely terrified of being hit."

"It was the kind of thing you worry about happening," added Gus Juffer. "There was nothing that guy could do."

"The driver of the SUV did not have a green light," said Tom Helm after watching the video, recorded from a Madison Metro bus, that showed the vehicle of State Representative Fred Clark colliding with bicyclist Richard Rideout, 56.

Every cyclist interviewed, after watching, believed the video clip clearly showed the bicylist had the right of way, but they also said defensive riding is still crucial.

"It's easier to be safe by not putting yourself in a situation that you don't have to rely on somebody," said Helm.

Juffer said he's familiar with the intersection, calling it challenging to navigate. Hamilton and Webster intersect as they each make steep downhill approaches. Without trying, a bicycle could easily top 20 miles an hour.

Back at a place that repairs two-wheelers, Oliver Sell said it's tougher to repair confidence. An accident three years ago landed him in the hospital with back injuries.

"Come close to being hit several other times, like on Johnson Street," said Sell. "I won't ride on Johnson anymore."

"Now even if I've got the right of way, I'm going to slow down through an intersection," Sell added. "You just got to be aware of your surroundings I guess."

"You got to be careful," said Juffer, when it comes to this issue of defensive riding. "Again, I don't know how much difference biking would have helped that."

Email Carl Agnelly at cagnelly@wkowtv.com

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