Reality of bike safety – a mother’s lecture

Most regular sports and commuter cyclists are very safety conscious. Some of us spend serious amounts of cash on lighting systems, reflective clothing and other types of high visibility gear.

But sometimes there’s just nothing you can do – if it’s your day, it’s your day. Here’s a message for all of us cyclists from a grieving mother in California. My condolences to Mary Ann and the Peckams. Thanks for the reality check.Hi-vis ANSI safety vest

John Peckham was my son. He’s the one that was killed in the tragedy in the Los Altos Hills in Northern California on Sept. 8, 2006. John Peckham was doing nothing wrong. Nothing as in nothing.

He was wearing a helmet, he was not wearing earbuds, he was on a training ride on a road that had no traffic ever. Along comes the guy from hell. I can’t talk as much as I’d like here because I really don’t want to hurt my son’s case in the courts but I know for sure the guy was freaked out on Meth. Hit my kid going upwards of 80 mph while my kid was following all the rules of the road.

What I’m trying to say here is that I got some vibe that some of you all think that you can be safer if you try. You can’t. You’re on a bike you’re going to meet up with Mr. Methamphetamine. And my son got him this time. You were all spared for the moment. Nothing is going to make cycling safe. Nothing. You’ve got someone with nothing except Spandex and a Carbon Fiber bike going head on with a guy on Meth with a Buick from the 70’s. Who’s gonna win?

Are you going to quit riding? No, of course you are not going to quit. My son, John, would rather die than quit riding and that’s what he did. He died. Bottom line is be as careful and as safe as you can but nothing, not even a guardian angel (which I think is virtually useless in times such as these) can help you. Just be as safe as you can be.

That’s a mother’s lecture. I’m not saying to stop riding. That would not do. What I’m saying is that you can’t figure out what’s going to happen.

Here’s the thread on


  1. That’s so upsetting 🙁 I feel like crying after reading that. The message here is clear – don’t get lulled into a false sense of security by your safety equipment. There are some careless, dangerous drivers out there, some of whom are on drugs or alcohol, and no amount of lighting or safety equipment can protect you from them.

  2. Yeah, sometimes it’s your time and there aint nothing you, me, Mr. Electron Extreme Micro 9 LED or Mr. L&M Arc are gonna do about it. Your encounter on the roundabout is the perfect example of that one – would any more lighting have helped you at all? Probably not.

Comments are closed.