A while ago I had signed up to a sports club to go on bike rides with more people and share my great passion. That’s where I met my friend Aitor. That day, like many other mornings, we took our bikes and went off riding together. We chose the VA-30 route to avoid a path full of potholes.
After about a kilometre, soon a lorry swerved onto the hard shoulder. It all happened so fast that we didn’t even have time to react. Luckily Aitor managed to get out of the way. Perhaps if the driver had paid a bit more attention, I would have managed to as well.
Like every morning, I got up early and got on my bike to go for a ride through the city. At that time of the morning there’s hardly any traffic and it’s much nicer for cycling. I always take the same route, from my house up to the mountain. That day seemed like it was going to be like all the others, but while I was waiting at a traffic light I felt a hard shove from behind. It all happened very fast.
Perhaps, if the driver had been going a little slower he would have had time to see me and react. Perhaps, if he had braked on time, my parents, my wife and my daughters wouldn’t be missing me so much today.
The fact is I was never the typical grandfather. At 83 years old I loved sport, I was physically fit and I was always looking for adventure. I discovered my love of cycling when I retired. From the moment I started pedalling for the first time, I was off like a shot.
That day I had arranged to meet up with two of my friends to go for a ride and then come home at lunchtime. The last thing I remember was I was crossing the road to reach a forest path, when I heard a loud sound and everything went black. If I could go back, I would look much more carefully before trying to cross.
That summer my parents and I went camping in La Rioja. It was the end of August and, like any 17 year old, I was making the most of my last few days of holiday before school started again.
That night I had been in the village with some friends. I was cycling back to the campsite, when a loud noise took me by surprise. I remember being blinded by some lights and then... everything went silent. If that person had kept to the speed limit, they would have had time to see me and I would have had a bit more time to enjoy with my family and friends.
Since we were young, my twin brother and I always used to go out on our bikes together. That day we were thinking of going up the mountain but, since it was cloudy and raining quite a bit, we decided to go and practice on the main road.
I was only less than a quarter of the way back home, when suddenly on the road I felt a powerful shove. I didn’t have time to react, it all happened too quickly. If that person had been going a bit slower, I’m sure they would have had time to brake and you wouldn’t be reading this today.
It was a pleasant September day, the sort that people make the most of on the island. I had decided to go out for a bike ride with my son Bielet from Sineu to Mallorca.
Just before we reached the crossroads for Lloret de Vistalegre something ended everything forever. A driver who had had one too many drinks knocked us over, leaving my son fatherless and my pregnant wife a widow. It could all have been avoided if the driver had booked herself a taxi.
In July the heat in Valladolid can be suffocating. That’s why we decided to go for a bike ride first thing in the morning. We were having a lovely ride until we reached that stretch, and suddenly something hit us from behind and everything vanished.
I died on that road aged 32. If that person had decided not to drink and drive this story would be different.
I have always enjoyed sport. That’s why I decided to cycle to work, to get a few minutes of exercise before facing the day ahead.
Like every day at that time in the morning, I was cycling along the hard shoulder of the Toledo main road when something enormous hit me and made everything around me disappear. Perhaps, if the driver of the lorry that hit me had maintained a safe distance of 1.5 metres, I would still be able to cycle to work every day.
Whenever you go to overtake a cyclist, reduce your speed and always keep a minimum distance of 1.5 metres. Pay close attention to your speed when approaching or overtaking a cyclist, the wind could destabilise them or knock them off.
When overtaking a cyclist, remember that you are allowed to cross into the opposite lane, even If there is a solid line, as long as there is no danger.
When we feel stressed at the wheel, we lose our cool and react compulsively. Whenever you approach a cyclist, or go to overtake, wait for the right moment. Remember that on the road just a few seconds can make all the difference.
When you park your vehicle and you are about to get out, look in the rearview mirror first, especially in narrow lanes and streets. Opening the door without looking could cause a serious accident with other vehicles or bicycles.
Just because your bike doesn’t have indicators doesn’t mean you can’t signal before any manoeuvre. Whether you are on a cycle path or the road, always indicate with your arms before each turning or changing lanes.
Just as with other vehicles, it is totally forbidden to use your mobile phone or any other electronic device or headphones whilst riding a bike. When you are surrounded by vehicles, you need all of your senses to be alert in order to react.
Use lights whenever necessary and use reflective clothing.
Remenber it is compulsory to wear a helmet for under 16s and on all main roads.