Today I saw a silver pickup truck going down the road with a sticker on the lower right bumper. The sticker read “biker repellant” with and arrow pointing to the diesel exhaust pipe. That bumper sticker stirred a dormant anger and sadness in me.
I talked to my 37 year old brother Kevin almost every day. Kevin was my brother and my best friend. Often he told me stories from his daily bike commute to work. “Someone purposely tried to run me off the road today.” “Someone yelled ‘Get off the road’ and honked at me today.” “Someone threw an almost full can of soda at me today.” I finally asked him to stop telling me about the harassment. It was difficult to imagine that he was being treated this way. I often wondered if these drivers ever stopped and reminded themselves that the cyclist was a human being who had a mother, a father, a daughter, a wife, a sister and friends. Kevin was a kind and giving person. He genuinely loved helping others. He had a difficult life, but was one of the happiest people I have ever known. His smile was unforgettable.
On June 11th 2009, while riding his bike, Kevin was struck by a teen driver. He died in the early hours on June 12th.
In memory of Kevin, I would like to ask drivers to see the cyclist. Please give them the space, time and respect they deserve.
They are more than a machine.
Beyond the metal, they are a human being.
-Tanya Pavlis sister of Kevin Pavlis
*The people on the side of the road, in this video, are not actors. They are Kevin’s family, including his now 6 year old daughter, and friends.