|For Immediate Release
October 24, 2007
|Contact: T. Kenji Sugahara
Oregon Bicycle Racing Association
Oregon Bicycle Racing Association releases statement on death of cyclist
OBRA Releases Statement on Brett Jarolimek
Portland, Oregon - On Monday afternoon, Oct. 22, at about 12:30 PM, the cycling community lost one of its most charismatic and talented members. Brett Jarolimek was a gifted cyclist who loved racing and excelled at the technically challenging sport of cyclocross. Brett, a graduate of the Pacific Northwest College of Art, was an artist, and worked with artists as a framer. He was an employee of the Bike Gallery and previously worked at Art Media. In his brief time in Portland, Brett established a wide and diverse network of friends and acquaintances. He epitomized the youthful, creative, active and generous transplants that Portland is attracting from all over the country. He will be greatly missed by all of us.
The cycling community, mourning the second of two deaths to occur in two weeks, implores drivers to share the streets with safety and civility. Because of the extreme disparity between weight, power and the level of protection that exists between motor vehicles and bikes, it is imperative that both motorists and cyclists be fully aware of each other's presence and operate their vehicles in an appropriate and defensive manner. That said, in the case of a collision, regardless of intent, negligence or fault, it is most often that the cyclist is hurt or even loses their life.
The cycling community asks that cities and counties across Oregon do all they can do to make streets safe for cyclists and pedestrians. Not only should proper areas be delineated when possible, but the streets themselves should be properly maintained. Laws should be re-written or clarified to recognize the needs of cyclists and pedestrians in properly shared street spaces, and laws protecting the rights of cyclists and pedestrians need to be enforced. Foremost is the need to educate motorists, cyclists and pedestrians about proper behavior, the laws, safety and civility.