Cycling

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I have cycled all my life. Cycling has always been a reliable way for me to get from point A to point B. I would cycle to the swimming pool or my friends place etc. I am adept at commuting on a bicycle and riding across the city if necessary to get somewhere.

I’ve only had a small number of cycling accidents. When I was a kid I had a bike that was too big for me and ended up in hospital with a rock in my knee. A long time went by with only very minor spills, over the handlebars every now and then or falling over or off of my bike.

In about a year I broke my ribs in one accident. The front tire of my bike sunk in some soft dirt when I was commuting to work.    It was fabulous I was in so much pain I got up and screamed like the Hulk. I scared the workmen away from the bike path they were building.   No one came to help needless to say I cycled to work and they sent me to the doctor.

The next cycling accident was the result of an emergency stop I had to perform a car pulled out in front of me. It was very ironic as the accident happened in front of my favorite bicycle shop in Calgary. These two angles who I wish I could thank pulled me out of my bike. The staff from the bike shop came and picked up my bike and had the bike fixed and tuned before I was off the street. I’ve found recently, almost twenty years later that I broke my back during this accident. The staff at the bike shop was great as they wouldn’t give me back my helmet. Ah ALWAYS WEAR A HELMIT cycling.   Since my helmet was split in half and they made me go to the doctor. Where I found out I broke a bone in my thumb called the scaphoid. Nasty little break. My friends took great pride in retelling my story with slight modifications. Like the car I stopped for was abandoned on blocks with no tires.

I have never looked into the legal ramifications of a cycling accident until I moved to the US. A lawyer tells me that if I do not identify myself as blind and I’m in an accident the accident is fundamentally my fault. Even if technically I’m not at fault. So the next logical question was what does it mean to identify myself as blind when I’m on a bicycle? Apparently I would have to use the same gear to cycle that I would have to use if I were to get a low vision drivers license. Again my friends have grand ideas of mounting a very long white cane on my bike. The ramifications of a pole vault on a bicycle are not at all appealing.

I still love to cycle and honestly if I thought it was unsafe I wouldn’t. I am very concerned about those around me and if I thought my cycling patterns would impact anyone negatively I just wouldn’t ride anymore. Too be honest I get into more trouble when I ride with sighted friends.

I plan one day to compete in a full Ironman wish me luck.

Kyle Bergum

About the Author:

Kyle has ocular albinism and has been legally blind since birth. Kyle leads a very active live and is besides his professional career involved in many projects for persons who are different.

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