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Siobhan Doyle is my hero

Posted by on November 8th, 2007 at 8:20 pm

Watch this video (below) of Siobhan Doyle from her hospital bed. Siobhan is the woman who was hit while riding her bike on Interstate a few days ago.

At about the 2:00 minute mark, Siobhan starts to tear up and shares some poignant, a bit unexpected, yet very important thoughts about sharing the road.

This video was shot by Michael Rollins of the Oregonian (it might take a few seconds to appear and load):

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35 Comments
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    Qwendolyn November 8, 2007 at 9:21 pm

    Best wishes to her and to a speedy recovery.

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    Kronda November 8, 2007 at 9:37 pm

    I might have a little more sympathy for the driver if she hadn\’t, according to witness reports, already cut off two other bikers at the top of the hill. It really doesn\’t sound like she gave a frakk about any other road users as long as she got where she was going.

    I also don\’t have any patience at all for the \”I didn\’t see her\” excuse when a car passes the bike from behind in the first place! There\’s NO EXCUSE for cutting someone off after passing them.

    Kudos Siobhan for your courage and never-quit attitude. I hope you get back on the bike soon!

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    JeremyS November 8, 2007 at 11:18 pm

    Wow, what an amazing attitude! Siobhan is my hero, too.

    This is the message that all road users need to see. Each one of us is just a person, trying to get somewhere.

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    wsbob November 8, 2007 at 11:41 pm

    Geez, I wish I could watch it, but I\’ve got this $#%^& dial-up. Guess I\’ll have to get over to the library to watch. Grrr.

    Off topic: \”frakk\” huh?….well, we know what you\’ve been watching! Me too, I\’ll have to admit. Maybe that\’s better than \”$#%^&\”, but then I sometimes wonder what the $#%^&ing difference is. Amazing, all that it takes sometimes to be \”polite\”. People love an illusion.

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    miss November 8, 2007 at 11:49 pm

    I couldn\’t believe how calm Siobhan was after the accident and I can\’t believe how logical and forgiving she is now. It\’s very impressive.

    Thank you Siobhan for being a great example.

    I hope you heal quickly.

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    Metal Cowboy November 8, 2007 at 11:52 pm

    That, my friends, is one kick ass individual. This is why I\’m trying to help put together a sustained transportation equality/cycling civil rights movement, and this is why I\’m helping to file the citation violation proceedings stuff with Chris and Ray. But more than anything this is me hoping you mend quick and strong and are back on your bike. Kudos go out to your sister and family as well for being right there for you.

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    Rodman November 9, 2007 at 5:53 am

    I totaly understand her feelings. I was hit on the 19th of July. I spent five days at OHSU. When something like that happens your perspective on life changes. You learn to respect life real fast. I try everyday to respect the life I was given. I have started to try and educate people whenever need be on cycling/car issues. I am amazed how much people really do not now the traffic laws when it pertains to bicycles. Even my family who saw first hand what I am going through recovering still doesn\’t take the time to learn the laws.
    I really am glad she wants to get back on the bike. I remember people asking me all the time if I was going to quit and drive more. It never once entered my mind to bike less.

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    shhambo November 9, 2007 at 7:11 am

    Thanks for taking the time to share.
    I hope you recover quickly.

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    mlove November 9, 2007 at 8:15 am

    I am tired of hearing about \’equality\’ on the road. Bikes are autos are not equal and shouldn\’t be treated equally. As in other countries PDX should wake up and put cyclists and pedestrians at the very top. If a car and a bike are in a collision it should ALWAYS be the fault of the auto. If someone makes a decision to sit inside a 4000lb steel cage to transport their 150lb ass across town then they should be liable for whatever they run into.

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    Ena November 9, 2007 at 8:54 am

    I adore you Siobhan! I have never met you but I feel like we are sisters. I would love to meet you and visit you in the hospital. Does anyone know which hospital she is in?

    I just lost a 15 month case to Marylhurst University over an bike accident I was in on campus. I was given all the blame and believe their was some shady dealings going on.

    I know how it is to go through such trauma. I have a similar attitude as Siobhan and would love to support her any way I can. We have got to MAKE people be accountable for their roads and responsibilites. Cyclists make the city great and we are tired of being the battered step-child!

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    Elly November 9, 2007 at 9:01 am

    Siobahn, you rock! Get rolling again soon —

    Mlove, I agree, the person driving the heavier vehicle should always have the greater burden of responsibility. But all this talk about equality is about *people* not modes. When you drive a car, you have first-class amenities, when you bike you\’re discriminated against, and when you try to cross the street you\’re ignored. That\’s the inequality I\’m thinking about, anyway.

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    Patti November 9, 2007 at 9:33 am

    Thank you Michael Rollins for this interview! It took me about 10 minutes to watch it because apparently I don\’t have the proper viewing software..but it was worth the investment of my time. I bet I am not the only one to tear up right when Siobhan does. We are pulling for your full recovery, Siobhan. I can tell you are one helluva person, no bitterness..I hope it stays that way. You rock, sistah!

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    nuovorecord November 9, 2007 at 9:53 am

    Siobhan, you are a shining example of the best that the human race can be! Heal quickly and completely.

    Elly, good point. This shouldn\’t be a discussion about \”cars vs. bikes/peds.\” This is a discussion about how people treat each other, not about which mode should yield to the other. We need to get off our bikes and out of our cars, look each other in the eye, and realize that we all have a lot more in common than not. I think starting from there gets us all a lot further, faster than launching missiles from bunkers. I\’m hoping that Sam can lead a discussion that not only focuses on short-term safety improvements, but also has some vision for starting a community discussion about how attitudes can be changed.

    Siobhan\’s attitude after being hit is a prime example of what we need to do in order to build a better understanding of each other, and ultimately a better community.

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    Joe November 9, 2007 at 9:55 am

    pls get well soon πŸ™‚

    Joe

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    Tasha November 9, 2007 at 10:29 am

    Wow. She is a true yogi. Much much love and recovery to her. I, too, do not agree with this \”bikes are better\” attitude, as there are many people who cannot bike, due to illness and disability. It is about respecting other people, period. It is about being aware of all users on the road and slowing down and paying attention. If that car has slowed down and waited for Siobhan to pass, both of their lives would be much better right now, and the car would have lost, what, 30 seconds to get to where she was going? Less?

    Anyway, we need more people in this world like Siobhan. Jai Jai Jai sister.

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    beth h November 9, 2007 at 9:34 am

    Does Siobhan have sufficient coverage to help her deal with her hospital expenses? Is there a mechanism in place to offer help?

    Heal quickly!

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    Steve D November 9, 2007 at 9:40 am

    Siobhan, I wish you rapid healing and am thinking of you. Thank you for being such a strong and beautiful voice in our community. You are amazing! πŸ™‚

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    girl on a bike November 9, 2007 at 10:44 am

    Siobhan, you are a lovely person with a wonderful spirit. I hope you do get to have the conversation you want to have with the woman who hit you. I wonder if that would even reach her, but I hope for your sake that something close to that does happen.

    I\’ve been having a hard time finding a perspective where anything good has come from all of the horrible car-on-bike collisions lately, until I met a bunch of my friends — who all drive regularly and rarely bike — downtown a few days ago for drinks after work. They have been concerned about my safety, and I have been wondering if the people I count among my dearest friends are as well educated about traffic safety as they should be. So we all ended up talking about traffic laws, and what to do and NOT do when sharing the road with bikes, and it was really illiminating for all of us. None of these people are ignorant or malicious, but based on some of the things we discussed, it\’s incredibly clear to me that people all over the state of Oregon are driving everyday completely under-educated about their responsibilities as drivers. Only one of the six friends had any idea that you can NOT move into the bike lane to make a right turn. And that\’s because her boyfriend is a cyclist. So I think it\’s important that those of us who have friends who are not cyclists do take the time to have friendly and thoughtful conversations with them about these topics. I know my friends were all really interested to learn some of the things I know, and in turn, it\’s interesting for me to hear their perspective on the elements of road law that they have simply never been taught. And not one of them had ANY idea what a bike box even is, how to respect one, nor that one exists in Portland already. If the plan to add more of that kind of infrastructure to Portland moves forward, it will be incredibly necessary to inform the public what it\’s for and how to use it.

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    Op4 November 9, 2007 at 10:58 am

    if the driver is not being held responsible for the collision, does siobhan have to pay her own medical bills?

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    Paul Tay November 9, 2007 at 11:02 am

    Lessons learned: DON\’T trust bike lanes for protection. EXPECT to be treated as SECOND-class users of the roadway by cops. AND, get in the MIDDLE of the lane. Make \’em slow down and see ya.

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    Robin November 9, 2007 at 12:09 pm

    Thanks so much hon\’ for talking about how you feel.

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    Bikealicious November 9, 2007 at 1:23 pm

    Siobhan– I just noticed your name in the Rosey Awards book!!! I knew your name sounded familiar when I was scanning thru the credits… Heal fast, be well, and congrats on the Rosey, \”Tricky!\”

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    Bikealicious November 9, 2007 at 1:27 pm

    And I should add– since I did not win a Rosey this year, Siobhan is even *more* my hero now! Har har. (Kidding aside, you being a great human is what makes you a hero. The ad stuff doesn\’t matter a bit in light of all this.)

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    aa November 9, 2007 at 1:41 pm

    I couldn\’t agree with you more Ena.

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    todd November 9, 2007 at 2:30 pm

    Did you notice she said she also drives and gets mad at bikers? There\’s a lot of dumb bikers out there, running stoplights, without lights, etc.

    Mlove expressed this ignorance perfectly: \”If a car and a bike are in a collision it should ALWAYS be the fault of the auto.\” What about the lightless gentleman the other night who rode topspeed through a red light directly in the path of cars, forcing them to slam on the brakes to avoid crushing him? As a biker/driver I felt like chasing him down and beating some sense into him.

    Do you think it fosters compassion and goodwill among drivers when they see cyclists breaking any law they like?

    mlove\’s attitude sets the bike movement back. You\’ll get a lot farther working within the law than creating your own double standard.

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    Rodman November 9, 2007 at 2:50 pm

    In response to #13 & #19

    She said she also drives a car. This kind of accident is covered under her Personal Injury Protection (PIP). The state minimum requirement on your auto policy is $15,000 dollars coverage. That is how my doctor bills got paid. Luckily I had $100,000 dollars in coverage. My bills are in the mid forty thousand dollar range at the moment.

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    Siobhan's Parents November 9, 2007 at 7:30 pm

    Hi all – Siobhan\’s parents here! She (along with our other 2 daughters) are our HEROES too!

    We\’re 3,000 miles away on the east coast and we have been following this on the various blogs and web sites as well as talking to Siobhan. We\’d like to thank you all for your concern and well wishes for Siobhan.

    Knowing that she has so much support from kind folks such as yourselves has made this easier for us!! Siobhan\’s mom is on her way to the Northwest to help with her recovery from her so called \”non-traumatic\” injuries!

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    Jason Wheeler November 9, 2007 at 7:32 pm

    Siobhan we need to do the sprinwater when you get better. Im glad you are alright, you and Tad are the best

    Jason \”crazy\” wheeler

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    rev November 10, 2007 at 7:07 am

    that is marvelous. thank you for sharing.

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    Caroline November 10, 2007 at 8:21 am

    Siobhan,

    My video player sucks and your voice came out choppy, but I got the message. I\’m impressed like everyone else, but even more impressed that you penetrated the fog of shock, emotions, pain, and narcotics to dictate such a lucid, succinct message for both cyclists and motorists.

    Sweet! Hope to ride alongside you someday!

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    Leaf Cutters November 10, 2007 at 9:14 am

    Hey Shiv-

    We miss you.

    -AHM

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    joy November 10, 2007 at 9:15 am

    What an amazing, strong person Siobhan has shown herself to be. That is a very powerful and moving piece of video.

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    N.I.K. November 10, 2007 at 10:18 am

    Do you think it fosters compassion and goodwill among drivers when they see cyclists breaking any law they like?

    I certainly don\’t. Just one more reason to follow the laws (besides all the much more obvious ones, like \”avoiding tickets\”, \”avoiding being charged\”, and the far-less-than-guaranteed \”not dying\”). OTOH, one has to question the inability of a given individual to make the separation between driver/rider and the vehicle being used by said driver/rider. \”All cyclists\” is just as short sighted as \”all compact car-drivers\” or \”all tractor-trailer drivers\”.

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    todd November 12, 2007 at 10:54 am

    Sorry NIK, I don\’t understand your point, are you slamming me somehow? To be clear, sometimes I ride my bike and sometimes I drive a car. I can empathize with both cyclists and drivers; someone who maneuvers their bike or car in a life-threatening manner generates ill will toward everyone using that mode of transport. Cyclists breaking laws in front of cars, endangering themselves and scaring drivers, generate animosity rather than respect for cyclists. Go ahead and yell at cars for doing dumb stuff, just make sure you aren\’t just as guilty.

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    kitty November 13, 2007 at 5:30 am

    Wow. She is my new hero. And a martyr too. Thank you, thank you, thank you!

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