This past weekend, I rode my bike down through Surrey, North Delta and Annacis Island. It was the first time I’d taken my bike across the Alex Fraser bridge, and it had a few scary moments: a narrow sidewalk, and a low railing, plus three danger spots. The freeway signposts block the path at two points, narrowing it to essentially the width of my handlebars. At another point (shown in the photo from behind and front), the path makes a sudden sharp jog. Two of those three danger zones were in downhill sections, where cyclists could easily be riding quite fast. When I see scary bridges like this or the Second Narrows bridge, I always think about what would happen if I made a mistake. Could I tumble over the railing and fall right off the bridge? Optimistically, I assumed the engineers considered these things when they design the bridges.
Apparently not. In the paper yesterday, I saw a report from Mississauga. “From witness reports it is believed the handlebars of Sacawa’s bike may have become caught between two of the bridge’s metal posts. The impact caused him to lurch forward and tumble over the side of the bridge.” (CTV) “The railing he went over stands a bit more than one metre high, roughly the height of a tall man’s waist.” (Globe and Mail). He fell 150 feet to his death. Scary, scary stuff.