people who ride bikes

Another person who chose to ride a bike somewhere in Boston was mowed down by a truck early on Friday morning.

I didn’t hear about it until someone at work saw me and exclaimed, “Oh, it’s good to see you — I was worried about you! Did you hear about that woman who was killed this morning on her bike…”

But it wasn’t me. Not this time.

It was Dr. Anita Kurmann, a gifted endocrine surgeon and researcher. Originally from Switzerland, she had just moved to Cambridge and liked to ride her bike to get around the city. Just like plenty of other women who ride bikes in Boston.

By the end of the day on Friday, the police hadn’t released her name to the media. But I thought of her as I biked home. It was a beautiful summer evening, a bit on the cool side; perfect for riding a bike. She would have felt the same joy that I did on her way home had she not been killed that morning.

I tried to picture her, this woman whose name or story I didn’t know yet, in my mind. I thought she must be a well-educated, foreign-born academic or professional woman. Someone from far away, because the authorities were still trying to contact her family. I figured she was older than her original description – the media said she was in her 20s; she was 38 – because riding a bicycle is healthy and fun and keeps you from getting old.

Unless, of course, you live someplace that hasn’t carved out decent, separate, safe spaces for people on foot, on bikes, and in cars.


evening commute