Cycling safety stressed by U

motorcycle on the I-35W bridge near campus about two years ago. As he rode, a strong gust of wind struck him and forced him onto the shoulder. He lost control of his bike when he hit a patch of sand and ran into the side of the bridge, killing him on impact.
“It’s a reality, it can happen,” Ahlberg said. “Wind and road conditions are a big factor in the spring.”
In 1996, 42 motorcyclists throughout Minnesota died in crashes. Male drivers under the age of 40 accounted for 40 of these.
In general, the number of motorcycle-related deaths is low, officials said. Compared to deaths resulting from other vehicle accidents in 1996, this only accounted for 5 percent of the 845 fatal crashes.
“You’re not comparing apples to apples,” said Mike Kowski, work zone safety engineer for the Minneapolis Office of Traffic Engineering.
He said the numbers are hard to compare because they are different vehicles. However, he added, a victim in a motorcycle accident is more likely to be injured simply because motorcycles offer less protection.
On top of that, Ahlberg stressed the use of caution when mixing alcohol with motorcycling. “One drink can be enough to impair your skills when you can’t make that split-second reaction.”