Last Sunday a long time family friend told me to be careful riding my bike. Why? Her son had a friend who was recently killed in a freak accident. His front wheel slipped and he fell into the traffic flow. He was 22. His was a tragic death and when she heard about it she thought of me and my wife. In her mind--and that of the majority of the driving public--people riding a bike to work engage in an inherently unsafe activity. It's part of that car-centric society we've grown up in. Many people can't let that go. When she was leaving I asked if she was driving. Of course she was. I told her to be careful because 45,000 people die every year in traffic accidents. She smiled and gave me a look that said I just didn't get it.