With the ‘40s came World War II, and suddenly there was no sugarcoating the danger that lurked in every corner of American life. Even a guide to bike safety included enough fatalities and dismemberment to resemble a PG Final Destination, because if your dad took a Nazi bullet between the eyes in the Ardennes, the least you could do was face the risks of biking like a man.
This guide is full of callow children taking the same risks that most children do. For their transgressions, they are not scolded by their elders, taught a lesson by their wiser peers, or shaken by a close call that encourages them to change their ways. They fucking die.
George appears to have been rammed by a tailgating vehicle driven by someone who’s unfamiliar with bicycles even as a general concept. To be fair, bikes have only existed since the early 1800s, so maybe Americans were still learning that their riders didn’t need to be stalked like prey animals to encourage movement. Blaming George’s Renaissance art death on his own actions is harsh, but at least he isn’t alone in being slandered before his body is even cold.