It Could Be Me - It was me
My name is Triny Willerton.
I am an Ambassador for Coeur Sports and Newton Running. I am a wife, a mom of 5, a triathlete and a cyclist.
I discovered triathlon and cycling very late in life and fell in love with it instantly. I loved how it made feel, I discovered a strength I never knew I had. I also found my community, I was embraced by the triathlon community and found some of my dearest friends there. I started racing more and training harder. It became a fundamental part of me. I even met my husband at a race. Our dates were long bike rides which we both loved.
My kids are all in school and I would do my training around their schedule.
On May 8, 2018, I was on one of my last century training rides for Ironman Boulder when I was hit by a motorist with his truck on the streets of Boulder County. I was doing everything right yet he hit me and my life was changed forever.
I was hospitalized for six days. My body sustained over a dozen fractures and a punctured lung. It is a miracle not only that I survived but that I was able to recover the way I have. My doctors concur that it was attributed to my level of fitness.
I don’t want anyone to live through what I did and I don't want people to be scared.
So I have been working very hard to create safer roads for all vulnerable users since.
In 2019 I was involved in testifying, promoting, and the signing of a new law, the vulnerable user of the road law, that drastically changes the consequences for careless drivers when they are involved in a crash in the state of Colorado.
I believe there are many layers to the problem. I recognize that people lack empathy for cyclists. Drivers often see us as obstacles, annoyances; they have to put up with us on the road. They fail to see that we are all the same. We are all people. We are moms, dads, daughters, sisters, cousins, teachers, and we want to make it back home safely, every single time.
I started #itcouldbeme to bring awareness and empathy towards all vulnerable users of the road and create long term change.
I see it as a four-fold entity comprised of:
I believe that by creating a visual, by giving identities to those otherwise anonymous bodies, we will change the narrative around cyclists and motorists on the roads.
My idea is to create short videos with people from all walks of life in order to re-humanize cyclists. I ask people to make a video and then post it on their social media platforms with the #itcouldbeme. The goal is to reach the most motorists possible that already care for the person that created the video. The video is then emailed to me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
I then distribute it on my social media channels
2. Policy Change
I believe it is crucial to establish vulnerable user laws across the country. Through our ambassador program, we will connect people with their local nonprofits in order to provide potential witnesses and people that are willing to advocate for positive change in their states. We are keeping our ambassador program open year round so it can continue to grow with us. We currently have 62 ambassadors from all over the world.
I have created alliances with key advocacy groups to support legislative change as part of It Could Be Me. I also serve on the board of Cyclists for Community.
I believe education is an essential part to really be able to create long term change. We need to reach young drivers, show them what proper behavior looks like in relationship with vulnerable users on the road.
We need to make sure cyclists and motorists are aware of what the expected behaviors and responsibilities of each are on the road. We need to reignite empathy and community in the motorist and vulnerable user relationship.
4. Community Outreach
Itcouldbeme will be a sort of “matchmaker” aiming to help communities in need by pairing each with appropriate resources and support.
We created two groups Itcouldbeme - Connect:
A community created to support and provide resources for crash survivors and their loved ones.
Itcouldbeme - Let’s Ride:
A community led by 3 cycling education experts to provide a place to encourage new cyclists to grow and learn.
We created a webinar series called Safer Roads Together. We feature key people each week that can serve as support material for our community. All episodes are available on our website.
We will also host virtual and real-life bike rides and socials with our ambassadors to promote and demonstrate adequate behaviors on the road and strengthen our community.
We will host donation drives at local levels to provide gear to communities in need.
Our movement grows each day and so do our goals. These are just a few we aim to accomplish and will add more as we come upon them. Thank you so much for all of your support and I know we will make safer roads together.