NOTE: Many folks may not have seen my Sunday, February 18th post, which I had inexcplicably moved to the trash and didn’t notice all day. I restored it and would love for you to read it, so here is the link for “27-Mile Brushy Creek Trail Ride + Peddler Bike Shop Stop.” After all, a blog mostly about bikes needs some ride reports sometimes!
Andrew Tilin: Rest In Peace
Today’s post is more bad news, I’m very sorry to report. Yet another Austin cyclist, Andrew Tilin, was killed on Saturday, February 17, the same day I wrote about Leonel Hernandez, who was killed under mysterious circumstances back on January 29. There isn’t even a picture of Hernandez available yet that I can find. There are photos of Tilin, still young and in the prime of his life in his 40’s. I didn’t know him but I’m heartbroken for those who did.
Tilin was on a group ride on Highway 360, a popular route for cyclists, and is one which I’ve been on. He was changing a flat tire on his bike when car hit a truck which then spun out of control into him. He died shortly after at a hospital. He was also an author of a book about illegal racing that he did while legally doping called “The Doper Next Door: My Strange and Scandalous Year on Performance Enhancing Drugs.” It is available for sale either in the Brazilian rainforest or on some obscure website with the same name. (Yes, that’s a pun. Humor is a must when faced with tragedy. We all cope in different ways. Don’t be so judgy!)
Here is the link to Pam LeBlanc’s article in the Austin American-Statesman.
2 Deaths in 3 Weeks is 2 Too Many, Dammit!
The victim this time was a white male who was a well-known bike rider, former racer, as mentioned above author, partner and dad of two. He was also a person who legally took male hormone replacement therapy, but illegally raced while taking it, so he was eventually stripped of any races he won. I hadn’t heard of him but I should read his book now. He was on a team called Gruppo VOC, which is sponsored by cycling attorney Brad Houston, “The Cycling Lawyer,” a nice guy whom A Dude has met. Brad wrote this long article about bicycles, the law and accidents. It’s an old but still valid checklist.
I’m not sure what else to say at this point. It did occur to me that the story of a white cyclist got more attention than a brown bike rider. Both Tilin and Hernandez were killed by automobiles, but the circumstances were quite different. The former’s wreck had many witnesses, the drivers were identified, and he was well-known.
Hernandez’s wreck had no witnesses, the driver did not stop, and he was not known in the cycling community, to my knowledge. So those are important differences about how much is known and what there is to report. I have not checked the TV websites about either. Time will tell if Hernandez’s killer gets caught and he gets equal media coverage.
Speaking of media, Tilin wrote for many publications, including The New York Times, Wired, and Yoga Journal. He was a senior editor at Business 2.0 and Outside magazines, and was a contributing editor for Outside. He was the co-author, with Reed Timmer, of Into the Storm, and he ghostwrote Steve Poizner’s Mount Pleasant, a New York Times best-seller.
Brown, Black, White — Whatever Your Skin Color, We All Bleed Red
The phrase “cycling community” is a sort of code, because it generally refers to white, middle-to-upper class males. Austin in general is still a predominantly white majority city. However, I’m not clear that institutional racism in the media is at work here or not, mostly because of the differences in what was known in each accident. Regardless, what’s important is that neither should have died, but they did, through no fault of their own. (Although we don’t know if Hernandez rode in the street or not; my educated guess is he did not, due to it being a hit-and-run.)
One thing is for certain: cars and trucks do not care what color skin you have (neither do I). Only a few cyclists get killed in Austin each year, though many more get injured. ALOT more car drivers hurt or get killed in car v. car wrecks. But the “car-nage” and the hemorrhaging must be stopped. Somehow. Like gun violence and school shootings, car violence is also an epidemic. We all bleed red.
Cars and trucks do not care what color skin you have (neither do I). Only a few cyclists get killed in Austin each year…. But the “car-nage” and the hemorrhaging must be stopped… car violence is also an epidemic. We all bleed red.
– A Dude Abikes
Well, I could go on, but my sense of outrage and my target of words have both been exhausted. So I’ll end with “be careful out there.” Especially if you’re driving a two-ton metal killing machine.
Tilin’s partner sent a message about the online community / interactive at-home cycling app called Zwift after my message I left in memoriam.
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