In the April 8th edition of the local paper, there was an article about JoJo McKibben, who had a traumatic accident after being hit by an SUV while biking last summer. In fact, the cyclist became trapped under the SUV, and seven people actually had to lift the car off of her! The first driver was drunk and indicted but is free on bond and has yet to go to trial.
Earlier this month she was hit again, but fortunately was not hurt as badly. The second driver is in jail on a lesser charge. Both accidents show that while Austin has the image of being a bike-friendly city, and in some ways it is better than others (Dallas, Houston, San Antonio — I’m talking to you). But the reality is much different. I know, I bike most days and fear for my life multiple times because of distracted, bad or mean drivers.
Unlucky to Get Hit, Lucky to Be Alive
As with the January 15th profile the local newspaper did on me, I’m sure they’d rather I link the story than reprint it. So here is the where to find the story by Mary Huber: “Bike crashes down, but cyclists still face dangers – Bike crashes down, but cyclists still face dangers on Austin roads – Safety still an issue in Austin, as woman hit twice in span of months.” (There may be a pay wall requiring .99 cents, but I found it through the library database.)
The article goes on to cite experts blabbing about how great Austin cycling is and data to support how few dangerous wrecks there are. There are some good points, but as Brad Houston, cycling attorney says, it’s not safe enough. So I’ve included JoJo’s picture to put a face to the reality. A collar for a throat tube is clearly visible. So her injuries from the first wreck were clearly severe and life-altering. But she got back on the horse to ride again. This shows she’s a real fighter, too. I’d like to think I’d do the same in her cycling shoes. Maybe I would, maybe not.
Lance Armstrong Pays the Piper a Cool Five Mil
The local cycling hero who went to the Dark Side with his use of Performance Enhancing Drugs just settled with the government over allegations of doping while riding for the US Postal Team in the Tour de France. Also in the Statesman, on April 19, is an Associated Press article describing the settlement. The article explains the history of the charges, his confession on a televised interview with Oprah, and what he’s done to make penance and also move on. But instead of $100 million, he paid $5 million plus court costs. He’s still worth millions, and so that’s a slap on the wrist. He’ll be okay.
Like many Austinities and cyclists, I have mixed feelings about the guy. My sense is most people hate the guy for cheating but also being an arrogant prick who still hasn’t expressed much remorse. Some people are still die-hard fans and rationalize that since everybody was doping, he had to, because it was necessary to win. But the particular way Armstrong went about, well, strong-arming people and intimidating them to keep their mouths shut was what really rubbed me wrong. He was like a mob boss, but he wasn’t the only one, that’s for sure.
What it means for cycling probably isn’t much, years after he left the sport. Some say PEDs are still rampant, while evading testing has outpaced the science and the doping controls. (Successor to the TdF throne — Chris Froome and your asthma inhaler — I’m talking about you). People who follow the pro peloton more closely than I will have other opinions. (Sheree in France – want to chime in?) In a way, it’s not really news at all. “Rich guy gets a slap on the wrist, pays fine, moves on.” One thing it does do is establish some accountability and maybe it will deter future drug use. But I doubt it.
Here’s a fun image I just realized I could download from Strava, the app that tracks mileage, speed, etc. I was shocked to learn that I’ve biked more than Lance so far in 2018. Of cou/rse, his speed is much faster and my number of rides is much higher. But it’s kinda cool. Did you know you can always check out my recent rides and walks on Strava with pictures, stats and sometimes clever titles? You can! Si, se puede!
Well, keep on cyclin’! And coming back to read more in A Dude Abikes, Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays.
A DUDE ABIKES INVITES YOU TO:
Email follow – if you need help, email me (see About page)
Re-blog – permalink to this post
Share on Social Media
THANK YOU! www.ADudeAbikes.com
© 2015-18 A Dude Abikes. All rights reserved.