An Austin Cyclist Was Hit By Cars Twice in a Year; Lance Armstrong Settles With US Postal

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

Jojo
Austin cyclist Jojo McKibben attended an awards ceremony at Austin police headquarters for her rescuers, who lifted a 3,400-pound vehicle off her chest and probably saved her life. Source: Austin American-Statesman, 2017 Richard Garcia Lopez

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.

A Dude versus Lance
A Dude Abikes versus Lance Armstrong. Hilarious!

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.

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9 thoughts on “An Austin Cyclist Was Hit By Cars Twice in a Year; Lance Armstrong Settles With US Postal

  1. That is frightening to read. I’m always so aware of peeps on bikes, I mean . . I don’t understand how you can’t be.

    As for Armstrong, I am still in awe of what he did. Even WITH PED’s. But that might have something to do with my jaded self. As for how he did it though, I’m with you. You cheat and you get caught and you fess up and you move on. But to go about it the way he did, no time for that.

    Great post Dude!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. In Annapolis and around Virginia, they have paved over old railroads to provide Bike paths. These are very pleasant to ride on since the only other traffic is pedestrians and their dogs.

    I skated on the Poplar Avenue trail yesterday as I went to the boat show. It ended up hill from the wharf about a mile so then I was forced to mingle with pedestrians on side walks or street traffic.

    I walked the last block to avoid hitting people.

    The return trip was not too bad, but Annapolis loves their historic cobble stone streets so much that they’ve left decorative patches of stones in the streets, separated by 100 yards of tarmac. This made for interesting skating. 🙂

    Thanks for writing

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Skating is work, nice job! Thanks J’s for yielding to pedestrians, as you should. There’s a pro bike race called Paris Roubais which has alot of rough pavement they call pavais, cobblestones too. Not for me and my skinny tires or even my Fairdale with bigger tires.

      Like

  3. It was awhile ago but riding a bike on Austin’s roads scared the hell out of me! Never again, I’ll stick to European roads where the cars and lorries are much smaller and many more of the drivers ride bikes.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Mostly it’s safe, except for when it isn’t. Hopefully I continue to avoid cars and they avoid me. There are more bikes lanes bong added. But distracted driving is still a big problem.

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  4. Are there riders still using PEDs in the modern peloton? Micro-dosing anyone? I wouldn’t bet against it. Do I approve? Hell no, because I have friends who ride clean and it’s cheating them and other clean riders out of victories. Is the peloton cleaner than in Lance’s day? I’d certainly like to think so.

    Liked by 1 person

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