Austin Bike News Roundup for February 18, 2019

There is always something happening related to bicycles in my little world, but there have been a number of bike-related headlines around the city in recent days.  On this day of closed post offices due to the 40 or so men who have resided at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, here are the stories that caught A Dude’s eye:

  • Keep Austin Weird:  Man charged with assault after Sixth Street fight with pedicab driver, police say (February 17, Austin American-Statesman)
  • Fortunately, he survived:  Man injured in bicycle crash in downtown Austin (same as above)
  • The investigation into the death of Anthony John Diaz, killed after apparently getting run over by a bus, continues: UT Austin police seeking Good Samaritan witness to fatal crash (February 13, 2019 KXAN News)
  • Former resident, cancer patient, and guy who did some other bike-related stuff:  Lance Armstrong becomes ‘charity chaser’ for Austin Marathon (February 14, KXAN News)
  • For a bonus, although happening 11 days ago and is slightly out of town in Burnet, Texas:  2019 FIRST CHAIR ALERT: Spider Mountain Bike Park Opening Day (February 4)
Let’s dive into the details, shall we?

Pedicab v. pedestrian accident: There actually aren’t a lot of details to tell you yet.  One interesting point is that the drunk dude who assaulted the driver allegedly was run over by the pedicab, precipitating the attack.  Drunk dude went to jail and is already out.  We’ll see if road rage by pedicabbers dealing with drunk dufuses is a thing now.  I know a guy who works as a pedicabber, maybe I can get him to give me the skinny.  I think the lesson here is try not to run over, or get run over, by heavy carts attached to bicycles.  Link to the story.

Car v. bike crash but victim survived:   This is good news in that it’s not another fatality.  As above, details are sparse, since it just happened.  This is a busy area.  In fact, Sixth Street is a famous one that draws tourists to the “Live Music Capital of the World.”  But at the spot of this wreck, it’s just offices and bus lanes and so on.  It was late at night, like the above scenario.  And it also involved a 20-ish-year-old.  Maybe alcohol played a part, maybe not.  The cyclist was found unconcious, but fortunately, he should make it.  No clue who was at fault, if there were witnesses or cameras, or what.  Sounds like a hit and run though, which really sucks.   Here’s the link.

Bus v. bike crash witness asked to call UT police:  The story here is that a man was videotaped by the bus camera as calling 911 when Anthony John  Diaz was struck.  He may have helped in other ways.  So the cops want to talk to him.  The story calls him a Good Samaritan.  You can read about it here.  Not mentioned in the story is what is going on with the toxicology tests regarding the driver.  Understandably he didn’t want to stick around, but maybe he saw something that might help get justice.  Other witnesses said the driver was erratic, speeding up and slowing down.  Time will tell.

Lance Armstrong runs 26.2 miles for charity:  According to the KXAN interview, former recreational unlicensed pharmaceutical user and bike racer was healed from his wounds.  However, others who were part of the ride have, others still are, and others never will.  Or words to that effect.  He’s now living with his five kiss in a $9 million mansion in Aspen which he bought with money from investing early in Uber.  He looked older and tired, but the dude was here to start last and then earn $1 for every marathoner he passed, so kudos for that.  No word on what was in his Kool-Aid.  I wish him well, because like many, I drank the Kool-Aid, too.  And he still rode 21,000 kilometers faster than the all other guys, many of whom were also enhancing.  Has he paid his dues and legal bills?  Yes.  His dues?  Not for me to say.  He’s still very popular and claims his podcast had 10 million view last year.

Spider Mountain, the bike park northwest of town, had it’s grand opening on February 8.  It  features the first chair lift in the whole state.  It goes up a big hill and carries your mountain bike with it.  Then, you ride down.  As in 350 feet of elevation down.  There are trails for different skill levels, and pricing varies too.  A full day will run you $50.  And whatever medical bills you may rack up for “coming off your bike.”  It looks pretty cool, and in a beautiful area in the Hill Country.  But I don’t own a mountain bike and I find it rather terrifying the time I tried The Rattlesnake outside Missoula, Montana.  But if this is your thing, check out the site for Spider Mountain.

Recent photos:  from a bike ride, a walk, and moving out of my recent crib.

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