Ride of Silence to Ghost Bike for Jessica Rae Saathoff: ¡Presente!

I’ve titled this sad post the same as the ride for Anthony John Diaz, because it was very similar. A bunch of people show up at a pre-arranged place, they chat, there are some announcements, and the ride begins without people speaking unless needed for safety. The group rides around East Austin with leaders stopping car traffic or the riders as needed, and eventually it arrives at the scene of the victim’s death. There is a bike painted all white: a ghost bike. Somber words are spoken, people reflect, and the ride continues. It then ends at a park after about 10 miles, where people are thanked and more words are spoken. It’s sad, and it’s supposed to be, like a funeral procession. But now what?

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Austin Bicyclist 2019 Death #2: Jessica Saathoff, 28, Hit by a Car

This sad news came across my screen, and I just sat and stared at it. She was 28 years old, hit by a car Thursday night. Now, gone. The details are scant and will trickle in. Here’s an updated story from the NBC affiliate, KXAN: “Cyclists push for change after fatal MLK Blvd crash.” The story says she wasn’t wearing a helmet and the car driver stayed on the scene. Despite this tragedy, riding a bike in Austin is still very safe compared to driving and walking. That won’t help Jessica, but maybe it will help others of us who do still bike.

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Ride of Silence to Ghost Bike for Anthony John Diaz: ¡Presente!

Today was a somber occasion, the ride to remember Anthony John Diaz, run over by a bus on January 28th.  I’ve been on a few of these now and it both causes me literal grief, not to mention that another senseless, needless, horrible death of a person on a bike who was doing the right thing simply pisses me off.  For some reason, a city bus driver ran over and killed a person riding a bicycle.  We don’t know yet if she was overworked, high on drugs or booze, hated cyclists, or what.  The place it happened is one I ride a lot and was due to be fixed years ago, but wasn’t.

Pray for the dead and fight like hell for the living. 

— Mother Jones

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First Austin Bicyclist Death of 2019: Anthony John Diaz, Run Over by a City Bus

I’m sitting outside a 7-11 late on a Wednesday, just down the street from the huge football stadium on the University of Texas campus. It’s where a cyclist, aged 39, with a helmet and lights on both the front and back of his bike, was hit, dragged under and trapped by a Capital Metro bus Monday night. It was there that he died. I just learned about this horrible tragedy tonight, and so I biked over here – a place I ride by regularly. I’m mad and sad, yet relieved it was not me. Because it could have been me. That doesn’t help Anthony, his friends, family and others who knew him. Continue reading

17-Year Old Cyclist Ran a Stop Sign and Was Killed in Austin on November 9

On a Friday evening in November, just after dark, a young Asian teenager was riding his bike in North Austin. The road dead-ended into a very fast, four-lane road with a median. He made it half-way across, and then for some reason, didn’t stop to yield to traffic that had a speed limit of 60 miles per hour. A blue Toyota hit him, and the driver stayed at the scene. The victim, whose name was Minh-Tan Pham, died later in the hospital. Another young life was extinguished in mere moments due to more traffic violence. He was the 67th traffic fatality on Austin roads in 2018… so far.

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Vision Zero ATX Wants to Stop Traffic Violence — But How?

Vision Zero ATX (www.VisionZeroATX.org) is based on an idea that came from Sweden:

Vision zero is the simple idea that every death and serious injury in traffic is preventable. People will make mistakes, but those mistakes should not lead to anyone losing their life or being severely hurt.

Simple, but not easy.  So far this year (as of August 1st), 40 people have died on roads in Austin, Texas — the US’s 11th biggest city.  Most are vehicles versus other vehicles.  More than a few involve pedestrians.  Just a few involve bicyclists.  Compared to many cities, that’s not alot, but according to Vision Zero ATX, we can do better.

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In Bike I Trust: The Faith of an Agnostic Athiest Cyclist

“Faith is taking the first step even when you don’t see the whole staircase.”

– The Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Faith, Schmaith

A Dude attended a presentation sponsored by his weekly job search group today.  It was about how to make brain science work for, not against us.  The presenter asked an attender if she had faith.  She paused and said, “Well, if you mean like in organized religion, no.”  The presenter said something like, “Well, do you have faith the sun is going to come up tomorrow?”  “Of course,” she answered.  And that got me thinking.  (I have a thinking problem, actually.  I’m trying to cut back.  Ha ha!)  Thinking usually leads to writing, and lately not journaling as much as weblogging.  So in what do I have faith? Continue reading