Tag Archive for Andreas Knickman

In this season of miracles, a former pro and his son could use one of their own

Maybe you remember a couple months back, when racing legend Andy Hampsten came to town.

While the official reason for his visit may have been to promote the new Campagnolo Revolution 11 at the Agoura Hills Bicycle Johns, there was another reason for his visit.

A more important reason.

He was here to support former 7-11 teammate and ’84 Olympic bronze medalist Roy Knickman. Or more precisely, Roy’s 14-year old son Andreas.

It was something I’d mentioned in passing, a ride that was scheduled to take place the following day to benefit Andreas in his two-year fight against a rare form of bone cancer. Sponsored by Newberry Park resident and fellow firefighter Mike Nosco, the ride attracted cyclists from around the world, and raised over $30,000 to help defray Andreas’ medical costs. And Nosco hopes to raise thousands more through an online auction on his website.

We should all have friends like that.

The Thousand Oaks Acorn has a moving story about Andreas and his family, as well as Nosco’s extraordinary efforts to help. It’s definitely worth taking a few minutes to read, if only for a reminder of what really matters in this season of frenzied shopping and overindulgence.

And that there’s always something we can do to help. And always those who need it.

Even if it’s just offering a silent prayer.

Thanks to DC for the heads-up. If you want to wish Andreas and his family well, visit their site and sign the guestbook, or make a donation here.

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In a follow-up to yesterday’s post, the family of a Los Altos Hills cyclist killed in a collision with a truck — whose driver had two previous fatal collisions — files a wrongful death suit against the driver and his employer; thanks to Al Williams for the link.

And the drunk hit-and-run driver who killed Angel’s pitcher Nick Adenhart, Courtney Stewart and Henry Pearson gets a well-deserved 51 years to life in prison. Now if we could just see a sentence like that for killing people who aren’t famous.

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The New York Times offers a surprisingly rational debate on the Great Bike Lane Controversy with views from five separate writers; thanks to Stanley Goldich and George Wolfberg for the heads-up:

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Debi Mazar helps give away 90 bicycles in South L.A.; now that’s my kind of actress. The City of Los Angeles introduces a new smartphone app to help drivers find open parking spaces; needless to say, it didn’t take long for cyclists to point out the obvious dangers of distracted driving. LACBC doesn’t always make a lot of noise, but they’ve accomplished a lot this year. Just Another Cyclist says Santa would be better off riding a bike; wait, you mean he doesn’t? Cyclelicious celebrates the diversity of the cycling community. Registration is now open for the L’Etape du California, your chance to ride the 7th stage of the Amgen Tour of California from Claremont to Mt. Baldy. Biking from San Francisco to Orange County to support music programs for children with autism.

A semi cute video promoting helmet use. Bicycling editor at large Bill Strickland says it all started when he bought a bike. Advice on locking your bike; key point being do it every time. A Denver cyclist uses his Garmin to prove the driver who hit him was lying; too bad that wouldn’t work with the schmuck who claimed new car smell sleep apnea made him flee the scene after running down a cyclist — and worse, he claims to be one of us. My hometown prepares to host the Echelon Gran Fondo and calls it the biggest bike event in Colorado in 2011; somehow, I think the new Quiznos Pro Challenge will be just a tad more important. A look at helmet use in Michigan doesn’t show much difference in collision outcomes. How is it that Pittsburgh gets a bike center designed by Santa Monica Planning Commissioner Hank Koning before Santa Monica does? link courtesy of George Wolfberg. Grist talks with NYDOT Commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan, the woman L.A. cyclists lust after (bureaucratically speaking). A Philadelphia cyclist wishes he’d just get a ticket, because cyclists will never obey the law until the police enforce it; I hate to say it, but he’s got a point. An odd quirk in Pennsylvania law prevents bike lanes outside major cities.

Camouflage — good for bunnies, not so good for road markers. More good advice on riding in ice and snow, some of which works for rain, as well. A parade of Santas on Boris Bikes. These days, it seems like everyone is riding a bike — yes, even Him. A secret UK Santa drops off bikes for children every Christmas. Tour Italy on traffic-free roads and catch the finale of the Giro. Default Tour de France winner Oscar Pereiro, who claimed the title when Floyd Landis was disqualified, makes his debut on the soccer pitch. An Aussie state safety committee considers proposals to keep riders safer, including advanced green lights for bikes and airbags on the front of cars — even if the reporter a clearly biased. Lotto pro Matt Lloyd left to ride his bike to the bank in his native Australia, and woke up in the back of an ambulance, with no evidence of a collision and no idea how he got there.

Finally, it has nothing to do with bikes — just the future of our country, as the Sierra Club is urging the Senate to revise their rules to put the interests of Americans ahead of corporations.

And mark your calendar for the LACBC’s 2nd Annual  Mid-Winter Merriment at the Library Alehouse next Wednesday, December 28th.

I’ll see you there.

Ride with Agoura Hills with Campy & racing legend Andy Hampsten on Tuesday

Andy Hampsten during his racing days; photo courtesy of Wikipedia

I’m not easily impressed.

Over the years, I’ve met governors, senators and presidential candidates — including one who went on to spend eight years in the oval office. I’ve met award-wining actors and multi-platinum musicians, superstar athletes and religious leaders.

What I’ve found is that they’re pretty much the same as anyone else. And often — more often than you might think, actually — just as screwed up.

Andy Hampsten impresses the hell out of me.

Maybe it’s because I had the good fortune of living in Colorado during the heyday of the late great Coors Classic, when it attracted the world’s best riders and leading teams, including the legendary 7-11 pro team — the first American pro team to compete at the top level internationally.

And yes, I spent hours standing on the roadside for hours just to watch Greg LeMond, Bernard Hinault, Davis Phinney and Raúl Alcalá ride by for a few seconds.

And right there with them was my personal favorite, a man who competed with world’s best on an equal basis — and often as not, beat them.

Andy Hampsten.

Granted, he never won the Tour de France. He never even won the Coors Classic, though he did finish 2nd twice behind LeMond and Phinney, respectively.

In fact, the same year he finished on slot behind Phinney,he also became the first — and only — American to win the Giro d’Italia.

Then there were his two victories in the Tour de Suisse, along with two other podium finishes. And he ranks with legends such as Fausto Coppi, Hinault, Marco Pantani and Lance Armstrong as one of just 22 riders to claim a stage victory on the Alpe d’Huez in the Tour de France.

He also took time to talk to fans, sign autographs and encourage budding riders when many of the other pros would disappear to their team trailers after a hard stage.

And like many of the greats, he’s stayed active in the bike industry with his own line of custom bikes.

So when I got an email the other day offering me a chance to ride with Andy, I took notice. And as it turns out, you’re invited to join in, as well.

The Agoura Hills outlet of the Bicycle John’s chain — found throughout the Valley and points north — is hosting a free ride with Andy Hampsten on Tuesday, November 2nd starting at 2 pm., and sponsored by Campagnolo and Womencyclist.com.

The event is open to riders off all levels; all you have to do is show up at the store, located at the intersection of Kanan Road and E. Thousand Oaks Blvd, ready to ride and wearing “proper riding attire.”

Which means spandex, I assume.

Better yet, get there by 1 pm and you’ll not only get to ride with Andy, you can also get fitted for a demo bike and try out the Campy Revolution 11 — the new state-of-the art gruppo that goes to 11.

After the ride, you’re invited to stick around or come back later for the store’s Men’s Night from 7 – 9 pm and learn how to make quick fixes on the fly.

If any women riders want to learn how to fix on the fly, you’ll have to take it up with them.

I admit it.

I’m seriously considering blowing off my other obligations, leaving my bike at home and trying out the new Campys with Andy Hampsten.

For more information, call the shop at 818/597-8330.

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You’ll also have another chance to ride with Hampsten — as well as former pros Roy Knickman and Steve Hegg — the next day.

Because the real reason he’s in town is to support Andreas Knickman, son of fellow 7-11 rider Roy, in his battle against cancer at the 2nd Annual Mike Nosco Memorial Ride. The ride starts at 9 am on Wednesday, November 3rd, with an 8 am check-in, at 250 Reino Road in Newbury Park.

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While we’re on the subject of Agoura Hills, I’ve received advanced notice that the San Fernando Valley Bicycle Club will hold a memorial ride for James Laing on Saturday, November 20th.

As you may recall, Laing was the cyclist killed recently by an alleged drunken hit-and-run driver, leaving devastated friends and family behind — the second such case in recent weeks. And if you’re not pissed off about that, maybe you should be.

More information later when the details are firmed up.

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I’m still catching up from a busy work week, so come back late tonight or over the weekend when I’ll have a boatload of links for your perusal, including a contest from Outside Magazine and preview movie passes for a semi-bike related major motion picture.

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