Tag Archive for Jordan Rapp

Morning Links: A moving look at Dave Mirra and the need to succeed, and bike racers get blown and disinvited

Let’s just jump right in today.

Triathlete Jordan Rapp writes movingly about the suicide of BMX legend Dave Mirra, and the emptiness that comes with a constant need to excel at the highest level.

Rapp himself was nearly killed in a collision with a Camarillo hit-and-run driver in 2010, and survived only because a passing stranger saved his life. Yet came back just eight months later to nearly podium in the Ironman Arizona triathlon.

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Even in the off season, it’s hard to get away from racing news.

Let’s start with word that motor doping may have been going on a lot longer than anyone realized, as a video surfaces of an electric motor hidden in a 1970’s era road bike.

American cycling great Evelyn Stevens will attempt to set a new women’s hour record at the Olympic training center velodrome in Colorado Springs CO at the end of this month.

Russia, which appears to have returned to its Soviet-era state-sponsored doping, takes a page from the Lance/Lloyd playbook by denying any problems in its cycling program.

The world’s number one ranked cycling team gets treated like number two, as they’re disinvited from the Tour of Qatar for demonstrating a lack of respect — by taking too long to get dressed and walk to the podium.

And sometimes bike racing blows, as wind knocks cyclists competing in a Spanish race off their bikes. Thanks to joninsocal for the link

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Local

Here’s a warning for anyone riding Mulholland Highway, as a motorcycle site reports someone may be sabotaging the roadway by pouring oil on curves. That could pose a real danger for bicyclists as well, especially on fast descents.

Glendale residents discuss what changes they want for local parks; one calls for a bikeway along the Verdugo Wash.

The latest podcast from Streetsblog’s Damien Newton discusses Pasadena parklets and Complete Streets on Las Tunas Drive in Temple City.

Metro suggests 16 places you’ll be able to explore once the Gold Line extension opens, including the Duarte Bike Path and Santa Fe Dam Recreational Area. Or spice up your ride with a visit to the Sriracha factory.

 

State

You only have until end of business day today to offer comments on Caltrans plans to close eight miles of Highway 101 through San Luis Obispo County to bicyclists, cutting off a key route for bike tourists without providing any alternative.

When paving engineers work in a different department from city planners, the result can be dangerous for cyclists, as a recent Berkeley collision shows.

Sad news from Sacramento, as a bike rider was killed by a driver heading back to a Super Bowl party; somehow, the victim “came out of nowhere” despite being in the roadway. Seriously, no one, ever, comes out of nowhere; the question is why the driver failed to see him.

 

National

A Seattle writer tries to connect the dots to say there’s a vast bikeshare conspiracy in the city.

A Las Vegas paper looks at the city’s coming bikeshare program in the downtown area.

Tres shock! An El Paso TV station catches a pair of cyclists running a red light to catch up to their riding partner, who made it through on the green. Although you have to wonder how many scofflaw drivers they might have caught by leaving their camera running at the same location.

A $9,000 investment in enclosed showers and a camping area for cyclists helped save a Montana town at the crossroads of two major bike touring routes.

A Cincinnati protected bike lane comes under attack before it can even be finished, despite support from neighborhood councils.

Wisconsin legislators nix a plan for a contraflow bike lane through the Capital Square in Madison; instead, bike riders have to keeping going all the way around the square and up a hill.

Over 20% of residents in three DC districts commute by bike, pointing the out the need for better bikeways through the city.

A Virginia epilepsy foundation wants to eliminate bicycle collisions resulting in death or serious brain injury. So naturally, they tell kids to wear helmets, rather than urging people to drive safely.

Just weeks after a man rode one of New York’s Citi Bike bikeshare bikes across the US, a former Spice Girl evidently rode one all the way to Miami Beach. Or maybe the Daily Mail just has no idea what city they’re actually in.

 

International

London businesses overwhelmingly support a proposed new cycle superhighway through the city. Meanwhile, a London cop is caught on video taking advantage of one of the city’s cycle superhighways to bypass traffic with his emergency lights flashing. Which could be an argument for bikeways, since people often raise imaginary fears of emergency vehicles stuck in traffic to argue against them.

A British bicycling website sings the praises of bananas, calling them a superfood that proves God is a cyclist.

Not even the mayor of London can bike past security at a top secret high-end fundraiser ball for Britain’s Conservative Party.

Remarkably, no one was seriously hurt when a speeding Irish driver tried to pass a group of cyclists on a training ride, only to realize too late there was an island in the middle of the road and cut back in, hitting several riders; one rider was reportedly thrown 75 feet through the air.

South African police stress that bikes are not allowed on a freeway after a drunk driver plows into a group of 30 cyclists on a training ride, killing two.

Australian police issue 806 tickets in a three-week bicycle safety crackdown, only 89 of which went to motorists. And even then, mostly for driving or parking in a bike lane. If half of all safety violations involve riding without a helmet, maybe it’s the law, not the behavior, that has to change.

More proof bicyclists face the same problems everywhere, as a cyclist in the Philippines regrets her reaction but refuses to apologize to the driver who harassed her for riding in the traffic lane.

 

Finally…

Seriously, don’t go off on someone in a wheelchair when she asks you to move into the street so she can get by. If you really want to see that video of a Brit cab driver whacking off while he reads a porn magazine, feel free. Or you can just read about it, which seems like a much better alternative.

And for the equivalent of just $56,000, you can own a 92-year old British bike shop once bombed by the Luftwaffe.

 

Champion triathlete Jordan Rapp survives a near-fatal hit-and-run to compete again

On November 22nd, 2009, Jordan Rapp set a course record in winning the Ford Ironman Arizona triathlon.

Four months later, he was nearly killed in a horrifying Camarillo hit-and-run, suffering two severed jugular veins, losing over two liters of blood and shattering his face, collarbone and shoulder when he broadsided a truck that turned into the path of his bike. Authorities believe the suspect in the case, Marco Garcia-Ortiz, may have fled to Mexico.

This Sunday he’ll defend his championship in Tempe, Arizona.

And the man who saved his life will be watching.

Update: Rapp not only completed the race today, he nearly made the podium by finishing fourth — capping an amazing comeback over the past eight months. I may just have a new hero.

The hit-and-run epidemic spreads west; a champion triathlete is seriously injured in Camarillo

A champion triathlete was seriously injured by a hit-and-run driver in near CSU Channel Islands in Camarillo Tuesday night.

According to CHP officials, the incident occurred as Jordan Rapp was riding north on Lewis Road near University Drive when an unknown vehicle made a left turn directly in front of him. The driver fled after Rapp collided with the left side of the vehicle, shattering a window.

When he failed to return home, his wife called the Ventura County Sherriff’s department to report him missing, where dispatchers made the connection with the hit-and-run.

Rapp is the reigning Subaru Ironman Canada and Ironman Arizona champion, as well as the winner of the Vancouver International Half-Ironman and Coronado’s Superseal triathlon, and was scheduled to compete in the 70.3 Oceanside triathlon this weekend. He also worked with World Bicycle Relief, raising $22,541 to provide bikes for school children in Zambia.

He remains sedated on a ventilator in the intensive care unit of a local hospital, with significant blood loss, contusions and lacerations about the head and neck, and numerous fractures including a broken clavicle and scapula. However, Slowtwitch.com reports that his brain function is normal, with no indication of nerve or spinal cord injury.

Authorities are looking for a vehicle with a shattered left window and possible damage to the left side; they suspect the driver could have been a worker leaving a nearby farm which closed minutes earlier. Anyone with information is asked to call CHP Lt. Casey Cronin at 805/477-4100

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Newly returned bike blogger Gary Kavanaugh of Gary Rides Bikes fame discusses the benefits of Cash Out Parking at StreetSummit. Damien Newton writes an open letter to an apparently bike-challenged Avatar star. The Times writes about Kristina Ripatti, the former LAPD officer paralyzed in an on-duty shooting, who’s planning to compete in the relay section of this year’s Race Across America. Dodger owner — at least until the divorce settlement — and L.A. Marathon meister Frank McCourt plans a world-class L.A. bike race this November. Channel 7 discovers Bicycle Kitchen. You can’t believe every sign you see, especially in bike-unfriendly Sausalito. The San Francisco Examiner says a green bike lane could improve safety. A 73-year old Modesto cyclist was killed in a hit-from-behind collision after signaling for a left turn on Monday. Bill Murray rides a bike, at least when he’s in Austin. Another term that needs to die a rapid death: freak accident. Tucson considers licensing bikes. More on springtime cycling in Yellowstone. Ski Town USA could soon be a bike town. Brooklyn worshipers park semi-legally in the bike lane during services. Yet another car manufacturer decides they understand bike design better than the bike designers. If you only go by government accident statistics, the roads no one would ride look like the best roads for cycling. Maybe painting wider lines on bike lanes would make them safer. In a classic case of windshield perspective, an Australian paper reports that a driver was shocked after sideswiping a bike rider; imagine how the cyclist felt.

Finally, an Oklahoma man is convicted of stealing medical equipment and posing as an off-duty fireman in the aftermath of a tragic collision, in which a drunk hit-and-run driver ran down three cyclists, killing two. And yes, he did attempt to render aid to at least one of the victims.

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