Tag Archive for Martha Hunt

Malibu’s hero cyclists, a driver plays bingo while her victim dies, bike projects build jobs

It was one of the best local stories the mainstream media missed last year.

Last November, two cyclists were riding on PCH in Malibu when they heard barely audible screams for help. Triathletes Martha Hunt and Rachel Hosmer didn’t hesitate, rushing to rescue two inexperienced scuba divers from drowning.

I wrote about it, based on the limited information I had, courtesy of bankruptcy attorney and cyclist Stanley Goldich, who happened on the scene shortly afterward. The Malibu Times mentioned it in passing, failing to give the story the attention it deserved — especially in a city where cyclists are often reviled — but at least they covered it, unlike the other media outlets.

Now an online site dedicated to open-water swimming reports on the story, offering in-depth comments from Martha recapping the urgency and elation of the rescue. It’s a great read, and an important story in a world where the great mass of cyclists are too often criticized for the action of a few.

Martha and Rachel are genuine heroes. Two men are alive today because they happened to be riding by and cared enough to do something about it.

For the life of me, I’ll never understand why that’s not news.

Thanks to Steve Munatones for the heads-up.

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Following on Wednesday’s post about a near collision with an unrepentant cyclist — which got picked up by the Times, even if it was lost under a repot on transvestite prostitute embezzlement and a huge Umami burger — a Washington DC site asks just what typical bicyclist behaviors should be part of our social contract.

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In the latest example of the sheer inhumanity of some members of our species, a 57-year old Sacramento woman was arrested for the fatal hit-and-run death of a cyclist. According to reports, the driver left the 30-year old woman to die in the street, claiming later she knew she hit something but didn’t know what it was.

Apparently, it was far more important to get to the bingo parlor than to stop and see what, or who, she hit.

No word on whether she won.

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Not that it will matter in the new GOP-controlled House, where the new leaders don’t allow facts to get in the way of political posturing, but the League of American Bicyclists points out that bike lanes create more jobs per $1 million spent than other road projects. So if Congress really wants to put Americans to work — other than themselves, that is — they should focus on painting stripes rather than paving highways.

Fortunately, not all conservatives have their heads so far up their own butts are anti-bike; a writer for the American Conservative suggests a creating network of Bike Only Streets to prepare for projected fuel shortages.

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In case you missed it last night, make plans next Thursday for #bikeschool, the fastest and possibly most entertaining bike hour on Twitter. Meanwhile, Tucson Velo offers a great profile of our own Joe Anthony, the L.A. bike advocate behind Bike Commute News and one of bikeschool’s foremost students.

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Santa Monica considers patterning their new bike plan on Long Beach; not a bad model to follow as long as they don’t try to imitate the police department. LADOT Bike Blog — which has done wonders to improve the public face of the agency — offers an in-depth look at upcoming bike lane projects and makes a solid argument for road diets. Streetsblog looks at the new and improved Ohio bike lane, a side-benefit of the massive 405 widening. A Burbank driver calls on the city to remove the Verdugo bike lanes. Car-less Valley Girl recommends the LACBC’s Valley Pride Ride this Sunday. The Times says organizers are planning for round two of CicLAvia; you can help support CicLAvia with your own personalized t-shirt and spoke card. Apparently, L.A. has its own version of San Fran’s famous Wiggle. Group ride etiquette does not mean you have to be a second-class citizen on the road. A look at the laidback world of cyclocross.

Bicycling looks at a commuter bikes under $800; if they get stolen, though, it’s only petty theft thanks to California’s new law of unintended consequences. People for Bikes encourages you to keep riding this winter, while Dottie defends the use of studded bike tires. Dave Moulton looks at smoking and cycling; the only thing I find more absurd than texting while riding is pedaling with a butt in your mouth. Not surprisingly, Time magazine says bored drivers have the most accidents (note to Time: consider updating your terminology; very few collisions are “accidents”). If you want to experience Yellowstone in the winter, make sure you have a motor. In a nightmare scenario, an Ohio doctor responds to a cycling collision, only to discover the victim is his new wife. NYPD cracks down on cyclists who ride like most motorists drive. A day in the life of one of my favorite East Coast bike bloggers — and a reminder to watch out for those darn retractable dog leashes. New bike lanes in the Big Easy result in a 57% increase in ridership.

Former British boxing star Gary Mason was killed in a cycling collision in South London. If you’re going to be in London this month, don’t miss the world’s smallest velodrome. Cyclists accuse a UK court of a cover-up in the death of their club mate — and slap on the wrist for the driver who killed her. The UK’s I Bike London offers a great overview of London bike blogs, as well as a listing of leading blogs around the world. The Guardian calls New York DOT Commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan a modern day Robin Hood. While Danish drivers were stuck in snow, cyclists simply rode on. A look at the 1953 book Bikes and Dikes. The Schleck brothers new Luxemburg-based bike team finally has a name and a new riding kit. Seville sees a remarkable jump in cycling in just five years.

Finally, an Aussie cyclist has a violent early-morning confrontation with a kangaroo; at least that’s one problem we don’t have here.

But I bet it would make the news if we did.

Breaking news: PCH cyclists save two scuba divers from drowning off Malibu coast

Thousands of drivers speed by every day.

But it took a couple of cyclists to hear the cries for help — and save a pair of scuba divers trapped in the unforgiving surf.

Bankruptcy attorney and cyclist Stanley E. Goldich reports that he was on his way back from a ride up PCH on Saturday when he passed a group of riders stopped on the ocean side of the highway near Deer Creek Road.

He saw a number of bicycles on the side of the road, looking like the riders had gone down to the beach, as well as a couple of cyclists with their riding cleats off. While it caught his attention, it didn’t seem like anything was wrong, so he continued riding.

But when a fire truck roared up and stopped at that exact spot, he turned around to check things out.

And what he found surprised him.

He spoke with two women, Martha Hunt and Rachel Hosmer, both triathletes who were on the backside of a ride from Santa Monica to the Rock.

As they rode, they’d heard yells for help that seemed to come from the ocean; when they stopped, they discovered two men in scuba suits trapped in the surf and unable to climb out due to the steep slope of the shore. Their wetsuits had filled with water, and they were drowning as they were dragged down by the undertow and excess weight.

Hunt immediately threw off her bike shoes and made her way down the steep embankment, first pulling out the man closest to her, then going back out to the man further from shore, who seemed to be in greater difficulty.

He proved to be more than she could handle on her own. Fortunately, Hosmer had flagged down another group of passing cyclists, five of whom went into the water to help Hunt pull the drowning man to safety.

Goldich reports that the men were still being treated by firefighters when he left. They were conscious, although clearly in need of medical attention, but should be okay. They reportedly told Hunt that they were training for their scuba certification, and this was only their second time using the equipment.

Thankfully, it may not be their last.

Cyclists may be far from the most popular people in Malibu these days. But I have a feeling that two men and their families are very grateful that Hunt and Hosmer went out for a Saturday ride on PCH.

Unfortunately, Goldich wasn’t able to get their contact information. But if anyone out there knows Martha Hunt or Rachel Hosmer, or any of the other cyclists involved in the rescue, I’d love to hear the story from their perspective.

Both women, and the others involved, are real heroes.

Two men are breathing tonight who might not be without them.

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