Just getting word this morning that Steve Bowen, owner of the PV Bicycle Center, died of an apparent hear attack while riding above Malibu on Sunday.
Bowen was reportedly climbing up a hill with a friend when he collapsed, and a passing motorist flagged his companion down to tell her he’d fallen. A physician stopped and attempted to revive him, without success.
I won’t waste your time trying to tell you more about Bowen or what happened to him. To the best of my knowledge, I never had the privilege of meeting the man; Seth Davidson of Cycling in the South Bay did, and writes far more beautifully than I ever could about the loss of his friend.
Read it, and you’ll understand why I regret not knowing him. And why the local cycling community will be poorer for his loss.
Bowen was the 74th cyclist to die in Southern California this year, excluding gunshot victims, and the 24th in Los Angeles County, matching the total for last year as well as the average for the past six years. And he is at least the third rider to die of natural causes in SoCal this year; it’s likely that others have, as well, but have not been publicly reported.
I include deaths from natural causes in the fatality totals since in many, if not most, cases, it’s impossible to determine if riding or a fall from the bike contributed to the physical events leading up to the death, or if they were what cause could have triggered a heart attack or stroke; however, that does not appear to have happened in this case.
But to avoid splitting hairs to a near-infinite degree, I now include all deaths from any cause other than gunshots in these totals, which is why they are unlikely to match the figures from law enforcement or highway safety agencies.
My deepest sympathy and prayers for Steve Bowen, and all his family and loved ones. Thanks to Jim Lyle for the heads-up.