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.

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