This is one of the hardest things I’ve had to write.
Because this time, it’s about a friend.
I got to know Susanna Schick eight years ago, when I wrote a series of articles about the alleged DTLA road rage attack that put her in the hospital with a concussion and numerous broken bones.
Something that would have been easy for the former motorcycle racer better known as Pinkyracer, but nearly impossible under the circumstances on her bicycle — especially since her bike computer showed a more modest 18 mph.
We got to know each other as she underwent a painful rehab program to rebuild her shattered body, and resumed her fierce advocacy for safer streets for everyone on two wheels.
She fought for the environment and social welfare, working with homeless children, people suffering from addiction, and the down and out on Skid Row.
She had recently moved to Barcelona with her boyfriend, reveling in the city’s newfound bikeability. Yet even from that distance, continued to argue online for street safety in the City of Angels.
Which is why it came as such a shock as I read yesterday’s newspaper, and saw Schick’s picture staring back at me.
From the obituary page.
According to her obituary, Susanna “Pinkyracer” Schick died of heart failure in Barcelona less than two weeks ago, on October 30th.
A motorcycle racing magazine adds a little more detail, explaining that she was hospitalized with a bacterial infection, then contracted pneumonia. She was finally released after several weeks in the hospital, but collapsed and stopped breathing just a day later.
She was just 50 years old.
To say I’m stunned and heartbroken is putting it mildly. And judging from the reaction I’ve seen online, I’m not alone.
Schick was one of those rare people who lived life to the fullest, and made this world a little better and brighter for everyone around her.
Photo from the obituary for Susanna “Pinkyracer” Schick.
Los Angeles unveiled a cute little electric street sweeper for protected bike lanes.
Today our new electric-powered mini-sweeper “Verde” made its operational debut, sweeping the protected bike lanes on Los Angeles St near City Hall.
We will be making adjustments as we go along, learning how to optimize the machine for 🍂 season@MayorOfLA @kdeleon pic.twitter.com/AtAsIjwzrN
— Greg Spotts (@Spottnik) November 10, 2020
The war on cars may be a myth, but the war on bikes just keeps on going.
A British parliamentary candidate riding with her daughter was brought to tears by a road raging driver who demanded that she get the hell out of his way.
A Tijuana mother who works in Los Angeles is pleading for the return of her autistic son’s custom adaptive bike; he was using the bike to rehab from recent surgery after falling and breaking his leg, hip and knee due to a medical condition.
A new state grant will help Culver City improve landscaping on the Ballona Creek Trail between National Boulevard and Duquesne Avenue.
Eddie Van Halen was one of us — when he was a kid, anyway, delivering papers for a Pasadena newspaper.
Exploring the California coast by ebike.
A Manteca writer reminisces about the stupid things he’s done on a bike, like passing the bus he’d ben drafting at 45 mph, and barely avoiding a semi coming from the other direction.
A Marin paper says adding a few expensive pieces to connect a bikeway will benefit everyone who uses it.
Men’s Health repeats what we’ve heard from other sources, saying the bike shortage inspired by the coronavirus bike boom ain’t going away anytime soon.
A new People for Bikes survey on racial and mobility justice finds 83% of bike industry workers think it’s an important topic, but 55% don’t think the industry is prepared for those difficult conversations.
The kindhearted owners of an Illinois metal fabrication business built a custom tricycle seat for a special needs girl with a rare inherited disorder, then refused to accept payment for it.
Critics give Pittsburgh’s mayor the nickname Bike Lane Billy for his support of them. Oddly, though, they seem to think it’s an insult.
A DC website explains how a DIY broom with googly eyes saved a protected bike lane from careless drivers and parked cars.
The Guardian says the anti-bike screed from Britain’s Nigel Farage just shows drivers are scared of losing control of the roads.
Sixty-eight-percent of UK respondents say bicyclists should be banned from using headphones and earbuds when they ride, with one safety group calling them the ultimate distraction; 80% of Spaniards agree, while only 36% of Finns concur.
A bighearted man gave a new mountain bike to a young Cambodian boy after a video of the boy competing in a bike race with no shoes and an old Japanese bike went viral in the Philippines.
A new report urges Brisbane, Australia officials to prioritize improving safety for bike riders on several key streets.
No surprise here. Australia’s car safety chief says the brutal design of Tesla’s new Cybertruck will make it the opposite of safe for pedestrians. And it probably won’t be any better for people on bicycles.
Problems continue for trouble British Cycling, where the top men’s sprint coach was dismissed for having inappropriate relationships with team members.
Cycling Tips says a few choice 2020 moments remind us all just how good bike racing can be.
Dutch cyclist Dylan Groenewegen got a nine month ban for forcing Fabio Jakobsen into a horrific crash with a roadside barrier in the final sprint on the first stage of the Tour of Poland, resulting in a medically induced coma and reconstructive surgery on Jakobsen’s face and jaw. But at least Jakobsen was given the stage win.
Cannondale and EF Pro Cycling are co-sponsoring co-ed cycling teams at America’s Historically Black Colleges and Universities and Tribal Colleges and Universities in an effort to overcome racial barriers in bike racing.
And dealing with aggressive drivers on the road is bad enough without having to worry about ducking to avoid them in the air.
Be safe, and stay healthy. And wear a mask, already.