Tag Archive for Rebecca Twigg

Morning Links: US cycling legend Rebecca Twigg homeless in Seattle, hero bike rider, and the war on bikes

Back in ’80s, I was in love with Rebecca Twigg.

Then again, so was just about other every straight male who knew a derailleur from domestique.

She won my heart, and so many others, when she claimed the ’83 Coors Classic stage race, followed by a silver medal in the road race at the ’84 Olympics, finishing second to her American teammate Connie Carpenter.

And followed that with a pursuit bronze medal in ’92.

Along with six world track titles and 16 US championships before, after and in between.

She was brilliant, charming and beautiful. And could drop you like freshman English without breaking a sweat.

So it broke my heart to learn that Rebecca Twigg has spent nearly five years living on the streets of Seattle.

According to the Seattle Times,

Twigg, 56, agreed to share her story to convince the public that not all homeless people are addicted to drugs or alcohol; that there are many like her, who have struggled with employment and are “confused,” as she said she is, about what to do next with their lives. She did not want to discuss mental health but feels it should be treated more seriously in Washington.

“Some of the hard days are really painful when you’re training for racing,” Twigg said, “but being homeless, when you have little hope or knowledge of where the finish line is going to be, is just as hard.”

She ended up homeless after two failed marriages, and struggling to fit into a workplace where she felt she just didn’t belong.

It was a familiar position, after her mother had kicked her out at 14, and she settled into the nomadic life of a bike racer.

Sadly, it’s not unusual for athletes to struggle after retiring, having spent a lifetime training and competing in a highly structured world.

And the article hints at another possible reason, mentioning a Texas crash that resulted in 13 stitches to her head — and probably a concussion.

Likely not the first one either. Or the last, in those pre-helmet, leather hairnet days.

But the saddest part of all is that Rebecca Twigg been forgotten by the cycling world she sacrificed her youth for.

And allowed to fall through the cracks, and onto the streets.

Let’s hope this news wakes up women’s cycling and bike racing’s governing bodies. So that someone, somewhere gives her the hand up she needs to get her life back together, and off the streets, once and for all.

And gives her the job she deserves in the sport she used to love, and knows so well.

Photo from Wikipedia.

………

Once again, a bike rider was the hero.

An Anaheim man went on a wild crime rampage in Lake Forest on Wednesday, breaking into a home, stabbing a woman multiple times, jacking her car, crashing it into another woman walking on the sidewalk, threatening some Good Samaritans, and trying to jack a couple more cars.

All in just nine minutes.

It all came to a burning end when 56-year old bike rider Eric Young pepper sprayed the man after nearly getting run down by him and witnessing the crime spree.

After four or five doses of pepper spray, the one-man crime wave sat down on the curb and waited for police to take him into custody.

………

The war on cars may be a myth, but the war on bikes just keeps going on.

A British bike rider was bloodied and suffered a badly broken nose after he was knocked off his bike by a speeding driver, then punched repeatedly by a passenger in her car.

Then again, people on bikes aren’t always the good guys. A New York woman was punched in the face by a man on a bike, who shouted “This is my bock, bitch!” before riding off. Shockingly, the NYPD didn’t seem to care, despite their usual policy of siding with anyone against people on bicycles.

And Boston police are looking for a bike-riding man who shattered a bus window with his fist in an attempt to get the driver to open the door. Because terrorizing bus drivers and their passengers is always the best way to get them to let you in.

………

A word for the wise, as demonstrated by a dirt biker.

Always make sure there’s solid ground directly in front of you. Because bikes, motorized or otherwise, still can’t fly.

……….

Local

No shit. County officials consider removing mobile shooting ranges from the sheriff’s station in Marina del Rey, after a suggestion that having a shooting range in close proximity to one of the county’s most popular bike paths may not be the best idea.

State

No, Outside, it’s not the perfect Highway 1 road trip along the California coast unless you do it on two wheels.

Caltrain goes the wrong way on accommodating bike riders.

The man who stole a $5,000 bicycle from Costa Mesa’s Cyclist bike shop returned it because his face had been plastered everywhere, and he was hoping to get the $1,000 reward.

In a bizarre ruling, a California appeals court barred the unacknowledged daughter of fallen OC cyclist Amine Britel from suing the woman who killed him, ruling she didn’t have standing because she wasn’t a legal heir since she didn’t establish paternity until after he died. And didn’t suffer a loss because she never knew him anyway. Thanks to Jeffrey Fylling for the heads-up.

Bakersfield wants your input on how to improve bicycling and the city’s streets. I’ll go out on a limb here, and guess that removing cars from them is probably a nonstarter.

San Francisco is installing a protected bike lane on one of the city’s most dangerous streets. But only in some sections.

A San Francisco man suffered life-threatening injuries when he was struck by a driver while riding his bike Wednesday morning.

A new study from a UC Davis researcher shows that ped-assist ebikes really do get people out of their cars; up to half of all ebike trips in the study would have otherwise been made by motor vehicle.

National

NACTO says e-scooters have overtaken docked bikeshare as the nation’s third most popular form of shared transportation, behind cars and transit. Although most cars are hardly ever shared.

Lyft can undoubtedly relate to Boeing these days, as their rapid expansion into e-bikeshare has come to a screeching halt due to brake problems. Then again, Lyft hasn’t killed anyone yet, and dealt with the problem once they became aware of it.

No shit part two. A new poll shows Americans think distracted driving is the greatest threat on the roads. Which doesn’t appear to actually stop anyone from doing it.

A teenage boy is a key witness in the case against a Minneapolis cop accused of shooting a woman who had called police to report a possible sexual assault behind her home, although his credibility was questioned after admitting he had smoked weed and downed several shots of whiskey before getting on his bike.

A Rhode Island public radio station says the state’s potholed streets pose a danger to bike riders. Kind of like the streets of Los Angeles, and much of Southern California.

Vision Zero appears to be working in Boston, where the crash rate has gone up, while fatalities were cut in half. People often misunderstand the purpose of Vision Zero, which isn’t to prevent crashes, but to redesign roadways so those crashes don’t kill anyone.

Speaking of Boston, Bicycling looks at that city’s version of LA’s Marathon Crash Ride.

A Delaware man with a rare heart condition embarked on a 5,000-mile bike ride to Alaska in the name of science, even though doctors warned it could kill him.

After a DC resident witnesses a large Critical Mass-type ride roll through her neighborhood, she naturally concludes that all bike riders are a bunch of law-breaking scofflaws who won’t follow the rules, and don’t deserve protected bike lanes.

A New Orleans bike thief is caught on video entering an unlocked gate to steal an unlocked bicycle, then ghost riding the new bike away with his own in tow. But at least he had the courtesy to shut the gate after him.

Taking a page from ghost bikes, a Georgia bike advocate placed a ghost wheelchair at the site where a handicapped man was killed earlier this month.

International

A Vancouver letter writer strains to make the argument that installing bike lanes will lower homeowners’ property values, even though countless studies show the exact opposite.

Life is cheap in Ottawa, Canada, where a driver walked on charges of fleeing the scene after killing a man riding a bike, and covering up the crime by fixing his truck and hiding out at a motel. The judge bought his explanations that he 1) fell asleep while driving, 2) hadn’t been drinking, and 3) fled the scene, hid out from police and destroyed the evidence because he was afraid of racist cops. And no, the judge’s name wasn’t Gullible. But maybe it should be.

An Irish man returned home from an internship in the US to face charges for killing a bike rider in a collision.

Competitive Cycling

About time. A bill under consideration in the California legislature would require bike races and other sporting events to provide equal prize money to men and women.

Bicycling examines the time trial bike Victor Campenaerts used to set a new hour record in Mexico this week.

The apparent leader in a women’s race is nearly taken down by a race moto. And appears to respond the same way anyone else would.

Finally…

How to not smash your bike to bits when you use a rooftop rack. When you’re afraid to ride the local bike path because of all the drivers using it.

And if an ebike can stabilize itself to prevent falls, does it really need you at all?

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