Sunday, February 19, 2017

Let's Move Interbike To Central Florida

Steve Toll had just heard that Salt Lake City was no longer in the running to host Interbike after the national bicycle trade show leaves Las Vegas after this year's September show.

So, Steve, founder and owner of the ISM bike seat in the Tampa, Fla. area, had an idea for Pat Hus, the guy who runs Interbike for Emerald Expositions.

Let's have Interbike in Central Florida starting in 2018.

Steve said Interbike should be held in January at the convention center in Orlando after the holidays when bike retailers could use a nice warm and scenic place to get away to.



"Central Florida has the convention center, the infrastructure, the hotels to handle Interbike," Steve said.

Plus, Central Florida has Santos for the mountain bikers and the "Alps of Florida" where road bicyclists can try out bikes on Sugarloaf Mountain and Buckhill Roads in the Clermont area.

"There are only positives. There are no negatives," Steve said.

Bicycle Retailer and Industry News (BRAIN) reported that Interbike said Thursday it would no longer consider Utah as a place to stage Interbike in Salt Lake City over the issue of public land use in Utah.

Interbike is leaving Las Vegas after this year's show at the Mandalay Bay Convention Center Sept. 20-22.

Interbike, once held in Anaheim, is also looking at venues in California.

Saturday, February 18, 2017

Local Chef Cooks Up Car Ride To Save My Day

It was tough leaving so many great friends and the inspiring Red Rock Canyon and surrounding mountains of Las Vegas for Vero Beach a year ago.

Vero Beach is a small city of 16,000 with a very rich barrier island community.

I traded the spectacular mountain scenery and high desert of the West for the ocean and flat scrub lands of Florida's east coast. It was nice to know my dad and sister were just a car ride away in South Florida, too.

One advantage of being in a small town is that people are more trusting and not as jaded of strangers -- and that helped me this morning when I blew out not one but two tire tubes and was left stranded 13 miles south of Vero Beach just north of Fort Pierce on Old Dixie Highway.

My neighbor Sharon, also a bicyclist, and I both know we can call each other if we have mechanical issues with our bikes on the road and are stranded. But Sharon did not answer and she called back to say her car was at the shop getting a new battery.

So, I carried my bike to the Old Dixie Highway roadway and stuck out my thumb and lo and behold a red pickup truck was sailing along and stopped.

It was Zack, a surfer from Sebastian who was driving back home after surfing the Fort Pierce Inlet just five miles to the south. He was still in his wet suit up to his waist and he looked like he was in his late 20s.

Zack was a friendly chef, a graduate of the Culinary Institute of America at Hyde Park in New York's scenic Hudson Valley and we swapped Hudson Valley stories because that's where I grew up and worked for newspapers for about 10 years.

I threw my road bike into the bed of his truck after he moved his two surf boards to make space and the 20-minute car ride flew by as we chatted restaurants, Hawaii where he lived and life in Sebastian. We even go to the same place for authentic Mexican food in Wabasso - Carmen's hole-in-the-wall operation inside the Wabasso Convenience Store where you can get a fish taco for $2.50.

Zack works at Kountry Kitchen, just up the road on Old Dixie Highway in Vero Beach and he talked of one day owning his own restaurant on A1A in Vero Beach. The sous chef also does catering and is experienced with preparing fish -- the underrated protein, as he says.

Zack talked with spirit and earnestness, and his drive and motivation will take him places. He's about to pay off his CIA student and truck loans and he lives his life the right way.

Kountry Kitchen, give the man a raise or at least a bonus for his good deed. I know I'll be at Kountry Kitchen soon to thank Zack again in person and take him out to lunch one day.

And Zack, consider this post a reference for any future job.

You're a good guy who does things the right way. Thanks man.

Thursday, February 16, 2017

House Arrest For 90 Days For Motorist Who Struck And Mortally Wounded Bicyclist Matthew Hunt

House arrest for 90 days.

Cynthia Finnegan, who lost her son Matthew Hunt when a motorist struck him while he bicycled on the Strip in Las Vegas on Aug. 3, 2015, told me this week that was the sentence meted out to the driver, Breanna Jimeno.





Cynthia said Lindsey Moors, the vehicular crimes unit prosecutor in this vehicular manslaughter case, informed her of the sentence agreement under the plea deal this week after the driver plead guilty.  
"I am just plain sad," Cynthia said. "I asked the DA if she (the driver) seems upset about it and she said yes."  
Jimeno, 23 at the time, was driving a 1998 Ford Mustang when she clipped Matthew's bicycle when changing lanes on the Strip near Treasure Island and Spring Mountain Road on the way to work because the motorist says he was in her blind spot, according to Moors, the prosecutor. As a result, Matthew landed on the passenger side of the front window of Jimeno's car before landing on the pavement. Matthew was leading a bike tour with one customer at the time.

Matthew suffered critical injuries from being struck and would pass away six days later on Aug. 9, 2015. The married father of two was a bike tour leader.

Jimeno stayed on the scene and cooperated with investigators.

Moors said the driver, Jimeno, was not distracted or using a cell phone. Moors said the crash happened, according to the driver, because the motorist said she did not see Matthew when passing him because he was pedaling in her blind spot.

Moors took time today to explain this plea deal with Bicycle Stories.

She said the motorist showed no intent to strike Matthew with her car. And based on the circumstances, the criminal culpability was at the negligent level -- the lowest level just below reckless. She said the police officer and another attorney in the department's screening office also recommended a negligent crime instead of reckless. 

My question is simple: How can a motorist clip a bicyclist when passing and have the bicyclist end up landing on the front window's passenger side? It was a morning bike ride when traffic is typically light on the Strip and motorists should be able to see other users of the road such as a bicyclist.

The harshest penalty for negligent vehicular manslaughter, a misdemeanor,  is six months in jail and a $1,000 fine in Clark County.

In this case, Moors said she was not confident that she could get jail time if the case went to trial before Justice of the Peace Suzan Baucum because the driver did not show intent to strike Matthew.

Cynthia took this away from the explanation. 
"I had said to her as long as you obey the law you can kill people people on bikes and nothing will happen to you," Cynthia wrote to me in an email. "That is when she (the prosecutor) gave me other situations besides bicycles."
The driver is also responsible for restitution for any expenses not covered and is due in court May 16 for the restitution.

One big takeaway: Motorists, you need to concentrate on blind spots when changing lanes. In this case, failure to see a person on a bicycle cost a man his life and took him away from his family.

Bicycle Stories also contacted Metro Police to discuss the 90-day house arrest sentence.

Matthew's death has weighed heavily on bicyclists in Las Vegas.
A month after his death, about 500 bicyclists held a rally in Summerlin in early September 2015 to bring attention to motorists and bicyclists using the roads together.

And the response on Facebook has been one of anger and sadness.

This is so wrong... disgusted!!😤😓

Like
Comment
Comments
Randy Paar What????!!!!!
LikeReply11 hr
Vic Miera Truly another sad, tragic day for cyclist all over this planet!
LikeReply41 hr
Colleen Zubey Corey This makes my ❤️️ heavy daily for Matthew and his family😓.
LikeReply141 mins
Dahlia Horenziak This woman took an amazing man out of my life and her punishment is 90 days at home. I am beyond disgusted.
LikeReply12 mins


And this too.

90 days house arrest, while we are left with a lifetime of sadness...

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Comments
Rebecca Lynn Smh 😡
LikeReply2 hrs
Dolly Panagopoulos Oh man that's so wrong. Our system failed
LikeReply2 hrs
Robert Mtb Wow, Total Injustice! The law needs to change.
LikeReply2 hrs
Jeff Miller That's completely fucked up😡
LikeReply1 hr
Thom Porterfield We need an address.....
LikeReply35 mins
Erica Nicole How is this fucking possible
LikeReply



Cynthia put it simply, "No winners," after learning the motorist's sentence.


Cynthia has been a constant champion for her son's memory and safety for bicyclists and can retain some peace that her son's organs are alive in the bodies of other people.

 "All five of them lived through their transplants! I found that out in November."