Biker Down Update: Matthew Manger-Lynch

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A couple in from Andy in Chicago:

From: Andy
Subject: Re: Cyclist down
There seems to be a massive troll movement around this whole deal. A bunch of people are calling Matt a dumbass and pissing blame. A wide group of people got exposed in a small amount of time to a concept that is unfathomable to them, and many have a hard time seeing what’s so fun about it. Our local cycling advocacy group has done everything to distance itself from the incident. I understand why they would want to do so, but it really burns me that when feces strikes a rotating air mover, they immediately go into defense mode. It’s really unusual, because I know that more then a handful of people from the Chicagoland Bike Federation have participated in these things. Part of the same pool of people they look to for volunteers and support ran in these races, and they took a big dump on our heads.

All this adds up to much anger and frustration. I still haven’t gotten a chance to sit down and talk to my friends who were part of the pack Matt was in. My buddy Mike feels responsible for the whole deal. He’s been in cycling long enough to know that it could have been any of us instead of Matt. He’s been a messenger for ages and knows that every time he throws a leg over the top tube, there’s a possibility it may be the last time.

Shit, I’m sorry, I’m, just ramblin’ on about this with no need to.

Keep it real,

Hey man, if you have to type it, just type it. Lord knows I do.

From: Andy
Subject: Re: Cyclist down
I guess it just never ends:

Jesus Christ on a Crapper.

There is a lot of fiery rhetoric burning up the blogs in the Windy City these days:

It’s sad that a young man was killed in Chicago Sunday participating in the daredevil sport of “alley-cat” city bicycle racing (story).

But daredevils lose their lives from time to time — that’s how it is with daredevil sports, and all we can do is shrug sympathetically when a rock climber plunges to a horrific death or a bull rider or cave diver meets an early end.

The difference with extreme bicycle racing is that it stands to take the lives of innocent bystanders. Check it:


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About big jonny

The man, the legend. The guy who started it all back in the Year of Our Lord Beer, 2000, with a couple of pages worth of idiotic ranting hardcoded on some random porn site that would host anything you uploaded, a book called HTML for Dummies (which was completely appropriate), a bad attitude (which hasn’t much changed), and a Dell desktop running Win95 with 64 mgs of ram and a six gig hard drive. Those were the days. Then he went to law school. Go figure. Flagstaff, Arizona, USA

15 Replies to “Biker Down Update: Matthew Manger-Lynch”

  1. Illegal race…
    Runs a red light…
    Gets hit by a car, driven legally, by someone who will have the memory forever…
    There’s getting hit by a car and asking to get hit…this was the latter…

  2. Ahaha he blamed it on the convenience of cars. What a hack. I hope that a charge of criminally negligent manslaughter will be brought against the organizers.

    Andy, your buddy Mike feels responsible because he and all of the other participants _are_ responsible for his death. You are not the victims here.

    I downhill, and never once have I thought that it was going to be my last time. Your careless recklessness is what puts your life at risk. I will hurl myself over drops at 50km/h but I will never bomb through an intersection with large hunks of steel moving at 100+km/h.

    Of course it’s sad that he died but fess up and stop blaming it on other people.

  3. Andy, I am sorry to hear you are having a tough time with this.

    My heart goes out to your friends and family.

  4. It isn’t a tragedy that he died … he died doing something that apparently he loved to do and he knew the risks of going through with that type of race. That said, my condolences to his family and friends.

    Still, sorry, but I have no sympathy for the people trying to defend this action. It gives cyclists a bad name all around … and as for the organizers, what did you expect? This isn’t something that you can look objectively at and defend. That type of racing involves serious known risks and is inherently dangerous.

    Again, sorry, but neither society nor the cars are to blame here.

  5. Sympathy and condolences to the family and friends of the dead biker- and moreso to the innocent victim here: the driver of the car.

    Many have said it already, so I guess I’m just adding to a chorus. Blowing through red lights, in traffic and at speed, is not fun. It’s goddamn stupid and reckless, and it endangers the lives of others as much as it does your own. In 33 years of riding, I’ve never done it, and I completely fail to understand people who do. Especially when they’re all radical and shit about how the *cars* should be obeying the law and respecting other people. You want respect? Show some. You want the roads to be safe for cyclists? Ride safely.

    Andy, you are wrong. There’s a tragedy here, and it is that your boy caused a fatal accident through willful ignorance of both the law and of simple, basic safety. You’re all damn lucky that the driver didn’t swerve off through the sidewalk.

    All car-bike accidents are tragic. Some of them are the rider’s fault.

  6. “….a concept that is unfathomable to them…”

    Help me out here, and explain to me what I cannot seem to fathom?

    As if it weren’t bad enough we have to listen to the crocodile tears of victimised self-righteous anarchists. Apparently the concept of an alley cat is beyond us?

  7. Sounds like the Chicago locals are polarizing – cyclo-advocates who may otherwise enjoy an alleycat or two now stepping to the highhorse and decrying the activity. Ya either run with the criminally minded or you stop at the signal, there’s no gray here. Can’t be a hypocrite on this one; there’s too much at stake. When it comes to pickin’ sides, most folks are like the sticky dough that clings to both parts of the waffle iron. Claiming that by some weird twist of common sense this tragedy is comparable to any of the legit motorist-in-the-wrong cases of the past few years is absurd and insulting. The only similarity is death, and that’s a heavy tax. Takin’ risks in the name of freedom on two wheels one thing, taking huge risks in traffic for fun is a risk to us all – ‘specially when ‘Biker Down’ is an all too frequent blog header for this site. More ranting here –

  8. he’s wondering why an advocacy group,which is motivated by more than just ‘fun’ ,wants to distance themselves from shit like this when it effects their(and our)cause negatively?grow up

  9. …this is literally a case of the old comedic saw “it’s all fun & games until somebody gets hurt”…& ain’t nobody’s got anything humorous to share now…

    …someone died & the only person w/ a right to complain is the poor soul driving the vehicle…take the time to read the report…the driver apparently took evasive enough maneuvers to avoid five other cyclists…

    …so, one guy paid w/ his life for the ‘fun’ of the others & while that is one death too many, what the fuck are the objections on that side about…

    …i have objections…i object to the ‘race’ organizers, participants & clowns like alex wilson for not having the intelligence or the gumption , after the fact, to apologize to the driver, the para-meds who had to be involved, any concerned cyclist’s & the general public for their selfish myopic response…while we all like to have fun in this inherently dangerous activity of cycling, if you fuck up, then man up…
    …the reality is, everyone involved is affected…

    …& mathew manger-lynch…rip, dude…i hate that you died, especially out enjoying your life on a bike…hopefully your friends will learn something & share their frustration in a future positive manner…

  10. No sympathy is needed for me.

    Like I said, the amount of trolling is astounding. As soon as the shit hits the fan, everybody is the perfect model of a bicycle rider. Everybody stops at red lights and stop signs (‘cept those of you who live in places where stops for cyclists can be treated as yield). Well, I’m calling bullshit. Hell, cars in Chicago don’t even stop for stop signs.

    And all of you playing the blame game? Stop. Seriously. You want to assign blame for this? Ride. Ride your ass to Chicago, around Chicago, get doored, get hit, get cussed at, yelled at, intimidated. But don’t go around assigning blame until you’re there right in the middle of it all.

  11. Your fellow cyclists aren’t aren’t claiming to be model citizens. Believe it or not there are many cyclists who have been silently/casually against alleycating, but haven’t felt it necessary to speak out until now.

    The reason you are hearing so many people speak out is because there hasn’t been any form of real admission that this racing is stupid. You can only deflect thoughts to cars suck/life is dangerous, as you did again in your last post.

    I ride in Chicago, I’ve gotten doored, yelled at, etc. It can be a bitch. So what? Still, if I run a red and get hit, I am to blame.

    What is your real argument here?

  12. I guess on average just as many people on bikes make mistakes, but there are more in cars. It does not have to be “alley cat ” for a person to roll cluelessly and crash. I do not stop and wait behind cars nor expect to impeded. Racing thru city streets on fixed gears is down right nuts. But some can do it like a taxi. City is a dangerous place any way you go so you better respect it.

  13. sc, I have no illusions about why the advocates want distance, but I’m calling bullshit on folks who want it both ways. I grew up in Chicago. This death has resonance – years of riding those same streets, getting hit, getting chased up the sidewalk for blocks by cars, etc. make it all the more painful to read this story.

  14. Look, we understand the issues with motorists being negligent. This was not a negligent motorist. This was willful flouting of laws … it is almost asking to be hit. There is just no sympathy there for that. You do the crime, be prepared to do the time …

    There is simply a vast difference between what happened here and any of the negligent motorists in the past. I’m sorry that the folks in Chicago raising a stink about this can’t see that.