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Jane Tomlinson
July 20, 2006 6:37 AM   Subscribe

6 years after being given 6 months to live, Jane Tomlinson has raised shedloads of money for charity. In doing so, she cycled from Rome to Home (yorkshire - 2500 miles), was the first terminally ill person to complete the Florida Ironman Triathlon, has completed numerous marathons and half marathons (she's the first person to have completed the London marathon whilst on chemotherapy). Her current challenge is to cycle across the US finishing on the 6th anniversary of her diagnosis. It's not all fun. Yesterday, she had a bottle thrown at her, was followed by a cop, and sprayed with road chippings by a lorry.
posted by handee (42 comments total)

 
F*cking redneck hicks
posted by caddis at 6:46 AM on July 20, 2006


cyclists cant catch a break nowhere.
posted by eustatic at 6:50 AM on July 20, 2006


This must be a mistake. We don't have lorries in the US.
posted by Mayor Curley at 6:53 AM on July 20, 2006


The cop followed them for 90 minutes and *then* pulled them over to tell them to ride on the debris-filled shoulder? What a dick; I hope they file a complaint.
posted by mediareport at 6:55 AM on July 20, 2006


I hate Colorado Nazis.
posted by Mr. Six at 6:56 AM on July 20, 2006


This doesn't seem like the Colorado I know...why would anyone throw a bottle at a cyclist...

Wait a minute...a bottle of Coke...could it have been plastic? All the same, I'm disappointed in the Centennial state. It's like they could tell they were Brits or something.

Colorado! Stop being a jerk!!
posted by rex dart, eskimo spy at 6:56 AM on July 20, 2006


Welcome to America, We Hate You!
posted by blue_beetle at 6:58 AM on July 20, 2006


We don't have lorries in the US.

Of course we do!
posted by Smart Dalek at 6:59 AM on July 20, 2006


Two Brits and a Canadian actually rex.

Sounds like an amazingly brave lass. Good luck to her.
posted by MrMustard at 7:06 AM on July 20, 2006


"The police officer was belligerent and not wanting to be arrested we agreed with him, so as not to give him an excuse for further action; his manner was spoiling for a fight; courtesy was at a minimum, it was certainly not a pleasant experience."

That does not surprise me in the least. It sounds like most encounters between road cops and civvies in the US.
posted by clevershark at 7:21 AM on July 20, 2006


Why do terminally ill people hate freedom?
posted by NationalKato at 7:22 AM on July 20, 2006


Oh, a Canadian...that explains the reaction then.

No, there's no excuse for this crap. I'm so ashamed. I hope that everything goes smoothly for the rest of their trip. I could barely bike around my parking lot without a break.
posted by rex dart, eskimo spy at 7:23 AM on July 20, 2006


I really dislike police, but there seems to be a lot of condemnation being doled out based upon one account of the events.
posted by Kwantsar at 7:23 AM on July 20, 2006


Well it is one account, made by the group of cyclists. But I'm guessing that the cyclists agreed to it, and there are (I think) 3 of them.
posted by handee at 7:28 AM on July 20, 2006


What it is with all these terminally ill cyclists making up stories about abusive local police lately?
posted by Mr. Six at 7:29 AM on July 20, 2006


I had a friend who rode her bike across the US about ten years ago and had a really similar experience. Semis swerving to shower her with debris or force her off the road, hicks in pickups sideswiping her off the road (which delayed her for a week while she got her bike fixed), drunken reservation kids throwing bottles at her, getting leered at in bars. Sure, she was a small, single female, but she came back from the ride really soured on a lot of America, which is kinda sad.
The west is a gorgeous place. Too bad it seems to have a higher percentage of fucktards in the general population.
posted by klangklangston at 7:55 AM on July 20, 2006


You don't have to be British, or have cancer, or be on a transcontinental ride to be hassled by the cops and have bottles thrown at you when cycling. My motto is "it's not a real ride until someone has tried to kill me."
posted by adamrice at 7:59 AM on July 20, 2006


Very inspiring story, despite some bumps on the road. She beats cancer already. Nothing else could stop her.
posted by henryw at 8:02 AM on July 20, 2006


I'm sorry to hear about your friend's experience klangklangston, it seems like too many people in the U.S. these days go out of their way to live up to stereotypes.
I wish I could say they were a loud minority, but after an experience I had driving through Utah once I'm not too sure.
Briefly it was some road-raging kid in his Toyota pickup truck trying to get me to go faster in bumper to bumper stop and go rush hour traffic in Salt Lake. He kept on riding up on my bumper so I tapped the brakes a few times to get him to back off.
He finally pulled around front and was swerving all over the road trying to upset me, then I pulled out my cell phone and rotated my hand in a circular motion indicating rotating police lights. He broke off and headed for the nearest exit he could find. . .
Really soured me on Utah, all because of one jackass.
posted by mk1gti at 8:13 AM on July 20, 2006


Sounds like my commute to work in the morning! Ahh, the joys of cycling in the US.
posted by fet at 8:17 AM on July 20, 2006


Kwantsar writes "I really dislike police, but there seems to be a lot of condemnation being doled out based upon one account of the events."

Well, that and having lived 5 and a half years in the US and occasionally having to deal with road cops there.
posted by clevershark at 8:21 AM on July 20, 2006


My motto is "it's not a real ride until I've has tried to kill you."
posted by OmieWise at 8:39 AM on July 20, 2006


Good thing I don't live in Baltimore.
posted by adamrice at 8:40 AM on July 20, 2006


God damn people are assholes.
posted by Skorgu at 8:43 AM on July 20, 2006


MetaFilter: It's not a real ride until someone has tried to kill me
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 8:52 AM on July 20, 2006


Had every truck sprayed them with crap, had every passing truck thrown crap at them, and had every police officer tailed them for 90 minutes and then told them to ride on the hard shoulder, I'd find a beef with the state of Colorado. As is, its too bad they managed to find some idiots, but as a whole, I don't feel its enough to stereotype the place.
posted by Atreides at 9:18 AM on July 20, 2006


Is it actually possible to ride a bike for more than a mile without a driver nearly killing you or a scally throwing a bottle at you? (It's definitely not on a comedy folding bike, in Glasgow, I can tell you.)
posted by jack_mo at 10:52 AM on July 20, 2006


Oh, and this lady is hardcore. Good on her.
posted by jack_mo at 10:53 AM on July 20, 2006


A friend of mine is cycling cross country to raise money for cancer (www.crosscountryforcancer.org and they actually bumped into Jane on the seventh day of their trip: Day 7: Rest Day, Jane's appeal
posted by moxyberry at 11:12 AM on July 20, 2006


Oh, boo-hoo. When I was a cyclist in Southern California, I had an entire six-pack of glass beer bottles thrown at me, bouncing off the back of my head and shattering all over the roadway in front of me, causing a flat tire; someone once dumped a scalding hot container of coffee over me; another time a car pulled alongside and the passenger puched me in the shoulder, almost causing me to crash, and then threw his soda at me (and missed.) Having a single bottle thrown at you is nothing.
posted by nlindstrom at 11:21 AM on July 20, 2006


Oh, boo-hoo. When I was a cyclist in Southern California, I had an entire six-pack of glass beer bottles thrown at me, bouncing off the back of my head and shattering all over the roadway in front of me, causing a flat tire; someone once dumped a scalding hot container of coffee over me; another time a car pulled alongside and the passenger puched me in the shoulder, almost causing me to crash, and then threw his soda at me (and missed.) ...

Luxury.

This one time I was was riding with the idols of my young adult life, THE ITALIANS(!), in a local race. It was a rare shining moment in my otherwise boring town that was sharply divided between priviliged college kids and those whose fathers worked the quarries.

Anyway, after years of training and worshipping THE ITALIANS (I even shaved my legs, which my cutter dad definitely didn't approve of), I was finally riding alongside them and doing quite well when the bastards jammed a tire pump in my spokes and put me on my head. They spewed insults at me as they rode away laughing. Something that sounded like "cool-o".

Not only was I physically injured and my prized 10-speed damaged, but I was utterly crushed spiritually and lost my direction in life.

Biking in Southern California is nothing.
posted by de void at 11:48 AM on July 20, 2006 [1 favorite]


Luxury!

Back in my day motorists used to come to my house and try to run me over before I'd even gotten out of bed! And we were so poor we relied on the bottles of warm urine they'd throw at us to keep warm at night! One time I were hit by a car and thrown 30 feet, leading to me being in a coma for six years. I wouldn't have minded so much, but I'm still trying to figure out why the headmaster were drivin', and how he'd managed to get his car up to 60 miles per hour in the assembly hall. Aye, life was hard when you were a cyclist and motorists were allowed to take potshots at you with rocket-propelled grenaded. Damn hard.

But you try telling kids about it today and they don't believe you!
posted by kaemaril at 12:00 PM on July 20, 2006


Remarkable individual. Well worth reading about. Good post.
posted by verisimilitude at 12:14 PM on July 20, 2006


jack_mo writes "Is it actually possible to ride a bike for more than a mile without a driver nearly killing you or a scally throwing a bottle at you?"

Driver's in Canada are a lot more considerate. Not that I've never had some fool do something stupid but it sure isn't a every mile occurance.
posted by Mitheral at 12:19 PM on July 20, 2006


Two words for you, to help with people who like to lean out of cars as they pass you: collapsible baton.
posted by schlaager at 12:30 PM on July 20, 2006


Let's not forget this lovely incident (although the cyclist was not without some fault here).
posted by caddis at 1:26 PM on July 20, 2006


Driver's in Canada are a lot more considerate. Not that I've never had some fool do something stupid but it sure isn't a every mile occurance.

A former sig other's father told me that he made a point of swerving at cyclists on the road. To teach them a lesson. Or something.

I would like to do justice to his attitude rather than simply parodying it but really, that's pretty much all there is to it. And it's not that uncommon.
posted by dreamsign at 2:02 PM on July 20, 2006


And THAT is why I will probably stick to my Spin class.
posted by konolia at 2:36 PM on July 20, 2006


de void have you thought about riding in the Little 500? Maybe going to college, hooking up with a French chick?

Funny, I have holster for my baton on my bike. I’ve thought about carrying a flare gun, but a camera might work as well. Those idiots should be prosecuted for reckless driving if not attempted murder. Why a cop would waste his time following a bicyclist I have no idea.
posted by Smedleyman at 3:31 PM on July 20, 2006


de void is quoting verbatim from a movie.
posted by nlindstrom at 4:40 PM on July 20, 2006


And Smedleyman is referencing it, too.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 4:42 PM on July 20, 2006


Just a side note: Real doctors don't give people "X months to live", ever.

Many patients get that idea, when they're all freaked out about being told they're seriously ill and the five year survival rate is 15% or whatever; it's hardly surprising that they stagger, dazed, out of the doctor's office thinking that a mean life expectancy of six months means they've got six months to live.

But only quacks actually give a definite answer to the classic "how long have I got, doc?" question. Real doctors try to explain the actual life expectancy distribution for the disease, and talk about how different treatments and different characteristics of the patient seem to influence the figures.

This, of course, never seems to stop journalists from regurgitating substanceless life expectancy figures. They should know better.

Any time you read a piece that starts "five years after being given six months to live...", you're reading fluff.
posted by dansdata at 12:50 AM on July 23, 2006 [1 favorite]


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