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Touring Cyclist, Johann Astner, Killed

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Touring Cyclist, Johann Astner, Killed

Old 04-15-19, 04:23 PM
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jamawani 
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Touring Cyclist, Johann Astner, Killed

On Monday, April 8, Johann Astner was hit while riding and killed just north of Portales, NM.
New Mexico State Police initially released erroneous information about his nationality.
At present, there is very little information available about him.



Johann Astner

If you know him or met him while he was touring in the U.S., your assistance would be appreciated.
Please contact either:
John Egan
jamawani@gmail.com
David Grieder, Eastern New Mexico News
dgrieder@thenews.email

Thanks
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Old 04-15-19, 05:00 PM
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Old 04-15-19, 06:48 PM
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RIP
It looks to me like he is from Austria , not Australia. He seems to be a strong cyclist, looking at his videos. And rather careless riding with one hand on the bar and the other holding the camera, while going down mountain hairpin turns. Has he been away from home a long time with no address?
The police statement is totally bizarre. The border police know exactly when you come and go.
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Old 04-16-19, 02:51 PM
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Originally Posted by GamblerGORD53 View Post
RIP
It looks to me like he is from Austria , not Australia. He seems to be a strong cyclist, looking at his videos. And rather careless riding with one hand on the bar and the other holding the camera, while going down mountain hairpin turns. Has he been away from home a long time with no address?
The police statement is totally bizarre. The border police know exactly when you come and go.
I didnt see any careless riding while filming, certainly didnt appear that way to me.
I looked very quickly at the artlcle, did it say he had been away and had no address?

unfortunately, the police figured "driver inattention" was the main factor, and also unfortunately, we are all just a few scant seconds of inattention away from something like this.
Poor guy. Killed by a lady in a pick-up at 8:30am while off on an adventure......
touch wood for all of us
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Old 04-26-19, 02:07 AM
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Haven't posted here in awhile and had to sign up under another name since I long lost all my other info. But I've been living in the Clovis/Portales area and actually saw this gentleman riding along the Prince St bridge as I was taking a trailer to get unloaded in Portales. Not three hours later, I was driving the semi back to the yard in Clovis and came across police activity on the SB side of the US-70. I saw some telltale signs of an accident, but no other car involved apart from the F-150 that struck Astner. A chill kind of swept over me knowing that a guy I saw alive hours earlier was now deceased.

That said, I took it upon myself to get a ghost-bike installed near the scene of the accident. Details were scant about his identity until information slowly started trickling out. It's being treated as an on-going case, so I assume that's the reason info has been slow getting out. In fact, I've got to head back out and change the name on the sign from "Aster" to "Astner" since a FB contact on a local bicycle group just informed me. Apart from the ghost bike I put up, there's also going to be a memorial ride being held for Astner this Saturday morning. The 27th.

I drive and ride these roads out here all the time and like many places, either reckless drivers and too much testosterone. Or more usual, inattentiveness like texting and the like.
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Old 04-26-19, 04:24 AM
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Thanks, Bent.
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Old 04-26-19, 04:50 AM
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Originally Posted by jamawani View Post
Thanks, Bent.
Someone had to step up. I'm kind of surprised of myself that I actually placed it out there. A guy riding his bike alone, myself stuck at work alone wishing I was riding instead. I can't explain the feeling, but it's like one of those things that makes you think kind of deep. I don't have enough posts yet under this moniker, so the pics will have to wait. But they should be on the memorial ride FB event posting if you're able to view it there. I've also got them on an IG account under my screen here.
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Old 04-26-19, 05:50 AM
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Thank you for thinking of a fellow rider who was probably in the wrong place at the wrong time.
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Old 04-26-19, 06:34 AM
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Originally Posted by bentstrider83 View Post
Someone had to step up. I'm kind of surprised of myself that I actually placed it out there. A guy riding his bike alone, myself stuck at work alone wishing I was riding instead. I can't explain the feeling, but it's like one of those things that makes you think kind of deep. I don't have enough posts yet under this moniker, so the pics will have to wait. But they should be on the memorial ride FB event posting if you're able to view it there. I've also got them on an IG account under my screen here.

Thank you. There is a ghost bike on a road where I drive 2X a day on my daily commute. Even though I didn’t personally know the rider, we had exchanged pleasantries while riding.

It is a gut wrenching feeling knowing we are always seconds away from disaster.

RIP Astner.

And, again thank you bentstrider83.
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Old 04-26-19, 08:52 AM
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Originally Posted by bentstrider83 View Post
Someone had to step up. I'm kind of surprised of myself that I actually placed it out there.
I feel similarly.
When I saw that they didn't even have his name right or where he was from, I posted here and at two other sites.

Unfortunately, the only news item that went out identified the rider as Australian.
I don't even know if anything has been published in Styria in Austria.

I would just like to see an article that celebrated his life. For instance -
That he was an electronics teacher at the local trade school.
That he has two sisters and nieces and nephews.
That he took a trip to Cuba last year and was looking forward to his X-USA ride.
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Old 04-26-19, 12:59 PM
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Originally Posted by jamawani View Post
I feel similarly.
When I saw that they didn't even have his name right or where he was from, I posted here and at two other sites.

Unfortunately, the only news item that went out identified the rider as Australian.
I don't even know if anything has been published in Styria in Austria.

I would just like to see an article that celebrated his life. For instance -
That he was an electronics teacher at the local trade school.
That he has two sisters and nieces and nephews.
That he took a trip to Cuba last year and was looking forward to his X-USA ride.
He seemed to have been a pretty, outgoing person for the most part. All those accomplishments by age 44. Educated, traveled the world, spread knowledge of a particular craft. Don't know who the knucklehead was that took him out. But if they're most like a majority of people from around here, more than likely a "dead-ender" with squat going on with their lives.
Not trying to turn this into a "deep thought" thread. But myself, like many others around here and similar areas, are too trapped by behind long hours at what could be a mundane job. Yet a few of us desire to get out beyond the city limits and take to the exploration route. In a world of lifted trucks, high performance vehicles, and other ego-building monstrosities, some of us just want to experience a little more adventure and exploration in life like Mr Astner was doing up until his untimely demise.
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Old 04-28-19, 02:23 AM
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Dear all,

I am Sebastian, brother-in-law of Johann. On behalf of Johann's family and friends, I would like to express how overwhelmed and thankful we were when we read this forum and saw the video and pictures of the memorial bike tour. Apparently there is great sympathy and humanity out there.

Johann was on his way from coast to coast, more or less following Route 66. He started on March 23 in LA. We waited day after day for his pictures and videos with his funny and unconventional comments. The last update we received was on Sunday, April 7th. He reported technical issues with his ghost bike, he even sent a picture of the broken spokes and was planning a break to fix the problems. He spent his last night at the Travelodge by Wyndham in Clovis. With his Garmin bike computer, we found out he had planned a route to Bike Shop "Bicycle Sales & Services" in Portales, where he never arrived ...

Johann lived in Hopfgarten in Tyrol / Austria. He was 46 years old (not 44, as stated). He was co-owner and manager of the Alpenrestaurant "Haagalm" in a small ski resort in the beautiful Kitzbühel Alps. This was also his "living room" when he was riding his bike. Johann was unmarried and beloved brother of two sisters and two brothers. He has a nephew and 8 nieces. For two of the girls he had taken over the godparentship.
We are still shocked and deeply saddened by what happened, but it helps a lot to know that there is so much sympathy and compassion about John's fate. In the end we are consoled by the fact that it happened while he did what he loved most: cycling in the land of his dreams. Thank you all and God bless you. Take care of yourselves.

Sebastian
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Old 04-28-19, 03:28 AM
  #13  
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Originally Posted by schokomonsters View Post
Dear all,

I am Sebastian, brother-in-law of Johann. On behalf of Johann's family and friends, I would like to express how overwhelmed and thankful we were when we read this forum and saw the video and pictures of the memorial bike tour. Apparently there is great sympathy and humanity out there.

Johann was on his way from coast to coast, more or less following Route 66. He started on March 23 in LA. We waited day after day for his pictures and videos with his funny and unconventional comments. The last update we received was on Sunday, April 7th. He reported technical issues with his ghost bike, he even sent a picture of the broken spokes and was planning a break to fix the problems. He spent his last night at the Travelodge by Wyndham in Clovis. With his Garmin bike computer, we found out he had planned a route to Bike Shop "Bicycle Sales & Services" in Portales, where he never arrived ...

Johann lived in Hopfgarten in Tyrol / Austria. He was 46 years old (not 44, as stated). He was co-owner and manager of the Alpenrestaurant "Haagalm" in a small ski resort in the beautiful Kitzbühel Alps. This was also his "living room" when he was riding his bike. Johann was unmarried and beloved brother of two sisters and two brothers. He has a nephew and 8 nieces. For two of the girls he had taken over the godparentship.
We are still shocked and deeply saddened by what happened, but it helps a lot to know that there is so much sympathy and compassion about John's fate. In the end we are consoled by the fact that it happened while he did what he loved most: cycling in the land of his dreams. Thank you all and God bless you. Take care of yourselves.

Sebastian
Thank you for this snippet and update of information. I'm glad some members of the family are starting to chime in and provide some more accurate details into Mr Astner's life. I was the one who got the ghost bike started. So I'll make changes to the memorial as needed.
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Old 04-28-19, 06:27 AM
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Das tut mir leid.
Mein herzlichstes Beileid.

John
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Old 04-28-19, 06:45 AM
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Thank you Sebastian for giving this update and information,
Condolences to all the family
As fellow bicycle tourers and people who enjoy adventures exploring new places, Johann’s story touches all of us because of our shared interests and love of being out on the road.

To everyone, to clear things up, when Sebastian mentions Johann’s Ghost bike, this is a bicycle brand, like Trek or Surly or whatever. They sell Ghost brand bikes here in Canada now.

Johann, when people here talk of a “ghost” bike, it is the tradition of placing a bicycle painted all white at the location of where a cyclist has died, as a memorial to make people driving or walking by to reflect on how vulnerable cyclists are, and to be more aware and patient with cyclists on the road.

again, condolences to you and your family
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Old 04-28-19, 08:14 AM
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Thank you guys. Sorry for confusing with the Bike brand. I wasn't aware of the double meaning. Your initiative means a lot to us of and gives us power to come over this. All the best to you Sebastian
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Old 04-28-19, 09:49 AM
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Originally Posted by schokomonsters View Post
Thank you guys. Sorry for confusing with the Bike brand. I wasn't aware of the double meaning. Your initiative means a lot to us of and gives us power to come over this. All the best to you Sebastian
No problem. I knew someone would be here to clear that up.
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Old 04-28-19, 12:25 PM
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Sebastian, first of all my condolences on your loss.
I'm sure it has been a terrible shock and something we cycle tourists don't think a lot about - what is it like for those left behind?

Thank you for updating this thread.

This cycle tourist's thoughts are with you all.
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Old 04-28-19, 02:50 PM
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As usual though, the sentiments towards Astner seem to be mixed. Most were touched and saddened by the death. While another minority seems to be placing blame on him.
Of course I just happen to encounter both of these parties at work. One of them being the owners of a particular business in town.
Anyways, I just repeat to all that awareness should be spread and that no amount of finger pointing or blame games will exonerate any one of personal guilt at this point.
Being the area that it is, I shouldn't have been too surprised that I'd run across sentiment of that type. Big trucks, high speed, and inattention run rampant and sometimes, in a deadly combination.

Stay safe, stay vigilant.
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Old 04-28-19, 06:16 PM
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Astner Johann

[QUOTE = bentstrider83; 20901415] Ich habe hier seit einiger Zeit nicht mehr gepostet und musste mich unter einem anderen Namen anmelden, da ich meine anderen Informationen längst verloren hatte. Aber ich wohne in der Gegend von Clovis / Portales und habe tatsächlich gesehen, wie dieser Gentleman die Prince St Bridge entlang fuhr, als ich einen Anhänger nahm, um in Portales auszuladen. Keine drei Stunden später fuhr ich das Semi zurück in den Hof in Clovis und stieß auf Polizeibewegung auf der SB-Seite der US-70. Ich sah einige verräterische Anzeichen eines Unfalls, aber außer der F-150, die Astner getroffen hatte, war kein anderes Auto beteiligt. Ein Schauer überkam mich und wusste, dass ein Typ, den ich Stunden zuvor lebend gesehen hatte, nun verstorben war.

Das heißt, ich habe es mir zur Aufgabe gemacht, ein Geisterfahrrad in der Nähe des Unfallortes installieren zu lassen. Details waren kaum über seine Identität bekannt, bis langsam Informationen herauskitzelten. Es wird als ein fortlaufender Fall behandelt, daher gehe ich davon aus, dass die Informationen langsam herauskamen. Tatsächlich muss ich zurückgehen und den Namen auf dem Schild von "Aster" in "Astner" ändern, da ein FB-Kontakt bei einer lokalen Fahrradgruppe mich gerade informiert hat. Abgesehen von dem Ghost-Bike, das ich abgestellt habe, wird an diesem Samstagmorgen auch eine Gedenkfahrt für Astner stattfinden. Der 27.

Ich fahre und fahre diese Straßen die ganze Zeit hier und wie viele andere Orte entweder rücksichtslose Fahrer und zu viel Testosteron. Oder eher üblich, Unachtsamkeit wie SMS und dergleichen. [/ QUOTE]
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Old 04-29-19, 04:42 AM
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My condolences, Sebastian.
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Old 04-30-19, 02:42 AM
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A couple of tour cyclists rolled through here a few days ago. They tend to get heavy this time of the year and often wondered if there was a central board they all put their statuses up at.
I mean, it'd be nice to offer some local guiding, shelter, and even an "escort" ride-along for part of their leg until the local guys have to return-to-base.

On another note, went past the ghost bike this evening on a trucking round and noticed some posters attached to the sign. Still got to go out and change the 4 to a 6, so I'll snap some shots. I'm guessing some random well wishers are coming out from the wood work.
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Old 04-30-19, 06:33 AM
  #23  
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Originally Posted by bentstrider83 View Post
A couple of tour cyclists rolled through here a few days ago. They tend to get heavy this time of the year and often wondered if there was a central board they all put their statuses up at.
I mean, it'd be nice to offer some local guiding, shelter, and even an "escort" ride-along for part of their leg until the local guys have to return-to-base.

On another note, went past the ghost bike this evening on a trucking round and noticed some posters attached to the sign. Still got to go out and change the 4 to a 6, so I'll snap some shots. I'm guessing some random well wishers are coming out from the wood work.
WarmShowers.com is a place where touring cyclists meet up.
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Old 04-30-19, 09:42 AM
  #24  
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Originally Posted by seedsbelize View Post
WarmShowers.com is a place where touring cyclists meet up.
I've heard of that. Of course I was living in a motel myself for awhile before finding a place. I'm just wondering if other activities could be arranged through there. I drive semi trucks out here locally and see them all the time when I'm driving. But as soon as I'm on my own bike, they've vanished.
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