Hauling the Dead in a Harley: Family of Undertakers Takes Clients For One Last Ride

Categories: Bikes, Code Dead

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Photo by Steve Truesdell
Mike Sutherland in front of his Harley hearse at Monster Mass at Gateway Motorsports Park.
Mike and Judy Sutherland are busy people. The phone never seems to stop ringing, and it's usually sad news. But when your business revolves around one of the two guarantees in life -- death, not taxes -- that's how it goes.

Mike and Judy own and operate Sutherland-Garnier Funeral Home and Hillcrest Funeral Home, Cemetery and Cremation Center in Centralia, Illinois, about 60 miles east of St. Louis. Last year they added one more reason for their phone to keep buzzing -- a Harley-Davidson Heritage trike and motorcycle hearse.

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Sunset Hills Mayor Won't Resign, City Considers Impeachment After Car-Bike Collision

Categories: Bikes, Politics

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Tom Carlson
Mayor Mark Furrer's Mercedes parked outside Sunset Hills City Hall.
Things just keep getting worse for Sunset Hills mayor Mark Furrer.

After Furrer was accused of intentionally hitting a cyclist with his car, the board of aldermen voted 6-1 Tuesday night to hire an attorney to start the impeachment process. By the same margin, the board also approved a vote of no confidence in Furrer.

"So much for the presumption of innocence," he told the board, according to Call Newspapers.


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Sunset Hills Mayor Charged with Intentionally Hitting Cyclist With His Car

Categories: Bikes, Crime

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Tom Carlson
Mayor Mark Furrer's Mercedes parked outside Sunset Hills City Hall.
Mark Furrer, the mayor of Sunset Hills accused of intentionally hittng a cyclist with his red Mercedes convertible, is now facing two felony charges. In court filings yesterday, the St. Louis County Prosecutors Office charged Furrer with assault and property damage for striking Fenton cyclist Randy Murdick on a stretch of Gravois Road in Sunset Hills this past July.

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VIDEO: Ride of the Century 2014 Takes STL Police by Surprise, No Arrests Reported

Categories: Bikes

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Youtube
This is what it looks like right before your wheelie goes very, very bad.
The Ride of the Century snuck up on St. Louis this year, which is no small feat for an annual event that normally draws thousands of sports biker riders to the region over Labor Day weekend. This year, however, the ride was organized in secret, by word of mouth and private social media messaging.

The result? Hundreds of riders gathered at a downtown gas station Saturday afternoon before tearing off along Interstate 64. As with past years, the large group of riders included a contingent of adrenaline junkies who weaved through highway traffic and pulled wheelies. So far, no arrests have been reported. Aside from a collision on Interstate 64, it appears the ride avoided serious accidents.

Founded in 2002 by a group south county stunt-riding enthusiasts calling themselves the Streetfighterz, the annual Ride of the Century has historically drawn panicked reactions from the public, police and media. In 2013, the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department arrested 47 riders and towed 58 motorcycles. Two riders died in accidents that weekend.


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Illinois Motorist Accused of Taunting Bicyclists Charged With Reckless Driving

Categories: Bikes

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Photo courtesy of O'Fallon, Illinois, police
Jerry Vinson is accused of hitting a cyclist with his truck after threatening to hit a group of them with a pole.
Prosecutors in St. Clair County, Illinois, yesterday charged Jerry Vinson with reckless driving and leaving the scene of accident for his role in a bizarre provocation he had with bicyclists earlier this month in O'Fallon, Illinois.

According to cyclists, Vinson pulled up onto a group of bikers August 5 and yelled at them to get off the road. Vinson then began swerving toward the cyclists and -- at one time -- allegedly swung a pole at the bikers from the cab of his pickup truck.

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Another St. Louis Area Bicyclist Says He Was Intentionally Struck by Motorist

Categories: Bikes

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Courtesy of James Lewallen
James Lewallen stands astride his bike after the 100-mile Tour de Cure race in St. Louis two months prior to a run-in with a motorist.

For the second time in a little more than a week, a St. Louis area bicyclist says he was intentionally struck by a motorist.

James Lewallen, 21, of Belleville, says he was riding with a group of cyclists Tuesday evening on Lincoln Farm Road in O'Fallon, Illinois when a man in a white Ford F-150 drove up from behind and yelled at them to get off the road.

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LISTEN: 911 Callers Tell Dispatcher Sunset Hills Mayor Ran Cyclist Off the Road

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Tom Carlson
Mayor Mark Furrer's Mercedes parked outside Sunset Hills City Hall.
In 911 calls made after Sunset Hills mayor Mark Furrer and cyclist Randy Murdick collided last week, Murdick tells dispatchers he was run off the road by a car, and a witness screams at the driver to stop leaving the scene.

The full two-minute audio clip, obtained by the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, records two callers, a witness and Murdick himself, describing a hit-and-run.

"I want to report a hit-and-run over here on Old Gravois Road, right here by Delta Dental," the witness tells the 911 dispatcher, later saying, "The guy hit a bicyclist, drove off and then turned around and came back."

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Sunset Hills Mayor Mark Furrer Accused of Intentionally Striking Cyclist with His Car

Categories: Bikes, Crime

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Mayor Mark Furrer's Mercedes parked outside Sunset Hills City Hall. | Tom Carlson

Yesterday, in a post on Facebook that spread rapidly on social media and then in subsequent interviews, a local cyclist accused Sunset Hills mayor Mark Furrer of intentionally running him off the road with his car after screaming, "Get off my fucking roads!"

The cyclist, Randy Murdick of Fenton, accused Furrer of deliberately swerving into him with his red Mercedes convertible, causing Murdick to wreck. In an interview with the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Furrer denied the charges and accused Murdick of grabbing on to his car before falling.

"Honestly, everything he's saying is just ridiculous," says Murdick. "He's just lying to cover it up. Nobody in their right mind on a 17-pound bike is going to grab a hold of a 3,000-pound car."

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Cyclists Demand Action from Circuit Attorney Weeks After Hit-And-Run Driver Killed Biker

Categories: Bikes

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Lindsay Toler
A bike memorial still marks the spot where Rick Beard was struck and killed by a motorist last month.
It's been 39 days since a hit-and-run driver killed cyclist Rick Beard, a 54-year-old, safety-conscious biking enthusiast.

The biking advocates at St. Louis Bicycle Works know exactly how many days it's been. For every day that passes without charges filed against the person who turned himself in to police in connection with Beard's death, the group tweets to the Circuit Attorney Jennifer Joyce, pressuring her to take action and reminding her that they're watching.


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PHOTOS: The Best Undressed People of St. Louis World Naked Bike Ride 2014 (NSFW)

Categories: Bikes, Photos

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Jon Gitchoff
"Oh, it's the World Naked Bike Ride? How handy, I seem to have misplaced my clothes..."
This weekend St. Louisans discarded society's rules (and their clothes) and hit the streets two wheels at a time, riding in the seventh annual World Naked Bike Ride.

The ride's compound mission, which advocates simultaneously for cyclist safety, positive body image and sustainable travel options, brings all sorts of interesting St. Louis characters out from the fringes: the eco-warriors, the sex-positive feminists, the experimenting college students, the die-hard cyclists, the creepers and so many more.


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