My brother witnessed this fatality on Sunday

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  • My brother witnessed this fatality on Sunday
  • Premier Icon Terrydactyl
    Subscriber

    Yesteday morning I came up to a cycle race near where I live at Bedford. Well organised, plenty of marshalls and well signed. I was approaching from the oposite direction, was met by an advance motorbike then several cars with hazards on before the peleton went past. I slowed right down, moved right over to my side kerb. The car behind went ballistic, flashed his lights and gesturting me to “get on with it”.
    I’m sorry but some people just live in there own selfish bubble and just dont care about other people. Very sad…..rip…

    crikey
    Member

    I’m all for racing on the road, done it lots over the years, but I seem to recall that Time Trials have a worse safety record than other forms of cycle sport?

    Anyone have any sensible statistics to prove or disprove this?

    I know that the use of dragstrip courses is questioned even by those in the sport, and that the whole idea of racing on such roads brings the question of the speeds achieved into some question.
    In addition, the way that UK riders tend to do great times in the UK then get humiliated abroad on traffic free courses would lead me to view the UK scene with a pinch of salt.

    Let me make it quite clear before the usual STW responses occur; I think we should be able to compete on the road.
    I think cycle sport should occur on the public highway.

    I’m just a bit sceptical when problems occur in Time Trials on 60-70mph dual carriageways.

    It’s a tragedy, and sounds to be directly related to the error of the driver involved, but if I’m right about TTs on dragstrips, maybe it’s time to take TTs away from this sort of course and look again at the way competitions are run?

    I seem to recall that this same debate crops up every few years; I’d really like not to be doing it again 😥

    coffeeking
    Member

    terrydactyl – was there any need to slow down and move over? Surely the cyclists were going the other way on the other side of the road?

    Interestingly, no other form of sport that I can think of occurs on the road without express permission of the police etc. I’m not sure roads are the place for sporting events without road closure – roads are a means to an end, a way to get from one place to another. You’re not allowed to race cars on the roads (even within legal speed limits), you’re not allowed to run on the road without good reason – why do we assume you can hold a cycling competition without considering its effects on other road users?

    I do wonder about the mentality of people on the internet sometimes 😕

    STATO
    Member

    why do we assume you can hold a cycling competition without considering its effects on other road users?

    Because they pass the ever more rigerous rules/qualifications, and there are plenty other races (non cycling) that are held on non-closed courses. Do you want to ban running races on footpaths/bridleways/fells (there are runs on roads aswell) and swimming races in the lakes/the sea? afteral, you might be putting the public at risk there too.

    Premier Icon Mr Agreeable
    Subscriber

    Coffeeking, to all intents and purposes you do have to get the police’s permission. The CTT website has a 70-page safety guide on it. If you just decide to hold a time trial without getting permission you can be prosecuted for wilful obstruction of a highway, you’ll void your insurance, and so on.

    Like I say, I’ve done one TT and from a safety point of view it wasn’t watertight. But then neither is MTB racing, or riding. It cost buttons to enter and was pretty fun. And it’s worth bearing in mind that time trials are popular in the Uk because historically you couldn’t race on the road. If they were banned I’m sure that something else would just spring up to take their place.

    coffeeking
    Member

    Because they pass the ever more rigerous rules/qualifications, and there are plenty other races (non cycling) that are held on non-closed courses. Do you want to ban running races on footpaths/bridleways/fells (there are runs on roads aswell) and swimming races in the lakes/the sea? afteral, you might be putting the public at risk there too.

    I dont mind them myself, theres a fair few around where I used to live. You cant really say TT cyclists are/would be any more rigerously ruled/skilled than any other racer if it were allowed to go ahead – if drag races down the dual carriageways were organised events without road closures you still wouldnt think they were a good idea.
    I just dont think you can compare running on footpaths/fells to road cycle racing on open public roads, the differences are too many and too great.

    I know we’re all cyclists here and a large percentage cant accept that cars might have a place on the road with them, just the same as plenty of car drivers think cyclists shouldnt be on the road with them, but it doesnt make either one right. The question is why should you assume a race has the right to be on OPEN public roads when it clearly inconveniences other users and endangers the participants, surely it’d be better to close the roads (even though it would mean disruption and be impossible on certain roads) unless they riders accept the inherent risks?

    antigee
    Member

    The question is why should you assume a race has the right to be on OPEN public roads when it clearly inconveniences other users

    well as i get up earlier enough i’ve seen a few time trials from a drivers point of view and don’t really understand how it causes inconvenience other than i might stop fiddling with the radio or drinking coffee

    remember they are time trials and not group races to minimise inconvenience to important road users

    G
    Member

    It is illegal to race on a public highway. That is I believe why they hold Time Trials and not “races” as it is a way of getting around the legislation. I’m not sure how they deal with it in respect of things like the Tour stages, but as I recall it used to require an act of parliament to change that fact. Anyone expert in this field and able to update me on this point?

    r0bh
    Member

    Jesus wept, even for STW there is an amazing amount of uninformed nonsense on this thread.

    The right to hold Time Trials is enshrined in law – the MoT regulations of 1960 to be precise. As such no permission is required from the police to hold one, they just need to be notified in advance. In addition every time trial course has a rigorous risk assessment performed that identifies likely risks and how they are going to be mitigated (here are some examples from my area http://www.manchesterctt.org.uk/risks.html).

    Unlike most people commenting here I have actually ridden the course where Sunday’s tragedy occurred; it was no more or less dangerous than my everyday commute to work IMHO.

    It really saddens me that the reaction of fellow cyclists to this tragedy is to question the right of us all to use the public highway, rather than the behaviour of motorists putting us at risk.

    andywhit
    Member

    >It is illegal to race on a public highway. That is I believe why they hold Time Trials and not “races” as it is a way of getting around the legislation. I’m not sure how they deal with it in respect of things like the Tour stages, but as I recall it used to require an act of parliament to change that fact. Anyone expert in this field and able to update me on this point?

    The Surrey Cycle league hold races on the road around here. Not time trials but full on bunch start jobs. They have a car at front / back etc and the roads are still open.

    project
    Member

    TT or race was cancelled by the police near Wrexham down the road from LLandegla, a few weeks ago, by the Police, due to serious concerns of danger to other road users

    Races around Birkenhead Park near liverpool where cancelled a few years ago, on a closed circuit, due to problems with the locals,

    crikey
    Member

    Are we at the stage yet where we can comment on the money spent to gain us all those Olympic medals in ‘cycling’, yet we still can’t manage to race on the roads?

    British Cycling? British bloody Track Cycling more like.

    Never mind all that RTTC cobblers…….

    aP
    Member

    My club’s road race was cancelled this year due to problems with the costs for the Police support and also cancelled last year due to Police unwillingness to allow any other road users on roads except for cars. I understand that BC has now brought these issues to the attention of those able to make permanent provision for road racing.
    We did hold the support races for the cancelled main road race instead and I marshalled at those, didn’t really have any problems with motorists except for some grumpiness.
    Whilst not quite understanding the club TTer I feel sorrow for the loss to his family and like some of those posters above shake my head at those who have such little tolerance for others.

    Premier Icon NZCol
    Subscriber

    Thats pretty terrible really but a consequence of doing anything on busy roads where the more dangerous members of society are given high speed killing instruments called cars.

    No-one is perfect in these situations – i’ve been hit three times on my bike , first two times in perfect visibility and when i have been riding legally etc – both drivers not paying attention or in a rush. Third time at night when i had 3 red lights on and two front lights on and looked the driver directly in the eye – he pulled out on me and i went over his bonnett on a controlled way. Sadly had he looked in his rear view mirror he would have noticed the unmarked police car 3 cars back. He went nuts at me and said quite loudly that i was in his way and had no right to be on the road. Then he resisted arrest and was subsequently banned I believe as he was adamant that he did nothing wrong. More recently i was run off the road by an approaching lead car in a Triathlon race on the wrong side of an OPEN road….so go figure, somewhere along the way its the muppet behind the wheel. It scares me that i could die cheaply cos someone was picking their nose.
    Terribly sad case though.

    Premier Icon D0NK
    Subscriber

    I’ve never done a TT and probably never will but all the people having a go at the riders being there pee’s me right off. as far as I can see TT is about hammering down the open road as fast as you can and who here hasn’t done that? TTers aren’t riding in a big peleton they are just riding along the road, same as any of us who commute or ride road and it’s scary that not only deaths like this occur but that even other cyclists say “well they know the risks of what they are doing” as tho they are partly responsible for being hit. Newsflash you are allowed to ride down the road, even dual carriageways, as fast as your little legs will take you and drivers are supposed to drive safely.

    yes I accept some TTers and those just riding along will occasionally do silly things at roundabouts or junctions to maintain speed (and if anyone does, it will be them who pay the price for it) but in this case (by the sounds of it) and many, many others its 100% the drivers fault and mostly the drivers get to walkaway from it which can’t be said of the other victims.

    I know drivers don’t intend to hit other people and this lady will no doubt be very upset at what has happened but cars are such a big part of life and an everyday object that everyone seems to forget that a tiny little mistake at the wheel can ruin/end lives.

    Sod making drivers ride around on bikes before giving them a license (stupid idea anyway) they should have to do ride alongs with firecrews cutting people out of car wrecks and ambulances patching up RTA victims.

    IanMunro
    Member

    terrydactyl – was there any need to slow down and move over? Surely the cyclists were going the other way on the other side of the road?

    In theory yes. But given there’s a far greater probabilty than normal that one will ver onto the wrong side of the road (even though they’re not meant to), it’s pretty obvious that it makes sense to slow down and take this risk into account.

    oldgit
    Member

    I was present at a TT in the 80’s were a young rider was killed, but even that did’nt change my view of riding TT’s.
    In many ways if you strip the lone TT rider of his number he is just a rider, riding like most of us do on public roads day in day out.
    The only niggle I have is that IMO TT riders are in the zone, ok it is’nt officialy a race but ltes not beat about the bush the TT rider has only one thing on his mind i.e his time so you could accuse many of riding without due care and attention.
    However, I’d never want to see any restrictions on racing on roads for any sport.
    Other than that single incident I’ve never had a problem in over thirty years of road racing. In fact I’ve seen more near misses during running races.

    FuzzyWuzzy
    Member

    I used to TT a lot a decade ago and actually preferred the dual carriageway courses, not because they were dragstrips you could get quick times on but because I felt they were safer. First there’s a heck of a lot of road, secondly they don’t generally have blind/sharp bends so visibility is good and thirdly drivers generally seem a lot more focused at roundabouts on dual carriageways than on normal roads (not that I ever felt particularly safe going round roundabouts when TTing).

    I usually tried to stay in the hard shoulder but road kill and debris sometimes meant cycling just out into the main carriageway. Only had one close shave in dozens of TTs and that was a car where someone in the rear was deliberately trying to push cyclists off (and succeeded on a few, thankfully with no serious injuries).

    I did have a near death experience once on a dual carriageway hard shoulder (not TTing) when a loose strap on the side of a lorry hit me and nearly dragged me under the wheels. Other than that though I’ve never had a problem. I see nothing wrong or unsafe (other than the basic cars and bikes mixing thing) about holding a TT on a dual carriageway.

    Narrow country roads with sharp bends and drivers thinking they’re in a rally doing 60mph is what scares me when road riding.

    cheers_drive
    Member

    I’ve cycled to work a few times on 60mph country roads which is used as an alternative to the motorway for many drivers.
    The reaction of one guy at work to cycling on this road pretty much sums up a lot of drivers attitude, it was something like this:
    ‘I would never cycle on that road; with the speed I drive if I came round a corner and met a cyclist with an oncoming car in the other lane I would have to take the cyclist out rather than have a head-on’
    I was speechless and the guy is not some boy racer meathead either.

    G
    Member

    The reaction of one guy at work to cycling on this road pretty much sums up a lot of drivers attitude

    Exactly, thus the whole debate about the sense or otherwise of riding on the road at all. Its absolutely not right that we should be in fear in this way, and there is no question whatsoever that the drivers are in the wrong. However, that makes no difference at all when you’re in a box and they are feeling a bit sheepish about what they’ve done.

    The only way that things will improve is if cyclists collectively bring pressure to bear for justice and a change in attitudes from drivers, the courts and the Police.

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