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Old 10-21-05, 08:05 PM   #1
coriander
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U.S. ‘crosser in brush with death

Cyclocross news & racing round-up Part I for October 21, 2005
http://www.cyclingnews.com/mtb.php?i...oct22crossnews

U.S. ‘crosser in brush with death
By Steve Medcroft

Cycling and training for cycling are dangerous enough that most of us constantly aware of our surroundings when we're out on the road. But as New Hampshire Cycling Club racer Mike Jankwoski recently found out when he was sideswiped by a speeding motorcycle during a training ride, no attempt to be safe is a guarantee of a trouble free ride.

Kankowski, 33, or Kerhonkson, New York , was riding in the Catskills when he heard the unmistakable sound of a high-end motorcycle approaching from behind at high speed. "I moved over to the right," he said about the accident. "A split second later I felt something hit my left elbow." That something was a racing-style motorcycle "something like a Suzuki GSXR," Jankowski says.

Jankowski says the next thing he knew he had landed on his hip on a guardrail and fell to the ground. "The portion of road I was on is a long, sweeping left turn followed by a straight, then a sharp left and a stop sign. By the time I sat up and got my bike off me I heard the sickening thud of metal yielding to solid ground." The rider of the motorcycle had failed to make the turn at the end of the road.

Jankowski says he was passed by a police car moments later, and went over to the accident. The rider was dead by the time he arrived. "I described what happened to me and what I heard (to the police). They made me go to the body and what was left of the bike to make sure it was the same guy." Jankowski says the police officers speed recorder showed the motorcycle as traveling greater than 140mph.

The 33 year old B-category ‘cross and Cat 3 road racer rode home but discovered he had fractured his hip in the accident after unusual bruising appeared over the next two days. And although he was happy he only break what he did, the shock of the freak accident temporarily killed his passion for riding. "I've crashed before, many times, been hurt much worse a few times, but this was different."

Jankowski says there were several things to learn from the accident. "One, irresponsible behaviour on the road - no matter what we're piloting - can have disastrous repercussions. Two, anything can happen to us even when we're doing everything right; I was inches from a massive accident."

The shock is now wearing off, the injuries (which may take as long as four to six more weeks to properly heal) are fading and Jankowski is finding his way back to the bike. "I'm just now getting motivation back to train again, after quite a few weeks. I was hoping to go to Colonie , New York this weekend to race (Second Annual Colonie Cyclocross Race, October 23), but my hip is too sore to dismount yet. I'm not sure if I'll even race at all this year but I'm hoping to go to cross Nationals to be a spectator/photographer."
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Old 10-22-05, 09:51 AM   #2
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What a lucky man to have escaped that one.

John Wilke
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Old 10-22-05, 10:13 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by coriander
They made me go to the body and what was left of the bike to make sure it was the same guy.
Nice... I'd expect that is a visual that would be a bit hard to shake out of ones mind.
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Old 10-22-05, 10:44 AM   #4
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Oh man.... always know your roads.. on a bike or motorcycle.
A bunch of people almost wiped out at nearly 40mph going down a hill with a sharp right turn at the end that no one expected.
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Old 10-22-05, 11:53 AM   #5
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I wonder if he could have saved himself like he did if he was riding with headphones on and music playing.

(<-- runs for cover!)
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Old 10-22-05, 12:53 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by coriander
"... The rider of the motorcycle had failed to make the turn at the end of the road. Jankowski says he was passed by a police car moments later...the police officers speed recorder showed the motorcycle as traveling greater than 140mph.
Sounds like the motorcyclist might have been attmepting to ellude the police. So rarely its the motor'ed driver who was killed.
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Old 10-23-05, 09:48 PM   #7
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I'd be pissed if they spelled my surname 3 different ways in the first 3 paragraphs of an article about me. There is nothing he could have done differently that would have made any difference. I know there's parts of Mulholland Hwy in SoCal where cyclists have to share the road with motorcycles that are tempted by the twisty bits, but that's a choice they make.

On another note, not everyone gets to have a close brush with a possible Darwin Award recipient.
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Old 10-23-05, 11:06 PM   #8
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140mph trying to evade police, hit a cyclist on the way through which apparently would have been far worse if the cyclist hadn't moved over, killed himself in the process...... at least there's one positive outcome - one less moron on the road.
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Old 10-30-05, 05:10 PM   #9
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140mph trying to evade police, hit a cyclist on the way through which apparently would have been far worse if the cyclist hadn't moved over, killed himself in the process...... at least there's one positive outcome - one less moron on the road.
<<
<<"at least there's one positive outcome - one less moron on the road.">> That's not a very nice thing to say about a tragic accident, even if the motorcylclist was foolish.
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Old 10-30-05, 05:48 PM   #10
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<<
<<"at least there's one positive outcome - one less moron on the road.">> That's not a very nice thing to say about a tragic accident, even if the motorcylclist was foolish.
Actually it's a very nice thing to say.
I'm all for going 150mph on the freeway, in fact, I have a coworker and a few friends that do that all the time, at night, with no cars around, on roads with no intersections or anything.
The moment you put someone else's life in danger, it becomes more than your problem.
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Old 10-31-05, 01:24 AM   #11
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My little 4 banger hits 110 max. I don't need to know what our new Jetta goes. I agree not to put others in danger. I make people mad sometimes when driving here in LA, I don't proceed through lights turning green until I have looked both ways to make sure cars are coming to a complete stop. At nights I look for aproaching headlights at streets by my house on cross streets since people notoriously run stop signs.

Drive with care, ride with care. Haven't been in a bender since 1992 on a car. Learned a couple of years later to ride with care.
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Old 10-31-05, 02:20 AM   #12
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Anyone from SoCal familiar with Decker Canyon, off Mulholland?
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Old 10-31-05, 07:29 AM   #13
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Darwin wins again.
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Old 10-31-05, 10:05 AM   #14
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We have had two recent pedestrian / motorcycle crashes in our neighborhood recently. Both involving "high-end" race bikes, high rates of speed, girlfriend on the back of the bike, and no one wearing helmets. There really should be an intelligence test for the motorcycle license. I bristle everytime I hear one coming up behind me.
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Old 10-31-05, 10:10 AM   #15
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i'm glad the motorcyclist is dead. nobody needs him around. well maybe not GLAD, but i'm not crying over here...
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Old 10-31-05, 10:57 AM   #16
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In my humble opinion, we should not let this tragic incident degenerate into motorcycle bashing.

First, I am not justifying what the motorcyclist did, he was a stupid squid (sport bike rider that does wheelies, stoppies, and generally engages in obnoxious behavior) that paid the ultimate price and also injured a completely innocent person.

However, motorcycles and bicycles have much in common besides the fact they both ride on two wheels, their common enemy is the automobile. I ride, sometimes race, bicycles and motorcycles. On both bikes and motocycles, cars cut me off, don't stop for me when I have the right of way, try to see if the can get within one foot of my back wheel, try to run me off the road etc.

Don't let the actions of one stupid motorcyclist make you write them all off, motorcyclists and bicyclists should stick together for their common good.
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Old 10-31-05, 11:02 AM   #17
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i agree. and i've never ever had a problem with a motorcyclist. although i was a bit puzzled one night when i saw a motorcyclist going crazy with road rage at a chinese food delivery guy riding a bike. same stuff drivers usually do: honking, reving up engine, yelling, and just generally beating his chest like an ape. i kept thinking: what on earth could a food delivery guy do that would cause this behavor?
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