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  1. #1
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    Bicyclist dies after tying to Spare girl

    A very sad story in the St. Petersburg Times.

    An older cyclists was going down a hill and tried to avoid a girl but locked up the front wheel and hit the floor with his head. I don't know who to blame? The girls? The Huffy? The helmet?

    ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Bicyclist dies after trying to spare girl
    A 76-year-old man who loved children tries to avoid hitting one on the Pinellas Trail, leading to his own injury.
    By ANNE LINDBERG, Times Staff Writer
    Published February 22, 2005

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------


    SEMINOLE - Thomas Bragg loved birds, children and bicycling. He died last week from a bicycle accident caused when he tried to avoid injuring a little girl.

    Mr. Bragg, 76, was headed home on his red Huffy bike about 4:30 p.m. on Valentine's Day when the accident happened.

    He was riding downhill on the Pinellas Trail overpass across Park Boulevard when he saw three 7-year-old girls on roller skates, Pinellas County sheriff's spokesman Mac McMullen said.

    Mr. Bragg slowed to avoid hitting one of them and his brakes locked, propelling him over the handlebars and onto the ground, McMullen said.

    The child was unharmed. Mr. Bragg's helmet was damaged in the fall and he sustained blunt force trauma to the head.

    He was taken to Bayfront Medical Center, where family members were told that Mr. Bragg had irreparable brain damage, said his son, Doug Bragg of Bushnell.

    "They declared him brain dead," Doug Bragg said.

    The family decided to turn off life support. Mr. Bragg died Feb. 15.

    "We knew he was not that kind of guy. He didn't want to live like that or remain like that," his son said. "He went very peacefully, almost serenely. . . . He went doing something he liked to do."

    Mr. Bragg's death was the latest tragedy for the family. His eldest son, Thomas, died of cancer.

    "It's not been a good decade for us," Doug Bragg said.

    Mr. Bragg's funeral was Monday. Afterward, family and friends gathered at his Seminole home to celebrate his life.

    "There are stories and lies and all kinds of stuff being told here today and that's the way he wanted it," Doug Bragg said.

    Mr. Bragg was a native of Columbus, Ohio, who came here in 1960. He was married and had two sons, Thomas and Doug, but his first wife died after 23 years.

    While working at IRC, he met and wed Elsa, to whom he would have been married for 32 years on March 11. Mr. Bragg raised her three sons and adopted her daughter.

    "He was very kind . . . to everyone, to children, especially," Mrs. Bragg said. "He was good. . . . He was a fantastic father and grandfather, too."

    He retired as a design engineer from General Electric and spent his time bird and people watching and riding his bike. He would ride his bike on the Pinellas Trail and stop to watch the birds and people.

    Mrs. Bragg said she plans to go to the overpass where her husband died to walk the place and see if there's a way to avoid such accidents in the future.

    "He would have stopped if it had been a little bird," Mrs. Bragg said. "He would have given his life, because that's the way he was."

  2. #2
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    That's a tragedy. But lets not start up the anti/pro helmet debate again please. An accident is an accident.

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    does anyone know if the "Pinellas Trail overpass" is a roadway or a multi-use path?

    I wouldn't blame, but it does sound like this could have prevented by a change in his behavior.

    If an MUP, sounds like he was going too fast for riding on an MUP, where an unexpected 7 year old skater should be... expected.

    If a roadway, sounds like he was riding too far to the right.

    But it's hard to say for sure given the ambiguities of the story.

  4. #4
    2-Cyl, 1/2 HP @ 90 RPM slvoid's Avatar
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    I hit a VERY big hole and endo'ed @ close to 20mph and went down on my head at a 45 or so degree angle and lived to continue on my way. He didn't. It was an accident. Next time, it could happen to me, or you, or anyone else.
    Let's not make anything more of it.

    But I will say, I've seen a lot of people open doors right in front of me, walk in front of me, turn around and stick their asses out of their door in front of me and if the inevitable happens and I'm in traffic, I will have my human airbag...

  5. #5
    Senior Member skydive69's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Serge *******
    does anyone know if the "Pinellas Trail overpass" is a roadway or a multi-use path?

    I wouldn't blame, but it does sound like this could have prevented by a change in his behavior.

    If an MUP, sounds like he was going too fast for riding on an MUP, where an unexpected 7 year old skater should be... expected.

    If a roadway, sounds like he was riding too far to the right.

    But it's hard to say for sure given the ambiguities of the story.
    The Pinellas Trail is close to 40 miles long and has many steep overpasses over major roadways. It is inhabited by a pletora of idiots who wander back and forth with little regard to anything or anyone else. About two weeks ago, I was coming down one overpass at about 33 mph - it was clean and green except for a guy proceeding me on a mountain bike. When the idiot got to the bottom, he turned and stopped right in the middle of the trail without looking back. Needless to say, I had one ass puckering maneuver to miss him. I have vowed to stay off the trail, but in this instance I was accompanying a group ride that briefly traversed the trail, and I was riding ahead, because I enjoy attacking the uphills.

    This is the second death on the Pinellas Trail in about a month. Another elderly gentleman was struck by a car at one of the roads that intersect the trail, but do not have overpasses.
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    33 mph on a MUP? That sounds about 25 mph over a safe speed! (hence the reason most -- there are exceptions-- MUPs are useless for real transportation that is safe).

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    Some folks will read this and feel sorry for a guy who got to live 76 years and spend the last day of his life riding his bike...see this as a sad, sad story.

    Others might think "Wouldn't it be terrific to live to be 76 years old, and get to spend the last day of my life riding my bike". A great life to the end.

    And, someone will seek to place the blame on the bike rider, the kids, the people who designed the road, the people who designed the helmet...someone has to be at fault.

    But, me? I just hope I live that long. And, I just hope on the last day of my life, I get one last bike ride. Don't want to be age 76, laying in some "Old Folks" home.

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    Quote Originally Posted by alanbikehouston
    Some folks will read this and feel sorry for a guy who got to live 76 years and spend the last day of his life riding his bike...see this as a sad, sad story.

    Others might think "Wouldn't it be terrific to live to be 76 years old, and get to spend the last day of my life riding my bike". A great life to the end.

    And, someone will seek to place the blame on the bike rider, the kids, the people who designed the road, the people who designed the helmet...someone has to be at fault.

    But, me? I just hope I live that long. And, I just hope on the last day of my life, I get one last bike ride. Don't want to be age 76, laying in some "Old Folks" home.
    Same here. Like his wife said, he would have given his life if it had been a bird on the trail. Sounds like a great why to go.

  9. #9
    Senior Member skydive69's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Serge *******
    33 mph on a MUP? That sounds about 25 mph over a safe speed! (hence the reason most -- there are exceptions-- MUPs are useless for real transportation that is safe).
    Which is a good point, but it was early Sunday morning before the heavy traffic. But then again, who needs a bike path where you go 8 mph - I can run a hell of a lot faster than that, and I might as well save the wear on my ride!
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    But then again, who needs a bike path where you go 8 mph...
    In other words... (since most bike paths are unsafe at speeds above 8 mph)... who needs a bike path?.

    They're fine for recreational "family" stuff, but, in general (there are exceptions), they are not very useful for real transportation.

  11. #11
    Photog Extraordinaire Crack'n'fail's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by skydive69
    Which is a good point, but it was early Sunday morning before the heavy traffic. But then again, who needs a bike path where you go 8 mph - I can run a hell of a lot faster than that, and I might as well save the wear on my ride!
    speed limits on multi use trails are usually 15 or 20 aren't they?

  12. #12
    By-Tor...or the Snow Dog? hi565's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dahon.Steve


    SEMINOLE - Thomas Bragg loved birds, children and bicycling.




    On a more serious note that really sucks.
    ----------------------------------------------------------

  13. #13
    Sumanitu taka owaci LittleBigMan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dahon.Steve
    A very sad story in the St. Petersburg Times.

    SEMINOLE - Thomas Bragg loved birds, children and bicycling. He died last week from a bicycle accident caused when he tried to avoid injuring a little girl.

    Mr. Bragg, 76, was headed home on his red Huffy bike about 4:30 p.m. on Valentine's Day when the accident happened.

    He was riding downhill on the Pinellas Trail overpass across Park Boulevard when he saw three 7-year-old girls on roller skates, Pinellas County sheriff's spokesman Mac McMullen said.

    Mr. Bragg slowed to avoid hitting one of them and his brakes locked, propelling him over the handlebars and onto the ground, McMullen said.

    The child was unharmed. Mr. Bragg's helmet was damaged in the fall and he sustained blunt force trauma to the head.
    "He was riding downhill on the Pinellas Trail overpass across Park Boulevard when he saw three 7 year-old girls on roller skates..."
    No worries

  14. #14
    Senior Member vincenzosi's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Crack'n'fail
    speed limits on multi use trails are usually 15 or 20 aren't they?
    Near my parents is a Gateway National Recreation Center. They have a Multiuse Path with a speed limit of 15. That path is all but useless if you want to go for a real bike ride. I mean, not to bag on the people on it, but the people on it are barely doing 5 and have twelve kids and walk 5 abreast covering both directions.

    In other words, useless.

    Now don't get me wrong, I'm not the impatient jerk behind them yelling "On your left" etc. I just avoid that specially designed path altogether and ride laps on the entrance road. Much less to worry about when you're moving the same direction as traffic and, if the traffic follows the speed limit of 20, almost the same speed.
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  15. #15
    Senior Member Dchiefransom's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Serge *******
    does anyone know if the "Pinellas Trail overpass" is a roadway or a multi-use path?

    I wouldn't blame, but it does sound like this could have prevented by a change in his behavior.

    If an MUP, sounds like he was going too fast for riding on an MUP, where an unexpected 7 year old skater should be... expected.

    If a roadway, sounds like he was riding too far to the right.

    But it's hard to say for sure given the ambiguities of the story.
    It doesn't say what they think his speed was, but it could have been 15mph or under. The article said "his brakes locked". No matter where he was riding, his brakes either had a problem, or he put his brakes on so hard that he went over the handlebar. For all we know, he tried to squeeze the brake levers through the bar grips, causing the accident. He's an older nice guy that worries about injuring others.

  16. #16
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    I fail to see the need for analysis.

  17. #17
    I couldn't car less. jeff williams's Avatar
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    That's a sad story, I almost hit a rider fixing on a trail around 30 mph. I ditched ... he cel phoned the medics. Evac.
    His fault, but 180 lbs @ 30 mph? I'd have messed him up bad, if I was riding a fs bike I would have out ridden the ravine.

    I've ditched before = kids, old folks i'll bite it.
    If i'm aware of a car in the next lane and an adult + your fault?
    You might get smoked.

    Learn to steer BEHIND AND PAST the object crossing your path.

    Kids...well you ditch..but learn to ditch by rear braking, get down -slide the rear sideways.
    Just like dropping a motorcycle.

    Sounds like a very nice man, perhaps not a super cyclist.
    R.I.P. Respect.

  18. #18
    Snakebite gritface's Avatar
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    The air quality is better on a MUP, sometimes I don't mind the slower speed to avoid exhaust.

  19. #19
    I drink your MILKSHAKE Raiyn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by skydive69
    I was coming down one overpass at about 33 mph - it was clean and green except for a guy proceeding me on a mountain bike. When the idiot got to the bottom, he turned and stopped right in the middle of the trail without looking back. Needless to say, I had one ass puckering maneuver to miss him. I have vowed to stay off the trail, but in this instance I was accompanying a group ride that briefly traversed the trail, and I was riding ahead, because I enjoy attacking the uphills.
    .
    Sounds almost exactly like what happened to me except my idiots were a pair of middle schoolers one of whom stopped at the bottom directly in my original line and the other swerved over into the space that I would have had to avoid them had they moved together.

    Serge, you don't ride in our area, I'd appreciate it if you didn't tell us what's "good" for transportational puropses in our area.

  20. #20
    feros ferio John E's Avatar
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    Proper front brake modulation technique can be a bit tricky to learn. Stories such as this reinforce the public's general misplaced fear of the front brake.
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  21. #21
    I drink your MILKSHAKE Raiyn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by John E
    Proper front brake modulation technique can be a bit tricky to learn. Stories such as this reinforce the public's general misplaced fear of the front brake.
    True enough, but for what I see of most Huffy brakes he'd be lucky to have even gotten power form that brake

  22. #22
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    Here is the website for the Pinellas Country trail... It is huge but just like any other public place, it has become to over crowded and you really need to keep your eyes open if you are on a bike..

    http://www.pinellascounty.org/trailgd/default.htm

  23. #23
    Commuter JohnBrooking's Avatar
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    Shouldn't his helmet have protected him, as in slvoid's case? Might it have been a defective or broken helmet? Could he have been wearing it improperly? Or was this just one of those extenuating cases that helmets won't cover, without spending inordinately more money in their design and manufacture? (Probably it could have been any of these, but we'll never know.)

    Not trying to open the wear-or-not-wear one debate, I'm just trying to figure out why my expectation of its protective ability was seemingly not met here.

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dahon.Steve
    A very sad story in the St. Petersburg Times.

    An older cyclists was going down a hill and tried to avoid a girl but locked up the front wheel and hit the floor with his head. I don't know who to blame? The girls? The Huffy? The helmet?
    Thats the problem with people in this country. They have to find someone to 'blame'. It was an accident. The guy died. It's sad. Casting blame will not bring him back. Get over it.

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by galen_52657
    Thats the problem with people in this country. They have to find someone to 'blame'. It was an accident. The guy died. It's sad. Casting blame will not bring him back. Get over it.
    I feel this way too! I tell my kids that sometimes "Stuff" happens. Blaming someone/something may make you feel better, but it's better to own up to the fact that bad stuff happens, usually for no reason at all. And I tell them to admit when they are wrong; when something bad happens to someone, much of the time(not all of the time) that someone had something to do with what happened to him/her. Take responsibility for your actions and realize that bad stuff sometimes happens to the best of us.
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