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Old 04-20-07, 01:54 PM   #1
Niles H.
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Surviving unscathed

A large number of injuries can be entirely avoided with simple, light protective gear. Many fractures just wouldn't happen.

Here is a great example of surviving an accident that would otherwise have been much worse,

http://youtube.com/watch?v=FYsMli570K8

Some of those chunks streaking along during the disintegration of the SR are human bodies. The pilot and the LCO.

I read a detailed account of another SR-71 disintegration. It was written by the pilot. Many people, including the pilot himself, could not believe that he lived through it; but with the right outfit it is amazing how well one can survive.

[Before getting back to bikes, in case anyone is interested in what is going on in this video -- besides some very interesting designs -- these craft, the SR-71 mothership and the drone that is separating from it, are traveling at very high speeds (mach 3+). The first two separations work out. After the third separation, the drone has problems as it lifts off and moves up into the shock waves around it. It falls back into the SR-71, causing the SR to pitch up. At those extreme speeds, pitching up means disintegration.]

Hope some of you enjoyed this clip.

Back to bikes:

I keep noticing, both in the accidents that I have been in, and in accidents that other riders have, that a little bit of protective gear would prevent a huge amount of pain and expense, treatment and down time.

A little padding, weighing almost nothing, could have prevented any number of broken hips or femurs, broken wrists, and broken arms.

The padding can be made easily from closed cell foam pads.

Many downhill racing outfits use this system. Closed cell foam is inserted into pockets. It's very simple to do, and can be done at home. If the pockets have open or partially open tops, it is easy to remove the pads when desired. Velcro attachment systems are also very simple.

Even limited, ventilated padding, well placed, only over the most injury-prone areas, would go a long way in preventing and reducing injuries.

Last edited by Niles H.; 04-20-07 at 06:47 PM.
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Old 04-20-07, 03:02 PM   #2
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I think the questions on everyone's mind are:

"Just how many watts would I have to put out to get up to mach 3+?"

"Would steel hold up better at mach 3+ than carbon fiber?" "How about aluminum?"

"Would you need Dura Ace breaks to slow down?"
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Old 04-20-07, 03:15 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Percist
I think the questions on everyone's mind are:

"Just how many watts would I have to put out to get up to mach 3+?"

"Would steel hold up better at mach 3+ than carbon fiber?" "How about aluminum?"

"Would you need Dura Ace breaks to slow down?"
The SR-71 is mostly Ti, and no carbon fiber. Steel would melt at such speed/temps.

Sorry, the plane geek in me couldn't resist.
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Old 04-20-07, 03:52 PM   #4
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I can't help but wonder, what does pie taste like at mach 3?

I think you're point about padding has merit. If I were downhill racing, I'd be wearing as much as I could get on. For commuting, a helmet and weather appropriate clothing feels like enough protection.

I refuse to accept that fact that crashes are inevitable. I simply refuse.
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Old 04-20-07, 03:59 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Percist
I think the questions on everyone's mind are:

"Just how many watts would I have to put out to get up to mach 3+?"

"Would steel hold up better at mach 3+ than carbon fiber?" "How about aluminum?"

"Would you need Dura Ace breaks to slow down?"
good one
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Old 04-20-07, 04:19 PM   #6
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If the SR-71 were a bicycle, there would be a few things about it.

1) It would be made by Felt
2) It would leak a lot until you got warmed up
3) There would only be a hand full of them in the world
4) There would be a Russian bicycle made specifically to go as fast
5) We wouldn't have known about it until it was nearly obsolete
6) It would complete the Furnace Creek 508 in about 15 minutes.
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Old 04-20-07, 04:20 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by modernjess
I can't help but wonder, what does pie taste like at mach 3?
I've wondered this myself.

Quote:
I refuse to accept that fact that crashes are inevitable. I simply refuse.
I agree. But what if?

Wearing some extra protective gear doesn't mean that you accept them as inevitable (necessarily at least). More like 'just in case'. Same with helmet.

There is a danger of accepting some kind of autosuggestion along with it (along with the helmet or some kind of other protection), and saying, or accepting the idea, 'ok I'm going to crash, I might as well be prepared.'

It could be a variety of other ideas -- 'It probably won't happen, but on the off chance that someone is having a stroke at just the wrong time behind the wheel of a car (or is experiencing some kind of lapse of consciousness (it happens))...'

Probably there are many better ideas that could accompany it. There's certainly a lot of scope in that area.

***
I just find it a little puzzling. Roller bladers routinely wear more protection. Their falls and accidents are usually less awkward, at lower speeds, from lower heights, and are less likely to involve motor vehicles.

Cyclists could certainly do something similar, and there are many design possibilities, including simple, inexpensive and light weight ones.

Last edited by Niles H.; 04-20-07 at 04:44 PM.
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Old 04-20-07, 04:42 PM   #8
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Closed cell foam sounds too much like wearing a wetsuit while riding. In 90 degree+ summer temperatures I don't see this as being a good idea.
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Old 04-20-07, 04:52 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SDRider
Closed cell foam sounds too much like wearing a wetsuit while riding. In 90 degree+ summer temperatures I don't see this as being a good idea.
I was thinking more along the lines of spot padding. Some of the downhill suits have patches of foam. Spot padding could be similar, but more limited -- protecting key areas.

The pads could be light and perforated, and allow for airflow.

Helmets have evolved quite a bit in this regard. (Pictures of helmets from the 70s (there are probably some of these pictures on the web) show how much hotter those were for warm summer rides....)

Padding could do something similar.

The lightness and airiness could also vary according to need, since riding conditions vary quite a bit.
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Old 04-20-07, 05:08 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rykoala
If the SR-71 were a bicycle, there would be a few things about it.

1) It would be made by Felt
2) It would leak a lot until you got warmed up
3) There would only be a hand full of them in the world
4) There would be a Russian bicycle made specifically to go as fast
5) We wouldn't have known about it until it was nearly obsolete
6) It would complete the Furnace Creek 508 in about 15 minutes.
7) regardless of pilot quality and training, once in a while things can happen

Last edited by Niles H.; 04-20-07 at 06:54 PM.
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Old 04-20-07, 06:39 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Niles H.
I was thinking more along the lines of spot padding. Some of the downhill suits have patches of foam. Spot padding could be similar, but more limited -- protecting key areas.

The pads could be light and perforated, and allow for airflow.

Helmets have evolved quite a bit in this regard. (Pictures of helmets from the 70s (there are probably some of these pictures on the web) show how much hotter those were for warm summer rides....)

Padding could do something similar.

The lightness and airiness could also vary according to need, since riding conditions vary quite a bit.
That's just it though, where are you going to put it? On the rider's hips and shoulders? That's about the only place that is covered by fabric on a rider in any temperature over 65 degrees. I've fallen over maybe twice on a bicycle through years of riding and all of the falls were because I stopped and lost my balance and couldn't unclip in time. I don't want to jinx myself of course.

I've fallen a few more times while mountain biking but I gave that up years ago. Mountain biking is too dangerous and I think you're much more likely to injure yourself doing that than road riding.
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Old 04-20-07, 11:36 PM   #12
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Well, technically the SR-71 is a trike and thus belongs in the recubent forum. However, the U-2 with it's bicycle landing gear configuration would acceptable here, providing of course that one commutes in one on occassion.
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Old 04-21-07, 12:42 AM   #13
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So we would look more ridiculous than we do now? Do we really need more lumpy spandex?
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Old 04-21-07, 04:09 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Niles H.
A large number of injuries can be entirely avoided with simple, light protective gear. Many fractures just wouldn't happen.

Here is a great example of surviving an accident that would otherwise have been much worse,

http://youtube.com/watch?v=FYsMli570K8

Some of those chunks streaking along during the disintegration of the SR are human bodies. The pilot and the LCO.

I read a detailed account of another SR-71 disintegration. It was written by the pilot. Many people, including the pilot himself, could not believe that he lived through it; but with the right outfit it is amazing how well one can survive.

[Before getting back to bikes, in case anyone is interested in what is going on in this video -- besides some very interesting designs -- these craft, the SR-71 mothership and the drone that is separating from it, are traveling at very high speeds (mach 3+). The first two separations work out. After the third separation, the drone has problems as it lifts off and moves up into the shock waves around it. It falls back into the SR-71, causing the SR to pitch up. At those extreme speeds, pitching up means disintegration.]

Hope some of you enjoyed this clip.

Back to bikes:

I keep noticing, both in the accidents that I have been in, and in accidents that other riders have, that a little bit of protective gear would prevent a huge amount of pain and expense, treatment and down time.

A little padding, weighing almost nothing, could have prevented any number of broken hips or femurs, broken wrists, and broken arms.

The padding can be made easily from closed cell foam pads.

Many downhill racing outfits use this system. Closed cell foam is inserted into pockets. It's very simple to do, and can be done at home. If the pockets have open or partially open tops, it is easy to remove the pads when desired. Velcro attachment systems are also very simple.

Even limited, ventilated padding, well placed, only over the most injury-prone areas, would go a long way in preventing and reducing injuries.
huh? the commuting forum?

I don't race down mountains to get to work.

And nobody should have to dress themselves up like an armadillo just to ride.
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Old 04-21-07, 05:29 AM   #15
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From the few falls I've had, the hands and knees are where I landed. Bike gloves takes care of one. I think kneepads would get uncomfortable with the amount of movement you have in riding.
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Old 04-21-07, 05:45 AM   #16
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I think it'd be possible to have knee pads. Think "knee warmers" in the winter. Short spandex tubes that cover your legs. Now add a little bit of padding to the outside of each leg (since bicyclists would tend toward falling to one side, rather than directly on a kneecap like rollerbladers).

I do wear gloves. I'm not sure I'd wear knee pads. I think a big difference is that on a bike, you're mostly in danger of road rash (assuming a minor enough accident that some slight padding would help). On rollerblades, you're looking at a much greater potential for broken kneecaps.
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Old 04-21-07, 06:59 AM   #17
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I think because we are people who rely on ourselves, our own power, and bikes as primary transportation, we do prepare for many inevitabilites. But certainly to varying degrees depeding on the individual, and their abilities and their willingness to accept risks.

I think most folks try to carry some water, a pump, tubes, lights, basic tools, things that will ensure a relatively safe and successful journey. Proper clothing and helmets are certainly part of that equation as well. Then there are some who feel the need to be even further prepared and are carry things like weapons (yikes!). It's about what you are comfortable with and perhaps some might find more protective clothing useful if it were available. I don't think I would, but that's me.

On the other hand, Is it possible that padding enhanced clothing could be a marketable item that might help folks get into cycling? Perhaps people who are wanting to get into cycling, but for whatever reason feel the inherent dangers from crashing to be more than they are willing to accept. Maybe there is a market for it? The big bike companies are always looking for ways to entice more folks into the sport and there certainly seems to be an abundance of people out there who are afraid of bikes. Maybe this would help, who knows?

Last edited by modernjess; 04-21-07 at 07:07 AM.
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Old 04-21-07, 07:56 AM   #18
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In this same vein:
A woman called in to a car talk show I listen to & was complaining that her safety engineer husband made her & their kids wear helmets while riding in the family car. Host conceded they were no doubt safer but understood why the teen aged kids were rebelling over dad's rule. Fashion & style probably means not many takers for the added safety of protective clothing. Don
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Old 04-21-07, 08:42 AM   #19
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there's a rider in seattle that commutes in a freeride compression suit. he's been doing it for years.

maybe he can modify it to be a wearable tent and sleeping system so he doesn't have to bring anything else for bike touring
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Old 04-21-07, 05:51 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by modernjess
I think because we are people who rely on ourselves, our own power, and bikes as primary transportation, we do prepare for many inevitabilites. But certainly to varying degrees depeding on the individual, and their abilities and their willingness to accept risks.

I think most folks try to carry some water, a pump, tubes, lights, basic tools, things that will ensure a relatively safe and successful journey. Proper clothing and helmets are certainly part of that equation as well. Then there are some who feel the need to be even further prepared and are carry things like weapons (yikes!). It's about what you are comfortable with and perhaps some might find more protective clothing useful if it were available. I don't think I would, but that's me.

On the other hand, Is it possible that padding enhanced clothing could be a marketable item that might help folks get into cycling? Perhaps people who are wanting to get into cycling, but for whatever reason feel the inherent dangers from crashing to be more than they are willing to accept. Maybe there is a market for it? The big bike companies are always looking for ways to entice more folks into the sport and there certainly seems to be an abundance of people out there who are afraid of bikes. Maybe this would help, who knows?
I think most people who are concerned with their own safety on a bicycle are more afraid of being hit by a car than of crashing on their own. Padded shorts and jerseys aren't going to offer jack if you get mowed down by some idiot in an SUV.
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Old 04-23-07, 10:07 AM   #21
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I used to wear Crash Pads undershorts when I rode a lot of off-road back in college or was out doing things like high-speed stair descents or loading-dock jumps. I also wore elbow/forearm and knee/shin guards. At the relatively low speeds I'd be impacting something, and the high probability I'd be impacting something, it made sense.
Commuting, for me, is a low probability of impact event. If I'm involved in a crash, it's most likely to be with a vehicle and there's little I can do to reduce the severity of that impact. Helmet, gloves, and proper gear for the weather; that's what I go with.
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Old 04-23-07, 10:48 AM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SDRider
I think most people who are concerned with their own safety on a bicycle are more afraid of being hit by a car than of crashing on their own. Padded shorts and jerseys aren't going to offer jack if you get mowed down by some idiot in an SUV.

to be honest though, ive seen about a dozen cyclists hit by cars, including some SUV's and they would have been much much helped by this kind of protective gear from what I had seen, as most of their injuries were mostly superficial impacts in the areas the OP describes.

That being said, it takes a LOT to get people to wear protective gear and for it to overcome the fashion angle, I dont really see it happening.
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Old 04-23-07, 10:56 AM   #23
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The cuts and scrapes are cool, chicks dig body damage
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Old 04-23-07, 11:35 AM   #24
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The cuts and scrapes are cool, chicks dig body damage
Chicks, maybe, but this woman prefers undamaged goods.
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Old 04-23-07, 11:47 AM   #25
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How about something like an airbag vest, like in that one commercial I saw once where the guy was falling down then the vest automatically inflated around him to save his life. That would be more practical, though still fictional. Lightweight, windresistant, water proof, reflective and an airbag. Maybe PI will come up with it.
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