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Old 06-21-10, 03:40 PM   #1
brentley
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Accident in tilden

Sad news about a rider in Tilden

http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/articl...ke21.DTL&tsp=1

Going down South Park.
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Old 06-21-10, 04:50 PM   #2
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Yikes. Sad to hear.
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Old 06-21-10, 04:51 PM   #3
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I worked with him, RIP. very sad news.
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Old 06-21-10, 05:32 PM   #4
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Was he riding on the wrong side of the road?

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William Flint II was riding downhill on South Park Drive near the Grizzly picnic area at about 2 p.m. when his bicycle drifted into oncoming traffic, police said.
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Old 06-21-10, 07:42 PM   #5
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Probably veered into the oncoming lane on his descent. RIP, sad news for sure.
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Old 06-21-10, 08:16 PM   #6
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That's just awful - we all know that road so well. Sincere condolences to the family and friends.

At the risk of being pre-emptive, can I suggest that we don't turn this into a "what he did wrong" analysis - stay safe out there everyone.
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Old 06-21-10, 11:33 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by Beaker View Post
That's just awful - we all know that road so well. Sincere condolences to the family and friends.

At the risk of being pre-emptive, can I suggest that we don't turn this into a "what he did wrong" analysis - stay safe out there everyone.
Thanks for the pre-emptive. As one who's been the recipient of "you should have done x and not done y" when reporting an accident I appreciate your suggestion to stay on topic.

And that's sad...condolences to his family.
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Old 06-22-10, 12:59 AM   #8
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That sucks. My condolences to his family.
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Old 06-22-10, 09:22 PM   #9
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Very sad, RIP rider.
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Old 06-22-10, 10:17 PM   #10
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R.I.P. Condolences to family and friends.
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Old 06-22-10, 10:51 PM   #11
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This is a really tragic event and I feel for everyone involved

Without speculating as to what happened or assigning any blame, I think it is worthwhile to reflect on this event beyond "RIP" or "condolences". I happened across this article tonight which seemed strangely appropriate: http://www.boston.com/bostonglobe/id...side_of_wrong/

The gist of the article is that making mistakes is not something that only bad people do. It's a natural side effect of the inductive reasoning process that lies at the heart of the human brain. Also the article mentions how aviation industry (and slowly the medical industry) have instituted a culture of freely reporting mistakes. The idea is that by intensively analyzing human error you are able to prevent it better in the future than by dismissing it or simply blaming it on a few "bad people".

Going back to the aviation world for a second, a lot of safety literature stresses the thought of "it could happen to me" no matter how trivial or stupid the mistake was that led to an accident. I think this is a good philosophy to have in general.

In this case I have paused and admitted to myself that it's possible for either me or an oncoming car to drift across the center line and collide. It's not just something that happens to reckless drivers or cyclists who can't control their bikes. Anyway be safe out there.
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Old 06-22-10, 11:36 PM   #12
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I think you make valid points Ben. My main issue here is just that these threads often go off the rails in unproductive ways.
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Old 06-23-10, 09:18 AM   #13
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We don't know all the details of the incident and likely never will. Chances are Flint and the SUV driver were the only witnesses as to what really happened and we'll only ever get one side of the story. Purely speculation: I find it unlikely he just "drifted" into the other lane; more likely story, SUV was cutting a blind corner and oops there's Flint in the other lane, swerve back but too late, Flint hits side of SUV.
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Old 06-23-10, 10:03 AM   #14
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It's a sad situation. All I know is that I know I have had a few close calls on descents where I was near (or on) the center line as a car came around the same corner. 24" difference on either my or the car's corner, and this could have been me. I suspect it's the same for many of us. Be careful, wear a helmet, and be safe, everyone.
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Old 06-23-10, 11:37 AM   #15
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It is sad indeed. Be safe everyone.
Apparently, the rider was a member of Strava where riders upload there rides and can compare with others on the leader board. Mr Flint was the second fastest on the South Park descent.
http://www.strava.com/segment_efforts/1223662
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Old 06-24-10, 09:49 PM   #16
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Another article...
http://www.berkeleyside.com/2010/06/...yclists-death/
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Old 06-24-10, 10:29 PM   #17
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Interesting link Henry, they've really made an effort to triangulate all the various sources of information that are available today - his strava entries, his twitter feed, his web site. I've seen a lot of this during the week, but seeing it put together like this is sobering. It's also sad. He's being subjected to trial by internet, in absentia. It certainly looks like he might have been trying to regain his descent time, but who's to say that he wasn't just making a "slower" descent down South Park and met the SUV pulling out of one of the picnic areas? Knowing the area of the collision, it is at the sharpest right hand bend on the road, which fits a whole bunch of theories.

I think that if this whole incident does anything at all, it should just remind us all to think about the risks we take when we're out riding.
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Old 06-25-10, 10:19 AM   #18
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Excellent points, Richard, and thanks for the link, Henry.

This story just makes me sick and we’ll probably never know exactly what happened. It definitely hits home with me as I go up and down this road all the time. It also makes me wonder why we (meaning most cyclists, not picking on this guy) want to go so fast in non-race events. I guess “fun” and “adrenaline rush” are the common answers. Maybe I’m just paranoid, but I just won’t do the crazy fast descents anymore.

In my 20s and early 30s, I would hit mid-50s on descents all the time. Nowadays, low-to-mid-40s and I start getting freaked out……….there’s just too much that can go wrong. Deer. Squirrel. Flat tire. Broken spoke. Veering car. Uncomfortably close passing motorcycle (got buzzed last weekend descending Papa Bear). Not to mention how long it takes to adjust your line while going 50+.

Anyway, just a sad, sad event. Be careful out there folks.
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Old 06-25-10, 01:38 PM   #19
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Man...reading the articles, and knowing that road physically sends chills down my spine thinking of trying to set a speed record on that descent... That road is one of the scariest in the whole east bay to go down. I'd much rather go down Lomas Contadas/El Toyonal than this road, even though those crazy rich folk drive like maniacs on that road. There are just so many danger spots on South Park, with all the picnic areas and people around. And coming into the bottom...you really have to slow way down a long ways back to be safe.

Yeesh...really, I'm sitting here shuddering just thinking about it.

You want to go fast on a descent, go down NG or SG on Diablo (only during the weekdays!), or Papa Bear, or even the Palomares "wall". The latter, one can easily get 50MPH rather "safely".

Funny, the fastest I ever went downhill was on was the road to Crystyl Ranch in Concord. I was just doing hill repeats when a storm was blowing in. The wind was easily 30-40 MPH sustained, and going downhill, I reached 56 MPH without much effort. I could have easily gotten 60 but looking down at my speedometer made me quite uncomfortable.

In the end, it's all about how confident and comfortable you are at speed. But I just can't imagine wanting to go *that* fast on a road as dangerous as South Park. I've always thought about what would happen if I died while riding (hit by car, crash, whatever), and I sincerely hope Mr. Flint did not suffer.

RIP.
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Old 06-25-10, 05:47 PM   #20
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Thank you for the link. It was very depressing to see Mr. Flint being held as a new born in 1969 by his mother in the 912 Porsche his family would be reunited with 30 years later. I almost hope his parents aren't around any longer to have to endure this terrible news.

The saddest thing about reading about deceased riders is how interesting and vibrant their lives invariably seem to be; it’s like hard riding and some risk taking are manifestations of that.
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