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  1. #1
    Senior Member dwmckee's Avatar
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    MS150 Banned Kids on Tandems

    My 8-year-old and I were ready to sign up for our third MS150 ride in Pittsburgh when we saw the new rules that all participants must be at least 12 to ride this year. My son was old enough at 6 and at 7, but now 8 is too young! We are really heartbroken. Has anyone else been affected by this new rule and any ideas if or how it can be appealed. I can see the need for a rule for kids solo but on a tandem with their parent should be pretty safe. We are very disappointed.. We had two other tandem teams planning to ride with us this year that are also affected.

  2. #2
    triplet tandem djembob02's Avatar
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    This happened to me last year, BUT DON'T GIVE UP. I live in Kansas City, and had ridden two previous MS 150's with my daughter, who was 5 on her first one in 2006. I contacted the organizers and it turned out that it was acceptable for her to ride. They basically said that there were two reasons she could be an exception:

    1. Because she has done the ride in previous years (basically a grandfather clause type of arrangement). If she can ride 89 miles in a day when she's 5, I'm sure she can do it at 7.
    2. Because she was on a regular bike, completely steered by the pilot (myself). That is to say that it is not a trailer bike.

    I believe that the issue may have come up due to concerns with the stability of trailer bikes as well as the possible fatigue and health concerns about children on bikes for a long period of time. The way I figure it, if she do all the training rides and tours, I'm sure she can ride the MS. Plus, I really love supporting the fight against MS, and think it is a great way to help her be involved in something bigger.

    The bottom line, we did have to fill out some extra paperwork, but it was allowed (after a number of phone calls and emails). I haven't registered for this year yet, but my hope is that it will be the same. Oh, also, I rode with one of the largest MS teams in our area. I know that there were many people from my team who also called or emailed the local organizers on my behalf. I'm sure that didn't hurt.

    Good Luck!
    Bobby

  3. #3
    Senior Member embankmentlb's Avatar
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    I hate lawyers!

  4. #4
    Senior Member joe@vwvortex's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by embankmentlb View Post
    I hate lawyers!
    I hate sue happy americans..........
    Administrator and Contributing Editor - Vortex Media Group

  5. #5
    hors category TandemGeek's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by joe@vwvortex View Post
    I hate sue happy americans..........
    Too hard to judge without a lot more information...

    But for anyone who may not be aware of what some of these comments are referring to, here's just one of what I'm sure are hundreds of articles on the Web regarding one of two fatalities that occurred during two separate MS 150 rides back in 2006:

    http://www.bikingbis.com/blog/_archi...5/3292586.html

    I suspect that as part of it's due diligence the MS 150 lawyers had a room full of cycling safety consultants and experts review the rules for their events and the age limit was just one of the resultant changes.

  6. #6
    Senior Member joe@vwvortex's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TandemGeek View Post
    Too hard to judge without a lot more information...
    Not referring to this specific instance - but the comment regarding lawyers in general. All the idiots filing frivolous lawsuits are as much to blame if not more so than the lawyers.
    Administrator and Contributing Editor - Vortex Media Group

  7. #7
    Ride it like you stole it WheresWaldo's Avatar
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    I also think this is a fundamental change in the nature of riders the MS150's arouns the country are trying to attract. I know and ride with the coordinator of the MS150 in my area and he told me that they are trying to get away from the casual or untrained rider and move more toward the advanced recreational rider. They are deliberately making the route harder with more climbing. They are organizing more training rides. But the bottom line is that they want riders with experience and not novices or children.

    It might not be popular but it is what it is.
    "Never use your face as a brake pad" - Jake Watson

  8. #8
    triplet tandem djembob02's Avatar
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    I just read the articles about the fatalities. How unfortunate! To be honest, I can understand the family's reaction. When I ride on the MS150 (or any other organized or unorganized ride), I completely consider it my responsibility to ensure my own safety. Although the organizers try to have crossing gaurds and many intersections, it is very common for these gaurds to not be the most competent individuals for such a responsibility.

    I consider the added police presence and crossing gaurds to be convenient, but certainly not a real assurance of safety. I can see how many riders may see this differently.

    All this talk makes me motivated to register. I better go ahead and do it soon, and hope that I will again be allowed to participate.
    Bobby

  9. #9
    Senior Member
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    I hope you lawyer-haters never need one! i hope you work in a profession where you help people and wake up to read crap like that about yourself!

  10. #10
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    I do work in a profession that does help people and nobody write "crap like that" about my profession. Perhaps you are working in the wrong field, phoran.

  11. #11
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    Having ridden a few MS150s, I believe the issue was not so much the tandems proper, but the tag-alongs. I have seen more than one kid sleeping back there; not very safe.

    I also believe that the MS society is working on that happy balance of number of riders and money. Here the Houston-Austin ride fills up in 7 hours with 13,000 riders. The San Antonio ride gets about 3,500 riders and is changing the route this year to increase participation.

  12. #12
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    Nope. i do good things. i just get sick of reading misinformed bashing like that. i'm off to save the world. Perhaps i can help an injured cyclist today!

  13. #13
    Senior Member
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    Perhaps you can learn to capitalise the first-person singular personal pronoun at the same time, phoran.

  14. #14
    hors category TandemGeek's Avatar
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    Rather than having the Mods lock or purge the off-topic, P&R stuff... let's see if we can't get this back in the box.


    Quote Originally Posted by embankmentlb
    I hate lawyers!
    There are good lawyers who provide an essential service in our country, a country that exists and is shaped the way it is by a complex system of laws that attempt to level the playing field. Without this legal system and a proponderance of the professional lawyers working to uphold the spirit and intent of these laws, anarchy and corruption would be the rule instead of the exception. It's unfortunate that the media only shines their cameras on the anarchy and corruption and gross misuse of tort laws, aka., the legal lottery system. Of course, it's regular citizens who sit in the jury box and judges who 'rule' on these cases, not the lawyers.

    There are lawyers who focus more on personal gain or ego that work in the grey areas of the law where one would hope that ethics, conscience and a commitment to upholding the spirit and the intent of the law would guide their actions... not just finding loop holes in the letter of the law or abusing the tort laws and taking what appear to be obscene 'cuts' of the awards for personal gain. These are the bad apples that taint the profession.

    Of course, there are also bad apples in the medical, investment, banking, construction and, well, just about every other profession and occupation often time who engage lawyers of a similar ilk. How about 'dem policitians? Short-sighted greed / power / influence is the common thread and I don't know how you fix that short of, well, enforcing laws and prosecuting the bad apples. For that, you need good lawyers.

    Quote Originally Posted by phoran View Post
    I hope you lawyer-haters never need one! i hope you work in a profession where you help people and wake up to read crap like that about yourself!
    If you're not one of the lawyers who gives your profession its 'butt of all jokes' reputation then why does this upset you so much? Again, there ARE bad apples in the legal profession... and if it troubles you direct your energies to your State Bar Assn. and whatever efforts they are taking to rid your profession of the lawyers who don't meet muster.

    Quote Originally Posted by LWaB View Post
    I do work in a profession that does help people and nobody write "crap like that" about my profession. Perhaps you are working in the wrong field, phoran.
    Purely inflamatory but, yes... in general the old adage always applies: If you're not part of the solution then perhaps you're part of the problem. Tolerating bad lawyers and abusing the tort system, etc... doesn't benefit anyone in the long run except the bad lawyers.

    Quote Originally Posted by phoran View Post
    Nope. i do good things. i just get sick of reading misinformed bashing like that. i'm off to save the world. Perhaps i can help an injured cyclist today!
    Like I said, if the shoe doesn't fit why do you care? If you do care, police your own.

    Quote Originally Posted by LWaB View Post
    Perhaps you can learn to capitalise the first-person singular personal pronoun at the same time, phoran.
    Playground non-sense that undermines your own credibility[in the context of an on-going debate or exchange of ideas].

    So, back on topic, has anyone else encountered changes in their local MS 150 rules that might impact their interest or ability to participate? Does anyone else have constructive suggestions about how to work with the local MS 150 organizers to bridge that gap?
    Last edited by TandemGeek; 02-23-09 at 09:41 AM.

  15. #15
    Senior Member
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    i'm writingg this all off to 2 things: 1)snow won't go away, and i'm sick of "riding" my trainer, and 2)Monday morning grumpiness!

    Sorry!

  16. #16
    Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by TandemGeek View Post
    Playground non-sense that undermines your own credibility.
    True, this is playground stuff about a fundamental point of language. I'll take the risk to my on-line credibility for a little self-amusement, in this case.

  17. #17
    pan y agua merlinextraligh's Avatar
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    I don't think the MS 150 people had in mind kids on the back of tandems when they made the rules.

    Having done several MS150's with my daughter on a tandem, having ridden with other kid stoker teams on MS 150 rides, and having done a couple more MS150's on a single in various parts of the country, I am certain, that almost any parent/child tandem team is safer, and better bike handlers, than a whole lot of single riders, that have next to no bike handling skills, and exhibit almost no common sense.

    I'd bet that most MS150 rides would be willing to waive the age requirement for a child stoker. If not it's there loss, and there are plenty of other rides you can do with your kid.

    All that said, MS150 rides are dangerous rides due to the vast differences in abilities, and the sheer numbers. The age 12 rule is a very reasonable rule. No way I would put my 11 year old kid on an MS150 ride on their own bike.

    They just need to consider its application to tandems.
    You could fall off a cliff and die.
    You could get lost and die.
    You could hit a tree and die.
    OR YOU COULD STAY HOME AND FALL OFF THE COUCH AND DIE.

  18. #18
    Senior Member embankmentlb's Avatar
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    I wish i could take back the "I hate lawyers" comment. I wish i had said " You've gotta love lawyers".

  19. #19
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    You can take it back! just make sure you capitalize correctly!

  20. #20
    Senior Member embankmentlb's Avatar
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    Let's not get carried away.

  21. #21
    Ride it like you stole it WheresWaldo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by merlinextraligh View Post
    I don't think the MS 150 people had in mind kids on the back of tandems when they made the rules.

    Having done several MS150's with my daughter on a tandem, having ridden with other kid stoker teams on MS 150 rides, and having done a couple more MS150's on a single in various parts of the country, I am certain, that almost any parent/child tandem team is safer, and better bike handlers, than a whole lot of single riders, that have next to no bike handling skills, and exhibit almost no common sense.

    I'd bet that most MS150 rides would be willing to waive the age requirement for a child stoker. If not it's there loss, and there are plenty of other rides you can do with your kid.

    All that said, MS150 rides are dangerous rides due to the vast differences in abilities, and the sheer numbers. The age 12 rule is a very reasonable rule. No way I would put my 11 year old kid on an MS150 ride on their own bike.

    They just need to consider its application to tandems.
    I also think that age is easier to regulate than rider ability. I do agree that one of the big issues is ability of participants. That was one of the things I alluded to in my comment. By making the route harder they can target untrained riders without an arbitrary rule. The age thing is just a consequence, collateral damage so to speak.

    In order to minimize the danger the best way is to get rid of the "untrained" riders, unfortunately those "untrained" riders appear to be the bulk of the riders that participate. Over the past few years there have been many attempts to change the flavor of the MS150 by our local chapter. Some more effective than others. Now they seem to be going in the direction of, "if we make it so hard for novices, we will have less novices riding." whether that is good or bad only time will tell.

    I know that for myself, I did not participate in previous MS150 rides because of the danger involved in those once a year riders that simply endanger everyone else around them, sort of like those only go to church at Easter bunch (don't flame me for the church comment). In our area the belief is that their donations are more important than their participation.

    Just a couple of cents worth.
    "Never use your face as a brake pad" - Jake Watson

  22. #22
    Florida rider bikeguy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LWaB View Post
    Perhaps you can learn to capitalise the first-person singular personal pronoun at the same time, phoran.
    It might be a good idea to learn to spell CAPITALIZE.....

    just a thought

  23. #23
    hors category TandemGeek's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bikeguy View Post
    It might be a good idea to learn to spell CAPITALIZE.....
    Public Service Announcement: This is an international forum and, as such, has members from other parts of the world where similar words to those used in U.S. or American English are pronounced, spelled and sometimes used differently, e.g., schedule, capitalise, defence, colour, fanny, etc...

    LWaB hales from just such a place (note his location information, i.e., Sunshine State, OZ) and likely speaks New Zealand English, which is even somewhat different from Australian English, which are both somewhat different from British English and all of which are different from American English.

    Must be a lot of snow-bound folks out there.

  24. #24
    Senior Member
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    The grumpiness must stop!

    on a more on-topic note, i looked at the somewhat sketchy details of the 15 yr old fatality which was posted earlier. In Michigan, participants in a group ride are forced to sign a liability waiver which our state supreme court has held up to protect the organizing group from negligence. These often result in cases where victims are not compensated, even where the negligent act is clear. Has anyone received an official reply from ms150 as to the thought process behind the age restriction?

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by TandemGeek View Post
    LWaB hales from just such a place (note his location information, i.e., Sunshine State, OZ) and likely speaks New Zealand English, which is even somewhat different from Australian English, which are both somewhat different from British English and all of which are different from American English.
    Now the insults have started, calling me a Kiwi

    By the way, 'British English' is just 'English', every other form is a derivation.

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