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Can't unclip -- cyclist almost drowns

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Can't unclip -- cyclist almost drowns

Old 05-19-15, 03:32 PM
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asmac
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Can't unclip -- cyclist almost drowns

Cyclist rescued after falling into Rideau Canal, sinking with bike - Ottawa - CBC News
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Old 05-19-15, 03:36 PM
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Here we go. This is going to be a Looonngg thread!
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Old 05-19-15, 05:11 PM
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From my read, he wasn't riding clip less, but with toe clips. So let's ban both clips and clip less - just to be on the safe side.
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Old 05-19-15, 05:28 PM
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There is a 50/50 to it.

OTOH he should have been on solid ground and not near water. Since it seems to say that he lacked experience using clips and he could have drowned.

The flipside is, he actually suffered bodily injuries, that were far less. Compared to what could have happened if, he had hit solid ground.
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Old 05-19-15, 05:34 PM
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IMO the story here isn't about bicycles, but low parapets. I don't know how often things happen here, but this path isn't forgiving of rider, or even runner, error. It's easy to trip, or lose control of a bike, maybe while trying to avoid a dog on a leash, and go into the drink. If this were a road, you could be sure there'd be guardrails. Likewise with balconies, porches, or similar architectural details.

According to the report, there was an incident this winter where someone suffered a head injury going over into a dry canal.
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Old 05-19-15, 06:08 PM
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The objective bits is that the guy was 63. He was in toe clips and that he was in the water going down and was rescued by another biker and jogger. Police are looking into it. From these small bit of info. - hard to says what was going on. I hope he's OK?
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Old 05-19-15, 06:25 PM
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It seems clearly unclear if he was using 'toe-clips' or 'clipless' since most people would describe 'clipless' as 'clips' and we all say we are 'clipped in' when using clipless pedals.

It seems weird that someone couldn't get out of toe-clips but maybe...

The thread should probably be called "Can't free feet -- cyclist almost drowns."

Last edited by asmac; 05-19-15 at 06:28 PM.
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Old 05-19-15, 06:34 PM
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Originally Posted by asmac View Post
..It seems weird that someone couldn't get out of toe-clips but maybe...
It's very difficult to get out of toe clips if wearing cleats on the shoes...original cleats as intended for use with toe clips, not clipless cleats. You have to manually release the strap to get your foot out.
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Old 05-19-15, 06:53 PM
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Cycling rule # 263..... When cycling near water always wear your Helmet air bag.

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Old 05-19-15, 06:59 PM
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What about the bike?
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Old 05-19-15, 07:01 PM
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Originally Posted by FBinNY View Post
IMO the story here isn't about bicycles, but low parapets.
I can't imagine that would exist here without guardrails. They have large rails on sidewalks here at any point where water might collect during heavy rain. Even the smallest depressions.
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Old 05-19-15, 07:08 PM
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Originally Posted by Looigi View Post
It's very difficult to get out of toe clips if wearing cleats on the shoes...original cleats as intended for use with toe clips, not clipless cleats. You have to manually release the strap to get your foot out.
Under normal circumstances, it takes but a fraction of a second to release the tension on the strap and remove your foot from the toe clip, with or without cleats. It's not difficult. If someone is disoriented from a crash and then goes into the water, likely to induce panic, that's another story. No matter how the person is clipped in, this is not a good thing and it's great that there were people there to help him and that he will probably be ok.
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Old 05-19-15, 07:08 PM
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Not to be cruel, but "I've fallen and I can't .... unclip!". Maybe they'll make life vests mandatory when within 20 ft of water, including backyard pools. Actually, I get nervous when I ride my bike past the pool, especially when I'm on my electric bike.
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Old 05-20-15, 05:39 AM
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Originally Posted by desconhecido View Post
Under normal circumstances, it takes but a fraction of a second to release the tension on the strap and remove your foot from the toe clip, with or without cleats. It's not difficult. If someone is disoriented from a crash and then goes into the water, likely to induce panic, that's another story. No matter how the person is clipped in, this is not a good thing and it's great that there were people there to help him and that he will probably be ok.
Perhaps a second or two, under normal circumstances, but if you're falling in the drink you have to reach down, find the strap with your hand and release it, then do the same for the other foot... That's not as easy as twisting your foot out of a clipless pedal...which I believe is one reason clipless pedals were invented and caught on; the ease, not the falling in the drink part.

Of course there are always those who will eschew modern conveniences.

Last edited by Looigi; 05-20-15 at 05:42 AM.
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Old 05-20-15, 07:24 AM
  #15  
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Reminds me of the recent conversation I had with a motorist, who always unbuckles his seat belt on this one stretch of highway that parallels a deep, fast moving river. If it were not for the fact that I have driven this same stretch of road, wearing a seat belt, and without incident, his theory might have had some traction with me.
Though, the thought of drowning is not even on the radar for my not using clippless pedals.
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Old 05-20-15, 07:49 AM
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I rode the pathways on both sides of the Rideau Canal this weekend, there were tens of thousands of cyclists out - it was bot the first weekend of the year for 'Sunday Bike Days' as well as the Tulip fest, not to mention just a beautiful weekend weather wise. THis was an unfortunate incident but the low curbs in some places next to the canal (as opposed to the guard rails along most of it) are simply not a hazard the vast majority of the time. Even though the water is cold this time of year, he was probably better off falling in now that in Augus when the weeds have grown long and completely choked the canal, and thousands of boats are floating past and illegally pumping out their toilets.

The real scary part was the cyclists inability to get his feet out of the toe clips. I have said many times (often in discussions on this site) that clipless pedals are safer than toe clips because of the consistent release.
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Old 05-20-15, 12:24 PM
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Originally Posted by Essex View Post
From these small bit of info. - hard to says what was going on.
Messiah complex, obviously. He was trying to ride on the water, but lacked sufficient faith.
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Old 05-20-15, 12:54 PM
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Originally Posted by FBinNY View Post
IMO the story here isn't about bicycles, but low parapets. I don't know how often things happen here, but this path isn't forgiving of rider, or even runner, error. It's easy to trip, or lose control of a bike, maybe while trying to avoid a dog on a leash, and go into the drink. If this were a road, you could be sure there'd be guardrails. Likewise with balconies, porches, or similar architectural details.

According to the report, there was an incident this winter where someone suffered a head injury going over into a dry canal.
i rather have no rail, then to get some cheesegrater "guardrail"
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Old 05-20-15, 01:04 PM
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Originally Posted by italktocats View Post
i rather have no rail, then to get some cheesegrater "guardrail"
I'm actually with you here, and don't think a guardrail is necessary --- if/when there's water in the canal. The actual risk of drowning is low. The water isn't that deep and it takes time to drown. Once the initial shock is over, a rider has plenty of time to either unclip or remove his shoes, or whatever --- if he doesn't panic.

OTOH- the article alluded to someone suffering a severe head injury from dropping a few feet onto rocks when the canal was dry. IMO - if adequate water depth isn't maintained the edge with rocks below is far worse, and would warrant a rail of some sort.

But no matter how you slice it, it remains each rider's responsibility to ride in control. Water is the least of the possible hazards, and we routinely ride past trees, boulders, benches and other hazards along roads and trails, and I, for one, don't want to live in a world of padded walls flanking every path and road.
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Old 05-20-15, 01:14 PM
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I ride clipless and this is my route; I like to live on the edge Just like U2's guitar player!

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Old 05-20-15, 01:20 PM
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Obviously the guy needs a lighter bike with some big, fat tubes to keep him afloat.
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Old 05-20-15, 02:35 PM
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looks like a good place for a railing
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Old 05-20-15, 02:47 PM
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*I think there are some German profanity in this
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Old 05-20-15, 03:08 PM
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Originally Posted by Wilfred Laurier View Post
I rode the pathways on both sides of the Rideau Canal this weekend, there were tens of thousands of cyclists out - it was bot the first weekend of the year for 'Sunday Bike Days' as well as the Tulip fest, not to mention just a beautiful weekend weather wise. THis was an unfortunate incident but the low curbs in some places next to the canal (as opposed to the guard rails along most of it) are simply not a hazard the vast majority of the time. Even though the water is cold this time of year, he was probably better off falling in now that in Augus when the weeds have grown long and completely choked the canal, and thousands of boats are floating past and illegally pumping out their toilets.

The real scary part was the cyclists inability to get his feet out of the toe clips. I have said many times (often in discussions on this site) that clipless pedals are safer than toe clips because of the consistent release.
There's no good reason to conclude the guy was using clips and straps as opposed to clipless. The video demonstrates the issue with clipless.
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Old 05-20-15, 03:37 PM
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Originally Posted by FBinNY View Post
I'm actually with you here, and don't think a guardrail is necessary --- if/when there's water in the canal. The actual risk of drowning is low. The water isn't that deep and it takes time to drown. Once the initial shock is over, a rider has plenty of time to either unclip or remove his shoes, or whatever --- if he doesn't panic.
[...].
The problem is that when someone has a crash and then ends up under water, reason and logic vanish with the first swallow/breath of water. People who are in danger of drowning often panic violently and irrationally. Trying to logically and reasonably figure out why you can't get upright in three feet of water when you've already aspirated and are probably disoriented from the crash -- it's tough. That's why water boarding works.
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