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Cyclist killed during Sierra Century ride

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Cyclist killed during Sierra Century ride

Old 06-05-06, 06:56 AM
  #1  
ctyler
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Cyclist killed during Sierra Century ride

Here's an email from a friend:


Subject: From the Sacramento Bee, Sunday edition

Cyclist killed during Sierra Century ride
AMADOR COUNTY -- A 56-year-old bicyclist from Palo Alto was killed at about noon Saturday during the Sierra Century ride in Amador County when he veered into a tractor on the road, officials said.
The cyclist had pulled into the opposite lane to pass the slower-moving tractor on Fiddletown Road, east of Hale Road, witnesses said. As a car approached in the opposite direction, the cyclist swerved back into his lane and hit the side of the tractor, according to Officer Frank Peixoto of the California Highway Patrol.
> He was run over by the tractor's rear wheel. The man, whose name was not released Saturday evening pending official identification, died at the scene.


And here's my friend's comment:

Incredibly sad, definitely put a damper on the event for me. This, and the astonishing arrogance of some riders who think that they are the only ones who should be on the road. 2-3 abreast, climbing and chatting - traffic going up and down, upset locals. Gee, can't wait to do it again next year - NOT!
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Old 06-05-06, 07:29 AM
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That's terrible. I wonder what he was thinking when overtaking that tractor? "I am not a slow-moving vehicle," perhaps?
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Old 06-05-06, 09:01 AM
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What a tragedy. Farm equipment rolling down the highway can very dangerous. What is equally dangerous are drivers and cyclists all trying to get around slowmoving tractors and combines at the same time. When passing such vehicles watch for oncoming traffic and for anything coming up behind you. Also, keep in mind that they are sometimes comparatively fast and might turn into a drive or a side road with very little warning. This happened around home when a car attempted to pass (with no reduction in speed) a tractor at an intersection and collided with the rear wheel of one of those big 4WD John Deeres as it started its turn. In Ontario, at least, operators of farm equipment are not required to have a driver's permit and only have to be 16 years old. One guy who lived in the next town from my parents lost his licence due to repeated impaired driving charges and got around by driving an old International Farmall Super H with a wagon all over the place. If I saw him around in either my bike or car, I gave him a wide berth.

From the sounds of the story, the tractor operator did nothing wrong and I feel sorry for them having their vehicle being the instrument of someone's death.
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Old 06-05-06, 10:19 AM
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This was my 5th year on the Sierra Century and have always enjoyed the course and ride support.

Didn't hear about it until the end at dinner, when I was told about it by a rider who waited while the road was cleaned up. He said he waited about 45 min. Seems it happened several hours after I passed that point on Fiddletown Rd.

The course was changed this year because El Dorado County refused to permit the ride on the traditional (30 years) "Slug Gulch" road. The crash occurred on an unchanged part of the course.
The course change made the ride less enjoyable because it now finishes with a climb in the hot valley, when in the past it was downhill to the finish after Slug Gulch.

Cyclists need to pass safely, just as we expect other road users.

I'm glad I started early, as I passed the crash site hours before it happened. Also the afternoon became hot, and I finished at 3.
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Old 06-05-06, 01:40 PM
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Wow, that's sad! I hadn't heard about the accident. I left the Fiddletown reststop at about 10:30am so I guess it happened later.
It was my first Sierra Century and I enjoyed it although I suffered a lot due to lack of training and especially the heat. Yes, the finish was tough with very little shade to hide from the burning sun.
I found the organization excellent. Cops were riding the course all day long in both directions to slow down traffic, all major intersections were attended by traffic controllers, and signs were posted at the beginning of each road. That was, by far, the best controlled event I have participated to. Yet a fatal accident occured. The organizators surely have nothing to be reproached of, yet I feel for them. That's the worse nightmare.
As mentioned above each of us should ride with our head on our shoulders. On Hale road a downhill was very treacherous with a mix of gravel and awful pavement, yet some were bombing down the road. I saw a guy crash in a curve there. I think he was the one complaining from a possible broken bone at the dinner.
On a positive sidenote, I had the pleasure to meet Terry Morse (the climbing fool) at the Fiddletown reststop. That's when I started to suffer so when I saw him again he blew past me on Hale Road.
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Old 06-05-06, 01:57 PM
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Out on the road, there is no substitute for caution, prudence, and patience.
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Old 06-05-06, 02:04 PM
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that is tragic.

i almost got wiped out by a farm pickup truck towing a manure spreader last week. as if the spreader weaving all over the lane wasn't enough, the manure spreader's trailer hitch is not in the middle and the driver apparently forgot that it was wider on my side. i swear it nearly hit my elbow.
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Old 06-05-06, 02:57 PM
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sad to hear.
whenever i have the opportunity to draft a "slow moving farm vehicle" i take full advantage of that (with a plan b or c ready at all times)!
with respect...
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Old 06-06-06, 08:53 PM
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Here is the full story from the Sacramento Bee. Very sad indeed!

https://www.sacbee.com/content/news/s...15077061c.html
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Old 06-11-06, 01:30 AM
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Originally Posted by ctyler
Here's an email from a friend:


Subject: From the Sacramento Bee, Sunday edition

Cyclist killed during Sierra Century ride
AMADOR COUNTY -- A 56-year-old bicyclist from Palo Alto was killed at about noon Saturday during the Sierra Century ride in Amador County when he veered into a tractor on the road, officials said.
The cyclist had pulled into the opposite lane to pass the slower-moving tractor on Fiddletown Road, east of Hale Road, witnesses said. As a car approached in the opposite direction, the cyclist swerved back into his lane and hit the side of the tractor, according to Officer Frank Peixoto of the California Highway Patrol.
> He was run over by the tractor's rear wheel. The man, whose name was not released Saturday evening pending official identification, died at the scene.


And here's my friend's comment:

Incredibly sad, definitely put a damper on the event for me. This, and the astonishing arrogance of some riders who think that they are the only ones who should be on the road. 2-3 abreast, climbing and chatting - traffic going up and down, upset locals. Gee, can't wait to do it again next year - NOT!
This reminds me of a couple of scenes from the James Bond serial 'Live and Let Die where, Sherriff J.W. Pepper is chasing one of the hoodlums of Mr. Big and, gets stuck behind a slow-moving tractor. The hoodlum n' the sherriff speed past the tractor only to end up in a pile-up not far down the road and, the tractor passing them.

I mention that because, just as a tractor may seem slow, that is how a cyclist is perceived by drivers and, if behind a tractor on a two-lane blacktop with the solid double-yellow line, just stay behind the tractor.
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Old 06-11-06, 09:58 AM
  #11  
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I believe we now need to have an awareness campaign for agricultural vehicles.

Tractors and other farm equipment are a different breed of animal. They don't share the road with cyclists the same way with other motor vehicles because they simply are not capable of that. Farm workers are not "cagers" out for a joyride or other needless car driving but are growing food to put on our table. I was out on a group ride one time out in the country and when a combine came down the road we all got OFF the road. They can't go around us because there's no other place to go.

As population growth and urban sprawl keeps chipping away at places to ride safely, coupled with the growth of agribusiness and factory farms with the increasing size of equipment, this is going to be more of a problem for bike riders in the years ahead who don't want to ride on the bike paths all the time.
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