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What is the safest cycling race discipline?

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What is the safest cycling race discipline?

Old 04-25-20, 04:48 AM
  #26  
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Don't pass up the chance to do something you desire only to fall in the bathtub and break your neck; nobody gets out of this thing unscathed. I ache every day from hitting the pavement in bike races and wouldn't change it for anything.
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Old 04-25-20, 08:44 AM
  #27  
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Originally Posted by nomadmax View Post
Don't pass up the chance to do something you desire only to fall in the bathtub and break your neck; nobody gets out of this thing unscathed. I ache every day from hitting the pavement in bike races and wouldn't change it for anything.
For sure .... don't let your fear of being crippled or killed keep you from getting crippled or killed.

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Old 04-25-20, 10:32 AM
  #28  
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Aside from indoor trainers (which I guess is becoming a thing) and epic forum post writing without sentence breaks, I wanted to say hill climbing as the speeds are usually so slow. But... then I considered what happens usually when I reach the top ie. the descent. That can't be safe.

So, I might suggest hill climbing with a sag wagon that carries you back down to the bottom but somehow that seems like sacrilege.

In a solo competitive way, there is a thing called pass hunting, in which you seek out major mountain pass routes to ride up. You can google it. I spend time looking on road maps for such hill climbs and really enjoy the sense of challenge involved.

Last edited by Happy Feet; 04-25-20 at 10:35 AM.
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Old 04-25-20, 10:44 AM
  #29  
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In my experience, in order of overall safety, based on likelihood of crashing x severity of the crash.

Hill climbs
ITT
TTT
Track racing
CX
XC MTB
Triathlon
Road races
Criteriums

You might ask why did I rate ITT as safer than triathlon? Experience and bike handling skills off the competitors mostly.

Last edited by caloso; 04-25-20 at 10:49 AM.
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Old 04-25-20, 12:09 PM
  #30  
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Originally Posted by c0rbin9 View Post
I don't think road cycling is particularly healthy. Atrial fibrillation, low sperm count, bad posture...

Do it for the fun of it, but don't have any illusions that it's better for your body than natural exercise.
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Old 04-25-20, 12:29 PM
  #31  
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Originally Posted by c0rbin9 View Post
......t don't have any illusions that [road cycling] is better for your body than natural exercise.
Could you please list all the unnatural exercises which we would be best to avoid?
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Old 04-25-20, 02:07 PM
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Broadly speaking, exercises that are extreme in intensity or duration, and exercises that use machines to isolate certain muscles rather than working the natural range of motion. Competitive road cycling happens to fall into both categories.
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Old 04-25-20, 03:06 PM
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Exercises which are of extreme intensity or duration ... like the Maasai tribesmen who run for three days to steal cattle from neighboring tribes?

Of course, in order for exercise to continue to cause growth, it has to increase in intensity.

And of course, "extreme" is a relative term.
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Old 04-25-20, 03:09 PM
  #34  
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Any bike racing and you will crash eventually. It’s important to analyze why you crashed and if you could have prevented it, for example was there wheel overlap, poor bike handling, clipped a pedal during a turn? Good bike handling skills and situation awareness are the best ways to avoid crashes. Also, being near the front of the pack in a crit is preferable than being in the back, as weird stuff happens in the back as folks get tried. Have a good road rash kit in your car as well for those aggressive club rides. Also, learn to fall off your bike, it’s always better to slide than got over the handle bars if you have an option.
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Old 04-25-20, 03:57 PM
  #35  
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So do the uphill racers walk their bikes back down?
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Old 04-25-20, 03:58 PM
  #36  
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Originally Posted by Vintage Schwinn View Post
There is risk in riding a bike period! The faster that you go (full speed) , where, and when - (the roads-streets) and the time of day/night and the weather conditions-visibility, all can elevate that risk level slightly. Now, racing a bicycle is much like open-wheel auto racing (Formula One / Indy Car) where the two vehicles cannot touch or something typically goes airborne and results in a horrific looking if not catastrophic crash. Lets characterize it this way, "You kant trade a liddle paint, like dem good ole boyz dat say yall no dat rubbin' is ray-sin and da fans ain't jumpin if da bumpers ain't bumping and da cars ain't bangin............................NO CAN DO, you're absolutely nuts if you race where the competitors on bikes think that they are NASCAR or Dirt Track Late Model drivers.

Triathlon has the real athletes! The other bicycle race competitions are largely wusses, pretty boy posers, and the occasional nut that isn't playing with a full deck!
Hey if you can't run with the big dogs, then you've gotta stay on the porch!
If you take it seriously and train and make certain that you are at least a decent swimmer, you will not drown!
There are some idiots that don't take the swimming portion seriously enough. An example is those morons train only in a swimming pool where the temperature is comfortable and there are no waves, current, cloudy-murky-muddy- very cold water where the water is not clear and visibility and swimming in the cold against current with no preparation/training in maintaining direction amidst other swimmers, a few of whom might be unprepared clowns too......... They don't know what they are in for and know the distance isn't much but didn't think that it would be so different than swimming miles of laps in an olympic sized swimming pool.
Triathlons are super fun.
They can be hazardous too, as of all the triathlons of which I have competed, the majority of serious crashes that have occurred to competitors have been due to tire blowouts on downhill sections at high speed causing the competitor to lose control and crash, and there has been at least one competitor that was hit by a car.
The swimming portion has safety crews on kayaks that are there to guard against anyone that wasn't ready for prime time and bit off more than they could chew...
I have competed where the organizers decided it was too dangerous to have the swimming portion of the triathlon because the wind and whitecaps were making it difficult for the safety crew to position themselves. The whitecaps and the 25mph sustained wind with gusts and the 45F outside temp without windchill at the designated start time had the organizers to initially delay then to just eliminate the swim portion and turn the tri into a bi-athlon with only the biking and running portions. This was not a Half Iron Man or anything significant, just the garden variety triathlon in the Columbia SC area several years back.
Rarely do you ever have two cyclists that colide while racing in a triathlon, and it is probably far more rare that anyone drowns! You sometimes have competitors that have heart attacks and require medical transport while on the running portion, occasionally they do die, sometimes it might happen on the bike portion or swim portion but probably 96% of the time if it happens it is during the run (the 3rd and final stage) and not the swim (1st stage) or the bike portion (2nd stage).
There is a significant risk sometimes with auto traffic on certain sections of the bike course depending on the event organizer/the course. By definition, one is covering a great distance at very high speed on public roads which sometimes the participant has only seen the course via a slow automobile drive along the entire course the night before the triathlon.
Triathletes are the real athletes. The dopeheads who gotta be like Lance and only think of the tour de France, not so much, although the ones that are actually racing in July in France on live television are real athletes even if they trust that the bike goes better with dope. The typical very fit, non pro, avid cyclist who does all the local bike shop rides, isn't in the same league with triathlon competitors, unless they are also tri competitors or former tri-competitors, marathon runners or serious swimmers.
Novice triathlon competitors who are strong swimmers or who are strong marathon runners will typically kick the butts of novice triathlon competitors who come from the cycling hobby even if those cycling folks have the latest and greatest equipment because unless they also have better than average swimming and running skills, the strong swimmers and the strong runners will clean the clocks of the cycling hobbyist with great equipment but average or less swimming & running skills.
Now, you'll find that the best triathlon winners have no overall weaknesses and they will also be riding the best equipment available. Somebody from the swim or marathon world that is a novice tri competitor will kick the butt of a novice tri competitor from the cycling hobby, even if that swim person or marathon person is riding something minimally adequate or outdated and the hobby cyclist is on the best equipment. You just cannot overcome the deficiencies in swim and run and likely the transitions if you are only average or less at swimming / running while up against someone strong in those areas.
It is a fun sport that you'd really enjoy when we all can gather in large groups again.
The coolest part is the tri people. They don't "judge" based on the equipment and how much you might have forked out in dollars for it, they reserve "judgement" for what you can produce with your bicycle, your swimming and running. They have seen all the posers who believe you can buy greatness without actually becoming a great swimmer and at least a better than average runner but quickly realize that no, it doesn't happen that way at all.
The most fun is that the courses vary greatly depending on weather and temperature and like a golf course could be more difficult or slightly easier depending on such conditions. I recommend that anyone that thinks they might enjoy doing a tri, to give it a go, but make certain that you train seriously enough and make certain to train in realistic, compareable open water conditions.
Pretty sure I'm not going to risk blowing out my retinas trying to read that.
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Old 04-25-20, 04:03 PM
  #37  
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^^^^^ He is enamored with triathletes. Everyone else is second best.

I would bet a lot of athletes in the NFL would beg to disagree who the real athletes are?
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Old 04-25-20, 04:54 PM
  #38  
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Originally Posted by DeathCurse7 View Post
Hey so I want to get into racing and I did my first crit race and crashed at 30 mph luckily it was not to bad just a sore wrist and road rash. I really enjoy endurance sports and don't want to have a bad accident and be on a wheelchair for the rest of my life. So I was wondering what is the safest discipline in cycling? (Mountain biking, cycle cross, road racing, etc)
lf you get killed in a time trial, God wants you to go home. Also, the endurance you already have will come in handy.
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Old 04-25-20, 05:48 PM
  #39  
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Downhill MTB, just your skills and the clock.
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Old 04-25-20, 06:38 PM
  #40  
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Zwift
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Old 04-25-20, 07:15 PM
  #41  
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Originally Posted by 79pmooney View Post
Hill climbs. Ride your hardest. Those 12 mph crashes don't hurt very much.
What goes up, must come down. 12 mph uphill is quite safe, 50 mph downhill is another matter.
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Old 04-25-20, 08:15 PM
  #42  
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Originally Posted by 50PlusCycling View Post
What goes up, must come down. 12 mph uphill is quite safe, 50 mph downhill is another matter.
Except that youíre not racing down. Every hill climb I know of is timed to the top, and itís neutral on the way down. Mt Diablo would pace you down in groups, when I did it, at least.
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Old 04-25-20, 09:12 PM
  #43  
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Originally Posted by livedarklions View Post
So do the uphill racers walk their bikes back down?
The shuttles take the downhill mountain bikes up the hill and the uphill road bikes down the hill
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Old 04-25-20, 09:18 PM
  #44  
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Originally Posted by 79pmooney View Post
Hill climbs. Ride your hardest. Those 12 mph crashes don't hurt very much.
Hill climbs: The one race discipline where you are most likely to break a chain, crank arm, pedal and smash the family jewels on the top tube.
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Old 04-26-20, 04:38 AM
  #45  
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Originally Posted by caloso View Post
Except that youíre not racing down. Every hill climb I know of is timed to the top, and itís neutral on the way down. Mt Diablo would pace you down in groups, when I did it, at least.

Mt. Washington requires the bike to go down on a car or truck. No downhill riding at all.
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Old 04-26-20, 09:42 AM
  #46  
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Originally Posted by Vintage Schwinn View Post
There is risk in riding a bike period! The faster that you go (full speed) , where, and when - (the roads-streets) and the time of day/night and the weather conditions-visibility, all can elevate that risk level slightly. Now, racing a bicycle is much like open-wheel auto racing (Formula One / Indy Car) where the two vehicles cannot touch or something typically goes airborne and results in a horrific looking if not catastrophic crash. Lets characterize it this way, "You kant trade a liddle paint, like dem good ole boyz dat say yall no dat rubbin' is ray-sin and da fans ain't jumpin if da bumpers ain't bumping and da cars ain't bangin............................NO CAN DO, you're absolutely nuts if you race where the competitors on bikes think that they are NASCAR or Dirt Track Late Model drivers.

Triathlon has the real athletes! The other bicycle race competitions are largely wusses, pretty boy posers, and the occasional nut that isn't playing with a full deck!
Hey if you can't run with the big dogs, then you've gotta stay on the porch!
If you take it seriously and train and make certain that you are at least a decent swimmer, you will not drown!
There are some idiots that don't take the swimming portion seriously enough. An example is those morons train only in a swimming pool where the temperature is comfortable and there are no waves, current, cloudy-murky-muddy- very cold water where the water is not clear and visibility and swimming in the cold against current with no preparation/training in maintaining direction amidst other swimmers, a few of whom might be unprepared clowns too......... They don't know what they are in for and know the distance isn't much but didn't think that it would be so different than swimming miles of laps in an olympic sized swimming pool.
Triathlons are super fun.
They can be hazardous too, as of all the triathlons of which I have competed, the majority of serious crashes that have occurred to competitors have been due to tire blowouts on downhill sections at high speed causing the competitor to lose control and crash, and there has been at least one competitor that was hit by a car.
The swimming portion has safety crews on kayaks that are there to guard against anyone that wasn't ready for prime time and bit off more than they could chew...
I have competed where the organizers decided it was too dangerous to have the swimming portion of the triathlon because the wind and whitecaps were making it difficult for the safety crew to position themselves. The whitecaps and the 25mph sustained wind with gusts and the 45F outside temp without windchill at the designated start time had the organizers to initially delay then to just eliminate the swim portion and turn the tri into a bi-athlon with only the biking and running portions. This was not a Half Iron Man or anything significant, just the garden variety triathlon in the Columbia SC area several years back.
Rarely do you ever have two cyclists that colide while racing in a triathlon, and it is probably far more rare that anyone drowns! You sometimes have competitors that have heart attacks and require medical transport while on the running portion, occasionally they do die, sometimes it might happen on the bike portion or swim portion but probably 96% of the time if it happens it is during the run (the 3rd and final stage) and not the swim (1st stage) or the bike portion (2nd stage).
There is a significant risk sometimes with auto traffic on certain sections of the bike course depending on the event organizer/the course. By definition, one is covering a great distance at very high speed on public roads which sometimes the participant has only seen the course via a slow automobile drive along the entire course the night before the triathlon.
Triathletes are the real athletes. The dopeheads who gotta be like Lance and only think of the tour de France, not so much, although the ones that are actually racing in July in France on live television are real athletes even if they trust that the bike goes better with dope. The typical very fit, non pro, avid cyclist who does all the local bike shop rides, isn't in the same league with triathlon competitors, unless they are also tri competitors or former tri-competitors, marathon runners or serious swimmers.
Novice triathlon competitors who are strong swimmers or who are strong marathon runners will typically kick the butts of novice triathlon competitors who come from the cycling hobby even if those cycling folks have the latest and greatest equipment because unless they also have better than average swimming and running skills, the strong swimmers and the strong runners will clean the clocks of the cycling hobbyist with great equipment but average or less swimming & running skills.
Now, you'll find that the best triathlon winners have no overall weaknesses and they will also be riding the best equipment available. Somebody from the swim or marathon world that is a novice tri competitor will kick the butt of a novice tri competitor from the cycling hobby, even if that swim person or marathon person is riding something minimally adequate or outdated and the hobby cyclist is on the best equipment. You just cannot overcome the deficiencies in swim and run and likely the transitions if you are only average or less at swimming / running while up against someone strong in those areas.
It is a fun sport that you'd really enjoy when we all can gather in large groups again.
The coolest part is the tri people. They don't "judge" based on the equipment and how much you might have forked out in dollars for it, they reserve "judgement" for what you can produce with your bicycle, your swimming and running. They have seen all the posers who believe you can buy greatness without actually becoming a great swimmer and at least a better than average runner but quickly realize that no, it doesn't happen that way at all.
The most fun is that the courses vary greatly depending on weather and temperature and like a golf course could be more difficult or slightly easier depending on such conditions. I recommend that anyone that thinks they might enjoy doing a tri, to give it a go, but make certain that you train seriously enough and make certain to train in realistic, compareable open water conditions.
Seems like it will take a week to read, at least for me! Will update soon
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Old 04-26-20, 11:14 AM
  #47  
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Originally Posted by Vintage Schwinn View Post
There is risk in riding a bike period! The faster that you go (full speed) , where, and when - (the roads-streets) and the time of day/night and the weather conditions-visibility, all can elevate that risk level slightly. Now, racing a bicycle is much like open-wheel auto racing (Formula One / Indy Car) where the two vehicles cannot touch or something typically goes airborne and results in a horrific looking if not catastrophic crash. Lets characterize it this way, "You kant trade a liddle paint, like dem good ole boyz dat say yall no dat rubbin' is ray-sin and da fans ain't jumpin if da bumpers ain't bumping and da cars ain't bangin............................NO CAN DO, you're absolutely nuts if you race where the competitors on bikes think that they are NASCAR or Dirt Track Late Model drivers.
Your entire post is somewhere between nonsense and insane, but this is demonstrably wrong. I can make all kinds of contact without crashing, and my bike handling skills are substantially below any Cat 3 crit racer.
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Old 04-26-20, 12:27 PM
  #48  
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I would allow that elite triathletes are better all-around athletes than elite bike racers, but since this is a bike forum and this thread is about the safety of various forms of bike racing, about 90% of this post is irrelevant and the other 10% is ill-informed.

Mass start racing of all kinds (RR and crits, CX, and track) have all sorts of incidental contact. and in the vast majority of circumstances, thereís no issue. In fact, itís something we work on with our junior racers. Weíll do bump drills on grass, tire rubbing, lean on each other, etc.

Yes, mass start racing is inherently riskier than TTs, but the idea that contact = catastrophic crash is ridiculous.

Last edited by caloso; 04-27-20 at 09:06 AM.
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Old 04-26-20, 12:39 PM
  #49  
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It was said above, but I do want to chime in that BMX racing is actually quite safe - things can go wrong, but - a reasonable amount of protection is required, more than the minimum is the norm, and it's a closed track.
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Old 04-26-20, 01:08 PM
  #50  
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Originally Posted by alo View Post
I don't know statistics, but because you land on a smooth surface, I wonder whether velodrome races have less serious injuries. Others may have more information.
I'd worry about some other 200# er running into you after you fall with that 52 tooth saw running near your head!

Safest place is probably in the stands - you can get beer spilled on you, a stadium horn blown in your ear, or called out for looking at the hot gal next to you, but none of those is generally life-threatening. And it's not like the Indy 500 where in principle you can find a launched racing car heading into the stands at 250 mph. While eating your hot dog!

I'd think helping on the General Support cars (TdeFr) would fit the bill, too!

Last edited by Road Fan; 04-26-20 at 01:14 PM.
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