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Road Cycling “It is by riding a bicycle that you learn the contours of a country best, since you have to sweat up the hills and coast down them. Thus you remember them as they actually are, while in a motor car only a high hill impresses you, and you have no such accurate remembrance of country you have driven through as you gain by riding a bicycle.” -- Ernest Hemingway

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Old 04-23-07, 08:24 PM   #1
rlodewell
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Tour de Georgia Tragedy

Unless you were at Brasstown Bald on Friday you're probably not aware that one of the many cyclists who rode up the mountain to watch the finish crashed on the way down after the stage.

Even though we (the other spectators) didn't know what had happened, it was obvious it was serious because they brought in a helicopter to take the person away.

I've been wondering since and searched tonight and found this:

http://www.wmcstations.com/Global/story.asp?S=6413200

If you have to register or can't see it for some reason, the gist of it is, a cyclist from Arkansas crashed and is paralyzed from the waist down. He has other injuries, as well.

I know "tragedy" usually refers to death, but this seems pretty tragic to me.
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Old 04-23-07, 08:28 PM   #2
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That's brutal. Be careful out there.

Very sorry to read that.
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Old 04-23-07, 08:30 PM   #3
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In the Brasstown Bald Century this coming weekend they forbid anyone to ride back down. I guess they know what they're doing.
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Old 04-23-07, 08:30 PM   #4
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Very sorry to read that. I was driving and riding around in the mountains of VA and KY over the weekend ... I can appreciate the dangers out there. Best of luck to the injured rider.

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Old 04-23-07, 08:32 PM   #5
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*shudder*
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Old 04-23-07, 08:36 PM   #6
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People crash heading down nearly every year. Usually, it's just a matter of losing a lot of skin, but not this time. It's very dangerous after the stage because you have literally hundreds of riders heading down, and several more hundred people walking down. Frankly, I'm surprised something this serious doesn't happen every year.
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Old 04-23-07, 09:24 PM   #7
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wow that's horrid.
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Old 04-23-07, 09:44 PM   #8
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Hopefully the injured will recover quickly. Hopefully there was a misdiagnosis about that waist down paralysis.
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Old 04-23-07, 10:10 PM   #9
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Best wishes to the rider and his family.

Lets hope he starts kicking ass on one of these soon, if he does not recover.

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Old 04-24-07, 01:35 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vpiuva
In the Brasstown Bald Century this coming weekend they forbid anyone to ride back down. I guess they know what they're doing.
I did the Brasstown Bald Buster Century in 2005. Riding down in the Van, I felt like I was going to slide off the seat forward. 60-70mph would not be difficult to hit going down there.

I won't mind hoping in the Van again this year.
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Old 04-24-07, 02:46 PM   #11
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<tsk> By all means, let's protect everyone from themselves.

Yes, it's dangerous. You think the Arkie didn't know that? He chose to ride anyway. So what's the issue? Tragic, yes. But why should my (and his) liberty suffer because of it?
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Old 04-24-07, 02:47 PM   #12
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I was on Brasstown and rode down just behind that cyclist. They were putting him on a backboard when I got to that corner. He didn't look good, but at least he was alive. It's a steep grade coming into it and a hard left turn (close to 90 degrees). The road then seems to continue to move left as you come out of the corner- that part I noticed more on our long ride the day after the stage came through when I went through that corner at a somewhat higher speed and got closer to the right edge than I was expecting to.

It's a shame, and as rlodewell wrote, it happens a lot in the post-stage descent of Brasstown. It's a bad combination of way too many people on the road both on bikes and on foot and a lot of less-experienced cyclists potentially causing problems both for themselves and others around them.
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Old 04-24-07, 03:52 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DMF
<tsk> By all means, let's protect everyone from themselves.

Yes, it's dangerous. You think the Arkie didn't know that? He chose to ride anyway. So what's the issue? Tragic, yes. But why should my (and his) liberty suffer because of it?
What?
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Old 04-24-07, 04:15 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DMF
<tsk> By all means, let's protect everyone from themselves.

Yes, it's dangerous. You think the Arkie didn't know that? He chose to ride anyway. So what's the issue? Tragic, yes. But why should my (and his) liberty suffer because of it?
Would you feel differently had he hit someone else and they got injured? Yes, we all have to make choices. If I choose to drive 200 miles an hour on the highway, that's my choice - but that is why they have speed limits to try and encourage people to take unnecessary risks. For someone with a ban cell phones while driving signature, you sure have a strange idea of "liberty".
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Old 04-24-07, 07:13 PM   #15
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ATLANTA Authorities say a spectator was paralyzed after losing control of his bicycle while descending the steepest part of the Tour de Georgia.
Georgia State Patrol trooper Johnny Ensley says Thomas Kinnebrew of Helena, Arkansas was paralyzed from the waist down Friday after crashing into a rock embankment on the way down from Brasstown Bald.

Ensley says Kinnebrew was wearing a helmet but suffered severe injuries to his head and spine and had a collapsed lung.

He was listed in critical but stable condition Saturday at North Fulton Regional Hospital. Officials did NOT immediately return a phone call for a condition update today.

Copyright 2007 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

...
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Old 04-24-07, 07:15 PM   #16
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^which I would assume implies that had he not been wearing a helmet, he'd be dead.
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Old 04-24-07, 07:19 PM   #17
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The chopper buzzed past us while we were on top of the mountain. Never occurred to me it was for a downed rider. He is in our thoughts...



Quote:
Originally Posted by rlodewell

Even though we (the other spectators) didn't know what had happened, it was obvious it was serious because they brought in a helicopter to take the person away.
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Old 04-24-07, 07:20 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by Ardor
For someone with a ban cell phones while driving signature, you sure have a strange idea of "liberty".

That's some serious PWNAGE. I failed to notice goobersnacks double standard printed out for the whole world to read.
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Old 04-24-07, 07:20 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vpiuva
In the Brasstown Bald Century this coming weekend they forbid anyone to ride back down. I guess they know what they're doing.

How do you get down then?


edit: never mind
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Old 04-24-07, 07:22 PM   #20
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How do you get down then?
You and your bike get a van trip
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Old 04-25-07, 12:05 PM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ardor
Would you feel differently had he hit someone else and they got injured?
No. An accident is an accident.

Quote:
Yes, we all have to make choices. If I choose to drive 200 miles an hour on the highway, that's my choice - but that is why they have speed limits to try and encourage people [not ??] to take unnecessary risks. For someone with a ban cell phones while driving signature, you sure have a strange idea of "liberty".
Would lowering the speed limit or posting "Be Careful" signs have prevented the crash?

You're advocating not setting a speed limit but banning all cars from the road because someone had a crash. (Note to Ardor: replace "car" with "bike" and re-read.) Now, doesn't that sound a little silly to you?


Quote:
For someone with a ban cell phones while driving signature, you sure have a strange idea of "liberty".
Ignoratio elenchi. I nowhere argued against all laws, but unnecessary laws justified as "protecting us".

I'm not against sensible laws; absolute liberty must be sacrificed for the social contract. But just as excessive speed is unsafe and endangers others, so does cell phone use - arguably more so.

It bothers me even more that people don't understand that distinction.
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Old 04-30-07, 11:04 AM   #22
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I was there. I had been at "The Wall", so I was among the first group to begin walking down.

The first group of cyclists headed off the mountain were just cooking it, with no regard to speed or the huge number of pedestrians, on everything from high end road bikes to rusty old mountain bikes.

The riders that were zipping past us I would guess were going in excess of 40 mph. And out of control.

Sorry, but they put themselves and everybody else at risk. I feel bad for the guy, but he took his own chances and better him than some pedestrian.
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Old 04-30-07, 11:10 AM   #23
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^^^^^
I talked to several people that rode up and walked down last Friday. They said that with all the people, bikes,and team cars it was way too dangerous in their opinion to ride down.

And its so steep it would take work to ride it below 40 mph.
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Old 04-30-07, 11:15 AM   #24
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He's passed away.
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Old 04-30-07, 11:19 AM   #25
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Does anybody know who this was? And while the decision to ride down under the circumstances is certainly open to question, its still a very unfortunate tragedy. My thoughts and prayers go out to the family.

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