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December 14, 2017
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  • Jamie

    What a tragedy. Such a profound sense of loss and frustration. Rest in Peace Eric, and to everyone else still on course, stay safe.

  • marc

    bloody hell!

  • Andy B

    Very sad indeed, riding a bicycle on dark highways is obviously very dangerous.

    • Doubtful Guest

      Not to pile on, but that looks like a terrible place to ride: https://goo.gl/maps/QdrCCEiVyEt

      • jules

        It doesn’t look too bad to me. There’s a shoulder and visibility looks great. I’m unsure if you’ve linked the precise location of the collision though.

        It’s disturbing how these collisions keep happening. If he was lit up, which I assume he was, there’s no excuse for the driver.

        • Doubtful Guest

          I wouldn’t ride there in the day, let alone at night. The “shoulder” looks like it’s only a couple of feet wide, certainly not enough to pull a car over onto. The speed limit there could’ve been 75mph; that’s a speed differential where a small mistake by either the car or rider will be more likely to result in serious injury or death.

          Then there’s the possible Moth Effect of lights on a dark highway.

          Real bike races should have safe routes and/or closed courses. Too many cyclists confuse what’s legal with what’s a good idea.

          • jules

            in this context the shoulder is for riding your bike, not for a car. it’s better than no shoulder.

            I don’t understand how the road may have contributed here. We don’t know the facts, but there appears to be plenty of room for motorists to pass on the opposite side of the road. Was there oncoming traffic? It was 10pm so maybe not.

            The Moth Effect isn’t a function of the road or road design.

            • Doubtful Guest

              “pass on the opposite side of the road” — your faith in the average American driver is much, much greater than mine.

              • jules

                I never said anything about having faith in drivers. We were discussing how the road itself may or may not have contributed

                • Doubtful Guest

                  I give up.

                  • jules

                    Drivers are hopeless but it doesn’t provide useful guidance on which roads are better than others to cycle on.

                  • KP

                    When I rode the Trans Am 6 years ago, there were hardly any cars on that whole Kansas section. The only way that road could be safer would be to ban cars altogether.

                    • John Murphy

                      Better yet, self-driving cars.

                      People make mistakes, not the universe.

              • Russian Under Your Bed

                So stay on the cycling path. That road looks fine. Yeah the speed limit could be 75 but since “it could be” that’s just making stuff up. Could be an area locals drive their 707hp Charger Hellcats and the mafia dumps bodies. Could be you’d be more likely to get hit by a garbage truck or bus in a bike friendly city while in the bike lane. I’d rather be in Kansas.

                • sboagy

                  Given that’s a nationally recognized bicycle route, and is recognized by the state as well, 65 mph is too fast.

      • Jim Bronson

        It looks a great place to ride to me. Deserted flat straight Kansas highway.

        • Peter Galaxy1

          exactly the place drivers get blase

      • Peter Galaxy1

        Trouble is, out on these sorts of roads people think they are alone with noone to bother them, like in a busy city… i see and hear this attitude all the time out in the bush – people DRIVING like they are the only ones out there… sorry to this riders family n all their friends too. that is one dangerous place to be at night. Only need a driver to drift for a second and you are gonna be hit.

    • Wily_Quixote

      It’s not obvious to me that it is dangerous. The contrast between a cyclist’s safety light and the surrounding darkness means that a cyclist might be very obvious, compared to the myriad of confounding light sources in a city.

      Where cycling on a dark highway might be more dangerous is in fog or in situations where a car driver might not expect to see a cyclist (i.e. around a blind curve) even then, unless there is oncoming a drive can overtake.

      Even if there is oncoming, a driver ought to be able to brake or avoid a cyclist unless the driver is going to fast for the conditions.

      • Yemble

        Weather and visibility may have been a factor, however..

        > a driver ought to be able to brake or avoid a cyclist unless the driver is going to fast for the conditions.

        Exactly.

    • spoken like the true ahole you are. RIP Eric, fellow SLO rider.

      • Andy B

        Nothing I said was disrespectful..

  • campirecord

    By definition, ultra cycling leads to bad statistics, like it or not.

  • Jay Blanchard

    It was raining and visability may have been poor.

    • Peter Signorini

      Making it even more imperative that drivers drive-to-the-conditions !!

      I’m guessing it will turn out to be driver fatigue (micro-sleep), distraction (phone-texting), or mind-altering substances (booze, drugs).

      • Marc

        Jumping to conclusions? It’s tragedy, I really feel for his family and friends. But I think it’s wrong to automatically assume it’s the drivers fault. We have a 61 year-old guy doing 240 km a day, probably sleep deprived, just after 10 pm. I’m not accusing anyone as i don’t know what happened, but it seems to me that there is a much higher probability of rider fatigue (micro sleep) or the rider being in a mind-altered state.

        • jules

          We don’t know yet. But everyone said that last time about Mike Hall and I’m informed the driver was eventually charged.

          • Observer

            Really? Is there a source or link for that info? More so because we never heard what happened and you would think that something official would be known by now.

            • jules

              There isn’t a source for the fact I was informed about it, no. After checking it seems that may not be the case. There was a suggestion that charges were pending though, a little while back. I can’t source it so I guess it is rumour.

              • DaveRides

                Charges pending usually means they haven’t been charged yet, but that the police haven’t yet made the decision not to charge them and close the investigation without further action.

                You might be confusing it with the driver in South Australia who has been charged by SAPOL for allegedly hitting and injuring another IPWR rider.

        • Synaesthesiaa

          >But I think it’s wrong to automatically assume it’s the drivers fault.

          The only person who hit anyone is the driver.

          The only person who put anyone else in danger is the driver.

          The only person who killed anyone is the driver.

          Pretty sure the driver is at fault here.

          • Wily_Quixote

            Not necessarily.
            A cyclist can swerve or fall in the path of a driver who has moved over in the lane to provide room for the rider.

            Statistically, drivers are by far the responsible party in car vs bike fatalities, but not always.

          • Marc

            The only thing we know is that the only person who hit anyone was the driver. Your other statements are assumptions. They might be true, they might not be true. Just because a cyclist got involved, doesn’t mean we have to get into the ‘drivers are evil’ mode. Cyclists do stupid things too, I’ve witnessed first hand a cyclist who got hit from behind due to his own stupid actions.

        • Roberto Zonzini

          Talk about jumping to conclusions, and you went right ahead and blamed the rider.. just a tad hypocritical don’t you think?

          • Marc

            Where did I blame the rider?

  • Luke

    This is a tragedy and I wish my genuine condolences. Sadly when mixing with motorists most aspects of cycling involve some inherent risk. It would seem that riding unsupported on an isolated highway, day and night with high fatigue does significantly increase that risk. I hope that anyone embarking on these types of events evaluates that risk and that organisers do all they can to ensure safety, that said though, most activities involve risk – I’m sure statistically speaking my Sydney commute is more dangerous than a Trans Am race but I accept that risk because it brings many other benefits. I’m sure the same can be said for most of the racers.

    • tgkohn

      Luke, you make assertions based on suppositions, and perhaps not fact-based assumptions: “riding unsupported,” “isolated highway,” “day and night,” and “with high fatigue.” The minimal facts in the cited story do not provide clues to make such assertions.

      • Luke

        I didn’t realise it was a legal deposition; however the riders are unsupported – that’s the nature of the event. A shot of the highway was shared by another commenter – looks quite lonely to me. Most of the riders would ride day and night given the nature of the event, and if you can ride that far without getting fatigued then I reckon the saddle is a better place for you than behind the computer.
        I will think twice about sharing my opinion without sworn testimony of eyewitnesses next time. Thanks for replying.

  • Daryl Steele

    ‘Hit him from behind’? How does a ‘passing car’ do that. So a nice driver gave him room and a speed demon passed on the inside lane/shoulder hitting him? Did the killer stop? Doesn’t report if the police caught the murderer/manslaughterer. Also I agree riding at night without a warning lit follow car or massive bike lights seems very unsafe to me for a sponsored professional event.

    • Marc

      What about a driver seeing a cyclist, gives him some room, let’s say a meter. Unfortunately the cyclist is so fatigued that he falls asleep while riding, swerves to the middle of the road, with the obvious result of the driver hitting the cyclist from behind. Not saying that this happened in this case, but I’m not saying the driver is the bad guy either.

    • Jason Koehn

      I live in Leoti, what I know for fact is.. Saturday was 100 degrees with no wind, a cold front came through in the evening, it was very windy with dust in the air. We are on the west edge of central time zone, so it was not completely dark yet. He was probably riding because it was a lot cooler. K96 is a pretty busy highway with less than a two foot shoulder, tons of bikes in the summer, most of the time they are out in the lane, even when oncoming traffic is present. A man was also hit in our county last year. It’s a dangerous place to ride, especially with wheat harvest just starting, lots of truck traffic. Still it’s a tragedy, my condolences to his family.

  • Alex

    I held my tongue after the passing of Mike Hall but I feel I have to express my thoughts about these ultra distance races.

    I personally think these events encapsulate the most beautiful elements of cycling. Under normal circumstances, I would only too happy to admire and support the herculean efforts of these riders as they battle physical and mental fatigue across massive distances and gorgeous backdrops. Just a rider, his bike and the only limits are those that are self-imposed, its a seductive thought.

    However, the reality of these events is that they place all road users in an unnecessary and precarious situation. It’s probably been mentioned before, but consider for a moment this exact event taking place by car, where to win, drivers would have to drive as quickly as possible for long periods under compounding fatigue. Seems like stupid behaviour, right?

    The reality is that on open, public roads these events only encourage in my view unacceptably reckless behaviour.

    Participants, organisers and observers need to step back from the beauty and purity of the effort and objectively assess whether this is a smart, safe and responsible use of public roads. Maybe we cant stop a cyclist from riding across a country but we can reduce its proliferation by not actively supporting these events. Get on a trainer and ride for as long as you want, go to a velodrome and try to set a new 24 hour record, do ten thousand push ups in a day.. do whatever you what, just don’t let the innate desire for conquest place yourself or others in a position of heightened danger, to do so demonstrates incredible selfishness and only damages the standing of cyclists in the eyes of other road users and the broader community.

    • Will

      That’s not a fair comparison. A tired driver is in charge of at least half a ton of metal which can travel at 150mph, while a tired cyclist is in charge of a bike weighing 15kg which he can probably get up to 15mph.

      Plus there are a number of professional long distance car races, which compound fatigue, like Paris-Dakar and it’s amateur spin-offs like Plymouth-Dakar.

      The sad fact of the matter is that cyclists are at risk from car drivers, and this can be whether they’re commuting, going to shops or travelling across a continent. It is not fair to blame someone’s death on them when you don’t know the facts of the matter.

      In the same way that you wouldn’t blame someone who died commuting to work on a bike until you have at least heard the facts, why don’t you withhold your scorn in this case?

      • evlgreg

        Will, I’m just going to be picky here because I have no idea how you can debate issues honestly if you are randomly posting figures as facts. A vehicle like an automobile or SUV or pickup truck is typically going to be 1.5 to 3 tons (3000lbs to 6000lbs) not 1000lbs as you posted. Second, most vehicles on the road cannot achieve 150mph, even if they have the horsepower, US cars are typically speed limited based on their tires and that limiter is set at 105ish for pickup trucks and up to 130mph for nicer sedans. A few get limiters set at 155mph, and only the cars designed for the track or drag strip can actually achieve 150mph. Even high performance German cars designed for the autobahn come with speed limiters set at 250kph (155mph) A bike that weighs 15kg would be a tank… These guys are athletes using high performance bikes that likely weigh less than 8kg without gear, if they are fully loaded, then perhaps 15kg is plausible. Lastly “get up to 15mph”?? I crack 40mph on almost every ride and these guys are super fit, with a tailwind on flat road they could likely cruise at 30mph+ for hours.

        As far as your argument, I agree with you. Cyclists have a RIGHT to the road and encouraging long distance races on public highways is not creating more danger, but rather creating more awareness that cyclists could be anywhere at any time. I’m guessing western Kansas is not a hotbed of cycling, especially not at 10pm. I have put in more road miles than most, I have voluntarily put myself in stupid dangerous situations, but riding on the right side of a country road is not what I would consider “dangerous” with the right lighting. When I commuted on roads at night, I got more respect than in the daytime because cars did not know if I was a motorcycle or a car missing a headlight or what was up, they just saw a bright light and nobody ever pulled out in front of me or passed close when I was lit up. I’ve been buzzed close more times than I can remember, run off the road a couple times, had stuff thrown at me, had people lock up brakes in front of me, been “coal rolled”, and yelled at frequently. I still get on my bike and place my life in the hands of those same drivers, and on rare occasion take my life in my own hands, but only when making VERY stupid choices that usually involve mountain passes and high speeds.

        • Will

          The point was that drivers have a much larger duty of care when compared with cyclists due to the large difference vehicle weight and speed, but the more important was how dare someone come on here and post their opinion about somebody who has just died, that they don’t even know, without any knowledge of how they died. They should be ashamed of themselves, especially when they use such a faecetious argument as a comparison with a car.

      • DaveRides

        A comment on the Dakar Rally (not Paris-Dakar for years now) and other long-distance car/moto rallies: they all grew up decades ago and are now contested over fixed-distance special stages each day just like the Tour de France and other cycling stage races.

        Time for these cycling races to follow the rallies in growing up and either become stage races or impose maximum riding hours per day. Obviously riders shouldn’t be forced to pull off on the side of the road where they are, but could stop for the day up to an hour early/late (to get to an appropriate location) and then subtract/add the difference to their start time the following day.

        • Will

          That would be an interesting change, but would be a very different style of race and would face a lot of opposition from the audax crowd I imagine.

          I personally would love to see stage races open to amateurs, but it would bring new risks with riders trying to travel faster which could lead to more errors. Unfortunately, as long as you’re mixing motor vehicle traffic with cycle traffic, there is always going to be the potential for tragedy.

    • Simone Giuliani

      I don’t think it’s unreasonable to want to discuss the issues of safety around endurance racing but I’m personally incredibly uncomfortable with attaching that discussion to either of these terrible recent tragedies. Apart from the fact a community of fellow cyclists is in mourning, the report into Mike Hall’s death hasn’t yet been released and with Eric Fishbein, we do not know all the details but we do know his tracker shows he was taking breaks of around 10 hours. It’s simply not reasonable to imply fatigue, cyclist error, driver error or any other factor was a reason when we have no evidence. The only factor that at this point we can be sure contributed is that they were cycling on the road, something many of us do all the time.

      • Alex

        Regardless of how it makes you feel, it’s a reality that tragic events typically precipitate change. They often serve to highlight deficiencies in current methods, laws or behaviours and as such expose where improvements can and need to be made. Wading through the emotions of these events can be difficult but the outcome of analysing these behaviours is greater awareness, safety and intelligence decision making so that there are fewer people who go out for a ride and never come home. We can’t change the tragic events that have happened – but we can promote a greater consciousness for the positions that riders put themselves in and perhaps reduce the propensity for these events to occur. In a way, I feel that’s the only positive to come out of this negative situation and I feel delaying that discussion only serves to delay the increases in safety it could bring.

    • matt picio

      Not a valid argument. He was hit from behind on a long straight road with what would be perfect visibility during a typical summer day. The contributing factor here was the weather, but by definition, since he was hit from behind, it’s the driver’s fault. The driver did not safely pass, and may or may not have been driving too fast for conditions. RAAM had nothing to do with this, it could have as easily been a touring cyclist riding the TransAm route rather than a RAAM rider. This is a tragedy, and while certainly there were circumstances which could have mitigated the chance of this event happening, there simply is no good reason for overtaking collisions to occur. This happens because our culture tolerates inattentive driving and casual speeding.

    • Do you ride, Alex?

      • Alex

        I do, why do you ask?

    • Deryck Walker

      There is just no getting past the risk profile of any sporting event, let alone one that pushes an individual to their absolute physical limit and exhaustion, whilst on roads that are shared with cars and trucks, then add in population growth and a driving culture which feels a little anti-bike.

      As long as these events are run, accidents are going to happen, its just maths. Things can be done to reduce the risk, im not sure what the solution is.. minimum rest quotas and a support car (like in paris dakar) would reduce (not eliminate) the chance of this happening again.

      With the exception of governments setting up bike dedicated roads/facilities, im not sure there is a solution, and this isnt a new problem. Russell Mockridge was killed by a bus during a race, and this is back in 1958 when the population and road usage was bugger all (population was 35% of what it is now).

      • Robert

        Many years ago I used to ride in long distance Audax events, so have first hand knowledge of how fatigue and lack of sleep can effect you on a bike, although I am not saying that was a factor in this tragic accident. It just seems to me that with these ultra endurance events the number of risk factors is too high and totally out of control of participants and organisers. I think the single biggest reason for the rise in popularity of gravel bikes would have to be that a lot of people are simply not comfortable riding on busy sealed roads these days – I know it was the number one reason for me buying one. Still get to ride my bike but don’t miss mixing it up with high speed cars.

        • Deryck Walker

          Same here. When I lived in melbourne I would ride the gravel roads in order to avoid the traffic (well.. it was pretty stunning as well!)

    • belgium2

      No. Bicyclists have just as much right to be on the road at cars. Victim blaming is pathetic. Bicyclists using roads, whether in an ultrarace or just out for a quick ride, IS a smart and responsible use of public roads. It’s up to the gov to help make it safe.

      • Alex

        It’s not the governments responsibility to make cyclists safe when they choose ride for up to 20 hours a day over consecutive days. I think it’s literally impossible to achieve that and you demonstrate a real ignorance to the main purpose of the provision of roads and public goods in general. Roads are primarily build to allow safe transportation for personal and business purposes – not for cyclists to ride ultra endurance events on. Regardless of what’s strictly legal, I firmly believe everyone who uses a public road has a responsibility to do so in the safest manner possible. That doesn’t mean we can’t or shouldn’t ride on roads, it means don’t run or participate in races – espicially ones that push participants to such vulnerable physical and mental states – which fundamentally erode our ability to use roads safely. We can’t let our passion for cycling obfuscate the primacy and collective responsibility of maintaining safety in public places. Simple as that.

  • Frank

    I am saddenned by the implicit apology for driving that shows up even here, a cycling website. My comment has nothing to do with this specific accident, about which I have no more knowledge than any other of the commenters. I speak of our assumptions and attitudes. We are so inured to the cultural dominance of motorised transport that we accept manslaughter as normal and blame vulnerable road users for daring to use the roads.

    • Edward Hume masterfully explores this idea in his book “Door to door” https://www.harpercollins.com/9780062372079/door-to-door
      It’s a sobering look at the deification of cars/motorised transport in the U.S.A.

      • Simon

        Adding on to Jules comments above, will Cyclingtips be making a concerted effort follow up on any judicial or coronial outcomes from Mike Halls tragic death?

        • Simone Giuliani

          Apologies for the delay in replying Simon I had missed this question earlier. CyclingTips absolutely has been, and will continue to, make a concerted effort to follow up on any official finding while of course being mindful of and respecting the procedures in place.

    • Daniel

      This comment was the most helpful to me. I was caught up in maybe road, maybe motorist, maybe cyclist, maybe weather, maybe, maybe. But you nailed it. So rarely do we all question our literally unhealthy reliance on cars.
      Australia and the US seem to share similar values regarding cars. In contrast Australian recognised that guns kill people and applied strict controls. The US defers to the dominance of guns. What would take a collective change in attitudes towards cars so they are recognised as deadly? According to this: https://www.theguardian.com/cities/2015/may/05/amsterdam-bicycle-capital-world-transport-cycling-kindermoord it was kids on bikes dying that contributed to change.

    • Marc

      Wow, some very strong claims here. Who are the apologists? Who thinks manslaughter is normal? Who blames cyclists for daring to use the roads? We’re all cycling enthusiasts. But just because I love cycling, doesn’t mean I have to go into a ‘cyclist good, driver bad’ mode. That’s part of the problem we cyclists experience daily. It all has become so divisive. It’s almost like as a driver you have to hate cyclists, while as a cyclist you have to hate drivers. That will get us nowhere.

      A more rational approach I think is calling out bad behavior when we see it. There are (many) bad drivers, just as there are cyclists who do stupid things. They both need to change their behavior. Btw part of being rational is adhering to innocent until proven guilty.

      • Daniel

        My point is that it is more than isolated incidents of bad behaviour that can be called out. It’s a culture that prioritises maximum motorist speed at the expense of safety, manners, public amenity.
        Just today in Victoria laws requiring traffic to slow to 40km/h when emergency vehicles are stopped were announced. The reason is to make it safer for emergency workers. Despite this motorists complained they would be required to adjust their driving.
        If you feel like punishing yourself go to the Vicroads facebook page and get a sense of the dislike for laws and interventions that seek to slow traffic and make it safer (not to mention the outright hatred of people riding bikes).

      • Tom Boder

        A general point – awareness – by the cyclist and by the motor vehicle operators is essential. Not that laws guiding the two aren’t essential, but it is awareness of one’s surroundings which would improve safety the most. Not having any kids of my own, I was recently somewhat naively stunned to learn there is no driver ed in high school. In the mid 70’s, we had an hour a week in HS, rode with a driver instructor ( 3 students rotating about 20 minutes. Not to mention my father ” what if a kid jumps out, what if a deer pops out ….. instilling defensive driving and always being aware well down the road, as well as lateral and even behind. At 59, and driving upwards of 60,000 miles in a car and 6000 miles on my bicycle every year, I am amazed at the lack of situational awareness in motorists. Most drive with maybe a car length or two at most ahead of them in their bubble ……. We have about three generations of drivers who have no clue of the RESPONSIBILITY of their PRIVELEGE to drive. Yes, cyclist do dumb things too, but motorist, in general, lack situational awareness and are not trained to expect the unexpected and be able to operate their vehicle when an unexpected circumstance arises – could be a blowout, could be a deer, could be another motorist error, could be a dog, a child, a cyclist ….

        we can pass all the laws, but unless we teach awareness and responsibility ( by applying consequences to actions) we will continue to face undo risk as cyclist sharing space with motorists..

        May Eric’s soul rest in peace, and condolences to his family, and friends

      • Frank

        Marc, what you say is very true, but in seeing the issue only in individual terms (personal responsibilty) you are missing the huge systemic component in road mortality.

        • Marc

          I think personal responsibility is a systemic component in itself. That aside, I’m in favor of making our roads safer. Whether it is by laws addressing driving behavior, stop these ultra endurance cycling events on open roads, anything that curtails irresponsible behavior.

    • craigcorrigan

      Thank you Frank. I rarely comment on these articles and even if I had, I couldn’t have put my thoughts into words with half that eloquence.
      Cheers

  • dave404

    I have several close calls every year. I almost got T boned a few times last year. To get out of my area I have several choke points. One of them they painted bright bike markings, while the road is so rough I can barely hang on at 10 miles per hour. The US is not bike friendly. And I never attempt to get in the left turn lane and expect the drivers to let me make a left turn. Assume the worst. Good luck all.

  • Roberto Zonzini

    Yet another hit from behind death. I understand we must ride with traffic cause its the law. But had he been able to see the driver coming, just veering over one foot could have saved his life.

  • Racin

    When will car drivers get their stuff together and pay attention.. Ride in peace my friend.. prayers to all..

    • cagers will never get their stuff together. minimal training and too many distractions.

      • Wily_Quixote

        It is inevitable, even with training and good intentions, that all drivers of motor vehicles will be inattentive or distracted at times; especially when driving long distances or in circumstances of cognitive overload. If something gets in the way of the driver during these times of inattention than the results can be deleterious. There have been times when I could have killed a cyclist or pedestrian when driving, as is the case for all readers of this site who also drive, or have driven.

        Car collisions are predictable. We shouldn’t be very surprised when there are cyclist fatalities. What we should be surprised at is that all cars are not fitted with devices that monitor driver alertness, have collision avoidance controls, lane control, pedestrian/cyclist collision mitigation devices and traction control. FFS, even my smartphone knows when I am paying attention to it – why can’t my car?
        All cars without these features ought to be fitted with speed or route limiters.

        Over to you: democracy.

  • Wily_Quixote

    It is inevitable, even with training and good intentions, that all drivers of motor vehicles will be inattentive or distracted at times; especially when driving long distances or in circumstances of cognitive overload. If something gets in the way of the driver during these times of inattention than the results can be deleterious. There have been times when I could have killed a cyclist or pedestrian when driving, as is the case for all readers of this site who also drive, or have driven.

    Drivers are fallible and are predictably so. It is rare that a driver commits homicide – most drivers don’t wish to run kill pedestrians, cyclists each other or themselves.
    Car collisions are predictable and with current safeguards we shouldn’t be very surprised when there are cyclist fatalities.

    What we should be surprised at is that all cars are not fitted with devices that monitor driver alertness, have collision avoidance controls, lane control, pedestrian/cyclist collision mitigation devices and traction control. FFS, even my smartphone knows when I am paying attention to it – why can’t my car?
    All cars without these features ought to be fitted with speed or route limiters.

    Over to you: democracy.

  • Ant

    as with Mike Hall in IndiPac RIP; is this another example of where organizers expose participants to potential dangers through bad route planning and having no safety controls on riders riding with minimal sleep and rest on main roads thus contributing to a dangerous sequence of events where ultimately the rider becomes the victim of this lack of care. Hopefully this guys family has the guts to take the organizers on and make them accountable.

  • Richard Wolf

    I have done my fair share of endurance bikepack events and fatigue is definitely a factor. I choose off road events but all of them include some paved sections and dirt sections shared with vehicles. I would not do a strictly road endurance event because of cars and distracted drivers and impaired drivers.

    Will these events live on? Yes. Will there be more deaths? Yes. As long as the riders understand the risks and take precautions to minimize them then that is that. We are all going to pass someday. Do you want to do it on your bike or clutching your chest at a McDonalds?

    Is multi day endurance racing with sleep deprivation and pushing your body to the limits healthy? Absolutely not! Should it be banned? No. Extreme sports take their toll.

    This race and most like it are not professional events, sanctioned events and money does not change hands. It is a challenge with very loose organization.
    I am sure if you asked Mike Hall if he ever had any close calls the answer would be “countless” I heard that during his Tour Divide record run that he forgot whole days! But he did what he loved and died doing what he loved.

    It has been suggested that these events adopt a policy of at least 8 hours per day off the bike. Perhaps a good idea.

    You can point fingers all you want and blame whoever you want but life and death goes on. I am more concerned about sending our young men off to needless wars to be killed and maimed for what?

  • :(

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