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  1. #1
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    Jun 2010
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    RAGBRAI Rider Dies in Crash

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    Not sure if this has been posted, but the rider was from my hometown.



    http://ragbrai.com/index.php/2010/07...ai-rider-dies/
    So long as the wheels are still turning, life is good.

    Battswebb

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  2. #2
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    Oh man, that's awful. Extra awful for the other rider involved.

    I wish they had some details about his helmet. I for one would like to know what kind of helmet didn't protect him from a fatal head injury in a crash that didn't involve a motor vehicle or a fall from a great height. Since they say he was an experienced rider I would like to think that the helmet fit him well, was buckled and was within its useful lifetime ... but you never know.
    Trying to live every day as though it were my first

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
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    St. Louis, MO
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    Sad.

    Head injuries are a mystery. I doesn't look like the case here, but a helmet will not protect you from a broken neck. Life is a risk.
    "Well-behaved women seldom make history." --Laurel Thatcher Ulrich

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  4. #4
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    The circumstances of the crash are a little bewildering to me too. I'm assuming there is something we don't know about the impact or his health before this.


    Sad.
    Last edited by Muirenn; 08-03-2010 at 05:44 PM.
    So long as the wheels are still turning, life is good.

    Battswebb

    Pinarello Quattro~CAADX~ Zurich Lemond
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  5. #5
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    5 RAGBRAI's
    I'd call that experienced.

    Life is a crapshoot. Eat, drink, and be merry...
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  6. #6
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    Little Egypt
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zen View Post
    Life is a crapshoot. Eat, drink, and be merry...
    So true, Zen. I hate to hear this. How tragic and sad.
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  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2006
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    Memphis, TN
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    I've seen a fatality on a club ride where the rider was wearing a well-adjusted - name Brand helmet . It's probably safe to say that helmet won't protect you from everything. ("Magic Hat Syndrome")

  8. #8
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    No magic hat syndrome here.

    I expect a helmet to protect me against what the CPSC says it has to protect me against, an unpropelled fall from bicycle height. I expect other people's helmets to do the same for them.

    I understand that people get propelled by motor vehicles in crashes, that they fall down ravines, that they reach speeds on sprints and descents that exceed the CPSC standards. I understand that people die of neck injuries and internal injuries and blood loss. From what this story said, none of this applied.

    I'm at peace with my mortality and I don't expect life to be free of risk. And I certainly don't use my helmet and other safety gear (bici or moto) as an excuse to take extra risks. But I also expect that if a product is required by law to meet certain standards that can mean the difference between walking away from a wreck vs. death or worse, that it will actually meet those standards.
    Trying to live every day as though it were my first

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
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    Reporting from Moonshine Mountain
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    How tragic and sad! None of us know when it is going to happen. Be safe out there, everyone!
    "When I'm on my bike I forget about things like age. I just have fun." Kathy Sessler

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  10. #10
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    Life is uncertain, start with dessert.

    May he rest in peace.

  11. #11
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    I have just read the article. Touching the wheel ahead of yours while drafting can indeed have dreadful consequences, especially since it tends to happen at a high speed in a paceline.

    I am very sorry for everyone involved.

  12. #12
    Join Date
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    So sad to read this. I had friends riding RAGBRAI, and I'm sure they have all been affected by this.

    Quote Originally Posted by OakLeaf View Post
    But I also expect that if a product is required by law to meet certain standards that can mean the difference between walking away from a wreck vs. death or worse, that it will actually meet those standards.
    Check the standards. Most of these helmets are only rated for impact at or less than 12 mph...

    SheFly
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  13. #13
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    Dec 2003
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    SF Bay area
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    Quote Originally Posted by OakLeaf View Post
    No magic hat syndrome here.

    I expect a helmet to protect me against what the CPSC says it has to protect me against, an unpropelled fall from bicycle height. I expect other people's helmets to do the same for them.
    Here you go, Oakleaf.

    http://www.cpsc.gov/businfo/regsumbicyclehelmets.pdf

    If you can point to where it says a bicycle helmet must protect a cyclist from "an unpropelled fall from bicycle height", regardless of any other other real-world circumstance (speed that the cyclist is traveling at the time of the fall, the road gradient, road condition, age and condition of the rider's helmet, and so forth), have at.
    Last edited by jobob; 08-04-2010 at 07:46 AM.

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  14. #14
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    Dec 2003
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    FWIW, this helmet protected my head in a 35 mph solo downhill crash.




    I was pretty well beaten up, and I have no memory at all of the crash or a period of time before & after, but by all indications I'm still alive.

    So apparently the CPSC standards, while not guaranteed to protect against serious injury or death in all cycling accidents, are worth something.
    Last edited by jobob; 08-04-2010 at 08:05 AM.

    2009 Lynskey R230 Houseblend - Brooks Team Pro
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  15. #15
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    1.2 m to a curbstone and 2 m to a flat anvil are about the height someone's head would be when riding a bicycle.

    The impact attenuation standards (peak acceleration) are based on what's likely to cause a brain injury.

    Age and condition of the helmet are things I addressed in my first post. I hope that an experienced rider would have been replacing his helmet periodically and whenever it took damage, but I'm aware that there are people who don't. This is part of what I'd like to know.

    Unless something happens to translate your forward momentum into vertical momentum - which I know from personal experience can happen, but again nothing like that was mentioned in this story - your forward velocity is irrelevant to a sideways fall. It's relevant if you hit something head-on, like a car (even a parked car) or a tree.

    When I fell on my head in 1987 - wearing a pre-CPSC Snell helmet - it was at a considerably greater peak acceleration, because I stuck a pedal in a corner and it did translate my forward momentum into vertical velocity, so that I turned upside down and fell on my head from about three meters, from what I'm told. I was knocked cold, so it wasn't that I didn't have any brain injury, and I'm well aware that it was dumb luck that I didn't break my neck. But I was only knocked cold, and have had no noticeable long-term symptoms. It seems like your helmet protected you from a similar impact.

    If a helmet I buy today doesn't offer the same protection, something's not right.


    ETA:

    I'm not saying the CPSC standards are worthless and I'm not saying they're perfect, either. I'm saying a helmet that met the standards should have protected this guy better than it actually did, unless there's something the story isn't telling us. I'm well aware that without independent verification, many helmets that have the CPSC sticker, including name-brand helmets, don't actually meet the standards, as (for instance) the well-publicized Consumer Reports tests found. That's what concerns me. The lack of independent verification, and the fact that almost no helmet manufacturers in the USA shell out for a Snell sticker any more, now that they're all required to carry the CPSC sticker.
    Last edited by OakLeaf; 08-04-2010 at 08:10 AM.
    Trying to live every day as though it were my first

 

 

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