Tragic incident on bike ride

Commuting, Day rides, Audax, Incidents, etc.
Thornyone
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Joined: 7 Dec 2017, 11:15am

Tragic incident on bike ride

Postby Thornyone » 25 Mar 2018, 5:47pm

This sunny morning I went for a (generally) enjoyable bike ride. The surfaces were dry, no ice, excellent visibility. As I approached a footbridge over the ring road, I heard a siren. Some way down the ring road as I rode over I could see a hold-up, though the road would not otherwise have been busy at this time. Cycling alongside and above the road on the cycle track, I saw a motor cycle lying on its side, with no cars near. Quite a bit further down was some debris on the road, and what looked like a large first aid box on the carriageway, though no-one was nearby. Except that shockingly, I suddenly registered a blanket, with legs protruding from it. A good deal further down the road was a car with smashed in front.

Police and ambulance were still heading to the scene as I turned off the road. It seems that I had just passed a fatal accident (a motorcyclist in his 20’s, I now know). Whatever else, it seems that considerable speed must have been involved, judging by how far-separated motorcycle, rider and car were (in a 40mph limit). It is very tragic, but thank goodness that cyclists are well-segregated from vehicles here. But it gave me pause for thought: the bike must have travelled maybe 100 yards before ending up in the gutter. I certainly felt vulnerable when riding on the road later. Along with the general lack of consideration I increasingly find on the road, it tempts me to take to the pavement. I have been considering for a while writing to my local PCC about speeding and lack of enforcement locally. Maybe now is the time.

brynpoeth
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Re: Tragic incident on bike ride

Postby brynpoeth » 25 Mar 2018, 5:56pm

Seeing an 'accident' shocked you although you have read enough about them

Hegel wrote: Unser Kenntnis sell Erkenntnis werden - you knew of it, now you are acquainted with it (but not as intensively as the medics are)

Usually 'accident' scenes are tidied up asap to avoid delaying and upsetting motons

I think bloody pictures on three billboards outside anytown UK *might* work. Richard Branstrom (North Wales Police) used a picture of the severed head of a speeding motorcyclist, many found that in bad taste
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Mike Sales
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Re: Tragic incident on bike ride

Postby Mike Sales » 25 Mar 2018, 6:16pm

We were out on a club run one Sunday when we came across an accident scene.
This was on the B road between Bettws and Conwy.
As best as I can remember there were a couple of cyclists and a stopped motorist looking down the wooded slope to the river. When we looked there we could see, half concealed by broken branches and trees, a car on its side. It was perhaps fifty feet down the slope, close above the Afon Conwy. We gathered that underneath the car was a cyclist, and in it the driver. Both dead.Two cars had been racing when one "lost control" and crossed the road, hitting one cyclist and missing the others by not much. The ambulance was on its way, so we left.
I have been riding for many years, and I guess like most habitues of this site, I am hardened to sharing the road with cars containing large amounts of kinetic energy at close range. But every so often, as happened today, my mind brought to conciousness an acute awareness of the kinetic energy passing close by, and what it might feel like to be hit by one of the cars, if the driver or I made a small mistake. In these moments my imagination can be quite vivid.
I find it easy to understand those who are less hardened and more imaginative being unwilling to ride a bike on the road, even with a helmet.

Thornyone
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Re: Tragic incident on bike ride

Postby Thornyone » 25 Mar 2018, 6:17pm

brynpoeth wrote:Seeing an 'accident' shocked you although you have read enough about them

Hegel wrote: Unser Kenntnis sell Erkenntnis werden - you knew of it, now you are acquainted with it (but not as intensively as the medics are)

Usually 'accident' scenes are tidied up asap to avoid delaying and upsetting motons

I think bloody pictures on three billboards outside anytown UK *might* work. Richard Branstrom (North Wales Police) used a picture of the severed head of a speeding motorcyclist, many found that in bad taste

What was most “shocking” here was realising that a blanket with no-one standing at all close to it was covering a corpse. I have in fact seen an exsanguinated corpse when I was working, as well as being with a young man as he was dying from a pulmonary embolism, so it wasn’t death itself that was shocking. And I only call it an “accident” because I don’t suppose those involved planned the outcome. I suspect that the motorcyclist was recklessly overtaking because vehicle positions suggested that, though I may be wrong. The chief reason I haven’t bothered to write to my PCC before now about speeding is because without a national change of will, there is probably little point. A serious approach to speeding, IMHO, requires getting rid of bright paint on speed cameras and camera vans and ceasing to announce in the local rag the roads to be targeted, together with some exemplary penalties, at the very least.
Last edited by Thornyone on 25 Mar 2018, 6:40pm, edited 1 time in total.

Thornyone
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Re: Tragic incident on bike ride

Postby Thornyone » 25 Mar 2018, 6:30pm

Mike Sales wrote:I find it easy to understand those who are less hardened and more imaginative being unwilling to ride a bike on the road, even with a helmet.

I have been cycling on roads for many years, have been hit several times by cars (also once had my car written off when stationary at a junction). Whether I’m getting jumpier with age, I don’t know. But I strongly suspect that speeding is on the increase, due largely to well-publicised police cuts and the fact that those in the business of speeding pretty much know where it is safe (from the point of view of being caught) to indulge. Speed cameras are in known locations, brightly painted, ditto mobile camera vans. Avoid those and Britain is pretty much your speeder’s oyster.

pwa
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Re: Tragic incident on bike ride

Postby pwa » 25 Mar 2018, 6:41pm

On an audax ride a few years ago I happened upon a motorcycle crash. The bike had hit and flattened a roadsign on a metal post!!! and the motorcyclist had been catapulted a surprisingly long distance into a ploughed field. I had done quite a few first aid courses so could not ride past. I leaned my bike against a field gate and walked to the motorcyclist lying on the ground. Another motorcyclist, his friend was with him, along with a motorist. As it happened they were both okay with the first aid so I did not need to stay. The bloke on the ground was in a bad way but still breathing. I left as the ambulance arrived, but I later found out he had died. That sort of experience puts things in perspective.

Vorpal
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Re: Tragic incident on bike ride

Postby Vorpal » 25 Mar 2018, 6:53pm

brynpoeth wrote:I think bloody pictures on three billboards outside anytown UK *might* work. Richard Branstrom (North Wales Police) used a picture of the severed head of a speeding motorcyclist, many found that in bad taste

There have been some studies of the effectiveness of that sort of message, and not only are they not generally effective, but they can have the opposite effect from the intended. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/a ... 1211000045
“In some ways, it is easier to be a dissident, for then one is without responsibility.”
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pwa
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Re: Tragic incident on bike ride

Postby pwa » 25 Mar 2018, 6:57pm

Vorpal wrote:
brynpoeth wrote:I think bloody pictures on three billboards outside anytown UK *might* work. Richard Branstrom (North Wales Police) used a picture of the severed head of a speeding motorcyclist, many found that in bad taste

There have been some studies of the effectiveness of that sort of message, and not only are they not generally effective, but they can have the opposite effect from the intended. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/a ... 1211000045


And you have to wonder about the effect on the families of people who have died on the roads when they suddenly see such an image with no advance warning. Suddenly they are returned to their loss.

brynpoeth
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Re: Tragic incident on bike ride

Postby brynpoeth » 25 Mar 2018, 7:24pm

pwa wrote:
Vorpal wrote:
brynpoeth wrote:I think bloody pictures on three billboards outside anytown UK *might* work. Richard Branstrom (North Wales Police) used a picture of the severed head of a speeding motorcyclist, many found that in bad taste

There have been some studies of the effectiveness of that sort of message, and not only are they not generally effective, but they can have the opposite effect from the intended. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/a ... 1211000045


And you have to wonder about the effect on the families of people who have died on the roads when they suddenly see such an image with no advance warning. Suddenly they are returned to their loss.

The family of the dead motorcyclist did complain and the picture was not used again
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brynpoeth
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Re: Tragic incident on bike ride

Postby brynpoeth » 25 Mar 2018, 7:30pm

Vorpal wrote:
brynpoeth wrote:I think bloody pictures on three billboards outside anytown UK *might* work. Richard Branstrom (North Wales Police) used a picture of the severed head of a speeding motorcyclist, many found that in bad taste

There have been some studies of the effectiveness of that sort of message, and not only are they not generally effective, but they can have the opposite effect from the intended. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/a ... 1211000045

The three E s, enforcement, enforcement and enforcement are the only things that work

Except for me, a London cop once put the fear of God into me with a few suitable words, I had been driving illegally in a bus lane, the mc-cop pulled me over
'Can't drive there mate, it's a bus lane, getaahtavit!' he roared

Took about three seconds, one of several defining moments :wink:
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Pastychomper
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Re: Tragic incident on bike ride

Postby Pastychomper » 26 Mar 2018, 11:00am

Accidents around here get tidied away quickly unless they're fatal, in which case the road tends to be closed for a few hours. Scuttlebutt is the scene has to be preserved (once made safe) while the right kind of investigator travels from Inverness. I occasionally wonder if that involves driving the 2.5 hour journey in two hours.

Speaking of which I've decided I'm in favour of average speed cameras, they seem to be effective on part of that route, and they do away with some of the traditional motons' excuses for speeding - genuine momentary lapses, or even Accelerating Out Of Trouble, will not be picked up unless they're pushing the limits already.
Everyone's ghast should get a good flabbering now and then.
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Flinders
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Re: Tragic incident on bike ride

Postby Flinders » 26 Mar 2018, 8:07pm

I'm in favour of average speed cameras. Too many drivers locally used to slow down for the 'one off' cameras and then speed up after the marks. And though I understand (and never consciously break) the law, I think it makes much more sense to catch people who are doing 35-40 for most of a section but who slow for a few yards for the camera than those doing 31 along about five yards of it, possibly because they don't know the road and have just hit a sudden downward slope and braked fractionally too late. I know one road where in a 60mph zone you have to brake to about 25 to stay under an upcoming limit because a 'concealed until the last minute' slope just before the limit sign would otherwise put most cars over the limit for a few yards. I know that road, others who are just as careful as me may not brake just quite enough.

Now the serial offenders don't even bother to slow down as the cameras are never active any more. :|

SleepyJoe
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Re: Tragic incident on bike ride

Postby SleepyJoe » 27 Mar 2018, 10:06pm

I had an incident last Friday on my commute to work.
Cycled underneath the new Taw Bridge in Barnstaple when I heard lots of shouting. Looking back, loads of people were looking over the barrier and I realised someone had jumped. This is a 30ish m drop and fortunately the tide was in. I turned back and saw someone in the river, so stopped and encouraged her to swim towards us on the shore. Another young lady and a chap also stopped and helped. As the jumper got to within 10 m of the bank, the chap dived in and helped the victim. I helped them both up the bank and other helpers then wrapped the victim in coats whilst waiting for an ambulance. The victim was only 15 years old and didn’t want to school! Must be other underlying problems. Fortunately she didn’t have any visible injuries and will get the support she needs.
My main point writing this story is not to get praise (I would expect anyone to do the same as me) but to highlight my reaction to this incident. I was fine at the time but was crying by the time I got to work 10 minutes later and I’m still feeling emotional especially as I pass under the same bridge the last couple of days. I’m sure this will improve with time.
I think witnessing any tragic event has a deep affect on people and hopefully the OP isn’t suffering too much. It can be hard to rationalise your responses to such events but it is helping me to discuss this with people and get reassurance that my feelings are normal!
Sorry if this is a bit long and off track. Wish the OP the best

brynpoeth
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Re: Tragic incident on bike ride

Postby brynpoeth » 28 Mar 2018, 5:35am

pwa wrote:
Vorpal wrote:
brynpoeth wrote:I think bloody pictures on three billboards outside anytown UK *might* work. Richard Branstrom (North Wales Police) used a picture of the severed head of a speeding motorcyclist, many found that in bad taste

There have been some studies of the effectiveness of that sort of message, and not only are they not generally effective, but they can have the opposite effect from the intended. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/a ... 1211000045


And you have to wonder about the effect on the families of people who have died on the roads when they suddenly see such an image with no advance warning. Suddenly they are returned to their loss.

I wonder if it might provoke them into thinking about their driving, or giving up driving, that would be good
It could be done anonymously. I believe in the case quoted the person was identifiable
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pwa
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Re: Tragic incident on bike ride

Postby pwa » 28 Mar 2018, 7:16am

brynpoeth wrote:
pwa wrote:
Vorpal wrote:There have been some studies of the effectiveness of that sort of message, and not only are they not generally effective, but they can have the opposite effect from the intended. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/a ... 1211000045


And you have to wonder about the effect on the families of people who have died on the roads when they suddenly see such an image with no advance warning. Suddenly they are returned to their loss.

I wonder if it might provoke them into thinking about their driving, or giving up driving, that would be good
It could be done anonymously. I believe in the case quoted the person was identifiable


The body doesn't have to be identifiable for the image to hurt a family already in pain. Just a picture of a road accident similar to the one in which a loved one died, instantly taking them back to the exact moment of the knock on the door. Cruel and insensitive.