Thursday, October 17, 2013

TRAINING LOSSES ! A possible solution ?

Traffic Warfare is rife ! Vehicle against vehicle , means that the Smash Repair industry is kept busy , perhaps even the Medical facilities are involved to some extent ? Enclosed in a metal case , very few drivers think that they are not going to return home in one piece ? With that attitude  , too many drivers set about their daily business with little regard for the consequences of their actions . Regardless of their skill set , a minority will become the victims of anothers careless or thoughtless behaviour !

Cyclists set out in every manner of clothing , some going to their daily work in rush hour traffic , others shopping , others Cycling for exercise and of course those that are training for either Events or as Profi for their regular daily diet of " Marginal Gains "so as to achieve the fitness level that is required by their Sponsored Teams ?

However the Cyclist is clad , and however carefully they ride , the situation remains clear , that colliding with another object , is going to hurt ! Whether dressed in normal clothes or Lycra , falling from the bike or hitting a vehicle , the extent of damage is going to be a wake up call and spoil the day !

" Cities fit for Cycling " campaign starterd by the London " Times " , came about as a result of Ms Sally  Bowes , cycling to work , coming into collision with a truck , and continuing in a coma for the best part of 2 years !

" Amy Gillett Foundation " came about because an Australian Womens Cycling Team were in Germany for a race in July 2005 . A new German driver lost control of her car and mowed 6 Ladies down , leaving Amy Dead and several others with life threatening/changing injuries !  Thankfully all the other Ladies survived and some demonstrated remarkable courage in returning to race and win many podium results  !

Policing Authorities rarely act to see that Cyclists receive the consideration they are due as "VULNERABLE ROAD USERS ", most Police realise there is a WAR out there ! They are constrained by the Road Regulations in many cases , however , you will find many stating that they ride Mountain Bikes . They will then tell you that they ride these ONLY off road , since they believe the roads are TOO DANGEROUS ! A cop afraid to ride on the roads ?  Well , they are not in uniform are they ? So are tthey saying that the motorist will treat them better if they are in a POLICE UNIFORM , or their pedal bike is marked "POLICE"?

Laughable to advise that i have ridden with many " cops " , in a variety of countries that do ride the roads and whilst Lycra clad , do as many other Cyclists , sneak through Stop Signs even ride slowly through Red Lights as if there was a filter signal . They are as human as you and i , certainly they will suffer just as much , when hit or hitting a solid object .

Over the years , i constantly read of the Road Incidents that involve Pro Racers of each discipline of Competition. The roads are where so many turn to for their core training , as do other Sports Athletes , when Cross Training . So it comes as no surprise to read of Rowers , Skiers as well as Cyclists being injured OR Killed in Traffic Situations .

Kelme Team was the source of so many Great Spanish Racers and thus their training on Spanish Roads would be the norm .Not ALL Spanish drivers think well of Cyclists , i reported an incident in Barcelona , in a blog , which took place on the rest day ,  in 2001 whilst riding with Eric Z. and several other teams .  Not often you see a spaniard leep out of a car at traffic lights with a tire iron in hand , threatening a group of Racers ?  About that same year the Ochoa Brothers were Cycling in Training when hit by a vehicle , one died on the spot , the other after a long coma , survived , but continued his Cycling Career as a Para Athlete. So far as i know , his Court Case is still in the courts , but whilst achieving Paralympic Successes over the years , i doubt he would not wish that the incident could have been avoided ?

Having won the 2012 Tour de France , Brad Wiggins couldn't even ride his Local roads , without a neighbour ignoring him and sending him to Hospital ! Credited with inspiring the Nation , a neighbour treats him as just some other piece of road furniture to be ignored ?  So many things to do when driving a vehicle , concentration being the bottom of the list ? Worth recalling that Lance Armstrong went cycling near his home in Nice , years ago and collided headon with a car , delayed return home that day ?

To avoid boring ALL , by repeating so many incidents i will move to what i should like to happen so as to create the atmosphere for a change of attitude by Vhicle Drivers !

With the death of the World Champion of Cross Cycling on the 3rd October 2013 , i thought i saw the repetition of the " Amy G. event ":  This US Racer had come from Skiing to successfully rise to the top of her discipline , thus was well loved by the Sporting community . Like others i felt for the family , but rather than contributing monies , thought that a more positive way forward could be found , due to her international recognition . For years i have been stressing the need for " Cycling Safety Groups " to coordinate , internationally , sharing ideas and creating Events that have the purpose of gaining the necessary Media Attention , to cause Legislative Authorities to ACT in Common , Worldwide , so that Cyclists would expect whereever they were , a better attitude from Vehicles .

Here is what i sent to the " Amy D. link :

  "Conversation started 5 October
  • Skippy Mc Carthy
    Skippy Mc Carthy

    Another loss of a Talented Athlete , that could have been avoided !
    With the Election of the New UCI President & 3 VPs , i believe the time has come for UCI to ASK/Demand the Pro Racers be more active whilst Training !
    What i should like to see is the following :
    1/ UCI write to ALL Nat. Feds asking they contact ALL their Bus/Trucking Cos , and ask them to INSTRUCT their Drivers to observe the UNIVERSAL 1 1/2 M safe passing Laws !
    2/ UCI write to ALL registered Racers DEMANDING a Code of Conduct that INCLUDES giving a " salute " to ALL Large Vehicles that observe the 1 1/2M safe passing , particularly where they have signalled . It will become obvious to other road users that a simple " salute " is conveying respect to those that treat " Cyclists with care "!
    3/ UCI advise Media that this campaign is WORLDWIDE and seek their assistance to Alert the Public to their desire for an end to the "Cyclists v Vehicles " WAR !
    4/ UCI ask/demand ALL Tour Organisers place on their Websites , Vehicles & Accredited Vehicles a poster that shows the simple message " 1 1/2M safe pass decal "!
    With the appointment of @Gadryt CEO of Amy Gillett Foundation , as a UCI VP , there should be little difficulty in getting UCI to create the environment where ALL Orgs such as " AGF " , Cities Fit for Living ,etc can be gathered under an " Umbrella Org " so as to share Ideas and Coordinate Activities !
    Racers start out as ordinary Cyclists , they develope their skills in School and with their Families , what better way to commemorate the likes of " Amy DomBroski " , Amy Gillett & Sally Bowes ( Times Journo) than making the roads SAFER NOW !
    More ideas found on & @skippydetour
    PLEASE ADD Your Suggestions !

    There is no reason that others should comply with my suggestions , BUT , time passes and in the same week we lose " Amy D. " we read of 2 Italian Women suffering Injuries on the roads . Remove the vehiclar attitudes , it is possible that the few injuries due to " loss of
    control of their Bike " , would not be newsworthy ?
    When will there be the impetus to see Cyclists as " VULNERABLE " , thus deserving of consideration as more than a " nuisance " to be avoided on gthe roads ?

    The mods of the " Amy D link " replied :
    • The Amy Dombroski Memorial
      The Amy Dombroski Memorial

      Hi Skippy,
      While we totally agree that vehicles need to be more careful around bikes, that wasn't the problem in this case. The truck driver was not at all at fault, so we are not going to make this a cause that we advocate for in Amy's memory.
      Thanks for sharing, Nicole and Dan

      Guess that ends their interest in helping to create a means to coordinate for an " UMBRELLA Org. " to bring together the international and disparate " Cycling Safety Orgs. "! To avoid losing an early opportunity to highlight this need i have contacted a number of people , asking that UCI add this idea to their " Management Meeting in Aigle Agendsa on 27th October 2013 !

      ONLY by Cyclists working TOGETHER , will we reach a point that Vehicles routinely treat Cyclists with Consideration !

      By adding your voice to people such as :

      Add your suggested contacts HERE :

      Can any single Cyclist make a DIFFERENCE !

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