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waterproof*
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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
The guys in the club wanted to do this first-year rally - "Bike Around Midlothian." The route promised nice big hills at the Cedar Hill escarpment SW of Dallas. Lots of the other local racers showed up too including one of our new national champ juniors and the local hotshot cat 1 team.

By the time we got to the far end of the 65 mile course the fast guys were long gone... it didn't help that turn markings were poor and hard to see so we had to backtrack a couple times. A group of 15-20 of us were rolling along nicely, came down a hill, around a blind curve at about 30 to see to a wooden bridge - the kind with 2x6's in the direction of travel, with longitudinal gaps between them.

No paint on the road, no flags, no signs, just a 30mph hill, blind curve and boom.

I was on the front with my clubmate, we hit the brakes and started yelling behind us to slow down. The trick with these bridges is to line up on a single 6 inch wide plank and ride it all the way across.

Anyway, one of the guys behind us didn't hit the bridge right; all I heard was a clatter and suddenly lots of yelling. Look back to see the dude going over the side of the bridge.

He fell roughly 20 feet, landed in the mostly mud bottom on his camelback. One of the guys was an EMT (pure luck) and went down to care for him.

Called 911, couldn't get reception down in the valley, climbed the hill to find an address and tell them where we were.

By the time the FD showed up, maybe 15 minutes from the crash, the guy was alert and talking but still laying down there in the mud. The FD told us to clear out so we did... if I hear more I'll post up.



Bike was destroyed. Frame broken in at least 2 places, front wheel just shredded, no signs of spokes anywhere, rear wheel crumpled.





All that's left of the front wheel


So... to the organizers: a bridge like this is very dangerous at speed in a fast group. Some road markings and warning paint might have prevented this. Overall it was a very well-organized event, thumbs up for everything except the route marking crew.

I'd come back again, despite this accident. I really enjoyed these roads. The course has lots of skinny Texas backroads, great views and low traffic.

Bonus: the champ. This kid's 14 and regularly kicks azz around here. Now he has the jersey as well.
 

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Jerkhard Sirdribbledick
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Not only should they have marked it better, but they should have figured out a way to avoid it altogether.
 

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Hope your buddy's okay, brother.
 

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Those bridges always scare me. I remember in theTour of Louisiana hitting a bridge like that except that the boards weren't secure.Going off the end of one popped up the other end. Don't know how we made it across 3 times without a massive crash.

Hope your buddy is OK.
 

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disgruntled pigskin fan
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Holy cow! Hope he recovers quickly.
 

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waterproof*
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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Swish said:
Ouch that's a very bad crash, hope he recovers swiftly. Was he on his TT rig?
Yeah it's a tri bike I think, but I'd be surprised if he was on the tt bars. He'd been riding on the base bars mostly.
 

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Wow... boy I hate those first year rally's!! Horrible looking bridge.

Look how good Danny looks in that jersey!! I road with his mother this morning, thankfully not on the rally! She is very strong as well... just like his father... quite the racing family.
 

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Captain Obvious
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wow. hope there's a speedy recovery. i crashed and landed on my camelbak before. it can make a world of difference. mine didn't invovle a 20ft drop though.
 

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Just Plain Bitter
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Hope the guy is okay. Good that he was alert but I'll keep him in my prayers until we here updates.
 

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gazing from the shadows
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tomk96 said:
wow. hope there's a speedy recovery. i crashed and landed on my camelbak before. it can make a world of difference.
Lots of people have, and it really can make a huge difference.

Here's hoping for a quick recovery... of hopefully not too serious injuries!
 

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Hope the rider is OK and hope that the county (or whomever is in charge of that road) will replace all his bike gear and then put up some warning signs as the bridge approaches. I know the city I work for would do so without question: they payout all sorts of claims for tripping hazards and whatnot on sidewalks.
 

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What a story! hope he's OK. What was the route? I'm next door inWaxahachie.
 

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Thanks for the map - I'm going to ride over there and try it out.
 

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MTBer in roadie's lycra
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Wow, I really hope hope your buddy's doing all right.

But, from a shop point of view it wasn't too well set up either. We got packets around two weeks ago containing the poster for it and the brochures for it (incidentally with the wrong map). We were asked if we were interested in setting up a tent, doing some light wrenching pre-ride, then doing support at one of the rest stops. Even though we're based in Arlington, I live in south GP and ride those roads all the time so it wasn't a stretch to go out.

So I show up at 6:30 in my car rather than the shop van because we were operating on that I'd pitch the 10x10 tent and be obvious that way. Apparently there was a last minute change and the tent was an issue. So I'm there with a tool box, tubes, my work stand, and a shop jersey standing next to other shops who had the wherewithal to bring their trucks.

Once the ride's about to start I ask which rest stop to go to, and the decision was made that the shops were just going to do rolling support and everyone of them but me had someone with a radio to help direct. In other words, the plan was to have me drive blindly around hoping to catch problems in a 250 square mile area in a car unmarked as support. I did the only logical thing and got poster board, made "RIDE SUPPORT" signs and stuck them in my windows.

Also, on the blind rally I did find a number of misplaced, unmarked, or otherwise misleading signage. In a few places I put a sign where one was missing to help out because I only figured it out due to having turn-by-turn directions. Furthermore once I got a better look at that map and figured out that that bridge was part of it I knew someone would likely go down. Apparently the sign I made and put there to warn people blew away or something.

All in all, I'm not sure whether the problems were communicative, timing, or organizational, but I do hope next year works better. It's a nice area and does make for good riding.
 
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