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Friday, April 9, 2010

Wussing Out

Good-bye Road Racing

My first foray into road racing (cycling) has taken an unexpected turn.

Last week, at a road race in Ontario, there was complete carnage. Many crashes, many broken bikes. But worst of all, a rider in a coma.

The Story

Crazy Crash Pics #1
Crazy Crash Pics #2
Crazy Crash Pics #3

I got into cycling for my health. I was a chubby guy who was getting chubbier and I needed to lose weight. Racing came later, motivating me to get out there and push myself. It's fun, exciting, challenging... it keeps me going.

Ultimately, though, I have three kids at home that need their dad in working condition. Going out and breaking bones (or worse) just wouldn't be smart.

So with that, this aspiring road racer is done.

Options for going fast on a bike for wusses

  • Triathlons and duathlons - no drafting means no pack riding
  • Century Rides - some pack riding, but at a more recreational pace
  • Centurion / Gran Fondo - a timed long ride - these are gaining popularity, they are races in a way, but in a way not. They certainly aren't as competitive as road races.
  • Mountain biking - well, it's not entirely for wusses... when you're whizzing downhill on loose tree-lined trail, there's a risk element.

Next up for me is Paris to Ancaster - a bike race on roads, trails, mud, rail trails... it's fun, the pace is slower, and the pack riding is minimal (and groups are small). It's not entirely risk-free, but neither is life!

7 comments:

cdnhollywood said...

That's really unfortunate. But your choice is wise - you've got family who relies on you, and if you don't want to risk your involvement there, then don't.

Hope those riders are okay.

Michael Sharek said...

That has to be some sort of extreme accident...weren't all those guys wearing helmets? Did the helmet fly off? Did he just hit his chin and that was enough shock to his brain? Or were they just going so fast that the helmet does nothing...wasn't there some guy seriously injured during the Tour de France?

jonovision_man said...

He was wearing a helmet, but he went head first into the pavement... I guess there's only so much it can take. The guy's carbon bike frame was snapped...

Tour de France - you're probably thinking of Jens Voigt? Skip to about 0:50 of this video...
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DTlF01PHy8M

There's often crashes in the peleton, especially near the finish. Broken collarbone is the most common thing.

jonovision_man said...

Heh, you were asking if this was "extreme"... found this description of another accident victim, same race:

"Broken clavicle, jaw, nose and shoulder surgery. In a nutshell. BAD."

Boris Terzic said...

Ouch! Well that is certainly more then enough to make anyone rethink their decision.

Tom Hughes said...

I made the same decision as you. I probably won't race OCUP Road this year, next or ever.

If you still want to get your road fix in, try Midweek's Tuesday night crit. Smaller groups, no high speed corners and almost no crashes.

Shazam said...

Time trials are also good - it is just you and the road no pack riding - I am with you not into the whole "race" concept.