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Who to contact at BC about race safety?

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  • Paperwork goes to the regional competition administrator - not direct to BC so its no wonder they did not know owt about the incident.

    My advice on this matter is simple.

    You sign on the dotted line - you accept the risks. Do you honestly think the FA vet every sunday league player before they cross the white line. You are asking the impossible if you think BC should fulfill that role in amateur racing - we have one of the highest volunteer to participant ratios of any grass roots sport - dont make it more difficult!
    If you dont accept the risks go take up another 'less risky' sport.

    Race on what you can afford to replace, and go off get fit enough to ride off the front where its safer.
  • bigmatbigmat Posts: 5,111
    I reckon big fields make it a lot more dangerous. Not saying fields should be limited, onus is on me to improve my bike handling and fitness to stay near the front, but I'm generally a lot happier in a field of up to 20 than in a 50+ peloton, especially in the last couple of laps when everybody is trying to hit the front.

    I do think that for circuit races, if you have a big field then you should only have one race running at a time (or at least make an effort to keep the races apart). My last race at Cyclopark saw maybe 25 in the E12, 60 in the 3/4 and then maybe another 30 or so women. Last lap was extremely dicey with some reckless racing in the 3/4 bunch and back markers getting in the way - they could have at least pulled people out who weren't in the main group with a couple of laps to go. Simple steps like that can make things a lot safer.
  • danlikesbikesdanlikesbikes Posts: 3,898
    maryka wrote:
    dulldave wrote:
    I reckon 4th cats should have to start with a number of APRs before entering a normal road race.
    This is what happens in the Surrey League in the SE, the only open road races that 4th cats can enter are handicaps and it is indeed a good way to ease into bunch riding on the open road.

    In women's racing, most races are all-categories and I will admit to being one of the higher cat riders who make the race hard right from the start just to shed any unskilled and unfit riders and make the bunch safer. After some high-profile crashes in past years, 4th cats have been banned from some women's races, rightly or wrongly.

    But that's getting harder to do, a typical new 4th cat is probably stronger than he/she was in the past -- due to fit people coming over from other sports (rowing, triathlon, running, etc.) or the increase in cycle commuters and sportives, at least around London anyway.

    We used to see quite a few "intro" races in Buckinghamshire too & think they were a good way to learn your skills, however not so many this year.

    Not sure what the answer is, but perhaps by introducing these (as BC have done with the Go Ride scheme) but stating that racers with a Cat 4 must race in a minimum number in intro races first with a minimum number of points from a new Cat 4 intro level before moving into mixed Cat 4/3 races. Only issue would be the issuing of day licenses which is I think the part that the OP is getting at
    Pain hurts much less if its topped off with beating your mates to top of a climb.
  • jibberjimjibberjim Posts: 2,810
    Paperwork goes to the regional competition administrator - not direct to BC so its no wonder they did not know owt about the incident.

    Incident paperwork where any injury was sustained should go direct to BC HQ

    "It is critical that when ever an incident occurs which involves medical treatment to a person involved in an event or a third party that this form is completed and immediately forwarded to British Cycling Headquarters."

    So no, it's not no wonder, it's a failure of the procedures required by BC, they chose to put those in place, and are failing to enforce their own rules if the report from Martin is accurate.
    Jibbering Sports Stuff: http://jibbering.com/sports/
  • Tom ButcherTom Butcher Posts: 7,137
    jibberjim wrote:
    To be fair I can see why a comm might feel it's not up to them to help you identify a rider who you believe caused a crash.

    It is specifically part of the commissaires role - this is the report form sent to BC
    http://www.southeastcycling.co.uk/sedoc ... t_form.pdf
    Comm's are supposed to highlight riders who were unsafe etc.

    Yes I know that, but not give that information out to any rider that asks for it, that can only lead to trouble. To be honest if someone caused me to crash I wouldn't want to know who it was particularly - it's a racing incident - unless I thought or was told it was done on purpose I don't see the point in pursuing it.

    it's a hard life if you don't weaken.
  • racingcondorracingcondor Posts: 1,434
    giropaul wrote:
    markos1963 wrote:
    I think BC should introduce a system similar to what they had in motorbike racing(been out of it for a long time so I don't know if it still exists)
    As a novice racer you had to do so many races before you could get rid of your dayglo jacket, your license was signed by the Clerk of the Course if you had raced safely or got a placing. I think once you got ten sigs' you could get rid of the jacket.

    Actually, thinking about it, that isn't such a daft idea. Maybe some sort of armband?

    I'm sure that we want to encourage people into racing, rather than make it difficult, but this would work. A plus might be that more experienced riders were a tad more forgiving of newer riders, advice rather than rollickings!

    It wouldn't be a huge problem to add a set of gilets to the race organisers kit for people on their first 3 races.

    I'm a fan of having a couple of nominated experienced riders who don't mind roaming and offering advice to other riders for the first 1/2 the race. All you have to do is identify them on the start line so the other riders realise who they are and you'd probably diffuse a lot of the adrenaline pumped defensive bull that happens when you point out dumb moves by the races quota of poor riders.

    You could require a year of membership of a registered club before attending your first race I suppose but we all know how little preperation doing club runs in groups of 5-10 are for racing so unless clubs bought in to some form of structured program I doubt it would make that much difference.

    Personally I can't see a foolproof way around it. Not all area's can ban first timers from road racing (as the SE effectively does) as there aren't enough circuts for crits elsewhere and eventually all you end up doing is filtering out the experienced riders who help keep the bunch as a whole relatively safe by not over reacting to every little thing. How dangerous do you want those initial all newbie 5 or 10 races to be?

    The current problem is just a symptom of the sports increasing popularity. More new cyclists = more keen new racers = larger ratio or inxperienced to experienced riders in the bunch. The problem will always be there because at the lowest level you'll always have people new to racing.

    Martin - If you're reading this. I hope the damage to you and your wallet is short lived. Sucks to be taken out by anothers mistake.
  • To be fair I can see why a comm might feel it's not up to them to help you identify a rider who you believe caused a crash.
    Yes I know that, but not give that information out to any rider that asks for it, that can only lead to trouble. To be honest if someone caused me to crash I wouldn't want to know who it was particularly - it's a racing incident - unless I thought or was told it was done on purpose I don't see the point in pursuing it.

    I do not think I can let that pass, Tom. Jim is right it is part of the Comm's role to identify riders concerned in an incident, not to other riders, but to BC. He did not do so (either to Manchester, the region or the race organiser) and in fact reported to BC the number of an innocent rider. He was not cooperative when BC sought further information. Somebody ought to be keeping tabs on how serious incidents happen and how the risks can be minimised for the future. That requires some investigation of what happened and most Comms do understand that.
    Although you may feel that you would not wish to know anything, I am not convinced that if you woke up in hospital in a bad way with no recollection at all of how you got there, you would not want to know more. I was less concerned with the identity of the rider than with any explanation he may have for why he fell. Those around him speculate that he slid in the wet but he has never been asked. I believe BC genuinely sympathised and were willing to share what information they could get.
    Maryka, sorry I pulled out of your race which I have ridden the last couple of years. Although I did also have some family pressures to be elsewhere I was also influenced by a wet forecast. Always impeccably organised so I had marked it out as a good first post-crash road race to regain some confidence.
  • Tom ButcherTom Butcher Posts: 7,137
    My only point is that you can't really expect a commissaire to give you the name of a rider you believe caused a crash. That is not part of the comms role - I'm pretty sure that Jim didn't mean to imply that it was tbh as he obviously is fairly clued up about it.

    I don't know enough about the incident to comment further about what what the commissaire did or didn't do.

    As far as tracking the rider down - chances are they'll just say something like someone else switched them whether true or not - I've yet to meet anyone who owns up to causing a crash. I can understand you asking other riders to get a picture of what happened. Glad you are back on the bike and racing.

    it's a hard life if you don't weaken.
  • If that is your only point Tom, then there is no disagreement. If you do not believe what I have posted that is your prerogative but I would not post it on a public forum unless I was very confident of the reliability of my sources.
    On your point about coaching by clubs and teams, my club does provide this for would be racers. I think it very important that when someone sees a TV rider they know he or she is to be trusted. Likewise I know that I can trust a rider in, say, KingstonWheeler kit. There certainly is race training available for adults and it should be more widely used. Having clubs as a form of 'gateway' into racing is I believe a sensible idea. Were a Thames Velo rider to be involved in causing a serious incident I would (as Chairman), not least for the reputation of the club, want to get to the bottom of it and ensure that an apology or explanation , as appropriate, was supplied.
    A word of warning though, I was absolutely convinced that I was good at avoiding trouble in races after 5 years without even a minor incident. You may think you have the skills to stay out of trouble but ultimately there is a huge element of chance. It appears that just before my crash I was moving up the group on the outside with a view to going to the front to raise the pace. I was not on his wheel, he went over sideways. Low quality riding does endanger us all. Obviously, by definition, we cannot all be strong enough to be off the front. We really must get away from any notion that through skill we can avoid being victims of bad riding.
    As for the extent to which when we sign on we voluntarily accept the risks, this is obviously so to at least some extent. To quite what extent is an interesting question which gives me an idea for a future legal article. This has relevance to who can successfully sue whom but does not affect the responsibility we all have to keep the risks as low as we can.
    'Omerta' is not an answer and cannot be justified by apprehension over litigation. This is my area of professional expertise and you really really do not discourage litigation by withholding information. The honest approach is to argue in a Court, where necessary, that imposing a high duty owed by one racer against another would be damaging to the sport. In many ways it would be good to get this clarified. We should be under no illusion that insurance rates are set on the basis that injured riders cannot sue, we all pay a substantial amount because of underwriters' uncertainty over this (even though they also protect themselves by endeavoring to exclude inter-rider cover). Likewise I always ensure I have my own third party insurance (not BC it doesn't cover it) in place before I race.
    In short I really do not think the legal 'implications' that are feared should in any way inhibit a determination to learn from incidents so as to minimise the risk of recurrence.
  • bigmatbigmat Posts: 5,111
    If that is your only point Tom, then there is no disagreement. If you do not believe what I have posted that is your prerogative but I would not post it on a public forum unless I was very confident of the reliability of my sources.
    On your point about coaching by clubs and teams, my club does provide this for would be racers. I think it very important that when someone see a TV rider they know he or she is to be trusted. Likewise I know that I can trust a rider in, say, KingstonWheeler kit. There certainly is race training available for adults and it should be more widely used. Having clubs as a form of 'gateway' into racing is I believe a sensible idea. Were a Thames Velo rider to be involved in a serious incident I would (as Chairman), not least for the reputation of the club, want to get to the bottom of it and ensure that an apology or explanation , as appropriate, was supplied.
    A word of warning though, I was absolutely convinced that I was good at avoiding trouble in races after 5 years without even a minor incident. You may think you have the skills to stay out of trouble but ultimately there is a huge element of chance. It appears that just before my crash I was moving up the group on the outside with a view to going to the front to raise the pace. I was not on his wheel, he went over sideways. Low quality riding does endanger us all. Obviously, by definition, we cannot all be strong enough to be off the front. We really must get away from any notion that through skill we can avoid being victims of bad riding.
    As for the extent to which when we sign on we voluntarily accept the risks, this is obviously so to at least some extent. To quite what extent is an interesting question which gives me an idea for a future legal article. This has relevance to who can successfully sue whom but does not affect the responsibility we all have to keep the risks as low as we can.
    'Omerta' is not an answer and cannot be justified by apprehension over litigation. This is my area of professional expertise and you really really do not discourage litigation by withholding information. The honest approach is to argue in a Court, where necessary, that imposing a high duty owed by one racer against another would be damaging to the sport. In many ways it would be good to get this clarified. We should be under no illusion that insurance rates are set on the basis that injured riders cannot sue, we all pay a substantial amount because of underwriters' uncertainty over this (even though they also protect themselves by endeavoring to exclude inter-rider cover). Likewise I always ensure I have my own third party insurance (not BC it doesn't cover it) in place before I race.
    In short I really do not think the legal 'implications' that are feared should in any way inhibit a determination to learn from incidents so as to minimise the risk of recurrence.

    Isn't it a rather big assumption that the guy who crashed in front of you did so due to "low quality riding"? Its a pretty safe bet that he didn't fall off on purpose, there was obviously a reason for it. If you were moving up behind him and crashed into him on the deck then legally I wouldn't see how you'd have a leg to stand on? I agree its an interesting debate around when it might be possible to claim against another rider in a race scenario. The barrier to me seems to be as much about a voluntary assumption of risk as a policy decision to support the sport. Obviously there will be limits to this, but I would have thought the conduct of the cyclist causing the incident would have to go beyond negligent and be reckless or even deliberate?

    I also agree that you can't guarantee avoiding racing incidents through good race skills. I got taken out when leading the group by a competitor sprinting past then cutting across me in the approach to a sprint finish (he seems to have misjudged where it was as we were a fair bit away!). Fortunately no damage done to me (although bike was a mess) so perhaps easier to be philosophical about it. I'm told that he acknowledged it was his fault and was going to apologise, although he never got round to it. You can minimise the risk though and a big part of that is being risk averse - doesn't necessarily lend itself to getting results unfortunately.
  • ju5t1nju5t1n Posts: 2,028
    Everyone seems to assume that riding standards are getting worse. But are they? Does BC keep statistics on the number of incidents in races?

    Triathletes, sportifs and unattached riders seem to get the blame for crashes in 3/4 races. But there was at least one crash in every round of the Tour Series last year. And at least one pile up during every stage of the first week of last year’s TDF. So the Elites and Pros are at it too.

    Isn’t it fact that there are crashes in all levels of road racing and you just have to accept that if you participate?
  • imposter2.0imposter2.0 Posts: 11,001
    ju5t1n wrote:
    Everyone seems to assume that riding standards are getting worse. But are they?

    Personally, I don't think they are any worse now than when I started racing in the early 90s. Stack-ups are (and always have been) a regular feature of pro racing, so it's a little optimistic to hope that riding standards can be improved at 4th cat level... ;)
  • givecyclistsroomgivecyclistsroom Posts: 21
    edited March 2013
    bigmat wrote:
    Isn't it a rather big assumption that the guy who crashed in front of you did so due to "low quality riding"? Its a pretty safe bet that he didn't fall off on purpose, there was obviously a reason for it. If you were moving up behind him and crashed into him on the deck then legally I wouldn't see how you'd have a leg to stand on?

    No, absolutely not assumption, there is plenty of eye witness evidence that his rear wheel slipped sideways and he fell sideways straight in front of my wheel. No evidence of any external cause for this. Even in the wet you should not just fall over. Perhaps they were all being nice but every eye witness has said that there was nothing I could have done.

    Your crash was perhaps a little more understandable, a misjudgment in the heat of competition for the win which perhaps could happen in a pro race.

    I do not think it right that we shrug all incidents off, assume nothing's wrong and that nothing can be done.
  • bigmat wrote:
    Isn't it a rather big assumption that the guy who crashed in front of you did so due to "low quality riding"? Its a pretty safe bet that he didn't fall off on purpose, there was obviously a reason for it. If you were moving up behind him and crashed into him on the deck then legally I wouldn't see how you'd have a leg to stand on?

    No, absolutely not assumption, there is plenty of eye witness evidence that his rear wheel slipped sideways and he fell sideways straight in front of my wheel. No evidence of any external cause for this. Even in the wet you should not just fall over. Perhaps they were all being nice but every eye witness has said that there was nothing I could have done.



    I do not think it right that we shrug all incidents off, assume nothing's wrong and that nothing can be done.

    DECLARATION-
    I declare that I am eligible under British Cycling Technical Regulations to enter this race and that the information on this form is complete and correct.
    I understand and agree that I participate in this race entirely at my own risk, that I must rely on my own ability in dealing with all hazards and that I must ride in a manner which is safe for myself and all others. I am aware that when riding in an event and particularly when riding on a public highway the function of the marshals is only to indicate direction and that I must decide if the movement is safe. I agree that no liability whatsoever shall be attached to the promoter, promoting club, meeting sponsor(s), British Cycling, or any official or member of the British Cycling or member of the promoting club in respect of any injury, loss or damage suffered by me in or by reason of the race, however caused.

    End of thread..
  • bigmatbigmat Posts: 5,111
    Off the top of my head, I don't think you can exclude liability for death or personal injury in this jurisdiction so that declaration isn't worth the paper its written on. Perhaps Martin can confirm. Thread back on?
  • bigmat wrote:
    Perhaps Martin can confirm.
    Correct Mat. I think also ThickT might have higlighted "I must ride in a manner which is safe for myself and all others" but in any event I think most contributors to this thread have been talking about improving rider safety rather than litigation.
    My own view is that the declaration is useful in highlighting both that riders accept an element of risk and are not expecting organisers to provide a completely risk free environment and also in accepting a responsibility not to compromise the safety of themselves or others.
    I think I have probably said enough other than to say I wish you all the best of luck racing and hope you avoid serious incident.
    Martin
  • Did'nt see Matt Lloyd complaining to Big Pat did we?
    “The only issue… in the first week is the number of Euskaltel riders crashing everywhere,” he said. “They just fall off. There’s no reason why. You’ll just be riding along and there they’ll be like a bleeding carrot in the middle of the road lying there in pain…”
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