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Honister Pass - Accident

Cheshire CatCheshire Cat Posts: 309
edited June 2013 in Road general
There was a serious accident on the decent of Honister Pass, decending on the Buttermere side today, guy looked to be in a bad way. Couldn't have happened long before I got there, a number of folk were there helping out, so I didn't stop. The decent, for those that don't know it starts very steep and has several corners, some with stone barriers that are about 2ft high either side of the road - these barriers are not going to move if you hit them whilst on a bike. The road does even out, but the initial part of the decent does catch a lot of people out.

The Fred Whitton is just over a week off, and there will be a lot of people thinking that they can descend like Vincenzo Nibali, and get out of their depth whilst coming off the tops of the high passes - stay safe folks, it's not a frigging race, even if you may think so!!!

Best wishes to the guy involved in today's accident, I hope he recovers well enough to want to ride again. I don't know the details behind how it happened, but seeing him laying on the road, and the amount of blood that was present doesn't make for a pretty picture. Sobering thought.
“Faster, Faster, until the thrill of speed overcomes the fear of death.” Hunter S Thompson

Posts

  • Brian BBrian B Posts: 2,071
    Sadly have seen too many accidents on Honister but even more so on Wrynose during the FW due to people over estimating their descending skills or getting carried away on the day. I have done the FW 6 times and have almost been knocked off my bike several times with other riders not paying attention and in general have seen the worst cases of bike handling skills on this event than any other.

    Hope the riders is okay and recovers quickly.
    Brian B.
  • GuanajuatoGuanajuato Posts: 399
    To be honest, the thought of descending the steep bits of Hardknott, Wrynose or Honister scares me witless. Even if I could get to the top without walking, I'd probably walk the steepest sections of the descent. Nastily rutted, covered in loose stuff and very tight. No margin for error. All it'd take would be a slightly larger rock on your line and you're off. Descending less steep slopes off scout scar (Brigsteer Brow & Underbarrow Road) my brakes just about scrub enough speed off for me to feel vaguely safe.
    Hope the rider is OK.
  • Mikey41Mikey41 Posts: 690
    Really hope he is OK.

    Any of those passes are very dangerous on the descent, surface is poor and if you let yourself build up too much speed, you are heading for disaster. They are not roads you'll be flying down at 55mph.
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  • ScotterScotter Posts: 52
    I`m not trying to blow my own trumpet here, just explaining the kind of rider I am. I have an awful lot of cycling experience and would class myself as a very competent descender - no descent spooks me and I will fly down most of them.

    On sunday I did the Wrynose or bust sportive again. Just as I started to descend Wrynose towards little Langdale, I hit a flooded pothole so hard that it bounced one of my water bottles out of it`s cage. I managed to stop the bike on the very steepest part of the descent, to retrieve the bottle.

    The thing is, that road is so steep that there was no way to re-mount safely until it levelled off! For the first time in my life I had to leave cleat plastic on the road....and on a descent!!! :shock:

    The week previous I did the Lakeland loop sportive in horrendous conditions. On the descent of Hardknott I found there was one short pitch, near the bottom, where I needed to hang off the back of the saddle, mountain bike style, to keep the back end of the bike down!!! It really is that steep!.

    People ride these roads for the first time, sometimes with little cycling experience, and simply don`t realise how quickly speed is picked up on these descents. Factor in poorly maintained brakes (for example) plus cars coming up a single track road (which these passes are) and you have a recipe for disaster.

    On sundays Wrynose or bust there was an ambulance collecting someone on the very sketchy Tow Top descent for the second year running.

    Please, lads and lasses, take your time on these roads or they will bite back...hard!
  • freddiegrubbfreddiegrubb Posts: 448
    All these climbs/descents are in my neck of the woods & the only way that it works for me is to keep the b/side firmly down on the saddle & more importantly the speed right down. The dangers increase as the tourist season commences, they think you can drive around at 25-30 mph.they don't think for one minute going round a corner there may be a sheep/cow / cyclists & who knows what else on the road.
  • HT47HT47 Posts: 1
    I'm the guy who had the accident on honister pass and I'm making a good recovery and i appreciate your good wishes. As i was laying on the road i remember seeing two cyclist ride past me and Cheshire cat you must have been one of them so I'm sorry for all of the blood I hope your not squeamish.

    The people who were first on the scene were absoluely briliant they just happened to be two priests one chaplain and a nurse from Australia and i would like to thank them all.

    I've been rideing for years so im not a novice and I've been up Honister lots of time in all conditions so this type of accident can happen to anyone of us and it isnt always as the result of speed.

    The one thing that saved my bacon was my helmet as it took the most part of the impact so neadless to say I've bought another one of those, same make, model and colour.

    and last thing I've been back out on my bike so it hasn't put me off.
  • declan1declan1 Posts: 2,470
    So glad to hear you're ok. I've had a couple of crashes but only on the flat and at less than 20MPH. They were REALLY scary! It's great that you're back on the bike already!

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  • GiantMikeGiantMike Posts: 3,139
    Good to hear you're not too badly injured HT47. Do you know what caused you to crash?

    I crashed recently and my helmet probably saved my life.

    Get well soon.
  • Mikey23Mikey23 Posts: 5,028
    But you will never play the piano again...
    I think I would think my time was up if I was attended by 2 priests a chaplain and a nurse!
    Pleased you are ok
  • BigLee1BigLee1 Posts: 449
    Great to hear you`re ok HT47, they`re my local roads so i know what they are like in the best of conditions!!
  • dsoutardsoutar Posts: 1,746
    HT47 wrote:
    The people who were first on the scene were absoluely briliant they just happened to be two priests one chaplain and a nurse from Australia and i would like to thank them all.

    Christ - you must have wondered how badly you were injured ! Glad no lasting damage (at least to you)

    P.S. now we know you're OK, how's the bike ?
  • MrSwearyMrSweary Posts: 1,699
    Glad to here you are ok HT47.

    Know the Honister very well due to the folks living nearby but I've never been down on a bike. The top part can't be much fun.

    Also went over the Wrynose recently which was a bit sketcky even in a car! A lot of washout / melt debris on the road.
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  • thefdthefd Posts: 1,021
    HT47 wrote:
    The people who were first on the scene were absoluely briliant they just happened to be two priests one chaplain and a nurse from Australia
    I'm always unsure if I should stop to help if I see an accident...I'm a funeral director :shock: Not sure what reaction that would serve! - Only kidding I would but just not divulge my profession.

    I did once stop with a hearse on my way to a funeral as a chap was about to jump off a bridge to the motorway below, but I just called the cops and didn't approch him - it may have been seen as a sign to let go!!! (Police told me later they got him down safely BTW!)
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  • Cheshire CatCheshire Cat Posts: 309
    Hey HT47...

    good to know that you are OK and back on the bike, you couldn't have asked for better folk to help you out. I have been over Honnister a couple of times since, and I look take a moment to think as I pass the spot where you came off.

    Like I said, good to know that you have recovered and thanks for posting it up.
    “Faster, Faster, until the thrill of speed overcomes the fear of death.” Hunter S Thompson
  • peatpeat Posts: 1,243
    I descended Honister on the West side last week. The speed builds so quickly, it's savage.

    The thought of binning it there sends shivers down my spine, glad you are alright-ish HT47.
  • Mikey23Mikey23 Posts: 5,028
    utterly terrifies me... did a steep downhill in an audax on sunday and got speed wobble at about 40 which im sure was down to my nervousness and feathering the brakes caused them to scream in protest. still gives me shudders thinking about it
  • briantrumpetbriantrumpet Posts: 4,295
    So glad you're OK, HT47. I'll admit that the only times I've descended Honister and Wrynose my hands were clamped on the brakes: as soon as you let go the speed jumps up immediately to what feels uncontrollable, especially knowing how sketchy the road is - so rode down at about 10mph. The hands ached afterwards.
  • mr_dobbomr_dobbo Posts: 53
    Another one who's pleased you are doing well HT47.

    I do Honister, Newlands and Winlater a lot and it's easy to get carried away, I've done Newlands so many times that I fly down it as I know the braking points but I scare myself sometimes and think I need to reel it in a bit.
    The worst bit I think is on Honister coming down west (Gatesgarth on Buttermere side), before the corner with the dry stone bank the road has stutter bumps from cars, I think thats what catches people out, thats where most of the crashes are that i've seen and heard of. The road is so step that braking distances can be a lot longer than expected and it's easy to lock up the wheels.

    As has been said be careful.
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