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Sule Kangangi RIP

James

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Just says high speed crash.

Is this normal? Joes with Pros?-
  • The Overland is an open ride so anyone can enter. From the more aggressive riders gunning for the win to the local biker out for the challenge, everyone will start together. The riders will embark at 9 am sharp on the amazingly picturesque “ronde” course meandering through some of the most lovely Vermont countryside.


They do cross Rte 106, 50mph speed limit, and go on Rte 131, same limit.

Tarbell Hill rd is pretty steep, it’s a pretty popular car route. Little Ascutney Road is another popular dirt road as a cut through for cars. I hope they closed these things to cars during the race.

Course-
 
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scott43

scott43

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From what I read, they don't seem to close it, but I thought it was just him riding off the road or hitting something immovable...
 

sparty

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Dead silence from the organizer, despite questions on the event facebook page. And elsewhere I'm sure.
The organizer put out a condolence statement, but I don't expect he'll say anything further into and unless it's very clear that doing so won't become a liability issue. I'd be shocked if he hasn't already reached out to the previous organizer, who is a lawyer, for guidance, and was told to be very careful about public statements.

FWIW, I would like to know what happened, but I have no idea, nor do I have any current association with the race. The statements that did come out don't mention anything about another vehicle or animal, which I think would have come out had that been the case.

More broadly, as someone who has officiated ski races and USAC cycling and worked as moto support on the original Overland, the lack of a governing body structure is as little scary if something bad happens. I know ski race officials who have ended up in court after a bad crash, and being able to lean on industry best practices and governing body standards is a good backstop in that case; as a ski racing official, being able to lean on a homologation report is a very good thing. Gravel racing, being mostly decentralized, doesn't have that sort of backstop.

The folks behind the Overland have enough high level cycling experience that I'd expect their decisions to be reasonable, but like skiing, it's an inherently dangerous sport and sometimes those inherent dangers catch up with you. I can't imagine being in their shoes right now, especially if this was an inherent risk catching up with someone.
 
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Yo Momma

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Truly sad moment in cycling and a real time commentary on the available infrastructure around the sport. This shows that during remote races here in the U.S. you're pretty much on your own as my search for information regarding the crash has led to SkiTalk having more info that any bike info source, local or otherwise. The lack of information and "fear of lawsuits" trumping actual information that could help us to better organize future events is disheartening and a statement about the state of "sports" in our larger society....... :nono: Truly saddened by this tragedy and the information vacuum that followed.
 

Erik Timmerman

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Truly sad moment in cycling and a real time commentary on the available infrastructure around the sport. This shows that during remote races here in the U.S. you're pretty much on your own as my search for information regarding the crash has led to SkiTalk having more info that any bike info source, local or otherwise. The lack of information and "fear of lawsuits" trumping actual information that could help us to better organize future events is disheartening and a statement about the state of "sports" in our larger society....... :nono: Truly saddened by this tragedy and the information vacuum that followed.
I get what you are saying, but is it "fear of lawsuits" etc. or just respect for the family and fighting the urge to rubberneck? I won't pretend to know.

I recently had a friend die. His obituary said "unexpectedly died". It seems like that is often a code phrase for suicide. Was it? Does it matter?
 

Erik Timmerman

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One more thing, I just want to add that this comes only a few weeks after Lea Davison retired from gravel racing (after only a few months) citing safety concerns. Exactly what she said would happen happened.
 

James

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sparty

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One more thing, I just want to add that this comes only a few weeks after Lea Davison retired from gravel racing (after only a few months) citing safety concerns. Exactly what she said would happen happened.
It's worth noting that in the article James shared, she specifically cited USAC safety measures as being reasonable. I've been out of that world for five or six years now, and I haven't been to an Overland since the first one, but the scenario in this case—a rider off the back of a chase group crashes and is seriously injured—I'm aware of very few, if any, USAC races would handle that much better. I don't want to go very far down the road of speculating about what happened or what mitigation tools would have resulted in a different outcome, but I think it's worth considering a similar scenario in a USAC race.

Even a particularly well-staffed USAC race would probably only have three official vehicles with a field (two comm cars and a moto); maybe if you were lucky you'd have some additional motos available, but it's more common to have one official and one pace car with each group. But with a lead group, a chase group, and a peloton, your first three officials are probably going to be covering those three groups, and anyone in between is going to be out of sight. At the low-budget end, I've worked a couple of smaller USAC road races where I was the only official; each field had a lead car driven by a volunteer, and there may have been support cars behind the groups (I can't recall for sure, I think it may have been true for some but not all); anyone who fell off the back of the group was going to end up riding their race on open roads without support, which is not entirely unusual in USAC road racing.

As I said earlier, there's a part of me that is terrified by working races that lack a national sanctioning body with umbrella coverage (and published best-practice risk-mitigation standards), so I think there is merit to what Davison said. I just don't know that it would have helped in this scenario.
 

wooglin

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One more thing, I just want to add that this comes only a few weeks after Lea Davison retired from gravel racing (after only a few months) citing safety concerns. Exactly what she said would happen happened.
That’s what I was alluding to in my first post on this thread. She had a long interactive exchange on her Instagram account about safety. Mostly women specific, but some general stuff as well. Personally, I’d like to see marked courses, and some signage of hazards for folks that don’t have local knowledge. E.g., washboard at speed with a sharp turn that you don’t know about can definitely get your heart rate up.
 

James

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I think there is merit to what Davison said. I just don't know that it would have helped in this scenario.
Yeah, doesn’t sound like it, sounds like it is just “normal” danger of racing like that. The points she raises are in addition.

Is there any protocol to crossing roads?
She makes the point that a lot of people are racing for the money to be able to keep racing. So they’ll take more risk in crossing roads.

Here’s an example from that Overland Race.
From the map you’re coming down Little Ascuteny, (good dirt/gravel road), crossing 106 to Tarbell, which similar to L. Ascutney but uphill quickly. LA is flat where the crossing occurs, but traffic to the left wouldn’t be visible very far. The right I think is relatively clear. Speed limit on 106 is 50mph.

3993B23A-BD3B-4D49-9480-ADFFA77E7508.png


 

Yo Momma

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^^^ 50 mph limit, which means most are doing around 60 - 65 mph in that zone. Not much room for error. Yikes!
 

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