As with any sport, triathlon (and training for it) involves risk. We all take on this risk with the hope of a fantastic reward--crossing a finish line! Recently there have been some unfortunate incidents with some of our members, and I want to start a discussion on safety. I hope to put together some resources that we can post firmly on our web page and perhaps include in our (new! coming soon!) membership brochure. Your suggestions are requested.
You may have heard about Snapple Team/DC Triathlete (and all around fantastic human being) Luke Holman, who collapsed during the run of General Smallwood. He is in stable condition, but he is still in the hospital. He is not yet able to take visitors, and when there is more information on his condition I will let you know. He very seriously overheated during the race.
You may also have heard about the accident two Sundays ago during one of our training rides. Two DC Tri members, John Greenfield and Kim Goldman, crashed after the descent on MacArthur Boulevard near Old Anglers. John broke his collar bone and Kim cracked her helmet and had some bad road rash. Both thankfully are fine.
I personally have posted some swim lane sharing etiquette/safety rules, and there have been other discussions after some accidents at Hains Point with cyclists and runners colliding.
Additionally, some members of the Board were contacted about assaults on women running solo on Arlington trails. While each athlete assumes their own risks in racing and training, we felt that it was important to communicate with you all to raise some awareness.
The theme here: SAFETY FIRST. For every training ride, for every early morning run, for every race or other event... I hope that we are all considering our order of priorities to be:
1) Be Safe
2) Have Fun
3) Kick Ass
If anyone has some good references or guidelines on safety while swimming, biking, running, or racing (in the heat, in the cold, in general), I'd love to see them offered here.
Take care of yourselves,
As a side note: I want to acknowledge my personal safety choices from this season. I raced San Diego 3 days after I was discharged from the hospital with E Coli. I was not forbidden by medical professionals from racing, just cautioned that I should take care of myself (which I think I did), but as an example to others it probably wasn't the best choice. Also, I posted video of myself on Facebook going down a hill at 52 mph on my bike. I don't want to encourage reckless descents with this; I (humbly) have some relative skill at technical descents from practice.
Please be safe out there.
As anyone watching the Tour in the past week has seen, bike crashes can happen to even the best riders (especially if Tyler Farrah is nearby). One simple rule, however, goes a long way: do not ride in aero in a group/paceline unless you are alone on the front.
Failure to follow this rule has been a factor in virtually every crash I have seen involving clubmembers. Just last week, during the Freshbikes ride, a rider on a tri bike in aero with his head down, surrounded by 50 other cyclists, crashed at full speed into a rider who had stopped several yards up the road because of a mechanical. The rider on the tri bike never touched his brakes before impact. Be smart and be safe.
Ty, great point. Pace lining is a very difficult thing to do. We should never be in aero in the back.
I shared this same message to the NTP class at Peasantman. We need to remember that we should NOT ride in aero in a paceline (as Ty states!!!) and we really shouldn't be riding in aero on descents. When you are in aero, you have reduced your ability to react (including braking).
There is a reason why roadies don't have aero bars on their bikes. They ride in packs and pacelines and recognize the risks.
remember the pros do ride in pacelines and desecents in the aerobars.
during a team time trial.
then again they are pros with much better bike handling skills than normal humans (meaning anyone without a uci pro license) so its something that really shouldn't be copied all that often without a lot of practice.