There was a rider (not one of us) on the runner's right side, so the runner didn't really have anywhere to move to. We probably could be more careful about calling out to runners/riders and to each other (although I think we're pretty good overall).
I think the road was just too narrow. It's hard to safely pass a runner in the middle of the road at speed.
Brady, feel better soon!
Should runners stick to the left side of the road at HP? Would you rather pass runners from behind or have them facing you and potentially freak out when they see the pack coming?
I usually run with traffic down there, probably because I am used to it from riding, but now I'm not sure that's a good idea.
@Brady- glad you're on track. I heard that if you volunteer for Total200.com you heal faster. I think it has something to do with karma.
As for Thursday - anyone up for hour of power? (pyramid workout)
Julia, I treat it like any non-sidewalked road and go against traffic. There I run on the right/outside (left side of the road if you are going the proper direction). Easy to see whats coming and step out of the way, plus most of the bikers are on the opposite side of the road (their right, proper right). When I'm on the bike I don't particiuarly care which direction runners are going, as long as they are to the side.
As a long-time member of DC Tri but never a member of the "train" I'll weigh in as a not exactly unbiased observer here. The train as it exists is a danger to those in it and those with whom it comes in contact. I say this as someone who often rides with a smaller group, doing intervals and pacing and is often overtaken by the Train without warning.
I'm currently working with a small group of women, some of whom are just learning to ride in a group, and Hains Point usually offers a safe environment to learn essential bike handling skills.
I've been riding for a decade or more and am very comfortable handling myself and my bike in a variety of situations, however, having a peleton of 30+ bearing down on me doing speeds in excess of 25 mph is unnerving to even the most experienced of cyclists.
I wonder if it might be time to move the train to the track at RFK where there is little to no competition for the open road, a very well paved track and nary an incident like the one described above. Or even consider breaking the group into smaller, more managable numbers to avoid the run-ins with others who share the road.
Hains Point is a multi use area shared by cyclists, runners, walkers, skaters, fishermen, and tour buses. Maybe the DC Tri Train can find a spot better suited to the speed and volume of cyclists who want to ride in a pack and reduce the incident of interaction with potential accident victims.
I greatly respect your viewpoints and everything you've done for the club, but I think it's wrong to blame one group or one person in this situation. One could equally place blame in the other direction, but these situations are always more complicated than pointing a finger in one direction.
I think there's an opportunity for everyone here to observe that we have a responsibility to respect everyone's right to use public space.
Two takeaways I'm hearing are
+ for overtakers: warn people as you plan to overtake
+ for the overtaken: stay to the right side of the road to allow for overtakers (of any type) to pass on the left.
Let's start there.
I think I have the solution: we mount a siren of some sort to the front of Patrick's bike, and as his speed increases the siren gets louder. Thus, the distance from which people are alerted of him coming by increases proportionately to his level of effort. It'll be like a scarlet letter, or a badge of shame, because as we all know fast(er) cyclists are both sinful and immoral, and should be identified as such!
..or, we can just try Patrick's takeaways.
One of the things that everyone needs to keep in mind is that Ohio Drive not a beginner's zone, a bike track, a running haven, a bus line, or anything else. It's an open road. There is no special use for any group, be it runners, cyclists, motorcycles, cars, tour buses, experienced athletes or new ones. Without exception, people should be expected to follow the rules of the road just like they would on any other.
I could barely believe my eyes when I saw it, but that same runner was out this morning running down the middle of the road in almost exactly the same spot as the accident last week.
I wholeheartedly agree with Patrick/Andy and all other comments and I don't mean to lay blame one way or another; I'm merely suggesting that if the group wants to train in a pack of 30 without fear or risk of adverse interaction with others not in the group, a different venue may be an option. You can change the game before it is changed for you, like this morning's locked gates at both ends of the loop. That is one way that the Park Service will prevent a large pack from riding in loops around the point.
One thing to be sure, you will encounter cyclists, runners, ducks, squirrels, and other unexpected obstacles and to help the group from a safety perspective, minimizing those encounters is a good thing.
Sometimes it's good to consider change before it's forced upon you.
The guy is running down the middle of the road because of the road grading... roads slope roughly 3% downward from the center line to the curb/gutter along the edge for drainage purposes... otherwise you would see a ton of ponding on roads after rainstorms. Many avid runners take note of this fact and try to avoid running along the side of the road, as the downward slope can cause running injuries over the long miles.
That being said, Ohio Drive is still an open road and needs to be treated as such. Sometimes all of us (cyclists, runners, walkers, tourists) forget this fact because there is significantly less traffic on Ohio Drive than just about any other road in DC (and most of the drivers on the road there are athletes going to/from a workout so they are more mindful of watching out for other athletes on the road).
We all need to keep safety in mind at Hains Point, Rock Creek Park, and other roads that are usually open to the public. We also need to play nice in the sandbox with each other on other paved paths not open to cars (W&OD Trail, Capital Crescent Trail, etc.). Bike crashes are no fun for either the cyclist or the runner/walker/other cyclist that gets hit. I tend to think by far the biggest group at fault here are the careless pedestrians (tourists, walkers, dog-walkers, stroller-pushers, cherry blossom admirers, etc). But it is very hard to unify "careless pedestrians" as a group, so we need to take the iniative to ride defensively and watch out for them when they won't watch out for themselves. After all, if an onlooker sees a guy wearing a DC Triclub jersey come flying down the trail/road at 25+mph hammering out an interval and hits an old woman who popped up out of nowhere walking her dog, that will look a lot worse for us than it will for her, even if the crash is predominantly her fault.
Just my 2 cents...
I hear you Cory, but I don't agree with you. =)
Its up to each INDIVIDUAL who chooses to use Hains Point to manage risk to both themselves and others...some are better than others at doing that [runner dude is NOT good at it]. This mitigation of risk includes the points Patrick stated above, reading and following that bike handling article DC Tri provides, and that each runner, rollerblader, dog walker, fisherman, wayward tourist, and cyclist stay alert and as far to the right as safely possible.
Here's a little tidbit about risk management, courtesy of the one and only Wikipedia:
"Risk management is the identification, assessment, and prioritization of risks (defined in ISO 31000 as the effect of uncertainty on objectives, whether positive or negative) followed by coordinated and economical application of resources to minimize, monitor, and control the probability and/or impact of unfortunate events or to maximize the realization of opportunities. Risks can come from uncertainty in financial markets, project failures, legal liabilities, credit risk, accidents, natural causes and disasters as well as deliberate attacks from an adversary."
Except Ohio Drive around the point isn't graded...ok, maybe like 1%. Needless to say, I don't think it is the road condition that is making the guy run along the center line...
I'm with Andy; I hear you, Cory, but I don't agree.
There are plenty of reasons to be nervous down there, but it's a pretty controlled and safe environment, even with peletons moving around quickly on two early mornings a week. There are two lanes and there's little traffic, there's enough room for all to be comfortable.
Cars regularly go 25-30+ down there, and as much as I'd like to see them not there, they are and we have to work with them.
There are also noon and T/Th evening rides down there that the pace is well above 30 mph--when it's far more crowded. I don't think that they are gonna go elsewhere no matter what--and honestly, I think there's room for everyone down there (except maybe cars), as long as everyone plays by the rules.
Adding, I think it's a stretch to call our morning rides dangerous. This is my 3rd season down there and only the 2nd crash I've seen (Yes, Sean, I remember your wipe out 2 years ago). Crashes happen in cycling and I think we have a pretty good track record especially since we're so accepting of first timers, riders we don't know, and riders who we pick up as we roll.
And I've never seen 30+ of us riding at speed. Once the pace gets high the group breaks up into much smaller groups.
May 10. Special to the Washington Examiner: The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, with the Department of Energy, today broke ground on a massive infrastructure project aimed at ending the controversy over mixed use of Hains Pt.--the popular DC venue for runners, fast cyclists, not-so-fast cyclists, and policemen forever late at opening the gates to the place.
To address accidents between quick cyclists and other athletes, NHTSA will construct a giant underground raceway beneath the regular Hains Pt. road and bike path. It will be for the exclusive use of the super-fast riders who race about Hains on early Tuesday and Thursday mornings, leaving today’s above-ground road to slower riders, joggers, and other slackers.
The construction work will be contracted out to the same proficient engineers and workers who are rebuilding the nearby Humpback Bridge on the George Washington Parkway by the 14th St. Bridge, where 200 yards of road have been reworked for four years. Thus construction of the subterranean track is expected to be completed by the year 2085. Around the same time Eric Goetz’ grandson is expected to turn pro, and when the youthful Andy Blatecky is expected to reach his peak racing times.
To defray the cost of the multi-trillion-dollar project, the cost of a bottle of Gatorade at the golf course snack shop will double to $40. Also, DC police will hand out even more tickets for running the stop sign at the intersection of Ohio and Buckeye Drives. As police are usually sleeping in at the Hains precinct house, traffic cameras will be installed to automatically catch anyone going over 25 mph, which means anyone in the morning group.
NHTSA had rejected a less expensive plan to turn the inner path at Hains into an HOV lane, restricted to tandem cyclists and riders carrying friends on their handlebars, with the fast, solo riders forced into the slower, outer lanes. And a scheme for a HOT lane--for the girl from the T-Mobile ads, and Mark Wahlberg--was also turned down.
The Energy Dept. is hoping to take advantage of the new facility, and push the boundaries of physics, by trying out a supercharged particle accelerator in the below-ground tunnel. DoE will install Gruber Assist motors on the bikes of the extremely fast riders, to let them reach near-speed-of-light velocities. Their high-tech bikes will be outfitted with ejection seats and parachutes in case of collisions, allowing riders to land safely. When the crashing bikes collide at almost the speed of light, their atoms will be smashed to bits, revealing new subatomic particles and, it’s hoped, some of the mysteries of the universe--such as how is anyone able to drag themselves out of bed at 5 am to ride at over 30 mph?
The Tunnel to Nowhere will be a true multi-use facility, at times filled with pristine Potomac River water and converted into a 3.2-mile pool. As all swimmers will be stroking in the same direction along a curved, sharply banked course, a considerable current will be generated, allowing world-record swim times, even by Tuan Nguyen. The banked course will also make for a superb indoor track, letting race director Hugh Harris hold his training tris in true subterranean style, without worrying about overflow crowds during Cherry Blossom season.
Thanks for lightening the mood Ed!
If anyone's interested in riding tomorrow, here's what I'm planning to do. I'd love some company! Yeah, late notice, I know. So it goes...
After a lap warm up, 3 x 9 mins zone 4 (pretty much all out) with 4 mins rest in between. This should equate to an interval for most of the long lap up to the u-turn and then easy back to the gate where we ramp up again.
See you out there. It should be a beautiful morning.
And since it sounds like there are some riders of other speeds out there, make sure you post here so more groups can organize.
Looks like a super soggy morning and day tomorrow. I'm planning to ride indoors.
It'll be a good day for visualizing your training. Mentally go through all the steps of getting up, preparing your bike, warming up, etc... make sure to include interval sprints that you win every time. Then wake up an hour later all refreshed.
In light of the rain, I'm going to take Eric's advice and sleep in and visualize myself actually taking a pull. This could be the only time I take a pull this this year, so you guys better take note.