Saturday, January 31, 2015

Cycling Tragedy

I know this is supposed to be light and funny, but life isn't always like that. I heard about a lady in her early 50's tragically passing away on a bike track I frequent. (To see a photograph series of articles on the track, click here to start with part 1. ) I went out on my usual ride and found the spot because flowers had been left there. My sympathies to the family and friends.

The surprise I got was it is at a spot a week or two earlier I nearly collided with a tree. The terrain slopes down, then turns over a culvert and then turns back again, making an S shape. It used to be a ditch which made me slow down, but with the drain installed you don't have to slow down now. I was going a bit too fast, took a line that was too much to the right and then quickly had to correct my line as this tree beckoned. A little skidding and I missed it by about a foot (30cm). No big deal and I carried on, but then to find that very tree with the tribute around its base was a surprise.

I went to the local council afterward who manage the track and explained what happened to me and wondered if that was what happened to the lady. Apparently her situation wasn't to do with colliding with anything, just a medical misadventure. They promised to look at a slight realignment of the track. The pictures of the site are below. they are over exposed bit it was hot and bright at the time.

The culvert that twists the track

The tree!
It doesn't look a problem in the photos, but the photo makes the distance look much more than it is. Allowing for that, going too quickly, taking the wrong line, then suddenly breaking and changing direction was a wake up call. Cycling should be safe and caution is essential. If a track is changed, then over familiarity can be an enemy.

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