Author Topic: Audax and Road Safety was: Re: Mike Hall RIP  (Read 4922 times)

Audax and Road Safety was: Re: Mike Hall RIP
« on: September 25, 2018, 05:48:34 pm »
Again, how would we view car drivers who drive almost non-stop for 3 days? In fact, with cycling it is even worse because the physical nature of the riding adds a huge element to the fatigue. Gross hypocrisy is at play here.

I can't agree that cycling is worse, or that the hypocrisy is gross. After all, that car driver is in charge of a ton of metal that can do a hundred miles an hour - they've got a lot more chance of damaging others than has the cyclist, who in most circumstances will only damage themselves.

To a point I do agree though, that events which lead to sleep deprivation probably can't stand much scrutiny, and there is some risk of knee-jerk regulation if there are many other high(ish) profile incidents.

(I do think this sort of discussion should be split off into its own thread.)

Re: Audax and Road Safety was: Re: Mike Hall RIP
« Reply #1 on: September 25, 2018, 05:50:14 pm »
How would we feel if there were solo driving events across continents with no enforced sleep breaks, and drivers driving dangerously tired, with the similar risks to driving drunk?

There is a massive difference. We travel at 20-30km/h and weigh around 100kg with the bike, so we endanger only ourselves.  A car driver plus the car together weighs upwards of a ton and travel at vastly faster speeds, therefore when s/he falls asleep at the wheel all other road users are endangered.

Re: Audax and Road Safety was: Re: Mike Hall RIP
« Reply #2 on: September 25, 2018, 05:55:56 pm »
Again, it isn't all about us.

What about the impact on families of the cyclist, or indeed of a driver, or the driver's family?

A drunk pedestrian can ruin somebody's life by falling into a road, a mentally ill person can ruin somebody's life by jumping in front of a train. A Cyclist can ruin somebody's life by running a red light and getting killed.

Our actions as cyclists are not without consequence to others.

Re: Audax and Road Safety was: Re: Mike Hall RIP
« Reply #3 on: September 25, 2018, 05:58:37 pm »
I'll wait to see what the coroner says.

One of the interesting things about this sort of tracker-based racing is that it acts like a tachograph. So enforced rest breaks could be accommodated within that formula.

I've always quite liked the idea of time-based riding, as opposed to distance. Turning people at intermediate controls so that everyone finishes around the same time.

Re: Audax and Road Safety was: Re: Mike Hall RIP
« Reply #4 on: September 25, 2018, 06:00:43 pm »
Again, how would we view car drivers who drive almost non-stop for 3 days? In fact, with cycling it is even worse because the physical nature of the riding adds a huge element to the fatigue. Gross hypocrisy is at play here.

I can't agree that cycling is worse,
or that the hypocrisy is gross. After all, that car driver is in charge of a ton of metal that can do a hundred miles an hour - they've got a lot more chance of damaging others than has the cyclist, who in most circumstances will only damage themselves.

To a point I do agree though, that events which lead to sleep deprivation probably can't stand much scrutiny, and there is some risk of knee-jerk regulation if there are many other high(ish) profile incidents.

(I do think this sort of discussion should be split off into its own thread.)

You haven't understood. I'm saying the fatigue is worse.

Would you be more tired driving 250 miles, or riding it?

Re: Audax and Road Safety was: Re: Mike Hall RIP
« Reply #5 on: September 25, 2018, 06:29:24 pm »
I fail to see how being more awake would protect any rider from a rear collision.
He may, and if he made a general comment I would agree with him. However,  in Mike's case it is hard to know whether his fatigue contributed to his collision. There is nothing to suggest that he was not riding anywhere other than where he should have been in terms of road position when the collision occured.

The only reported comment regarding Mike's riding was from the lorry driver who said Mike cut across him when Mike was turning (I presume turned right with an oncoming lorry), and that Mike cut it fine.  IIRC one of Mike's final tweets was that he was so tired he was having trouble seeing (or words to that effect)...

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Re: Audax and Road Safety was: Re: Mike Hall RIP
« Reply #6 on: September 25, 2018, 06:30:47 pm »
I havent suggested that it would.

Re: Audax and Road Safety was: Re: Mike Hall RIP
« Reply #7 on: September 25, 2018, 06:34:25 pm »
I havent suggested that it would.
You haven't used the words, but you have definitely suggested that not being fatigued would protect riders taking on these races.

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Re: Audax and Road Safety was: Re: Mike Hall RIP
« Reply #8 on: September 25, 2018, 07:17:59 pm »
I havent suggested that it would.
You haven't used the words, but you have definitely suggested that not being fatigued would protect riders taking on these races.

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Nowhere have I used the word 'protect'. Nor have I specified being 'protected' from a 'rear collision'. In fact I've been very careful to make the point about fatigue as a general point, rather than specific to Mike's case.

Can I envisage a situation where a cyclist could make a poor choice of road position due to fatigue, such as riding on the white central line? Yes.

Do I think extreme fatigue can slow a riders reflexes? Yes

Do I think it can impair their vision? Yes

Do I think it can impair their decision making? Yes

Do I think that with the right combination of factors this could lead to an accident that would otherwise not have occured? Yes

Do I know that this is what happened in Mike's case? No.

How do I know that fatigue can affect cycling ability? Because it has happened to me.

Re: Audax and Road Safety was: Re: Mike Hall RIP
« Reply #9 on: September 25, 2018, 07:51:12 pm »
We've seen an Australian inquest for Audax Australia's Martin Pearson, and a conviction, with a custodial sentence. Martin was described as participating in a race in some accounts, and in a community bike ride at others. The trucker involved was a very odd character, who'd shot his wife and been acquitted.

That was of interest to many on this forum, I'd met him and Sandy a number of times. But it wasn't a news story outside Australia.

I wonder if the coroner might be struck by the imbalance between the interest shown around the world, and the physical conditions of the race on the ground.

Promoters of more structured cycle-racing aren't natural allies for this style of race. There's a more obvious overlap with Audax, but Audax has been through this scenario a number of times, without attracting much attention.

The lesson might be that there's a limit to the amount of profile that Audax is compatible with.

Re: Audax and Road Safety was: Re: Mike Hall RIP
« Reply #10 on: September 25, 2018, 08:55:08 pm »
Again, how would we view car drivers who drive almost non-stop for 3 days? In fact, with cycling it is even worse because the physical nature of the riding adds a huge element to the fatigue. Gross hypocrisy is at play here.

I can't agree that cycling is worse,
or that the hypocrisy is gross. After all, that car driver is in charge of a ton of metal that can do a hundred miles an hour - they've got a lot more chance of damaging others than has the cyclist, who in most circumstances will only damage themselves.

To a point I do agree though, that events which lead to sleep deprivation probably can't stand much scrutiny, and there is some risk of knee-jerk regulation if there are many other high(ish) profile incidents.

(I do think this sort of discussion should be split off into its own thread.)

You haven't understood. I'm saying the fatigue is worse.

Would you be more tired driving 250 miles, or riding it?
definitely driving.

also the element of physical exertion serves to keep one awake, a cyclist who stops peddling will come to a half fairly quickly, whereas a car may continue to travel for many miles with a sleeping driver if not stopped by hitting something.
   E = 77  SR = 2

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Re: Audax and Road Safety was: Re: Mike Hall RIP
« Reply #11 on: September 25, 2018, 09:00:48 pm »
Depending on conditions, driving can be fair more mentally exhausting than cycling, and having a tired brain is far more dangerous than tired legs.

LittleWheelsandBig

  • Whimsy Rider
Re: Audax and Road Safety was: Re: Mike Hall RIP
« Reply #12 on: September 25, 2018, 09:01:42 pm »
Again, it isn't all about us.

What about the impact on families of the cyclist, or indeed of a driver, or the driver's family?

A drunk pedestrian can ruin somebody's life by falling into a road, a mentally ill person can ruin somebody's life by jumping in front of a train. A Cyclist can ruin somebody's life by running a red light and getting killed.

Our actions as cyclists are not without consequence to others.

Fuck that. Check the statistics. Plenty of cyclists getting killed. Few non-cyclists getting their lives 'ruined' by cyclists, but they still have their lives.
Wheel meet again, don't know where, don't know when...

Re: Audax and Road Safety was: Re: Mike Hall RIP
« Reply #13 on: September 25, 2018, 09:07:51 pm »
The part of my post you quote was in response to the idea that the behaviour of cyclists is irrelevant and of no consequence because cyclists  rarely kill people.

You have decontextualised it, and are making a different point.

Let's extrapolate. If your point stands in relation to my post then it is fine for people to cycle completely drunk...because cyclists rarely kill people.


Re: Audax and Road Safety was: Re: Mike Hall RIP
« Reply #14 on: September 25, 2018, 09:09:07 pm »
Again, how would we view car drivers who drive almost non-stop for 3 days? In fact, with cycling it is even worse because the physical nature of the riding adds a huge element to the fatigue. Gross hypocrisy is at play here.

I can't agree that cycling is worse,
or that the hypocrisy is gross. After all, that car driver is in charge of a ton of metal that can do a hundred miles an hour - they've got a lot more chance of damaging others than has the cyclist, who in most circumstances will only damage themselves.

To a point I do agree though, that events which lead to sleep deprivation probably can't stand much scrutiny, and there is some risk of knee-jerk regulation if there are many other high(ish) profile incidents.

(I do think this sort of discussion should be split off into its own thread.)

You haven't understood. I'm saying the fatigue is worse.

Would you be more tired driving 250 miles, or riding it?
definitely driving.

also the element of physical exertion serves to keep one awake, a cyclist who stops peddling will come to a half fairly quickly, whereas a car may continue to travel for many miles with a sleeping driver if not stopped by hitting something.

I have fallen asleep at the wheel once. In over 30 years of driving.

It was on the short drive home after riding a 400k

LittleWheelsandBig

  • Whimsy Rider
Re: Audax and Road Safety was: Re: Mike Hall RIP
« Reply #15 on: September 25, 2018, 09:11:26 pm »
Is it fine for people to walk completely drunk?

Are you considering the effect on cyclists' families when a cyclist is killed by a driver?

Don't do the false equivalence thing. It is a shitty move. Tackle the big problems first.
Wheel meet again, don't know where, don't know when...

Re: Audax and Road Safety was: Re: Mike Hall RIP
« Reply #16 on: September 25, 2018, 09:18:36 pm »
Is it fine for people to walk completely drunk?

Are you considering the effect on cyclists' families when a cyclist is killed by a driver?

Don't do the false equivalence thing. It is a shitty move. Tackle the big problems first.

You are doing the equivalence thing, not me. I'm flagging up that long-distance races on public roads possibly need a rules change.

There are loads of issues with cycling on public roads, and just because driver behaviour happens to be the biggest issue doesn't mean that other issues cannot be talked about.

LittleWheelsandBig

  • Whimsy Rider
Re: Audax and Road Safety was: Re: Mike Hall RIP
« Reply #17 on: September 25, 2018, 09:28:34 pm »
Deal with the problems that kill the most people, then move on to smaller problems. Tired cyclists don't kill the most people on the roads.
Wheel meet again, don't know where, don't know when...

Re: Audax and Road Safety was: Re: Mike Hall RIP
« Reply #18 on: September 25, 2018, 09:30:16 pm »
You've said that already. And I've said it is possible to tackle more than one issue at once. It's not zero-sum, you can effect changes to cyclists behaviour without shifting responsibility onto cyclists. Take for example cyclist education to take primary position and ride defensively.

By your argument this education shouldn't be taking place.




SoreTween

  • Most of me survived the Pennine Bridleway.
Re: Audax and Road Safety was: Re: Mike Hall RIP
« Reply #19 on: September 25, 2018, 10:59:06 pm »
Sigh, this started out so well:

As ever, part of the story is about driver expectations. One witness was 'surprised' to see a cyclist on this road at that time.  It is possible that few of the drivers expected to see a cyclist...and therefore they weren't looking for one. Interestingly, several of them say they thought the cyclist was an animal, and the likelihood is that they do not exert the same care driving amongst animals as they a human. After all, there are no legal consequences, nor the same level of emotional consequences for them.  Several of the drivers report almost hitting/hitting Mike.
So far so good (in the post).  For worse or for worse expectations are a factor.

The other side of the coin with regards to these sorts of events are the responsibilities of the cyclists.It is no good siding with all cyclists because we are cyclists.
yep, gotta look in the mirror sometimes.  But then sanity goes off a cliff:

These events are races, and at the top end the winner is not necessarily going to be the rider with the strongest physical characteristics but the rider who had the least sleep.  The elephant in the room is that for those intending to win, these events are a contest of sleep deprivation.
Utter bollocks.  The winner is the person who covers the ground fastest in the time they are not dealing with admin.  Admin includes sleeping, eating, mechanicals etc etc.

How would we feel if there were solo driving events across continents with no enforced sleep breaks, and drivers driving dangerously tired, with the similar risks to driving drunk?
We've been there. Endurance racing such as Le Mans, rallying including the Lombard RAC or the Monte Carlo used to be all in.  It turned out that gentlemen drivers were killing themselves and bystanders at rates indistinguishable from the professionals.  Get tired cycling you slow down.  Get tired driving a car you slow down very suddenly indeed.

In my view, regardless of the circumstances of this tragic event, this model of racing needs to change with enforced checkpoints with enforced rest and sleep. 
So regardless of the pace and effort put in to a checkpoint the compulsory sleep before exit is the same?  That destroys the ethos of a free route race at a stroke.  What is the point in going a longer way round a mountain if you are required to rest the same time as the rider destroying themselves over it?

And yes, there is also an issue for audax...Not for people like me who can cover 100 miles at 18mph and earn enough time in hand for a full night's sleep, every night, on a multiday event...but for those forced to ride with little or no sleep.
Wow.  just wow.

Gross hypocrisy is at play here.
Well there's something we agree on.

Oh, wait.
/plonk
2018 targets: Survive
There is only one infinite resource in this universe; human stupidity.

Re: Audax and Road Safety was: Re: Mike Hall RIP
« Reply #20 on: September 25, 2018, 11:21:49 pm »
Quote from: Sore Tween
These events are races, and at the top end the winner is not necessarily going to be the rider with the strongest physical characteristics but the rider who had the least sleep.  The elephant in the room is that for those intending to win, these events are a contest of sleep deprivation.
Utter bollocks.  The winner is the person who covers the ground fastest in the time they are not dealing with admin.  Admin includes sleeping, eating, bla

No it isn't. It is the the person who covers the ground in the fast time INCLUDING the time they spend on "admin" (aka sleeping). The clock doesn't stop when they decide to have a nap.

And how is it, do you think that they cut down "admin" time??

Please think first before posting, especially if you descend to insult.

Re: Audax and Road Safety was: Re: Mike Hall RIP
« Reply #21 on: September 26, 2018, 06:47:05 am »
I suppose the connection between the  Mike Hall case and Audax comes down to friends and relatives asking 'Isn't that what you do?'.

The answer is yes and no. But there have been a number of fatalities in similar settings, but during the day, when riders have been wearing brighter clothes. The question of visibility seems key to this case, but not to other fatalities in Audax.

Re: Audax and Road Safety was: Re: Mike Hall RIP
« Reply #22 on: September 26, 2018, 07:50:40 am »
Depending on conditions, driving can be fair more mentally exhausting than cycling, and having a tired brain is far more dangerous than tired legs.

There have been whole threads on here over the years devoted to people boasting about the hallucinations they experienced whilst on PBP.

Think about that for a minute. Being so exhausted and sleep deprived that you hallucinate. On public roads, amongst other road users...

Re: Audax and Road Safety was: Re: Mike Hall RIP
« Reply #23 on: September 26, 2018, 09:32:45 am »
Again, how would we view car drivers who drive almost non-stop for 3 days? In fact, with cycling it is even worse because the physical nature of the riding adds a huge element to the fatigue. Gross hypocrisy is at play here.

I can't agree that cycling is worse,
or that the hypocrisy is gross. After all, that car driver is in charge of a ton of metal that can do a hundred miles an hour - they've got a lot more chance of damaging others than has the cyclist, who in most circumstances will only damage themselves.

To a point I do agree though, that events which lead to sleep deprivation probably can't stand much scrutiny, and there is some risk of knee-jerk regulation if there are many other high(ish) profile incidents.

(I do think this sort of discussion should be split off into its own thread.)

You haven't understood. I'm saying the fatigue is worse.

Would you be more tired driving 250 miles, or riding it?
definitely driving.

also the element of physical exertion serves to keep one awake, a cyclist who stops peddling will come to a half fairly quickly, whereas a car may continue to travel for many miles with a sleeping driver if not stopped by hitting something.

I have fallen asleep at the wheel once. In over 30 years of driving.

It was on the short drive home after riding a 400k
That proves my point, your fatigue level did not change significantly between finishing riding and starting driving, but removal of the stimulus led to falling asleep. Because driving is more mentally demanding and less physically stimulating.

I think we can all cycle for 4 hours non stop and feel mentally fine at the end there is no way I would attempt to drive for 4 hours without a break.

Agree with your posts downthread on hallucinations, I can't justify riding to that point, I also don't think I could attempt 600s or longer if i needed 19 to 20 hours to cover a 300.
   E = 77  SR = 2

Re: Audax and Road Safety was: Re: Mike Hall RIP
« Reply #24 on: September 26, 2018, 09:50:19 am »
I was fatigued because I had been up all day and most of the night riding. What I didn't tell you was that I also fell asleep on the bike.