Author Topic: Audax and Road Safety was: Re: Mike Hall RIP  (Read 5404 times)

Re: Audax and Road Safety was: Re: Mike Hall RIP
« Reply #50 on: September 27, 2018, 06:30:34 am »
What are the differences between Audax and Adventure Racing?

From my perspective of having done both, there's very little difference. 

On both you have a mix of people with different objectives: some who are trying to get round as quickly as possible, others who are riding a bit more within themselves, those who are struggling against time limits and controls closing finally those who have accepted they will be out of time but still choose to complete the route. 

Otherwise, the long races are a bit longer than PBP or LEL so it is not possible to ride as much of them in sleep debt. 

Re: Audax and Road Safety was: Re: Mike Hall RIP
« Reply #51 on: September 27, 2018, 08:08:34 am »
I cannot see that the possibility that Mike being fatigued had any relevance to him being hit directly from behind by a relatively inexperienced driver who seemed to be driving with due care and attention.

Indeed, and this thread was split off to discuss Audax and road safety in general, not Mike's case.
"Yes please" said Squirrel "biscuits are our favourite things."

Re: Audax and Road Safety was: Re: Mike Hall RIP
« Reply #52 on: September 27, 2018, 08:35:13 am »


We just don't hear of people falling asleep and falling off their bikes into the road from tiredness. 

Whilst I generally agree with your post I think it may be a lot more common that you think.  In PBP I fished an Italian out of a hedge he'd just ridden into asleep at 3 am and a momentary dozy has led more than one rider I know to clip a kerb or fail to spot a canyon-sized pothole.

Re: Audax and Road Safety was: Re: Mike Hall RIP
« Reply #53 on: September 27, 2018, 10:35:54 am »
The hearing is over, and the findings will be announced early next year.

The testimony of the driver seems to have been a problem.

Quote
P-plater Shegu Bobb, 19 at the time, was driving the car at the speed limit of 100km/h and told police he didn't see Hall until it was too late.

He was excused from giving evidence at the inquest after being described as "suggestible" in police interviews about the incident.

Coroner Bernadette Boss noted English was a second language for Mr Bobb, who was born in Sierra Leone and moved to Australia in 2005.

Dr Boss said he was a very vulnerable person who would add little to proceedings.

"The quality of his evidence would be very poor," she said.

https://www.canberratimes.com.au/national/act/hall-s-bike-impaled-by-car-in-his-act-death-20180926-p5067h.html


Pete Mas

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Re: Audax and Road Safety was: Re: Mike Hall RIP
« Reply #54 on: September 27, 2018, 10:56:18 am »
The hearing is over, and the findings will be announced early next year.

The testimony of the driver seems to have been a problem.

Quote
P-plater Shegu Bobb, 19 at the time, was driving the car at the speed limit of 100km/h and told police he didn't see Hall until it was too late.

He was excused from giving evidence at the inquest after being described as "suggestible" in police interviews about the incident.

Coroner Bernadette Boss noted English was a second language for Mr Bobb, who was born in Sierra Leone and moved to Australia in 2005.

Dr Boss said he was a very vulnerable person who would add little to proceedings.

"The quality of his evidence would be very poor," she said.

https://www.canberratimes.com.au/national/act/hall-s-bike-impaled-by-car-in-his-act-death-20180926-p5067h.html

This thread is now supposed to be  about ''audax and road safety'' in general.
For comments about Mike Hall RIP case there is still the original thread:-

https://yacf.co.uk/forum/index.php?PHPSESSID=5t31qfru83hub5dcil612cb6p3&topic=102468.0

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Jaded

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Re: Audax and Road Safety was: Re: Mike Hall RIP
« Reply #55 on: September 27, 2018, 01:49:59 pm »
OK. I'll bite.

Should "a very vulnerable person who would add little to proceedings" be able to drive?
If you don't like your democracy, vote against it.

Re: Audax and Road Safety was: Re: Mike Hall RIP
« Reply #56 on: September 27, 2018, 02:01:58 pm »
I did wonder where to put the post. I'd hoped that the inquest might provide an insight into how the risks of long distance cycling are perceived by relevant authorities. But this case doesn't seem to answer any questions.

mattc

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Re: Audax and Road Safety was: Re: Mike Hall RIP
« Reply #57 on: September 27, 2018, 06:52:38 pm »
I did wonder where to put the post. I'd hoped that the inquest might provide an insight into how the risks of long distance cycling are perceived by relevant authorities. But this case doesn't seem to answer any questions.
Did you think that Shegu Bobb was a good person to answer that one?  Is/was he a relevant authority? ???
Has never ridden RAAM
---------
No.11  Because of the great host of those who dislike the least appearance of "swank " when they travel the roads and lanes. - From Kuklos' 39 Articles

Re: Audax and Road Safety was: Re: Mike Hall RIP
« Reply #58 on: September 27, 2018, 09:42:11 pm »
Err... without?
errr....yes. Post modified :o
DJR is my 28 year old bike, custom built by Dave Russell & heavily refurbished in 2009. Also, a carbon Beone parts bin special built in 2011. Brompton broken, as was I, and now have Whyte Suffolk

Re: Audax and Road Safety was: Re: Mike Hall RIP
« Reply #59 on: September 28, 2018, 12:02:28 am »
OK. I'll bite.

Should "a very vulnerable person who would add little to proceedings" be able to drive?

Insufficient data/evidence.

Do you think that every "vulnerable person who would add little to the proceedings" should be able to drive?
"Yes please" said Squirrel "biscuits are our favourite things."

Re: Audax and Road Safety was: Re: Mike Hall RIP
« Reply #60 on: September 28, 2018, 07:54:37 am »


We just don't hear of people falling asleep and falling off their bikes into the road from tiredness. 

Whilst I generally agree with your post I think it may be a lot more common that you think.  In PBP I fished an Italian out of a hedge he'd just ridden into asleep at 3 am and a momentary dozy has led more than one rider I know to clip a kerb or fail to spot a canyon-sized pothole.

Yes, I now realise it does happen.

I recall a driving case from a few years ago when a car was driven into a railway line, with fatal consequences, by a driver who had been up all night. There was an expert witness who said that, before someone falls asleep, they always get a warning that it is going to happen. Therefore this driver must have ignored the warning, so he was guilty of causing death by dangerous driving, manslaughter or whatever the criminal charge was. He didn't suddenly get overcome by sleep without warning, as that doesn't happen.

So, if I was organising an endurance event, I would emphasise this and tell people that they must stop and sleep when they are tired.

This is probably an area where ultra racing does better than audax. Mike certainly made this point in his tcr briefings and written guidelines. It's a bit easier on most ultra races as people tend to be better prepared to sleep where they need to whereas audax has more of a culture of getting to the next control and, clearly, some people are ignoring sleep warnings to do so.

Re: Audax and Road Safety was: Re: Mike Hall RIP
« Reply #61 on: September 28, 2018, 09:15:07 am »
So, if I was organising an endurance event, I would emphasise this and tell people that they must stop and sleep when they are tired.

The problem is that it can come on surprisingly quickly.

On LEL in 2009 I left Eskdalemuir going back south at about 10pm. I felt great, full of energy and it was fun being out in the lashing rain (the storm wind had died down by that point, plus the area from Eskdalemuir along the B709 to the A7 is heavily forested and quite protected from the wind).

About an hour later I was on the A7 and probably fell asleep a few times whilst riding (even more impressive given I was riding fixed). The big 'move left' arrows in the middle of the road were turning into white cats looking over their shoulders and a few of the dashed lines at the side of the road started to slither. My riding companion was doing a good job of keeping me talking and I remember him shouting at me when my head started to do the tell-tale tilting and drooping (and then me winding him up by pretending to do it).

I tried (and failed) to find somewhere to sleep in Longtown, the B&B on the outskirts of the town was full and so I ended up getting the emergency foil blanket out of the rack pack and having an hour long sleep in a church porch in Brampton (St Martin's, highly recommended porch). That was enough to get me along to the YH in Alston where I got a further 3 or 4 hours in a proper bed.

My point is that I generally deal with sleep deprivation well (kind of why I like Audaxing) but I'm still surprised at how quickly I went from being full of beans to almost asleep. It's never happened like that on any other Audaxes. If there had been a hint of tiredness at Eskdalemuir I would have stopped and slept but I thought I'd easily be able to get to Alston for 3-4am and then have a decent kip.
"Yes please" said Squirrel "biscuits are our favourite things."

Jaded

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  • Formerly known as Jaded
Re: Audax and Road Safety was: Re: Mike Hall RIP
« Reply #62 on: September 28, 2018, 09:44:54 am »
OK. I'll bite.

Should "a very vulnerable person who would add little to proceedings" be able to drive?

Insufficient data/evidence.

Do you think that every "vulnerable person who would add little to the proceedings" should be able to drive?

I think that allowing almost everyone to drive gives society a skewed view of driving and helps build the shields around driving rights that we have. Weaker shields might lead to better driving.
If you don't like your democracy, vote against it.

Re: Audax and Road Safety was: Re: Mike Hall RIP
« Reply #63 on: September 28, 2018, 09:49:18 am »
My point was I've no idea what correlation there is between a persons vulnerability and their ability to drive.

Sure, society has normalised poor driving. We have a test that you pass once and never have to be retested.

Better enforcement of existing standards would be the first place to start.
"Yes please" said Squirrel "biscuits are our favourite things."

Re: Audax and Road Safety was: Re: Mike Hall RIP
« Reply #64 on: September 28, 2018, 10:09:24 am »
So, if I was organising an endurance event, I would emphasise this and tell people that they must stop and sleep when they are tired.

You can tell people to do things, even really sensible things like this, until you're blue in the face, but that doesn't mean they'll do it.

Let's face it - anyone riding ultra-endurance events is already demonstrating their spooling is wound differently to the norm.

Re: Audax and Road Safety was: Re: Mike Hall RIP
« Reply #65 on: September 28, 2018, 10:12:11 am »
My point was I've no idea what correlation there is between a persons vulnerability and their ability to drive.

Sure, society has normalised poor driving. We have a test that you pass once and never have to be retested.

Better enforcement of existing standards would be the first place to start.

Which might go a long way to meeting Jaded's suggestion.

CrazyEnglishTriathlete

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Re: Audax and Road Safety was: Re: Mike Hall RIP
« Reply #66 on: September 28, 2018, 02:49:02 pm »
I feel like there are two threads to this conversation.  One is road safety (i.e. how can we make drivers safer) for which I think there is an extensive discussion on the 'On the Road' part of this forum, although with some unique aspects to Audax (given riders will be on the roads in hour when motorists are more likely to be asleep or under the influence of drink/drugs).  The other is how we can make ourselves safer (treating motorists asleep or under the influence as a fixed hazard).  It feels like there are two schools of thought on that - one which is we are doing all we can/should and another which is that, as in good health & safety practice, we should at least stop and reflect on what we currently do and whether there are practical steps to take to make ourselves safer.
Eddington Numbers 122 (imperial), 167 (metric) 511 (furlongs)  110 (nautical miles)

mattc

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Re: Audax and Road Safety was: Re: Mike Hall RIP
« Reply #67 on: September 28, 2018, 03:13:13 pm »
I feel like there are two threads to this conversation.  One is road safety (i.e. how can we make drivers safer) for which I think there is an extensive discussion on the 'On the Road' part of this forum, although with some unique aspects to Audax (given riders will be on the roads in hour when motorists are more likely to be asleep or under the influence of drink/drugs).  The other is how we can make ourselves safer (treating motorists asleep or under the influence as a fixed hazard).  It feels like there are two schools of thought on that - one which is we are doing all we can/should and another which is that, as in good health & safety practice, we should at least stop and reflect on what we currently do and whether there are practical steps to take to make ourselves safer.
Good summary - but I'd say there's a further (important) split in your 2nd category:

- How much should organisers (and parent bodies such as AUK) do for rider safety? And
- How much should be down to the rider (who is on the public highway, bound to, and protected by, the laws of the land.) ?
Has never ridden RAAM
---------
No.11  Because of the great host of those who dislike the least appearance of "swank " when they travel the roads and lanes. - From Kuklos' 39 Articles

Re: Audax and Road Safety was: Re: Mike Hall RIP
« Reply #68 on: September 28, 2018, 07:27:22 pm »
There's obviously a duty of care on organisers to avoid roads that are hazardous. That's clearest on rides such as LEL.

I rode LEL 2009 as a filming exercise, and rode straight up the A10 to Royston, Ermine Street to Godmanchester, then to Stilton and through Peterborough to the A15 and on to the first control. That's an extreme example of not following the course, but it hit the controls, and was fast.

I came back a different way, as Gamlingay made a diversion inevitable. There are riders who like to follow major roads, as they're fast, and it gets points logged with less effort. I'd seen the contraflow on the A10 on my way out, but it frightened some of the people using that route on the way back.

There has been discussion on here about fast-route hacks for LEL, those routes tend to be a product of local knowledge. The routing is easy to adapt to GPS, but traffic conditions at various times won't be as obvious.

So it's possible for any amount of due diligence on routing by an organiser to be subverted by participants, given that riders are on a private excursion, taking in a number of defined points, which happen to be open between certain times. But the route provided shouldn't present undue hazards for any of the riders, who will be unfamiliar with local conditions.

Audax has become more difficult, and easier at the same time, depending on whether you follow lanes or fast main roads. You could make 'safer' routes mandatory rather than advisory, but that removes the element of free agency that comes with a 'private excursion'. It also requires enforcement, and penalties.

PBP is obviously the most extreme example of a mandatory route, with monitoring, and time penalties for deviating from the set course. That requires a certain prestige from the event, so that participants see transgressions as 'cheating', which compromise their own rules-bound achievement.

I don't know enough about adventure racing to make any comparisons.

Re: Audax and Road Safety was: Re: Mike Hall RIP
« Reply #69 on: September 29, 2018, 10:00:53 am »
There's obviously a duty of care on organisers to avoid roads that are hazardous.

All roads are hazardous.  The acceptable degree is a a matter of judgement. 

But I do time-trial on roads I wouldn't route an AUK event along.

telstarbox

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Re: Audax and Road Safety was: Re: Mike Hall RIP
« Reply #70 on: September 29, 2018, 10:47:37 am »
And I'll ride some local A roads and dual carriageways which I wouldn't lead a group on - horses for courses.
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mattc

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Re: Audax and Road Safety was: Re: Mike Hall RIP
« Reply #71 on: September 29, 2018, 12:55:43 pm »
There's obviously a duty of care on organisers to avoid roads that are hazardous.

All roads are hazardous.  The acceptable degree is a a matter of judgement. 

But I do time-trial on roads I wouldn't route an AUK event along.
2 things:
- our risk perception is crap. (There have been many analyseses showing that the "scary" A-roads used on some TTs are actually much safer than the B-road courses in the same area.)
- how much more hazardous are the worst roads? I'd like to see some real numbers - as Ian says, all roads are hazardous (as are cycle-paths, and driving home with one's bike). Show me evidence of how much worse one road is than another - I think the answers will often be down in the statistical noise, especially given how safe cycling on roads actually is.
Has never ridden RAAM
---------
No.11  Because of the great host of those who dislike the least appearance of "swank " when they travel the roads and lanes. - From Kuklos' 39 Articles

Re: Audax and Road Safety was: Re: Mike Hall RIP
« Reply #72 on: September 29, 2018, 07:12:08 pm »
Arguably, a fast dual carriageway is potentially safer (assuming adequate illumination/reflection, expectation of other road users etc) because visibility is high, sightlines are longer and traffic has somewhere to go without conflict with the opposing direction.

The road surfaces are inevitably better, and traffic (by the strict letter of it) is only going to be 10mph faster than an unrestricted b-road.

On the flipside, concentration from drivers is often lower, distractions higher and speed is usually in excess of 70mph, and even a swipe is likely to be fatal, let alone a full-on collision. If they're not expecting to see you, they (usually) won't.

Re: Audax and Road Safety was: Re: Mike Hall RIP
« Reply #73 on: September 29, 2018, 09:17:24 pm »

CrazyEnglishTriathlete

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Re: Audax and Road Safety was: Re: Mike Hall RIP
« Reply #74 on: September 30, 2018, 04:33:19 pm »
Sleep banking before a ride.
https://www.trainingpeaks.com/blog/should-you-bank-sleep-for-ultramarathon/

I think this article makes a lot of sense - with one proviso - it can be hard to sleep well before a big event, especially if (a) it's a step up from something you have done before - I suspect that I was in the majority in that when I first did PBP, by the time I reached Brest it was already the longest ride I'd done - and that creates a degree of nervous apprehension that isn't conducive to sleep and (b) you have to travel to the event (with consequences of time differences, travel stress, and unfamiliar surroundings).

One thing really struck a chord, the advice to give up on caffeine for 2 - 4 weeks before an ultra event, which is something I have used before overnight rides to try to avoid the dozies.  I didn't directly consider safety, it was more a response to failing to finish a hard event due to struggling to stay awake.  However, from now on I think I'll adhere to the caffeine abstention more rigorously.

One thing I would be interested in is whether anyone has taken something to aid sleep before a big event and if so, how has it worked for them?
Eddington Numbers 122 (imperial), 167 (metric) 511 (furlongs)  110 (nautical miles)