Today, I've read the sad post of Bobslee Strada, on a bicycle classic tour/race of 163km through the Norvegian mountains. With 4000 participants it's a big happening, which ended in horror: one dead and several wounded.
Today, before reading the post, I've bought myself a more open bicycle helmet, because my closed ski helmet is getting too hot at 15+ oC. I think it's safer if my head stays cool while cycling.
Today, I've read several posts of British cyclists trying to improve general road safety for cyclists in their country. Amongst them, a post on how (not) to combine turbo-roundabouts and cyclists. They are very concerned about general road safety for cyclists.
Today, I wondered whether a road without cycling safety measures outside residential areas would be safe enough for my oldest son, when he has to cycle independently to school in 2 years from now (he would be 12 years old by then). Yes it is safe enough and I realized everybody cycles here in Twente on such small roads outside town.
Today, I could evade easily in my velomobile a large tractor plus follower full of hay on a similar road. But I felt really really small and vulnerable. Nothing happened.
Today, after reading the post, I added my May statistics (see top-menu on this blog), stating that I won't get easily above 35km/h on average, because I feel going faster is unsafe on my track.I made a similar statement already in April.
Yesterday, I was continuously concerned about the safety of my 2 boys while having a nice 15km tour on our regular bicycles in nice weather. Nothing happened. Just a normal, sunny day in June with friendly people on the road (yes, that does exist!) and it was a very safe track for cycling (even with, at least part of the track, shared roads).
The day before, a man died in Norway while performing his hobby: cycling through the mountains. He was riding fast (about 55kmh) through the rain, downhill, in a group of cyclists. Some lost control, fell down, and he was the unlucky one to tumble over the fence, into a 50m deep ravine. The group was aiming at riding 163km in 5 hours, an average speed of 32.6kmh. As it is a very mountanous terrain, this would require top speeds of well above 50kmh. At least one guy of the group hit that target and still has a weird feeling about it.
What a contrasts.
Was it just a stupid accident?
Are people getting irrationally obsessed by safety?
But not so much anymore as soon as it concerns their hobby?
Did I do such things when I was younger?
Would I still do it?
Will my kids do such things?
Was he reckless?
Was the group reckless?
Was the organization reckless, putting 4000 cyclist-enthousiasts onto steep, narrow, strongly curved roads in the rain?
Is there a general road safety issue in the Norvegain mountains for cyclists?
Should the organization have put extra safety measures, comparable to the ones on skiing slopes (e.g., 2.5m high fences)?
Are there not enough EU rules on the safety of bicycle tyres (racing tyres are not exactly famous for their grip in the rain)?
Is safety in sports cycling less of a topic than e.g., in sailing, car racing(!) or sports climbing?
Should safety become more prominent in sports cycling?
I don't want to blame anybody and I don't have the answer to any of these questions, although I tend to answer yes to all of them and I do feel weird.