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  1. #1
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    Accident on Lookout Mountain

    I went for a road ride up Lookout this evening since I wasn't sure the trails would be dry. A road cyclist was involved in a serious accident this evening on Lookout. I just missed witnessing the crash, however, it appeared the cyclist lost it coming down the switch back just before the straight away leading down to the Windy Saddle parking area. It did not appear any motorized vehicle was involved.

    My thoughts are with the cyclist. When I passed the area a trooper and an ambulance had just arrived. The cyclist lay face down in the middle of the road in a pool of blood. A lot of blood was running down the street. A lot. The paramedics appeared to be talking to the rider. But the rider appeared to be convulsing.

    Rather then gape at the scene I decided to walk around the scene and continue riding up the road to Buffalo Bills. Upon reaching the entrance to Buffalo Bill's, I found a county police officer and Jeffco open space ranger had closed the entrance to the rest area so a helicopter could be landed. Cyclists were being prevented from riding down Lookout. Motorists were also not allowed down.

    The Jeffco Open Space ranger asked me and several other cyclists to prevent traffic from heading down the road while she and the police went to coordinate the landing of the helicopter in the parking lot at Buffalo Bill's. Within 10 minutes the ambulance came up with the cyclist and a helicopter landed. The road was then re-opened.

    We have a thread about riding above your skill level. We also have a contentious thread contrasting road cyclists with mountain bikers. Seeing that cyclist in the road in that state had me thinking. Push yourself beyond your current skill level if you're so inclined. However, consider doing so in baby steps. I suspect the cyclist was going too fast through the switch back for his ability and began to loose it. This likely caused him to over correct and then he high sided.

    I acknowledge that cyclists and mountain bikers have their differences. Some would say big differences. To me, mountain bikers seem to be more friendly. Really talented mountain bikers seem less likely to be elitist then very talented road riders. Mountain bikers seem to have a better sense of humor. Some would say mountain bikers have a greater affinity for adrenalin. Some would say mountain bikers have better technical skills.

    I grew up on bikes. When I thought I'd never ride again due to injury I was devastated. Bikes have shaped my life. They lead me to Colorado from my native Chicago. Perhaps bikes mean as much to you as they do to me. Perhaps they mean as much to the road cyclist you pass by too. Perhaps we have that in common.

    My thoughts are with that cyclist who I don't know.

  2. #2
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    OP - well said.

    It sucks to see any rider with serious injuries. It does not matter if you ride skinny tires or fat tires, 26" wheels or 29" wheels, wear spandex or baggies, ride with 10 sp or single speed.

    Guess what? WE ALL LIKE TO RIDE BIKES!

    There are @$$hats in all the categories listed above and I'm sure the forums will forever be filled with rants.

    My thoughts are with the injured rider.

  3. #3
    zrm
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    I like riding Lookout as a climb and would love to be able to go as fast (It's easy to get going really fast) as I wanted without traffic or gravel or parked cars or uphill traffic or....... Since that never happens I ride with plenty of room for error.

    I hate seeing anyone hurt doing anything. It doesn't matter if I like or agree with the activity or not. It doesn't matter if I think they are hurt because they're over their head, or pulled a dumb maneuver or as too many seem to say, "got what they deserved". I hate to see or hear of anyone laying in a pool of blood.

  4. #4
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    Well said, however there are those of us who enjoy riding on the road, in a tight and twitchy pack and who also relish riding singletrack. Perhaps that injured cyclist that you saw was just one such guy. May he survive and recover quickly.

  5. #5
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    I truly hate seeing people hurt...but you're drawing conclusions on too much in your post... especially about what you are guessing that happened and about them riding above skill levels without knowing or seeing them ride. Just because you fall hard doesn't necessarily mean you are above your skill level, crap just happens. If you want to be, or are a fast biker...falling is all part of it...and it can all be potentially deadly during every single fall. We have to deal with that.

    I really hope he turns out all right...and at the worst...is still alive. Thank you for the update on what you saw.

  6. #6
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    Very well said, gearwhine! I dare say that there are many of us who ride both road and mtn. Although we may prefer mountain over road, you willl see us on those skinnys on occasion. All it takes is for a tube to blow, or a bit of gravel to cause you to slide out, or.... you just don't know and it has nothing to do with riding above your skill level. Things. Just. Happen.

    My thoughts go out to this cyclist and I hope he is back in the saddle quickly. Thanks OP for the report!
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  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by 2wheelsnotfour View Post
    I acknowledge that cyclists and mountain bikers have their differences.
    the last time i checked, people riding mountain bikes were cyclists

    the pigeon-holing and stereotyping of different cycling disciplines are sad conclusions that can be drawn by any media zombie who listens to people who are sellling that particular brand of bovine void

    it's just riding a bike, not rocket science


  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by KarateChicken View Post
    the last time i checked, people riding mountain bikes were cyclists

    the pigeon-holing and stereotyping of different cycling disciplines are sad conclusions that can be drawn by any media zombie who listens to people who are sellling that particular brand of bovine void

    it's just riding a bike, not rocket science



    I concur. The OP should have stopped while he was ahead, but no, we can't be spared the obligatory "the injured road rider was probably just riding above his head and mountain bikers are nicer people who have better technical skills" blast. I'm guessing he didn't even realize what he did, but that's sort of the problem.

    I was out on my road bike today and there was a lot of gravel on the road from the rain which makes things a bit more "technical" than normal from a skinny tire perspective. You don't really think about it at the time, but there are a lot of things that can go wrong (some in your control and many that are not) when you're spinning out your big gear at 40+ MPH and preparing to brake for an upcoming turn, regardless of whether you've ridden the route a hundreds times or not.

    Hopefully the downed rider survives and recovers... I'm hoping that it's good news that there is not a story on the local news about the accident yet.

  9. #9
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    Sounds like a bad accident, kind of a wake up call to be more careful, hope he will be OK.

  10. #10
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    Perhaps I was saying, like the old Hill Street Blues show, "Let's be careful out there." I'm not an EMT. There wasn't anything I could add to the situation so I felt it disrespectful to gawk at possibly a dying person and I don't see the reason for the harsh attitudes toward our fellow bike riders.

  11. #11
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    Sounds like a bad accident. I sure hope everything turns out OK. I live in Golden and ride Lookout fairly often; it's my I've-got-an-hour-to-get-in-a-quick-ride option. I was descending Lookout last week and noticed that there is a lot of pebble-sized gravel in the Apex of the turns. It was enough that I backed off the speed significantly. My friend and I were talking afterward and we both commented that it felt like perhaps it had been down on purpose, maliciously. I don't know if the rocks in the apex of the turn were a contributing factor in this accident, but it might be worth mentioning to county officials.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Reporterkyle View Post
    Sounds like a bad accident. I sure hope everything turns out OK. I live in Golden and ride Lookout fairly often; it's my I've-got-an-hour-to-get-in-a-quick-ride option. I was descending Lookout last week and noticed that there is a lot of pebble-sized gravel in the Apex of the turns. It was enough that I backed off the speed significantly. My friend and I were talking afterward and we both commented that it felt like perhaps it had been down on purpose, maliciously. I don't know if the rocks in the apex of the turn were a contributing factor in this accident, but it might be worth mentioning to county officials.
    I wondered the exact same thing yesterday. My impression was that it was done on purpose by someone trying to make a point to bikers and/or skaters. It just seemed too consistent throughout the whole route. I hit one of those small rocks and it momentarily jacked with my balance.

  13. #13
    not actually bad :)
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    I did a Chimpex loop last week and when I hit the road at Windy Saddle there was a city worker hand sweeping the corner right there at the Windy Saddle lot. There was a lot of gravel there and he said the city had gotten a lot of calls from roadies complaining about it.
    So, he actually sweeps it fairly often.

    I hope the rider involved in the crash is OK.
    Old Codger

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Reporterkyle View Post
    Sounds like a bad accident. I sure hope everything turns out OK. I live in Golden and ride Lookout fairly often; it's my I've-got-an-hour-to-get-in-a-quick-ride option. I was descending Lookout last week and noticed that there is a lot of pebble-sized gravel in the Apex of the turns. It was enough that I backed off the speed significantly. My friend and I were talking afterward and we both commented that it felt like perhaps it had been down on purpose, maliciously. I don't know if the rocks in the apex of the turn were a contributing factor in this accident, but it might be worth mentioning to county officials.
    I think the heavy rain is more likely the reason.....I was up there yesterday on a road ride as well and saw the life flight.....I hope the person involved is okay.

  15. #15
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    I rode centennial cone yesterday and there were some rocks the size of grapefruits all over the trail. I am guessing it's the same scenario as lookout, heavy rains washing debris into the trail and road

  16. #16
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    Sad to hear.

    I would echo the sentiments of others and note that I myself have had close calls on Lookout because of the gravel, and have even hit pieces of slate out in the road coming down the I-70 service road. Once at 45 mph, knocking both hands off the bars and the stem into my chin. Even hit a red house brick in the shoulder while coming down 285 one time. I'm lucky to be alive. (Gee I wonder how that brick got there?)

    There are so many variables on the road. It could have even been a hit and run driver. Only one person knows, and he probably won't remember from the sound of it.

    On a side note, I would just say that after sitting on a bus and touring roads with elected officials last week, I am in no way reassured that our safety is a concern to these folks. For fear of loosing my job, that's all I'll say about what I heard come out of some peoples mouths last week. It was disgusting.

    Take that for what you will. The reality is that you're "on your own" the second you sling a leg over the top tube. Ride at your own risk. Expect deadly obstacles around every corner. Be prepared for the unexpected. Survive to ride another day. Sadly, nobody else cares about your safety on the road, or trails now so it seems, but you.

    UT

  17. #17
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    Exactly. I ride a street motorcycle and many people tell me that they want to get one and ask me for advice. I tell them to make sure you understand that everyone is out to kill you on the road. Somewhat of an exaggeration but that is how I treat every car on the road. Once you start assuming people see you or are looking out for you then you can get yourself into trouble.

    Quote Originally Posted by UncleTrail View Post
    Sad to hear.
    Take that for what you will. The reality is that you're "on your own" the second you sling a leg over the top tube. Ride at your own risk. Expect deadly obstacles around every corner. Be prepared for the unexpected. Survive to ride another day. Sadly, nobody else cares about your safety on the road, or trails now so it seems, but you.

    UT

  18. #18
    ACC
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    Edit -- reading comprehension fail....

    The only thing I can take from this is expect the unexpected; ride as safe as you can.
    Last edited by ACC; 06-22-2011 at 12:55 PM.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by ACC View Post
    Sadly, he did not make it. RIP. http://www.denverpost.com/obituaries/ci_12867649

    The only thing I can take from this is expect the unexpected; ride as safe as you can.
    Uh. that obit was from July of '09.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by russman View Post
    Uh. that obit was from July of '09.
    I was about to say...
    I remember that one, I was there in Golden when it happened.

    UT

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by russman View Post
    Uh. that obit was from July of '09.
    Still, I hope he's RIP.
    Gone are the days we stopped to decide,
    Where we should go,
    We just ride...

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by UncleTrail View Post

    Take that for what you will. The reality is that you're "on your own" the second you sling a leg over the top tube. Ride at your own risk. Expect deadly obstacles around every corner. Be prepared for the unexpected. Survive to ride another day. Sadly, nobody else cares about your safety on the road, or trails now so it seems, but you.
    UT
    This is exactly how I approach riding my bike... especially on my work-commute. I avoid roads like the plague. I'm fortunate in that I don't have to get on any major roads on my route... and to be honest, I probably wouldn't commute if I had to.

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by Reporterkyle View Post
    Sounds like a bad accident. I sure hope everything turns out OK. I live in Golden and ride Lookout fairly often; it's my I've-got-an-hour-to-get-in-a-quick-ride option. I was descending Lookout last week and noticed that there is a lot of pebble-sized gravel in the Apex of the turns. It was enough that I backed off the speed significantly. My friend and I were talking afterward and we both commented that it felt like perhaps it had been down on purpose, maliciously. I don't know if the rocks in the apex of the turn were a contributing factor in this accident, but it might be worth mentioning to county officials.
    I ride Lookout a lot, and I've noticed that after they re-paved, they put a lot of road base/gravel along the sides of the road to bring the level up. Since that time, it seems a lot of that road base makes it's way onto the road. Cars pulling off, then kicking up the gravel as they pull back onto the road and heavy rains I assume are the culprit. I doubt anyone did that on purpose since every switchback is covered in it. Definitely scetchy coming through the turns now. I'm not sure why they couldn't of just paved the extra foot on either side of the road...especially with the amount of cycling that takes place. Hope the rider will be OK
    Quote Originally Posted by BBW
    Its amazing how easy somebody can make 10.000 posts making such stupid comments.

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by jugdish View Post
    Still, I hope he's RIP.
    me too!

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by ACC View Post
    The only thing I can take from this is expect the unexpected

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