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  1. #1
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    Etiquette When You Cause a Significant Crash

    This is kind of a general question about XC Racing Etiquette. Its based on a real event, but I'm more looking for opinion on what is "right" based on the general XC Racer zeitgeist.

    If a racer makes a bad pass and causes another racer to crash, are they obliged to stop and make sure the other rider ok?

    If a glance-back reveals the race to be curled up in a ball on the trail side and not moving does it change anything?

    Does it change if these crash cause'r is in podium position?

    Does it change if the crash location is on an isolated/remote portion of the course where immediate help is not available?

    Does it change if you're in a pro race vs an amateur race?

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by Metamorphic View Post
    This is kind of a general question about XC Racing Etiquette. Its based on a real event, but I'm more looking for opinion on what is "right" based on the general XC Racer zeitgeist.

    1. If a racer makes a bad pass and causes another racer to crash, are they obliged to stop and make sure the other rider ok?

    2. If a glance-back reveals the race to be curled up in a ball on the trail side and not moving does it change anything?

    3. Does it change if these crash cause'r is in podium position?

    4. Does it change if the crash location is on an isolated/remote portion of the course where immediate help is not available?

    5. Does it change if you're in a pro race vs an amateur race?
    1. Yes, absolutely
    2. Doesn't change anything, because you absolutely should stop and check on them.
    3. Hell no; get over yourself, and check on the rider that is down.
    4. Doesn't change anything, because you absolutely should stop, but even more reason to (if you didn't have enough already)
    5. Hell no; if you're a pro, get over yourself; you're a human being first.

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  3. #3
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    Absolutely. Every racer should check on anyone who looks like they're not ok, especially the one who caused the crash. Even spectators need help from time to time. We're all just 'ticking time bombs', masters racers are generally more aware of this, cardiac and other events do eventually happen to everyone.
    Just like losing your derailleur or some other event that causes you to dnf, if you race enough, at some point you are going to have to give up your race to help someone who is in distress.
    carry clippers! cut something off the trail every time you ride.

  4. #4
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    Interesting this is posted in Endurance vs XC racing. I've seen pretty different responses depending on the duration of the event.

    I always ask if they're ok, and I've never had someone seriously injured that I've seen out there crashing so I never had to stop for long. I and the others around me are pretty far from the podium in general so couldn't speak to that...
    -DC, just some XC Bum in Sfla...

  5. #5
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    You should stop/ask whether you caused the crash or not to see if he is ok. Back at the 1988 Norba National at Sugerloaf in Michigan (ya i'm old) i came across a guy that went down and landed on a log and dislocated his shoulder. He was in agony, don't know how many passed him before i got there but stopped and got him calmed down and as comfortable as he could be till they hauled him out. Think i got a dfl that day but it is one i will never forget.

  6. #6
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    Two of my racing/training buddies were in the 6th race of a 7 race series, both had been killing it in cat2, trading 1st and 2nd places, in that 6th race one them was leading and the other guy was close behind; The leader did a big fast endo and tumbled to a stop in a lot of pain (shoulder and back). 2nd guy stopped and assisted, as did another guy towards the front. Crashed guy ended up having a badly broken collarbone, but no back injury as we had feared, and crashed guy ended up with the season win(he had enough points, and 2nd guy stopping to help took him out of contention for the win). I heard about it and went to them (I had raced earlier), I was wearing my pre/post jacket (it was spring and still chilly) and I was able to give crashed guy my arm warmers and lay my jacket over him, he was getting really cold as it took a while for EMS to get there and haul him out on a backboard.
    That would really suck to be laying there in pain and getting cold and everyone just rides by. Be that 2nd guy (Keith) that is willing to give up any hope of the series win to help out.
    carry clippers! cut something off the trail every time you ride.

  7. #7
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    I've done a lot of community oriented endurance XC racing, IE 8-24hr races with everyone from youth to pros riding at the same time.

    You ALWAYS check if they are OK, and you ALWAYS stop if they are not. And I don't even mean just the rider that is responsible, EVERYONE coming by determines if help is needed, and if so, does so. Period. That's just the code.

    No, not every rider follows the code. But it's noticed when you don't. And it will haunt you.

    There was a rider in a 24hr race a few years ago on one of the more pro teams that did just this, aggressive pass, took out the other rider who went down and ended up with a broken...something...anyways, rider should have stopped no question. Didn't even look back once. A rider on another(my) team that saw it happen, ensured that enough help was on hand first, then hounded the offender all the way back to the finish line. First intent was to just assume a mistake under strain, 'Hey dude, you realize you caused a pretty bad crash back there?'. When the response that came back was 'Mind your own ****ing business I'm a contender'...well...

    Word had spread by the time this guy came back through the start area, and the WHOLE CROWD was giving him shit. A mass of people surrounded him and his teammate that was intent on heading out...completely blocking them from continuing on the race. They ended up withdrawing from the race.

    That's the most extreme I've seen, but like I said, it's just not tolerated. Usually aggressive riding is called out before it gets to the point of a bad crash...see that all the time. Most people get the hint, usually.

    Don't be a dick is all really. And should you choose to anyways, know that you'll be sticking out like a sore thumb in this community. So even if you're a selfish prick, your selfishness is probably best served by doing the right thing anyways.

  8. #8
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    I didnt know this was a question myself. Race, group ride or whatever. Someone crashes you stop and help.

    Im have not attended races outside of my area but we have safety marshalls, bike patrollers, etc littered throughout the course, all with radios. Then a sweep team that follows the last place rider (we do this at an rude their is a group especially when there are newer riders).

    Only time I havent stopped was during a race and patrollers were stationed right near the incident, I saw the crash from above and they were already with the kid by the time I got down the trail to him. Patrollers told us to go so area was clear for EMS to get in. Poor kid slid off a small ravine that a bridge was over and really messed up his wrist and forearm.

    That was my last XC race a couple years back or so. Havent raced since. Instead I safety marshal races as Im fully trained and certified in full first aid and first response. This sunday will be the first time I will race again, for fun and because of the significance (personal to me and other club members). But someone goes down Ill take a DNF if thats whats needed of me to help them.

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  9. #9
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    The reason I ask is that I coach a HS team. One of my riders got taken out by another racer trying to merge from a B-line back into a train on the single track, where there was no space, no look to see if there was space and, and no stopping afterwards. Apparently he saw the wheel he wanted to be on and turned in there. Apparently the kid just keep going on while my rider was curled up in the weeds with a concussion. Details are limited because the Doer is not talking and my rider had some memory loss from the hit. A mid pack rider DID stop and got my rider back to the nearest Course Marshal.

    My rider wanted to know what the etiquette was during a race scenario.

    There seems to be a good understanding with most racers that crashing is a race ender. Its much less evident that racers know that causing somebody else to crash is also a race ender.

  10. #10
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    I believe I would have a friendly conversation with the other kid's coach to be sure all the kids learn sportsmanship. The kid made a bad mistake and he shouldn't be "punished" as such but rather use it as an opportunity for the kids to learn.
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  11. #11
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    Never caused a crash but during Marji Gesick 100 last year i came across a guy laying in the tdail screamig in agony with a disllocated hip and i stopped and tried to call 911 had no service so i waited for the next guy to come and he stayed and i went into supersonic mode to the nearest road and flagged a car and they got the ambulance there. After i left a racer that was a tramau surgeon came and helped get him calm ge was in sbad shock and it was super hot and humid. You can never just let someone lay there and keep going.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by chazpat View Post
    I believe I would have a friendly conversation with the other kid's coach to be sure all the kids learn sportsmanship. The kid made a bad mistake and he shouldn't be "punished" as such but rather use it as an opportunity for the kids to learn.
    Me i believe there should be consequences. Youth has been getting the "its ok that you almost killed him. Please be careful next time" type attitudes (yes extreme but in some cases it is about that bad).

    Not a harsh punishment but a "league reprimand" of sorts. Suspension, loss of points or something of that nature. That wasnt an accident, that was he was trying to move up regardless of any consideration for well being of others.

    I see it in school level sports and they stopped tolerating it here. Do something like that and your benched, made to run till you cant stand and so on.

    Thats my pennies worth. Kids dont learn respect and decency if there is no consequences for such actions. Especially in a situation when the kid wasnt talking instead of showing regret and being sincerely apologetic.

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    I'm pretty sure the person is allowed to ride off without consequence as long as they yell "Strava!" as they ride past.

    Since this was a HS league this is definitely a great "teachable moment". Competition brings out the best AND worst in people. As others have said, sans intervention, this will enforce the negative part of competition.

  14. #14
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    I agree with above comments. You stop regardless. You have even more responsibility to stop if you caused the crash.

    Regarding, the Doer and that he's not talking ... it sounds like you need to contact the Doer's coach because it's not acceptable that he's not talking. An explanation and apology or a check-in at a minimum. If it went down like you described, then some kind of consequences are called for as his actions suggest a lack of respect for his competitors.

    My background is road racing. Such offenses do occur there, and when witnessed by officials they have lead to DQ and suspensions. Sometimes, the injured/crashed rider will lodge a protest. Sometimes, if it's handled right, the offender goes around and apologizes. Sometimes, the injured goes looking for the Doer and yelling or fighting ensues. Or, someone from each team meets up to talk about it and work something out. Usually, that type of riding garners a reputation in the peloton and comes back to haunt the Doer.


    Quote Originally Posted by Metamorphic View Post
    The reason I ask is that I coach a HS team. One of my riders got taken out by another racer trying to merge from a B-line back into a train on the single track, where there was no space, no look to see if there was space and, and no stopping afterwards. Apparently he saw the wheel he wanted to be on and turned in there. Apparently the kid just keep going on while my rider was curled up in the weeds with a concussion. Details are limited because the Doer is not talking and my rider had some memory loss from the hit. A mid pack rider DID stop and got my rider back to the nearest Course Marshal.

    My rider wanted to know what the etiquette was during a race scenario.

    There seems to be a good understanding with most racers that crashing is a race ender. Its much less evident that racers know that causing somebody else to crash is also a race ender.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by RAKC Ind View Post
    Me i believe there should be consequences. Youth has been getting the "its ok that you almost killed him. Please be careful next time" type attitudes (yes extreme but in some cases it is about that bad).

    Not a harsh punishment but a "league reprimand" of sorts. Suspension, loss of points or something of that nature. That wasnt an accident, that was he was trying to move up regardless of any consideration for well being of others.

    I see it in school level sports and they stopped tolerating it here. Do something like that and your benched, made to run till you cant stand and so on.

    Thats my pennies worth. Kids dont learn respect and decency if there is no consequences for such actions. Especially in a situation when the kid wasnt talking instead of showing regret and being sincerely apologetic.

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    Yeah, I'll agree with you; rereading what Metamorphic wrote, "the Doer is not talking" it sounds like the kid is well aware of what he did and that it was wrong. He also said "trying to merge from a B-line back into a train on the single track" so it sounds like there would be witnesses. If the kid won't talk and there aren't witnesses, the kid's coach should still have a serious discussion with the team on sportsmanship and respect and concern for your competition.
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  16. #16
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    Always stop, always help, no matter who the rider is or who caused the crash. When I'm on training rides out here in the boondocks, I always stop to help dudes that are riding junk bikes, carrying around 50+kg of charcoal. What do you gain by finishing a few minutes faster? The benefits of caring for other people far outweigh the costs in my opinion.

    I was in high school once and to be honest I was a total asshole, but could pretend like I was nice in order to avoid repercussions. There's nothing better than some good ol' hard consequences to teach life lessons. That was true for me anyway.

  18. #18
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    I'm late to the party, but glad someone brought this up and agree with the sentiment, which seems obvious, but apparently is not. If someone is hurt, be a decent human being and make sure they are alright. 2 years ago in an XC race, after a big climb 3,000 ft at elevation, I came across a high school kid on the side of the trail (fire road) shivering and going into a panic attack. It was a HOT day. It was a target event for me and I was doing well-- by my standards. Nonetheless, I stopped and waited with the boy until paramedics came. I couldn't believe how many people were passing him by just ahead of me. Seemed really heartless to me.

  19. #19
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    This is what separates us from the roadies.


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  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by FishMan473 View Post
    This is what separates us from the roadies.
    Roadies got a sag wagon, a broom truck.

    We gotta look out for each other.

  21. #21
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    You do these races for fun. If your a brand ambassador you should always be on the lookout for people to help. Your talking hitting immovable objects at 20 plus mph. You can get seriously injured doing this.

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by Metamorphic View Post
    The reason I ask is that I coach a HS team. One of my riders got taken out by another racer trying to merge from a B-line back into a train on the single track, where there was no space, no look to see if there was space and, and no stopping afterwards. Apparently he saw the wheel he wanted to be on and turned in there. Apparently the kid just keep going on while my rider was curled up in the weeds with a concussion. Details are limited because the Doer is not talking and my rider had some memory loss from the hit. A mid pack rider DID stop and got my rider back to the nearest Course Marshal.

    My rider wanted to know what the etiquette was during a race scenario.

    There seems to be a good understanding with most racers that crashing is a race ender. Its much less evident that racers know that causing somebody else to crash is also a race ender.
    That crap happens a lot unfortunately. I had a racer get cut off on the last corner and my rider went down on gravel tearing his arm apart all for 1 spot that wasn't even podium. Road rash with gravel sized rocks is terrible, it equaled weeks off the bike and antibiotics. We couldn't find the culprit and these are adult racers to boot. The series owners don't really do much to control aggressive riders. I noticed that NICA doesn't do a lot either, and for them its sort of in their mission statement, smh.

  23. #23
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    Situations like this would be a good reason to have something like "Good citizen points award" where if you see someone crash and help them, you get awarded a certain amount of points equivalent to like 3rd place (with a cap on one award per person per series so people can't game their way to a series win with it).

  24. #24
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    Two separate instances of this:
    1) 8 hour race that I was doing 2 man and strictly racing against another team for fun only. Came to a small bridge crossing a gap and girl two riders in front slid out into the gap landing on her head/neck. No ones fault but I stopped while so many other riders kept going. Concern of broken neck. Finally got someone to stop long enough to tell them the situation and send for help. Help eventually arrived and I think she came out if it okay. In the meantime the other 2 man team had long since passed so we had lots of fun chasing them back down for the next few hours! Bottom line is always stop and figure out a way to still make your race fun!

    2) during a weekly series my son was just starting to race at 13 yrs old and was clipped by an expert rider which took them both down. Expert quickly got up and kept going with little regard for my son. He was visibly shaken, covered head to toe in dirt. He now refuses to do races as it is to intimidating with the faster riders recklessly trying to pass. To me this is he issue, how do we get kids starting to race when idiots are trying to win the Wednesday night worlds?

  25. #25
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    raced Prescott Punisher last Saturday, men's marathon, and got hit TWICE by xc riders. The worst incident almost cleaned me out going almost 30mph on a wide downhill doubletrack! I somehow saved it, and ran on the course without a huge crash at speed. He never announced his passing attempted was coming, sorry, slowed or nothing. I had the big M marked on the calf, so I was clearly a marathoner, that many other passers noticed without issue. Pretty poor decision by this unidentified racer, that was not necessary.

  26. #26
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    Isn't it just normal human decency and care for your fellow racers to always stop and help someone who crashed and could be hurt or is hurt? It's just bike racing. Everyone's health and safety should take priority. Period.

  27. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by pulsepro View Post
    Isn't it just normal human decency and care for your fellow racers to always stop and help someone who crashed and could be hurt or is hurt? It's just bike racing. Everyone's health and safety should take priority. Period.
    Yes, some people take "winning" too seriously. And most of those people really don't have a chance of winning.
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  28. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by chazpat View Post
    Yes, some people take "winning" too seriously. And most of those people really don't have a chance of winning.
    Seriously! We went to one series where everyone signed up for beginner class, so much so that there were only 3 riders in sport class, smh. Those 3 sport riders got podium while the top beginners all had times exceeding the sport class and into expert class. It's gotten stupid silly out there.

    I'd add that it happens from the beginning too as with NICA races. They don't do shit to control progression nor enforce it.

  29. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by waltaz View Post
    5. Hell no; if you're a pro, get over yourself; you're a human being first.
    It's not NASCAR.
    Well here I disagree. If you are on pro race, there's enough other, more qualified people around to take care of wounded ones. Your job there is to race, someone else's job is to take care of other things. On pro level it is Nascar
    Primoz

  30. #30
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    At any race I've been to, bike or motorbike, it's all explained at the riders briefing, the first person stops and stays with the injured rider, the 2nd goes for help. Times will get adjusted afterward if necessary.

  31. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by primoz View Post
    Well here I disagree. If you are on pro race, there's enough other, more qualified people around to take care of wounded ones. Your job there is to race, someone else's job is to take care of other things. On pro level it is Nascar
    I suppose if itís two proís racing, then I can understand that. Maybe. But the scenario I was thinking about was when a pro comes up on a slower, non-pro rider, and something happens. At that point, the pro needs to stop, IMO. Common decency.


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  32. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by waltaz View Post
    1. Yes...
    Agree with this post 100%.

    What in the hell could one possibly be hoping to achieve otherwise? Standing on a podium with no humility and zero dignity for a few moments while others glare at you in shame? Really? It's worth that?

    I'm not even sure a pro in the world championships would ride otherwise? If he did, the only reason why would be because there is likely ample support everywhere along the entire course, and the rider at fault saw this, and knew there was little he could do to help. Then, apologize profusely afterwards.

  33. #33
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    I'm going to take a slightly different outlook on this. While I do agree priority #1 is riding 'fair' and riding clean and looking after a down rider (I've done it more than once and given up podium spots because of it)....this is racing, it's not risk free and mistakes happen.

    Riding 'assertive' or dare we say 'aggressive' can be the safest way to ride, particularly in a race scenario. Assertive and aggressive are different, but it's a fine line and both can be appropriate. Riding timid and passive is certainly not doing anybody favors and from I have seen (particularly on the road) is very dangerous. Not to put 'aggressive' in the same box as 'malicious' or 'intentional'.

    Sounds like the kid* probably didn't really know how to hold a line in that circumstance and it ended badly (unfortunately)....but I wouldn't string the kid up for that, could be a learning moment for both of them. Part of racing is knowing how to deal with other riders doing stupid *$&% since that will ALWAYS be part of the game.

    But to answer your question directly, in a race scenario out on some trails, I'd stop or slow down and make sure the rider got up. If he hopped up and kept riding I'd take my verbal lickin', say sorry and I'll buy him a beer, soft pedal until he caught up and keep on racing. If he didn't hop up, I'd obviously stay there and/or get help depending on the situation....no different than if I didn't cause the crash.

    It can be a deadly situation, particularly on remote tracks.

    *Edit - not your kid, the other one...

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