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  1. #1
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    When does it become to dangerous?

    There seems to be a bit of a controversey in AZ about the 24hr race in Oracle. I have viewed the threads circulating and it's to bad to see such bickering. It does raise interesting questions for the rider and the promoter though. That is, at what point do the conditions become to dangerous? who decides this? who's responsibility is it the promoter or rider or both? Has events like that one ever been called due to the conditions being to dangerous? Is there cryteria to be met that determines the answers to the questions above? Is that waiver we all sign worthless? Does the event get canceled or postponed? Not easy decisions for the promoter. They stand to loose a lot of money if they cancel. They risk upseting those who want the risk and challenge. On the other hand they could be risking lives. Does one offset the other?

    I'm not going to comment either way because I don't know the answers but it would be a really neat topic for one of the magazines to explore and report on. I'd really like to know what some of the top promoters have to say. I would buy that issue for sure.

  2. #2
    the cool nerd
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    Quote Originally Posted by Phantom Mushroom
    There seems to be a bit of a controversey in AZ about the 24hr race in Oracle. I have viewed the threads circulating and it's to bad to see such bickering. It does raise interesting questions for the rider and the promoter though. That is, at what point do the conditions become to dangerous? who decides this? who's responsibility is it the promoter or rider or both? Has events like that one ever been called due to the conditions being to dangerous? Is there cryteria to be met that determines the answers to the questions above? Is that waiver we all sign worthless? Does the event get canceled or postponed? Not easy decisions for the promoter. They stand to loose a lot of money if they cancel. They risk upseting those who want the risk and challenge. On the other hand they could be risking lives. Does one offset the other?

    I'm not going to comment either way because I don't know the answers but it would be a really neat topic for one of the magazines to explore and report on. I'd really like to know what some of the top promoters have to say. I would buy that issue for sure.
    bad lightening!!. been in plenty of races that have been shortened or cancelled due to free electricity..

  3. #3
    pewpewpew Moderator
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    If the race has water crossings and there are flash flood warnings.

  4. #4
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    Tough Call

    I agree if there are wash crossings along the course with flash flood warnings the promoter has some tough decisions to make.

  5. #5
    jrm
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    The release of liability doesnt cover "acts of god"

    Quote Originally Posted by sportsman
    bad lightening!!. been in plenty of races that have been shortened or cancelled due to free electricity..
    and neither do permits..So theres your achilles heal..

  6. #6
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    Idea! Not a tough decision

    Being a firefighter and a person involved in several water rescues (some not successful) if there are low areas on the course or washes and there are advisories with flash flood warnings the decision should be an easy one.

  7. #7
    Bad Case of the Mondays
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    Quote Originally Posted by jrm
    and neither do permits..So theres your achilles heal..
    The waivers are pretty superficial anyway. If something happens at the race where the race director could be seen as negligent, then the waiver is pretty much useless.

  8. #8
    the cool nerd
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    Quote Originally Posted by jrm
    and neither do permits..So theres your achilles heal..
    it isn't the permits that keeps me from riding in bad t-storms..

  9. #9
    Nat
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    Quote Originally Posted by Phantom Mushroom
    There seems to be a bit of a controversey in AZ about the 24hr race in Oracle. I have viewed the threads circulating and it's to bad to see such bickering. It does raise interesting questions for the rider and the promoter though. That is, at what point do the conditions become to dangerous? who decides this? who's responsibility is it the promoter or rider or both? Has events like that one ever been called due to the conditions being to dangerous? Is there cryteria to be met that determines the answers to the questions above? Is that waiver we all sign worthless? Does the event get canceled or postponed? Not easy decisions for the promoter. They stand to loose a lot of money if they cancel. They risk upseting those who want the risk and challenge. On the other hand they could be risking lives. Does one offset the other?

    I'm not going to comment either way because I don't know the answers but it would be a really neat topic for one of the magazines to explore and report on. I'd really like to know what some of the top promoters have to say. I would buy that issue for sure.
    I guess I fall on the personal responsibility side. Even though you paid to race, you still have your own head and can think for yourself, right? You're more able than a promoter to determine if something looks dangerous to you. If there's a flash flood occuring, then DON'T JUMP IN IT!

    A race is not that important. Unless you're a pro, it's recreational and therefore optional. Even if you are a pro, you can still decide if something looks life-threatening. If my boss told me to run out into traffic, I'd tell him to shove it.

  10. #10
    ...master of none
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    "Acts of god"

    On the topic of lightning, jrm said...
    Quote Originally Posted by jrm
    The release of liability doesnt cover "acts of god"
    So what are you saying...that race organizers should be held liable for acts of god?

    bock

  11. #11
    Nat
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    Quote Originally Posted by bock
    On the topic of lightning, jrm said...

    So what are you saying...that race organizers should be held liable for acts of god?

    bock
    If the answer is "yes," I'm going to promote a race just so I can feel what it's like to walk on water.

  12. #12
    Trail rider and racer
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    I've been in a race with numerous river crossing which resulted in the rider getting wet up to their neck (Basically) at the deepest point. At face value this is too dangerous to me, but when the even co-ordinators have set up an effective and safe river crossing involving a guideline and assistants on both sides it becomes safer for in my opinion.

    I don't know about the 24 hour race of ITOP or whatever it was called. If there was a flash flood warning and the race was still up to go, it would be up to the rider to call it quits if they were unsure. If a flash flood comes through the event you could possibly hold the event organiser liable for injuries incurred during the torrential weather.

    Most people who ride a MTB should be able to decide for themselves. Mountain biking can be dangerous on a sunny day, so its up to us to decide what sort of risks we wish to take. If one is risk adverse then I'd suggest staying away.
    Trev!

  13. #13
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    yeah. Anyone who does anything in the outdoors must look out for their own best self interest. The minute that it gets too scary or dangerous for your own personal level of concern then stop doing it.
    At the 24hrs ITOP we raced all night because none of us felt that it was any more dangerous than when we started but many teams stopped at about 8:30pm and didn't restart until 9:00am when it got sunny out.

    It is not up to the promoter to tell you when you should be scared. It is up to you. If you want to participate in controlled environments that there is someone telling you that the game is over then the best recourse is to play a game. All games, be it baseball, tennis, or water polo have attendants that spend their time determining when a situation has cross the safety boundary.

    there is no person in grass roots level racing. Perhaps in Nascar and Indy Car etc, but at the little league level that we participate the promoters generally cannot afford the cost financially or promotionally to cancel or tell people that they cannot race. Hence the forms of liability.

    This is their way of saying "We will not tell you when to quit you must decide when you have had too much"

    If you want to run a race in which you tell people whether they can or cannot race then you must be up front with them and tell them that they can't race anymore when you feel it is too dangerous. You must also have marshals prepared to stop people on the course because just like the group that thinks it isn't safe there are bound to be a group that thinks that it is safe and will want to go out still.

    This type of solution works best where you have small group of participants that are of equal or similar skill levels so that if one is past their threshold then the majority will be. The 24type things are a whole 'nother ball of wax. The skill levels cover the boundaries. At the 24ITOP we had Sue Haywood and we had beginners. How do you determine where the risk threshold has been exceeded for that group? You don't, you give them the choice of signing a waiver to accept responsibilty for their actions or you tell them they cannot race. Simple as that.
    Try this: HTFU

  14. #14
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    Leave me out of this...

    I didn't know my comment was worthy of such a lengthy response. I'm from the old school and even though my user name is wild man I'm not really that wild. I got that name because of my hair & beard. I don't do any of that crazy racing stuff. I just like to ride.

    I think there is something more going on here than what I was aware of. I just wanted to comment on something I think I know a little about which is flash floods and their potential danger.

    Please leave me out of whatever it is that is going on here.... I don't know what or where this hitop is, was or even what the conditoins were and I really don't want to ..

    Thanks and I hope you all work it out.

  15. #15
    Nat
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wild Man
    I didn't know my comment was worthy of such a lengthy response. I'm from the old school and even though my user name is wild man I'm not really that wild. I got that name because of my hair & beard. I don't do any of that crazy racing stuff. I just like to ride.

    I think there is something more going on here than what I was aware of. I just wanted to comment on something I think I know a little about which is flash floods and their potential danger.

    Please leave me out of whatever it is that is going on here.... I don't know what or where this hitop is, was or even what the conditoins were and I really don't want to ..

    Thanks and I hope you all work it out.
    Since it's your first day here, there are some things you should know about the Passion Board:

    -Comments usually receive a lengthy response, whether or not they were worthy of it
    -There's always more going on here than what you were aware of
    -People are always commenting on things that they know a little about
    -Once you're in it, it's hard to get out

    Welcome!

  16. #16
    Mythical Creature
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    Phantom Mushroom Wild Yada Yada - 1st timers

    It becomes too dangerous when one has too little or too much self confidence.

    The 24 Hours In The Old Pueblo (24 HTOP) event was a good test of common sense, wo/man, and machine. If one was worried about what may happen while on course - well, simple. Stay off!

    The only thing I thought bad about the water crossings was that there were 1 or 2 that when the track was submerged made it hard to see where the trail picked up on the opposite side! I found myself with another racer bushwacking for a bit, looking for the course again. Thankfully we found it no problem. There were so few people out pre-dawn, that it made it hard to just look for other lights, as they were so far ahead or behind as to have not been helpful.

    Had the propmoter set up the expo & camp area in a low-lying flash-flood prone area, he'd be liable. That wasn't the case, and it had been clear from the onset that it was gonna get tough. I suppose had the course been isolated in places by high water, making rescue difficult, then there'd be a decision to make. That said, the SAR teams were plentiful enough to have the area pretty well covered.
    follow me on Twitter!
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  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by bock
    On the topic of lightning, jrm said...

    So what are you saying...that race organizers should be held liable for acts of god?

    bock
    I think hes' trying to say that the race organizer is responsible for cancelling (or postponing) the race if weather and other acts of god put the racers in danger.

    I agree that ultimately, it is the organizer's responsibility to pull the plug, but it's each individual racer's responsibility to decide if conditions are safe or not for them if the organizer has not cancelled the race.

  18. #18
    Ouch, I am hot!
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nat
    I guess I fall on the personal responsibility side. Even though you paid to race, you still have your own head and can think for yourself, right? You're more able than a promoter to determine if something looks dangerous to you. If there's a flash flood occuring, then DON'T JUMP IN IT!

    A race is not that important. Unless you're a pro, it's recreational and therefore optional. Even if you are a pro, you can still decide if something looks life-threatening. If my boss told me to run out into traffic, I'd tell him to shove it.
    I disagree. If an organizer has information about an unsafe weather situation that you do not have yourself - for example, an approaching lighning storm still out of sight, then the organizer has a duty to do something about it, up to and including telling you not to race.
    I AM JUST A JERK

  19. #19
    contains quinine
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    as a reference

    A race was cancelled at Winter Park a couple years ago mid-race. It had been a rainy week, and the morning of the race the skies opened up and the temps started dropping. Turns out I was one of the last people through the closure, and one of the last people to actually finish. It was miserable. Muddy, cold, wet, and tearing up the trails.

    Probably a good decision, just too bad it didn't happen before folks were out on the trail!
    Take the long cut, we'll get there eventually.

  20. #20
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    All this discussion is killing me! My 2 cents...

    We are all supposedly mountain bikers here and the common consenus is this is a dangerous sport. Most of us enjoy testing our limits and we have to (or should) evaluate our personal risk versus reward equation to some degree or another on nearly every ride. This years 24HOP was great for this. Todd had to make a call on weither the risk outweighed the reward to such a huge degree that he should restrict the entire field from being able to make thier own decision. I am glad he left that choice in the racer's hands. I and my fellow SCUMBAGSS choose to race. But plenty of folks made a different choice. There had to be to at least 50 batons sitting idle in the transition tent at 3AM. That was thier choice and for them it was most likely a sound one. For the folks that kept thier batons in motion, it worked for them. Hat's off to Todd for letting the Mountain Bikers make thier own decison. If you are some mindless boob who would go around the course no matter what your skill level or the conditions then maybe you should get out of the whole MTB racing scene and take up competitive knitting or something less dangerous.

    As far as Todd's responsibiltiy for the trails, I rode the last lap when the rain had stopped a couple of hours earlier and the trails did not look particularly damaged and they were all draining very well. Good call there too as far as I'm concerned.

    Ahh..I feel better now, think I'll take another sip of a Nimbus Pale Ale that I had left over from the race
    Last edited by mtbbill; 02-23-2005 at 04:48 PM.

  21. #21
    Nat
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dirdir
    I disagree. If an organizer has information about an unsafe weather situation that you do not have yourself - for example, an approaching lighning storm still out of sight, then the organizer has a duty to do something about it, up to and including telling you not to race.
    Perhaps, but in this case everybody involved knew that bad weather was impending before the start of the race, correct?

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nat
    Perhaps, but in this case everybody involved knew that bad weather was impending before the start of the race, correct?
    Everybody keeps mentioning "bad weather." It rained. It was windy. It was relatively cold (40s), but at no time was the weather so bad the race should have been cancelled, nor was there any danger of harmful weather moving into the area. In fact, Sunday turned into an ideal day.

    "Bad weather" means a lot of different things to a lot of different people. Like I said above (or is it below), I think it's the race organizer's responsibility to decide if "bad weather" warrants cancelling the race. Until then, it falls on the racers' shoulders.

    My .02

  23. #23
    Mythical Creature
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    Quote Originally Posted by mtbbill
    ...If you are some mindless boob who would ... take up competitive knitting or something less dangerous.


    Oh that made my day, those two phrases in the same sentence! Thanks Bill - great work out there too!
    follow me on Twitter!
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  24. #24
    Nat
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    Quote Originally Posted by skinny-tire
    Everybody keeps mentioning "bad weather." It rained. It was windy. It was relatively cold (40s), but at no time was the weather so bad the race should have been cancelled, nor was there any danger of harmful weather moving into the area. In fact, Sunday turned into an ideal day.

    "Bad weather" means a lot of different things to a lot of different people. Like I said above (or is it below), I think it's the race organizer's responsibility to decide if "bad weather" warrants cancelling the race. Until then, it falls on the racers' shoulders.

    My .02
    So then there was no forecast of a harmful weather condition? In that case, I guess it's back to personal responsibility.

    Where the heck is a hot cup of coffee so I can dump it in my lap right now?

  25. #25
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    Cool-blue Rhythm I agree

    Quote Originally Posted by Wild Man
    Being a firefighter and a person involved in several water rescues (some not successful) if there are low areas on the course or washes and there are advisories with flash flood warnings the decision should be an easy one.


    I agree, the decision is easy. Do not race is flash flood conditions. I raced, got caught in a bad T storm and called the off race for my team mates. We quit and so did 125 other teams. We were the smart ones. The others were lucky. I practice emergency medicine and have seen the devastating results of drownings.

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