Be Careful Out There

by Rant on September 25, 2008 · 7 comments

in Miscellaneous

There’s a lot I could write about tonight. For instance, I could write about the tension at a press conference today, where one former Tour winner was asking — or trying to ask — uncomfortable questions of another. Or, I could write about Dick Pound shooting off his mouth again. (And here I was, thinking he’d just faded into the woodwork. Wrong!)

Or, I could point out that Lance Armstrong seems to have understood that the best way he can get out his message that more needs to be done in the way of cancer research and awareness is to do what he does best — ride a bike. Although he’s mastered the art of wearing a suit the last few years, and learned how to lobby politicians with the best of them, Lance’s real power comes when he gets on his two-wheeled steed and rides the legs off everyone around him.

I’ll have more to say about all that another time. Especially the cancer and cancer awareness angle. But here’s what’s really on my mind tonight. TBV. You see, the proprietor of Trust But Verify was involved in a bicycle/car collision yesterday, and as happens in such cases, the bicyclist didn’t come out on the winning end. He’s in the hospital right now, recovering from a whole heaping lot of injuries. It’s a dangerous world out there for those of us who ride bikes, whether recreationally or professionally.

All it takes is an inattentive driver, or worse, a malicious driver, to ruin a cyclist’s day. Or, for that matter, to put a sudden end to said cyclist’s life. If you’re out there riding, be smart. Wear your helmet (and make sure it’s properly fitted, too). Don’t use an iPod while you’re on the road (you just might miss the sound of a car approaching from behind). Carry ID, or wear a RoadID bracelet. And carry a cell phone, in case you need to call for help — or place a call because someone else needs help.

TBV was lucky — well, in a sense. Getting hit by a car isn’t the kind of “luck” I’d wish on anyone. The injuries he sustained aren’t life threatening, which mean TBV is expected to make a full recovery. Thank goodness. And I’m sure that once he does, he’ll be back out on his bike, riding a small “hill” known as Mount Diablo.

I don’t have all the details of the accident. And if I did, I’m not sure I’d publish them. I do know that at the time it happened, TBV was preparing for the annual assault on Mount Diablo. Unfortunately, that’s out for this year — which is a shame, to say the least.

Because of this blog, I’ve met TBV and a whole lot of other, very interesting people. And I’ve been fortunate to do so. It bugs me more than I can say that TBV was hit by a motorist who wasn’t really paying attention to where he/she was going, and that TBV has to endure the pain and discomfort that comes with such an accident. And it bugs me greatly that his wife and family have to endure all of this, too. None of this had to happen — and it makes me incredibly mad. So tonight my thoughts are with TBV and his family. Here’s to hoping he makes the speediest of recoveries.

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William Schart September 25, 2008 at 9:53 pm

Yeah, this is a real bummer, but at least it appears that TBV will come out OK in the end. I’ve been in a few car-bike crashes myself, and so far only rated a couple of trips to the ER. But a few inches the wrong way on the last one, in 2001, and I’d be riding with Coppi and Anquetil.

Dev September 25, 2008 at 10:44 pm

I use dog tags that I get at the pet store to put my personal information on in case I’m in a crash. I have one tied to the bike and another around my neck. It’s much cheaper than other forms of ID.

Morgan Hunter September 26, 2008 at 2:28 am

Get well soon TBV -rotten luck pal – we’ve all been there…easy times for you and your family….


amy kate September 26, 2008 at 12:28 pm

thanks for the report. TBV has done so much for us cycling fans. Our prayers for a speedy recovery

Matt September 26, 2008 at 3:26 pm

Rant, thanks for the info on TBV. I wish him a speedy recovery! I have been (knock on wood) VERY lucky so far in my Road Riding years, as I have yet to taste the steel (plastic?) of a car, nor the asphalt. However, I realize that sooner or later, something of the sort will happen. Just need to keep my helmet on tight and my wits about me at all times as I tempt fate on skinny tires. And, I have my roadID glued to my shoe strap…if for some reason when the paramedics get there and my shoe is gone, then I figure that the event was bad enough to break a ratcheting cleat…and the lack of ID will be a moot point.

As to yesterdays comments, I actually harbor NO ill will OR hard feelings about Lance coming back to Astana…was just playing devils advocate (sort of).

In all actuality if Alberto stays with Astana, I’m sure this will be some SERIOUS motivation to up his game! (same goes for Levi and Andreas). I would think he will be training hard all winter, improving on his TT skills and getting even stronger in the hills. No better way to PROVE you are the NEW master of the team than to beat the reiging champ.

I agree that Lance is a world-class planner, leaving almost nothing to chance in any of his endeavours. So I’m sure that he has an ace up his sleeve in the ways of self-protection from the anti-doping minions. And I also agree that if there ever was somone powerful enough to take on (and BEAT) the ….ahem…corrupt… WADA system, it would be Sir Lance. I think Floyd shook them to the core, only it went un-noticed by most of the world…(Floyd WHO?) But there’s not too many people on the face of the planet who don’t recognize Lance. And as was mentioned…he DOES indeed have ‘contacts’. Pretty powerful ones at that. USADA had best have their proverbial ducks in a SERIOUS row if they should ever take him on.

I truly look forward to next season already…and at the Tour of Calif, I will be at the Solvang ITT on one of the climbs (Ballard Cyn), in my chair, camera at the ready (like the last 2 years). I don’t yet have ANY personal shots of Lance….so this will be another ‘check in a box’ of stuff to do.

Rant September 26, 2008 at 9:15 pm

Hey everyone,
I’m sure that TBV appreciates all the good wishes. And I suspect he’s either seen them, or he will when next he visits this site.
That’s a great idea for ID tags, either instead of other more expensive types or as additional ID. I’m thinking about getting a dog tag or two to put on my bike, just in case. Seems like this might be your first comment here, or the first in a while. Welcome to RYHO.
I realized that you were playing devil’s advocate. Same here. I don’t bear Lance any ill will. If he wants to come back, and if he can still compete at the highest levels (which I don’t doubt), then more power to him. Being on the bike, racing around the world will do more to get his message out than getting dressed up in a suit and tie and lobbying a bunch of politicians. (Although, that’s a necessary part of getting more research, better treatment options and so on, too.)
Amy Kate,
Can’t remember if this is your first time commenting here. Welcome.

snake September 28, 2008 at 8:49 pm

TBV’s accident was scary to read (he’s posted those details that you didn’t want to). I was expecting something less that what it was, when the first news went out.

I’ve been bicycle commuting for decades in Silicon Valley. In all those years, I’ve had two encounters with cars. One was the softest nudge you can imagine. The other put me over the hood and down on the pavement. BUT, I didn’t hit my head and was fully able to ride away.

I always wear my helmet. I just don’t ever want it to serve its purpose, like it did for TBV.

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