Wide world of sports

The scene out the front door this morning. All gone now.

The scene out the front door this morning. All gone now.

“Never underestimate the power of human stupidity,” wrote Robert A. Heinlein, who may have been anticipating the Darwin Awards. And it seems we have a couple early contenders this year.

The first is a woman spectator at Sunday’s Ronde van Vlaanderen, who was standing on a traffic island when for reason(s) unknown Johan Vansummeren T-boned her at speed. Vansummeren came away with a black eye, some stitches and a case of mental anguish, but the spectator was said to be in an induced coma after a couple of surgeries to address a brain trauma.

My takeaway from the incident is, never stand anyplace where a 6-foot-6, 168-pound Belgian can knock you out of your shoes and into a hospital.

The second is the videographer who was theoretically in charge of a drone that injured a competitor just meters short of the finish line at the Geraldton Endure Batavia triathlon in western Australia. Dude says someone took control of his toy — apparently it could have been anyone with a smartphone, which hardly narrows the field of suspects — and it didn’t really hit her anyway, so there. Apparently this was a surgical strike, as stitches were required to close the victim’s head wound.

The lesson here is that smartphones and dumb people make a hazardous combination. Not exactly news.

In unrelated news, this morning it was snowing heavily until suddenly it wasn’t. Tomorrow, 65 and sunny. They don’t make jerseys with pockets big enough to carry all the shit a guy needs for an April ride, like Belgian repellent and a handheld surface-to-air missile.


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28 Responses to “Wide world of sports”

  1. Charley Says:

    Old person in a bad place, bad luck. The drone had a mind of its own obviously! Drone stories will be more frequent in the media in the future.

    • Patrick O'Grady Says:

      People forget that there’s a real world out there beyond the teevee screen, with real consequences. I need me a Remington pump for drone control. Works on those dern kids on the lawn, too.

  2. Larry T. Says:

    You know what my wife says.
    What are they using for brains when they stand, sit or lay down in the case of the idiot photographer at an earlier race, near (or on) the course where it’s easy to be hit by a racer on the edge of the peloton fighting not to be squeezed off the road? It’s like those car rally scenes where morons stand right at the edge of the road while cars blast past sideways, on the edge of control.
    R/C drones are another issue, they probably should be licensed only after the owner/operator proves they have insurance to cover screwups. Reminds me of the story of a friend of mine, who somehow lost control of his large, gas-powered R/C helicopter, which then chopped up someone’s Corvette parked nearby. OOOOPS!

    • Patrick O'Grady Says:

      I remembered seeing this video of a few spectators jogging across the road at the 2013 Pikes Peak Hillclimb just as one of the racers came roaring by. One second later and you have a few dead folks, an exploded auto and the forest on fire. Good times.

  3. sharon Says:

    The idea of drones scares the crap out of me. No promise of quick pizza or Amazon deliveries, etc. outweighs what could go wrong with them. We’ll set up a star wars defense around our home and shoot your plane down if it comes too close to our airspace. Brings new meaning to, “You kids get off of my damn lawn.”

    • Patrick O'Grady Says:

      Ain’t it a bitch? Now you have to watch the lawn and the airspace. It’s gonna be like “McHale’s Navy” when Washing Machine Charlie comes to call.

    • khal spencer Says:

      Wasn’t there a town in CO where someone tried to put an issue on the ballot to create a drone hunting season? Gives a new impetus to me getting some buckshot or magnum #2’s for the old Mod 870.

  4. khal spencer Says:

    Amazing they let people stand on an island in the middle of a bike race and amazing they didn’t have cones to demarcate the center island to keep the racers from trying to crater on the curb. A lot of dumb to go around.

    It was hail and cornsnow all weekend here. I had been planning a ride to see how easy it would be to take the trails to the food co-op on the other side of town, so I put the 26 x 2.1 Richey tires on the LHT, but I didn’t really like the idea of riding in hail, mud, and lightning strikes, all of which we had Saturday and Sunday. If I escape Le Bombe Factorie at an early hour, I’ll try to do that today.

  5. veloben Says:

    Here’s our local eye opener of wrong place, wrong time and some people shouldn’t be allowed inside a car.

    Police say a car driven by a 63-year-old Wilmette woman hit several cars and a motor scooter — and left a bicyclist critically injured — in Evanston before police were finally able to stop her on Main Street in Skokie. – See more at: http://www.evanstonnow.com/story/public-safety/bill-smith/2014-04-06/62646/hit-and-run-driver-strikes-bicyclist-cars#sthash.vVm1JHpm.dpuf

    The photo of the Motobecaine is scary to say the least. The cyclist has gone from critical to stable and back to critical in the last 20 hours.

    No word on the drivers motivations real or delusional.


    • weaksides (@weaksides) Says:

      Damnation…yeah, we just lost a rider here in my town last Thursday. Coming down a big straight hill here, an SUV pulled out from a street at the bottom and the guy crashed either into the SUV or somewhere else. The paper didn’t give that much detail. I didn’t know him, but it obviously rattles a rider- especially this rider with my situation.

      On another note Patrick. You ought to try to check out something like the Viscacha from Revelate Designs. Oneja Negra also makes a large, compressible saddle bag of the same ilk. I have the Viscacha and swear by it. You can take everything you need- including the kitchen sink- for rides involving varying weather possibilities. As an added bonus, the bag survived my wreck in fine condition.

      • Patrick O'Grady Says:

        That’s how my friend and neighbor John Crandall got all banged up some years back. He was roaring down the hill from the Cheyenne Mountain Zoo, doing his usual Sunday loop, and a guy pulled out right in front of him. Boom. Wasn’t so much a question of what he broke as what he didn’t.

        He had a long road back, but is once again cycling to work and for recreation. He had to sell his beloved motorcycle, though. Wasn’t certain a damaged leg would be able to handle the weight in an emergency. That had to be tough for a lifelong throttle-twister.

        I’ve heard of the Revelates, but not the Oveja Negra, which appears to be down Salida way. Good excuse for a road trip.

        How’s your recovery coming, Weaksides?

      • weaksides (@weaksides) Says:

        It’s coming along alright Patrick. It’s in that really slow period now where the brace I have to wear for the vertebra is getting more and more nagging. As a result, sleeping at night is getting tougher.

        All that aside though, I feel pretty good and am basically ticking off the days until the next 2 follow-ups- 4/21 for the ortho and 4/25 for the spine doc. Obviously 4/25 is a big target because I’m pretty certain I’ll get to toss the brace then.

    • Khal Spencer Says:

      Ugh. We had a rider hit from behind in 2009 while riding one of those plastic bikes. It too splintered into bitty pieces. Somehow, Kent Sasser managed to survive the airlift to the ICU and is back riding. He had a big camelback full of water on his back and it blew up when he was hit, saving his back and neck and probably his life.

      I have one of those fast downhills on my commute home from work, and it too has a nice set of side streets at the bottom. I take the whole phooking lane when I am headed down that hill. Very rarely someone mentions for me to get the F out of their way, and I generally greet them in return with the Universal Sign of Frienship.

  6. Pat O'Brien Says:

    Spring has sprung overnight here. 86 by Wednesday. Be we have had snow on Easter before so quien sabe? As I said in an earlier comment, I am a pitiful winter wimp.

    I watched the video of Vansummeren crash on a cycling web site. Cell phone camera I assume. With the very narrow field of view I couldn’t see what forced him onto the traffic island. I hope the lady pulls through for herself and Johan.

    That drone thing was really stupid shit. Just because it’s possible doesn’t me you should do it.

    Well, it is off for two nights of camping at the Chiricahua National Monument. No connection to anything except reception of one radio station, classical NPR. Sweet.

    Patrick, I am not very happy with the way Snow Leopard is running on the old (2009) iMac. Safari is really problematic.

    • Patrick O'Grady Says:

      Have fun camping, Pat. And sorry to hear the iMac is acting up. How much memory do you have in the old beast? I’m running 12 GB in this one (3.06 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo, 1 TB HD) and Safari 5.1.10 seems OK for the most part.

      • Pat O'Brien Says:

        I should learn not to comment in a hurry without a final edit.

        It is a stock, bottom of the line, 2009 iMac. 1GB of original memory, and I have not added any. It has a 2.4 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo Processor. It has the original 250 GB hard drive as well. Safari displays the spinning beach ball often, and sometimes it stays for a minute or two when trying to leave a web site with lots of content. Sometimes it locks Safari up so long you have to force quit, and that can take 2 or 3 minutes to come up. Also, I get the “wait a minute” ball for shorter periods when using iTunes and iPhoto. But it shows up much more often than it did running OSX 10.5. Do I need more memory?

        I am not going to install Mavericks for fear the performance will degrade further. I bought and installed Facetime over the weekend, and it works fine for about 10 minutes then the audio quits. Quit and restarted it, initiated the call again, and 10 minutes later the audio quits again. Used to be Apple stuff just worked. I will be going to Tucson in the near future for a new iPad, so I will ask the folks at Simutek about these problems.

      • Patrick O'Grady Says:

        Hm … Low End Mac says your model should be able to run Mavericks, and can handle up to 8 GB of memory, so if you’re in an experimental mood, you might try bumping your memory to the max and see how it handles Snow Leopard. The install is very straightforward, and memory is cheaper than a new Mac.

        That said, I notice occasional issues running 12 GB of memory on a slightly newer model, so you might want to take that into consideration, too. But I tend to have a bunch of apps running at any given time — Safari and Firefox (a bunch of tabs in each), Word, iChat, Mail, Photoshop Elements, Preview, TextEdit, Calculator, Grab, Fetch, you name it.

      • Pat O'Brien Says:

        Thanks! I forgot that adding memory was so easy. For less that $100 I can go to 6GB. That is worth a try. I seldom have 2 or more apps running at once, so that should do the trick. When I go to Simutek, I will get more memory.
        Leaving in the morning for camping. We have been there many times, but it never gets old. It is a special place. In my opinion it second only to the Grand Canyon for Arizona places to visit. Too bad they are on opposite ends of the state.


      • veloben Says:


        If you just upgraded Spotlight likes to re-index the whole drive after the upgrade. From personal experience it can take a couple of days for things to speed back up. 1GB is way too little memory 2GB is the minimum these days and 4GB a much better number.

        Enjoy the camping trip.

      • Patrick O'Grady Says:

        Y’all riding the bikes over there, Pat? We never got closer to it than Highway 80 east of Bisbee when I did the ACA tour in 2010.

        Man, I need me some travel by bicycle. My training log is growing a thick coat of white hair and my legs look like Q-tips.

      • Pat O'Brien Says:

        No riding on this trip. Going with camping friends who don’t ride and want to take some short hikes. He is recovering from back surgery. The hiking trails up in the rocks are spectacular. Sandy and I have done them all over the years. We haven’t done any riding on that (West) side of the mountains but have mountain biked on the East side. After this camp, we are going to start getting some miles in and one overnight trip to Benson. Still thinking about coming your way in June for some riding and sightseeing.

  7. James Says:

    Ah, drones/quadcopters/RC things are quite the rage with the local MTB race promoter and his cronies. They have been doing stuff with them for the better part of a decade to give an interesting view of their weekly race series.

    However it is only time before one goes wonkers and injures someone. As a matter of fact, I was on YouTube perusing his channel recently and stumbled upon a video showing a copter/drone crash: http://youtu.be/lBfeJ8z6yg4

    Just glad it was a tree and not a racer.

  8. Pat O'Brien Says:

    We are back from camping. A couple of nights out does wonders for one’s attitude. And sleeping in the Sienna was sweet.

    I caught a ride every now and then with the 1/9 Cavalry Regiment when I was overseas. They did wear those hats, and proud of them they were.

  9. Pat O'Brien Says:

    Is it dry in good old Sierra Vista? Copied from NWS site one minute ago.

    Current Conditions
    En Español
    More Sharing ServicesShare | Share on facebook Share on twitter Share on email Share on print Share on gmail

    Mostly Cloudy
    Wind SpeedWSW 13 G 26 MPH
    Barometer30.11 in (1013.4 mb)
    Dewpoint-35°F (-37°C)
    Visibility10.00 mi
    Heat Index83°F (28°C)
    Last Update on 10 Apr 1:55 pm MST

    Current conditions at
    Fort Huachuca, Libby AAF Ft Huachuca (KFHU)
    Lat: 31.58333°N Lon: 110.33333°W Elev: 4718ft.
    More Local Wx | 3 Day History | Mobile Weather
    Sierra Vista AZ
    7 Day Forecast

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