Another Unfortunate MtB Fatality - Snow Summit

Discussion in 'Rider Down' started by herzalot, Aug 17, 2015.

  1. herzalot

    herzalot Well-Known Member

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    I saw this on another forum. Devastating. Our sport comes with bumps, bruises, dislocations and broken bones, but it seems only the Rampagers, DHers, slopestyle and trials guys (and gals) are risking death, but we've lost three riders in three weeks doing fairly ordinary mt biking (Yeny Vergara at El Moro, Will Olson in Colorado in the EWS competition and now this). Rest in Peace and Ride in Paradise Allen Chang.

    http://www.imtbtrails.com/forum/index.php?threads/mtb-brother-down-at-ss-on-8-15.2826/#post-22740
     
  2. Revalimage

    Revalimage Active Member

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    Heard about this - husband is insisting and not taking a 'no' from the kid on wearing his leatt the whip contest this coming Sat. When I went looking for press, all I could find with the fatality from last June (2014).

    We all know we could get hit by a bus, walking or driving everyday. Live life to fullest and LOVE those around you, and tell them - stop waiting. I still prefer my odds in the dirt over the pavement any day.

    Life is short, life is precious...
     
  3. McG715

    McG715 Active Member

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    Chris we were there at SS when it happened and were on the hill literally trying to head down Party Wave and were rerouted to MM due to what they said was a "major accident" on the trail below.. it was awful hearing later the gentleman passed away.. not sure how this happened.. the drop isn't a big one, but it does have a mandatory drop now instead of a roll down option as it did last year, and it's posted with a "drop" sign, but something went wrong and it's really scary to think how easily things can go wrong. There was also another guy being taken off by paramedics toward end of the day.. I had heard he crashed hard on the Muscle Beach 2nd tabletop and had some back issues.. hopefully he's OK
     
  4. denmother

    denmother Gone riding....

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    Thanks for posting. We were there that day and saw the ambulance and then heard that he had died. That drop is very dangerous now and if you don't clear the lip it can eject you and send you flying, or in my case, jack your wrists pretty good!
     
  5. biknpam

    biknpam Member

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    Everytime I heard or read a story like this... it makes me sick.

    Just a question.... why would anyone take a risk when they have a family to care for? Yes I know you can get hit just driving a car to work... but that's unforeseen... riding in high risk area, there is a very real liklihood of permanent injury, including death. For some of you guys to consider... I always feel so bad for the wife and children who are left... even worse for those who have been paralzyed... these stories are always popping up...

    I've been off a bike for 4 months due to a serious accident. I undestand the need to ride and can't wait to return but if something happens, other than my cat (and arrangements have been made for his care if something happens to me), there is no one dependant on me. If I had dependants I would think twice before jumping off some rocks...
     
  6. pachaven

    pachaven Member

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    That was my posting in the other forum. I will tell you that I'm still broken hearted at what I saw and wished I could have done more. I did ask my staff developer to book a date and time asap for me to get my certifications. As far a biknpan's question...It's a good one. I will only speak for myself as to why I take the risks I do. It's what keeps me sane in an insane world. With life, work, the kids, inlaws, money issues....you name it. MTBing is what I LOVE to do. I can spend an hour or two thinking about nothing and thinking about everything at the same time. And that keeps me from coming home and kicking the cat or yelling at my wife or climbing on my roof and taking out the neighbors, etc.... I guess I could say that I NEED MTBing, but the truth is that I WANT to mountain bike and the risks are worth it (to me)!!!!!!!
     
  7. ofcounsel

    ofcounsel Member

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    I think it's a personal issue. Lots of things we do bring risk with them, and everyone makes a decision for themselves. I have a spouse and family, and it doesn't stop me from doing things I love. I am well insured, however, in case the unforseen happens.

    Still, I'm not going to bubble wrap myself, nor would I suggest that to anyone else.
     
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  8. Bruce in SoCal

    Bruce in SoCal Member

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    I see it as a matter of risk management. What is extremely risky for one rider may be routine for another. We should not confuse competence with bravado.

    We should all have some first-aid training and carry some basic first-aid supplies.
     
  9. chubacabra

    chubacabra Threapy Dog

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    Prayers to the family. What a horrible horrible accident. Never look at SS like a little kid brother to Mammoth, but somewhere that can take you out if you aren't careful.

    Replying to Biknpam, sometimes like in the San Gabs, a skinny ST can make you slide off down a 100 foot side drop if you're not careful. Always be aware
    and like others said, if the deed is too dastardly, there's no shame in walking the bike or not taking the drop. If you do have family, don't take big risks but don't give up the sport completely because there is some risk. You can get hit in the head playing softball or playing golf (like my dad did at a stupid public golf course)

    Even technology improvements keep us from injuring ourselves, like larger wheels--27.5 or 29er's, disc brakes, anti-rear jacking floating rear ends, single ring cranks, etc.
    I even have a 96'er---29er up front with a 26er in the rear. The geometry almost makes you NOT do an 'endo' going downhill & goes over baby heads with ease. IMO the 26er is a dead machine, good for nothing like a personal pager, if they even have those anymore hahah. its no good but for a ride to the liquor store or transportation for an aluminum can collector.

    But the real safety is knowing that you can't make that lip or go straight down that gnarly descent with tight switchbacks and boulders everywhere. Be careful and again, what a horrible day at SS.
     
  10. herzalot

    herzalot Well-Known Member

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    It's disappointing to hear that SS changed that drop to more substantial and risky drop (if I read McG's post correctly). As far as I know, Westridge is still labeled a "blue" run and should have features that are commensurate with the trail rating. I am glad you told me of the change - I probably would have assumed it was the same - even with a new "drop" sign - and I would casually not worry about my speed. As it was, I could hit it faster and drop further (which I enjoyed), or crawl over it and roll down (which I did if I was behind someone slower).

    Risk/reward is the name of the game in progressive mountain biking, but trail builders can maximize the reward for all riders while still minimizing the risk for the more timid - unless the trail is clearly intended for true expert free-riders only. I guess having a forced carry (by taking away roll down or timid flight options) is more rewarding than just going further down a safer landing area. Same philosophy as clearing a ravine in golf rather than just hitting it further down a flat fairway.

    I don't know the circumstances of Allen's crash, so I will not attribute responsibility to anyone but Allen. Thanks to those on the trail who assisted our fallen brother. Again, condolences, prayers and positive thoughts to his wife Lisa and their family and friends.
     
  11. doublewide

    doublewide Ride Life....Ride GIANT

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    It really sucks to hear such bad news.....

    Herzy,

    At the top of the lifts they have an information board and it always has the words "New features added, look before you leap" Plus that drop has a go around. How do you expect people to progress?? I do agree with you on the trail labeling, but I also think if it was a black diamond trail people of lesser skill would still try and ride it so what does it matter?

    My .02
     
  12. McG715

    McG715 Active Member

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    Chris it was definitely changed to a mandatory drop vs roll option like last season.. it looks to about 3-3.5 ft in terms of the drop but you need a decent amount of speed to carry about 15 ft (estimated) to the landing otherwise you can case and get bucked like denmo mentioned above.. I'm guessing it will have that roller feature added back to it by this weekend.
     
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  13. McG715

    McG715 Active Member

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    I agree people will still try features regardless so to not build them isn't the answer.. in this case not sure why he didn't take the go around.. it is clearly marked "drop" but maybe he thought it was the same as last year with roll down option?? Also, did he crash trying to legitimately hit and clear the drop or did he crash not knowing it was a drop?? We will never know unfortunately.. I feel bad for the family and regardless of circumstance really hate seeing this happen to anyone..
     
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  14. FD Pezman

    FD Pezman Member

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    My view has stayed the same since I started riding up there. It's like this, they have a boring turtle trail good for learning berms but they don't have a beginner trail with smaller features. So the only next step is for beginners to go straight to westridge which I'm my eyes is a solid expert level trail with some advanced features. So now the beginner/intermediate rider is pushing the limit and as you can see here. The way they have built the jumps and the features offer no room for error, the jumps are super lippy forcing you to boost an otherwise scrubable jump and going slower trying not to boost makes you end up casing on a lippy landing? No happy medium here and until they get the green trail up and running their intermediate trail should cater to beginners and intermediate riders alike. They are over stepping them selves a bit and Allens death is a result of this. Allen was probably just like the rest of us trying to progress but there wasn't an begener trail option available. You can blame the builders, the FS, SS, or Allen but the facts are that they don't offer a beginner level trail and this is the second death not to mention who knows how many other serious injuries. I like that they are trying to offer more progressive trails to an other wise non progressive SoCal community but hopefully this is a wake up call for the SS crew to build safe features that offer more room for error.

    Jeff
     
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  15. da big hills

    da big hills happy night trails

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  16. skyungjae

    skyungjae Member

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    I have a wife and two kids, and I'm the sole bread winner in the family. Like Lisa, my wife has a clear understanding of how much this sport means to me. Accidents happen... Allen could've landed that jump fine repeatedly on runs prior, and all it takes is one factor to change resulting in catastrophe.

    Anyhow, I do like to push myself and grow as a rider. Since my son was born, I haven't had time to go back to SS. In May I couldn't sum up the courage to go off that ramp despite flying off the one last year. Having that bail out ramp knowing you can just roll it sure made me feel more confident.

    Yeah, it's terrible what happened regardless of Lisa expressing some solace that Allen went out doing what he loved. It's not going to be easy, and I'll definitely be thinking more about my family before attempting anything I'm uncomfortable with.
     
  17. Bruce in SoCal

    Bruce in SoCal Member

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    My speculation from my experiences with mountain biking and with racing sailboats is that there is a natural tendency toward thrill-inflation. Every new bike or boat is faster, higher performance and more demanding. New bikes and boats aren't made for beginners. Instead, builders assume an existing level of proficiency.

    When was the last time anyone saw a review of a entry level bike or trail?

    Against this background there is trail-building. The builders build a trail which the riders ride it until they are very proficient. At that point the riders complain the trail has become boring. So the builders make it tougher, and the process repeats. The problem is that there is no longer a trail for riders who have not yet become proficient on the trail as it originally existed. They must ride the trail as it has evolved, even if it is too advanced. That leads to injuries.
     
  18. bing!

    bing! Active Member

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    I crashed two months ago very close to that location, on Muscle Beach. Broke the ball off my humerus and lodge it in my chest. Currently recovering with a bum shoulder and a paralyzed hand. This news hits me very close.
     
  19. herzalot

    herzalot Well-Known Member

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    Very sad to hear this Bing. You have had more than your share of injuries. I wish you a complete recovery, and better luck when you return to riding.
     
  20. da big hills

    da big hills happy night trails

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    Happy Healing vibes
     

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