Tuesday, May 19, 2009

How Do You Define Scary?

As someone who rides a bike, I can tell you that a cyclist’s biggest fear when you’re going downhill is that you’ll come around a corner, swing wide, hit a guardrail and go over a cliff.

Knowing that, is anyone else floored by the news of a Spanish rider in the Giro d’Italia crashing on the descent of the Culmine di San Pietro pass, going over the guardrail and flying down a 150 ft. ravine? Look at this ravine. You can’t see Pedro Horrillo, but he’s at the bottom of it.

No one could find him at first. They found his broken bike, but for 10 minutes or so there was no sign of Pedro. Once they spotted him, it took another 20 minutes for medics to reach him. This is the definition of scary for me.

How does someone survive that kind of fall at that speed? Apparently, you survive it with a broken femur, a crushed knee, a broken neck and a collapsed lung. But, no brain damage. Seriously. He crushed his whole body, but managed to protect one of the most sensitive human organs. Um, I want that kind of helmet. And not just for riding. I’ll wear it in my car. I’ll wear it to work. I’ll wear it to mow my yard. You know what? I’m just never gonna take it off.

Pedro Horrillo is living every cyclist’s worst nightmare. For a seemingly benign sport, bicycle racing sure is dangerous.

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