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  • It did happen, at Newport.

    I know there was an incident leading to eventual fatality, which was shocking to read up on at the time it became more widely discussed last year.

    It is still not clear what the actual cause of the crash was, despite anecdotes and an insurers investigation report knocking around that seem to conflict.

    I feel strongly that for the benefit of all Track Coaches & in order to ensure best practice in future, the ngb (or venues) should have shared the facts of the case and learning outcomes from this to all those coaches, and use it as a case study for future qualifying coaches too during their course. A bit like flight incident investigations are published to be learned from.

    If it did occur in a Track League Race, caused solely by the actions of a visiting rider accredited by another velodrome, then there is cause to consider change. AFAIK that wasn't the circumstance in that case though, however I'd fully appreciate being corrected as per my point above about there being uncertainty around what actually happened.

    You do what you can but you’re never going to remove risk entirely.

    Precisely. Work could still be done to eliminate all those risks I listed above, yet they're somehow deemed acceptable risks despite having occured before, being fairly likely to happen again at some point, and potentially leading to the same outcome as the Newport case whenever they occur.

  • I feel strongly that for the benefit of all Track Coaches & in order to ensure best practice in future, the ngb (or venues) should have shared the facts of the case and learning outcomes from this to all those coaches, and use it as a case study for future qualifying coaches too during their course. A bit like flight incident investigations are published to be learned from.

    The venue did, in an informal way, in a zoom meeting I was part of*. More details may have been shared at other times by other staff but that has not been relayed to me or the rest of the team at my level in my venue.

    *I'm not keen on going into much detail as I don't really know how much of what I was told I can or should share, can in terms of legality and should because at the end of the day someone lost their life and I don't think that it's right to be splitting hairs over the details of that on a public forum.

    It was not in a track league race (and I don't think its why the ukiva rule has changed by the way) but it was the type of incident which will have occurred at track leagues across the country. It's a type of crash that happens at least weekly I'd say at our venue. Often it results in very minor or almost no injury, sometimes it can be quite bad. Occasionally, obviously, it can result in death. The difference between almost no and a few pretty bad injuries can be seconds or millimetres and I'm sure the same could be said of the worst case scenario(s).

    In respect of your list, a touch of wheels you'd try to train out during the accreditation process and with continuing coaching, the punctures and broken cleats would be my job if you're talking about venue owned equipment, there's a regime of checks and maintenance I do. With rider's own equipment you are relying somewhat on them to look after it, hopefully the accreditation process drives home both the potential for danger and also the responsibility that you have for your own and other people's safety and encourages people to be vigilant with their kit. There is (now) a coach present for all sessions at Glasgow, I imagine other venues are the same, so that coach shoulders some responsibilty for overseeing what gets onto the track but they aren't going to catch everything, you'd need an extra half hour to check everyone's cleats and inspect their tyres!

    Anyway, this seems to have developed into almost an argument and I'm not really sure why. All I was trying to say was that in terms of riding a venue organised session at Glasgow, I don't think much will change.

  • this seems to have developed into almost an argument

    Not my intention, I'm trying to understand rationale. Can only be done by discussion, but here the written word can lack subtlety. I have no beef with you about this.

    I don't think that it's right to be splitting hairs over the details of that on a public forum.

    Agreed. That's why BC should offer clarity to those who stand trackside via a relevant direct communication. It can be done in a sensitive manner & I'd hope the family would be supportive of shared learning if it would reduce the risk of others experiencing the same.

    The venue did, in an informal way, in a zoom meeting I was part of

    This isn't enough IMO. Not a dig at you, or the venue.

    The difference between almost no and a few pretty bad injuries can be seconds or millimetres

    Yes, once someone is sliding everyone else is a passenger pretty much. It is those collected that typically end up with worse consequences, unfortunately.

    There is (now) a coach present for all sessions at Glasgow

    That there ever wasn't is pretty shocking tbh. AFAIK Glasgow was the only uk indoor 250m track to operate in this way.

    you'd need an extra half hour to check everyone's cleats and inspect their tyres!

    Manchester implemented additional checks ahead of sessions taking to the track after the incident got public attention via the cycle-sos write-up (which prompted the zoom calls iirc). Not clear if these'll continue when it reopens. Again NGB should've directed on this so consistent across venues. IMO.

    a touch of wheels you'd try to train out during the accreditation process and with continuing coaching

    Equally, education about appropriate speed when riding above the line should be handled the same way. Once accredited there should be confidence this is known. Poor decision making down the line cannot be legislated for, as we've no doubt both seen first hand from riders we'd have expected better of either in training or racing.

    With rider's own equipment you are relying somewhat on them to look after it, hopefully the accreditation process drives home both the potential for danger and also the responsibility that you have for your own and other people's safety and encourages people to be vigilant with their kit.

    This could/should be a mandatory classroom module during accreditation. 2hrs would probably be enough to cover the basics & stuff like ratios and changing gearing.

    Getting back to ukiva and its failure to do what it was intended to, these comments about climbing walls from the bmc years ago resonate:

    The BMC is fully committed to the continued development of sustainable facilities for climbers and considers a number of key principles when supporting the development of new, or the improvement of existing facilities.

    Facilities should:

    meet the needs of climbers
    be as free from restrictive legislation as possible
    provide interesting climbing across an appropriate range of abilities and styles
    be professionally designed and built to current legislation with experienced climber input
    offer value for money

    A more worrying trend is that for large facilities to succeed commercially they have felt the need to create a demand from new users. This has led to large numbers of novices and young users being attracted into climbing wall use without first having gained appropriate skills. In an effort to limit perceived liability, some operators are introducing more elaborate registration systems and restrictive practices which in many cases actually increase the operators’ liability and which could ultimately have an adverse effect on usage by ordinary climbers.

    All wall providers have a responsibility to the ethos of the sport and to maintain that their actions have no bearing on the rest of the sport is clearly naïve. The BMC recognises the commercial aspects of facility provision but seeks to ensure that artificial climbing facilities continue to be managed in a way which is responsible both to climbers and to the sport, maintaining the responsible, independent use of walls without unnecessary restrictions and encouraging a greater awareness of the self-reliance which is an integral aspect of our sport.

    This could easily be mirrored by BC as the ngb as a set of principles for velodrome operators to focus on to further grow the discipline.

    They may well have been superseded in bmc guidance, as I know there was an indoor fatality a few years back (a Uni Student session iirc?).

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