One of the fellow I know in the LD riding community had a mishap yesterday and one of the injured riders was a MSF instructor.
This is worth a read due to the complexity of the accident ( it was a long string of cause and effects) and how things unfolded.
Report from LD rider:
I led about 30 bikes on a run to Starved Rock State Park today. We had a nice trip there, a great lunch and we were having a nice ride back when several factors came together to cause a seemingly unavoidable accident. We were coming ESE approaching this extremely dangerous intersection with unusual geometry and physical characteristics. We got funneled onto the shoulder between this an 18-wheel flatbed semi had encroached into our lane and a large amount of gravel where the road split into a Y and at the same time made a slight jog left that cut off our lane when the truck edged forward from the stop sign and blocked us. The gravel between the forks of the Y committed us very early with no possibility of safely moving to the right and the truck on the left funneled us both right off the pavement. It was really hairy. Here is a map showing the unusual circumstances.
I was bike 1 left and the rider who went down was rider 1 right. He was one of our most experienced riders... an MSF instructor. He was forced onto gravel and eventually went airborne into a ditch doing a somersault in air... bike and all. I was 2" outside of the gravel and I ran off the road onto the sand/gravel/dirt shoulder and was able to keep the bike going in a straight line until I bled off anough energy to safely return to the pavement. The downed rider narrowly missed a sign that would likely have killed him as it has other riders according to the on scene officer.
Some years ago I had instructed my passenger... Laura, that if we ever went down to hold my waist and pul tight so she could use my body as a shield to protect her. She did that today for the first time while telling me that "We are going down." Luckily, I was able to keep the bike going straight and avoided a crash. My friend David ( the MSF instructor) was not so lucky because of the gravel which he simply could not avoid.
We were going about 35 at entry into the Y intersection. We spotted the gravel after it was too late to react to the right. The presence of the gravel on the right committed us to going ahead and jogging left? However, the truck edging forward beyond the stop sign cut off our road and all of our options. We had slowed to about 20 when I hit the shoulder and David went airborne. The normal speed limit on this road is 55 and should be about 40 for this intersection.
David broke his wrist, banged up his ankle and has some damage to his Ultra Classic on the right side... bent crash bars and scraped fairings. He will recover and his bike is still rideable.
Three people dodged the bullet today. We could easily have all been dead.
It is interesting how a string of events, an oddly designed intersection, spring gravel. a truck just edging out to set up for a turn made this accident unfold.
Comments & analysis in hindsight ?
It was in my view a "Tom Cruise" They rode too fast into a "Danger Zone" 9 like the song) without realizing they were riding into a trp. Because I ride a lot of different roads in different parts of the states I work very hard to look for " Danger Zones"
Here is a link to a road that nearly killed me two August's ago. I now know it as the The Fish Hook the most infamous decreasing radius turn in the county. It is a transition ramp from Highway 1 North bound as it intersects highway 17.
It spit me out onto a US interstate at 30 MPH. If you go down through this link you will see the aerial shots of the road and how the left lane in the corner dumps you onto the freeway. It is a very busy spot and there is a lot going on flashing corner speed lights lights, two different speed zones, heavy traffic etc