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just enjoying the ride...
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148 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Why do riders blackout while riding (medically confirmed as not related to alcohol, drugs or seizures)?

Has anyone seen/found documentation to give evidence as to why a rider might nod out or at least become groggy and crash under virtually perfect conditions? Where it is proven that no drugs, alchohol, seizure or head impact prompted, nor rider fatigue or stress at significant levels.

The only thing I've found so far is a much disputed theory about oxygen deprivation in full coverage helmets. Not that the rider passed out from the CO-2 buildup, just that the reduced oxygen might produce a lack of judgement or reduced reflexes / concentration. In particular this theory is considered for cooler weather wherein the rider would be more bundled up and helmet vents closed to stay warm.

Swamp gas???

Appreciatte any constructive response(s) on this
Cheers :coffee
 
G

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there was a post on here a few months ago about a guy who blacked out after having given up alcohol for a long period of time and then drinking a few days before the incident. was it you that posted that?
 

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Fast Pack Slow Guy
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4,722 Posts
A lot of people in general that I've met are to a certain degree narcoleptic - meaning that as soon as there's just a little bit of mental downtime in their day, their brain starts to shut down and they nod off. These people can seem alert one moment and be completely asleep the next.

I think that lack of oxygen isn't a factor. I think stress, sleeping habits and energy levels is mostly to blame.
 

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Not me!!
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971 Posts
A lot of people in general that I've met are to a certain degree narcoleptic - meaning that as soon as there's just a little bit of mental downtime in their day, their brain starts to shut down and they nod off. These people can seem alert one moment and be completely asleep the next.

I think that lack of oxygen isn't a factor. I think stress, sleeping habits and energy levels is mostly to blame.
This is probably a disorder that should keep someone from getting/keeping a driver's license. It affects 1 in 2,000? That sounds like a lot to me. For some reason, people (mostly family and friends) don't want to act. That's why nearly blind, 70-year-olds are still allowed to drive.



http://med.stanford.edu/school/Psychiatry/narcolepsy/

http://www.ninds.nih.gov/disorders/narcolepsy/narcolepsy.htm
 

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Lee RideFar
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there was a post on here a few months ago about a guy who blacked out after having given up alcohol for a long period of time and then drinking a few days before the incident. was it you that posted that?
whoa... I stopped drinking and will be drinking this weekend. I will definitely keep this in mind.
 

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contradiction incarnate
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yeah, I'd imagine that most can be accounted for with a basic "insufficient sleep" explanation.

ever met anyone that works 2 or more jobs all the time? (as in more than typical full-time)
takes only a couple moments of inactivity for them to nod off.

when I was on a really crazy school schedule for a year, there were times that I'd start falling asleep at the wheel in my car.

edit: as for actual blackouts, not falling asleep, I've been known to have that happen with not enough calories in my system coupled with a little too much physical exertion.
 

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Sex Appeal
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also some times their lids are to tight, causes the head to be compacted and cuases headachs to cause blank outs.

thats why it is so important to find a lid that fits you properly.
 

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myside.yourside.myside
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certainly possible "happened to a friend, see, not me..." to zone-out a little

unfortunately on a bike your inattention can really bite you in the ass, much higher chances of catastrophic consquences :/

Cory
 

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just enjoying the ride...
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Discussion Starter · #10 · (Edited)
there was a post on here a few months ago about a guy who blacked out after having given up alcohol for a long period of time and then drinking a few days before the incident. was it you that posted that?
Hi...
Yes I had posted a comment about the "quit drinking then have a drink scenario"... However that circumstance was only relevant to individuals with epilepsy and seizures (petite or grand mal). Alcohol does not often provoke seizures while the person is drinking but it may cause "withdrawal" seizures 6 to 72 hours later, after drinking has stopped. http://www.epilepsy.com/epilepsy/provoke_alcohol.html

Although not common, there is conspicuous documentation of cases wherein riders in good health have crashed under ideal conditions. Just trying to draw some attention to this and perhaps find some peer opinions.

A few weeks back I took a spill under ideal conditions, suffering a significant concussion and memory loss of the event. I'm a veteran rider, familiar with my bike and was not riding hard. Since several scans and other med tests I've been handed a clean bill of health and am recuperating well. Still a little sore, but I'm mobile and am eager to get back on my bike, which still needs some TLC. I'm somewhat haunted by the fact that the reason for my spill is still a mystery. If I reach a little... true had the drinks the night prior, running your own business comes with a little more stress and I really don't sleep very well... still nothing new except perhaps the drinks...

In asking the Neurologist why a blackout might happen he simply shrugged and said maybe it's as simple as the road turned and you didn't. Maybe you should sell it. Unimpressed with the "sell it" comment I suggested that in the event one had blacked out while driving a car / truck the damage, especially collateral could have been quite a bit worse. He scoffed.

Cheers
 
G

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.. a much disputed theory about oxygen deprivation in full coverage helmets.
Since you started this thread off with such a silly theory, I can no longer be constructive. This would assume that riders with full face helmets do this more than open face helmets, which I doubt stats would support. I would also doubt that motorcyclists do this more than car drivers who are constantly crashing due o "multi-tasking".
 

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Addicted to two wheels
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I've been to a few MVA's where the driver just completely fell asleep, one of which the driver was still asleep when the first people got to her. As Coolio said fatigue as we all try to do more in our busy schedules. A long boring road, the drone of the car, and the heat turned up lulls the driver to sleep. I had a friend who fell asleep riding his bike to Quebec City. He woke up just as he was leaving the gravel going into the ditch. Talk about a rude awakening. I saw his bike cartwheel and had to go dig his teeth out of his mouth evnthough he had a full face on.

Then you get the inattentive drivers. I always wondered why all the crashes on the Mission bridge right on the top. Why there? It's the best view of Mission the valley, the river, boats, etc. If you're watching that you're not watching ahead of you and probably neither is the guy infront or behind you. Add a cool day and some frost and all the ingredients for a disaster ar present.
 

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SuperStyling
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Yeah if you're driving while you're fatique, instead of turning the heat up on those cold days, try turning it off and open your window or even better use your AC. You can also try listening to something that'll keep you awake where you can sing to it. hahaha
 

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Is is possible that your 'black out' is subconciously your way of dealing the accident, and that it wasn't in fact a blackout that caused the accident???

Just a thought.
 

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Twin A
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The only thing I've found so far is a much disputed theory about oxygen deprivation in full coverage helmets.

never once heard of anything even remotely similar to this, it sounds just plain goofy.
rider fatigue, medical conditions, dehydration, these things can cause a blackout..
 

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I was riding behind one guy, I won't mention names, (Mutate Now), and he just rode right off the road and into the ditch. It was one of the more bizzare thing I've seen.
 

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Unregistered User
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A long boring road, the drone of the car, and the heat turned up lulls the driver to sleep.
Amen to that. Last summer I rode across the Prairies in full leathers during a heat wave. Every 45 minutes or so I would be dehydrated (no camelback - stupid), and the long straightaways with no changes in traffic patterns or speed played havoc on my mind. Found myself mentally and physically drifting off a lot, yet not wanting to pull over because I had just done so less than an hour before. Truly scary shit.
 

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User And Abuser
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well I cant comment on rider fatigue that much, I sure can about passengers falling asleep. I almost lost my wife this summer on a very lively ride through the canyon. the tempeture was very hot, she was possibly dehydrated. I felt her sliding off the side of the bike, and smacked her on the leg to wake her up...scared the F&%king shit outta me!
 

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Poser Emeritus
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Why do riders blackout while riding (medically confirmed as not related to alcohol, drugs or seizures)?

Here is a link to DOn Arthur's website he is a friend of Michael's and mine

http://www.donarthur.net/


Go to the READING section and look at both his articles on fatigue and riding

Don is a MD and the US Navy Surgeon General as well as being an accomplished LD rider

I get the 10 am and 2 pm nods on big rides and plan to pull off for a quick nap at a rest area.

I nebver worrying about sleeping too long thanks to

http://www.cyclegadgets.com/Products/product.asp?Item=MEANIE

I find that I get more fatigued riding into the sun at the 10 and 2 times and am especially alert then as to my level of fatigue

I hope this helps
 
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