Clipless Riders Keep Falling Into The Rideau Canal In Ottawa Canada

Discussion in 'The Bike Cafe' started by BikeBikeBikeBike, May 19, 2015.

  1. BikeBikeBikeBike

    BikeBikeBikeBike Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    May 19, 2015
    Messages:
    510
    Likes Received:
    51
    Every year I see this in the news, just caught the latest incarnation:
    http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/ottawa/cyclist-rescued-after-falling-into-rideau-canal-sinking-with-bike-1.3079113

    If you are familiar with the area the riding path is right beside the canal with only a small concrete block "wall" (about half a foot high.) Each year you get stories about people falling in, typically bike riders rocking clipless. This is the first time I have seen it in the national news headlines and on TV (normally my Ottawa friends tell me about it or its on local news.) There is actually a lot going on here to talk about so I wanted to put it out to the community see what you guys/gals think.
    It's also funny that the news says "... feet were lodged into the bicycle shoe pedal clips" which we ALL know means they were not able to unclip fast enough.

    Some points that immediately come to mind to me are:
    The safety of clipless. I know about the performance aspect, I LOVE the performance aspect. But truth of the matter is 95% of all my riding is for pleasure and I really don't need the performance factor. This is why I don't have any clipless bikes anymore. I'm out in the real world amid obstacles, cars, pedestrians and pets and I need to be able to use my feet.

    Personal accountability/public safety.
    Who's at fault here? Should the powers to be erect a giant fence or something like that to prevent this? Or perhaps the individual should excessive more care. Do we obstruct the view of the canal or do we put more responsibility on people to ride/run with due attention and care to whats going on around them?

    What else comes to mind when you all read this?
     
    Tags:
    haleylx4 likes this.


  2. Jcycle

    Jcycle Active Member

    Joined:
    May 14, 2015
    Messages:
    599
    Likes Received:
    36
    It is very scary. We have some areas in the pacific northwest of the USA like this. I wonder if there are similar problems. This makes me want to check into it. Maybe search for news reports and see what is or isn't being done.
     
  3. slack tidings

    slack tidings Member

    Joined:
    Mar 25, 2015
    Messages:
    240
    Likes Received:
    8
    i once rode straight into a mexican latrine (just a hole in the ground filled with diarrhea) because i couldn't get my feet out of the clips fast enough.
     
  4. maydog

    maydog Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 5, 2010
    Messages:
    1,333
    Likes Received:
    90
    The article is not clear whether the clips in this case were old school straps or a modern clipless design. My guess is that they were old-school toe clips.
     
  5. maydog

    maydog Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 5, 2010
    Messages:
    1,333
    Likes Received:
    90
    Also consider that riders are more likely to end up in the drink if they ride faster. Faster riders are more likely to have clipless pedals. From this, you cant conclude that clipless pedals are by themselves a safety risk.
     
  6. mpre53

    mpre53 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2013
    Messages:
    1,098
    Likes Received:
    87
    Yeah, if you're prone to riding into rivers and canals, and are too uncoordinated to turn your feet an inch or so to the side to get out of your pedals, clipless may not be for you. That's assuming that they don't release themselves when you make the big splash.

    For most of the rest of us, I really don't see the issue.
     
  7. BikeBikeBikeBike

    BikeBikeBikeBike Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    May 19, 2015
    Messages:
    510
    Likes Received:
    51
    We have all been there. Perhaps we were not fast enough or perhaps the ol' spuds were not co-operating but there certainly is an increased safety risk associated with clipless. I am not saying it's a major risk, but it does increase the risk of injury while cycling to have your feet attached to the petals. That's just common sense. Now I am not saying "BAN CLIPLESS THEY ARE DANGEROUS!" I completely understand why they are awesome.
    Also this article was clearly written by someone who is not familiar with cycling, so it's really hard to ascertain exactly what happened and what equipment was involved.
    I made the assumption that it was a clipless rider because I have ridden that area and clipless is very popular. Plus, do people even use toe straps anymore? I even talked my local gym into removing them from the stationary bikes since they are so antiquated.
    From the reply's so far, I can see we have a lot of clipless love on this forum!
     
  8. maydog

    maydog Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 5, 2010
    Messages:
    1,333
    Likes Received:
    90
    We ride in the real world too so keep backpedaling. I would like to see the factual evidence that show clipless are significantly more dangerous.

    I'd like to know how you use your legs to stay safe from traffic, pedestrians and pets?

    I have been injured using platform pedals due to my feet slipping off. Clipless actually encourage a safe technique to take your foot from the pedals. They force you to move your foot out and away instead of in front or behind.

    Shoes make terrible brakes, and once your feet are off the pedals your ability to control a bicycle is significantly diminished. In an emergency, clipless or not, keep control of the bicycle, keep your feet on the pedals and steer clear or use the brakes - put your feet on the ground only when stopped.
     
  9. Volnix

    Volnix Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2011
    Messages:
    2,883
    Likes Received:
    139
    Well it took me about a year to finally make a change to clipless and I am using them for abut 2 years now. I never fell down because of them... yet.

    Falling on your side is probably much more of a risk then unclipping in the water. If you fall in the water you got lots of time to unclip probably...

    Once I had somebody telling me about roller blades. Apparently they are really slow to remove and are really heavy. These sound much more dangerous then f'in SPD...
     
  10. BikeBikeBikeBike

    BikeBikeBikeBike Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    May 19, 2015
    Messages:
    510
    Likes Received:
    51
    Interesting points.
    Perhaps it comes down to more what you are used too. Since I ride predominately platforms, i'm more proficient at it and it's safer for me. Those those are better at clipless will find it safer to ride that way.
    I looked around for some safety data to help this conversation but all the evidence I can find is purely anecdotal. Did anyone else find anything decent (I am assuming at least maydoig looked, cause to just demand facts and not such yourself a bit of a cop-out.) I am always interested in having conversations on these subjects since opinions run very deep. I think here we don't have a "right" or a "wrong" answer just a lot of passionate opinions. But hey ANY passion towards bike conversation is good in my books!
     
  11. AlexKabam

    AlexKabam New Member

    Joined:
    May 24, 2015
    Messages:
    16
    Likes Received:
    1
    Clipless is definitely not for me, and people who aren't able to prevent this from happening should look into easier cycles. I live in Ottawa and that area definitely does not need a fence, it would ruin the beauty of one of our few tourist attractions. To be able to look into the Canal is awesome, and incompetent bikers should not be the reason it stops.
     
    BikeBikeBikeBike likes this.
  12. namestakensuck

    Joined:
    Jun 4, 2015
    Messages:
    57
    Likes Received:
    6
    Um, I've gotta ask. How narrow is this path and how close are they to the edge?
     
  13. bigpedaler

    bigpedaler New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2007
    Messages:
    334
    Likes Received:
    1
    This. Unless this area is only 3 feet wide, I'd say stay away from the EDGE.
     
Loading...
Loading...