Tragic Death on the L2B

Discussion in 'General Cycling' started by David, Jun 21, 2010.

  1. David

    David Guest

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  2. David

    Simon Brooke Guest

    You know, I have to disagree. Death is part of life, the inevitable end
    point we'll all reach. If you have 30,000 people, many of them normally
    sedentary, taking part in a strenuous event year after year, you will
    inevitably have some fatalities. It isn't surprising, and it shouldn't be
    seen as some sort of failing on the part of the event or its organisers.

    It's also not 'tragic' to die suddenly while doing something you love.
    It's tragic to live frightened and confused with dementia for years, in a
    strange 'home' surrounded by strange people. It's tragic to live in
    excruciating pain for years. It's tragic to outlive all your friends and
    everyone you know. But dying suddenly and with only brief pain while out
    enjoying yourself is not tragic. It's not even, for the individual
    concerned, sad. In fact, it's what we should all, if we're sane, wish for.

    It's sad for his family, for the people left behind, of course. But it's
    anything but tragic.
    Simon Brooke, Jun 21, 2010
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  3. David

    Tosspot Guest

    <applause> People die watching football matches, driving cars on a
    track, free diving, and BASE jumping. Yes it's sad because maybe you do
    the same thing as well, but I feel more sorry for the guy that gets
    knocked down on his commute to work, he wasn't looking for anything
    other than just getting to work, and *bang*, a random car accident, he's
    a statistic, and his family are weeping at a graveside asking why?

    Blimey, that's a maudlin post. But heh, I cycled to work this morning
    and it was cold and cloudy, but this evening I cycled back and was warm
    and sunny, so bring 'em on!
    Tosspot, Jun 21, 2010
  4. David

    James Guest

    Well, maybe "tragic" is taking it a bit too far, but I don't really
    see much to celebrate about some guy having a heart attack aged 48.
    Hmmm. Do you think we should all be trying to get ourselves run over

    James, Jun 21, 2010
  5. David

    Simon Brooke Guest

    I'm not celebrating, and I'm not suggesting anyone should celebrate. I'm
    just saying it isn't a tragedy.
    I'm in no particular hurry. But, having seen both my parents die in
    hospital, I very strongly don't want to go that way. Sudden and
    unexpected seems to me the best one can ask for, and seeing one will
    never know that one has just lost a potential however many more years of
    healthy life, I don't particularly mind when.

    I'm not advocating my approach to death to anyone else, but it does seem
    to me that as a culture we are much too afraid of it.
    Simon Brooke, Jun 21, 2010
  6. David

    Ian Guest

    Eloquently put.
    Ian, Jun 22, 2010
  7. David

    bugbear Guest

    IIRC the Great North Run has similar things - they're
    statistically inevitable.

    bugbear, Jun 22, 2010
  8. David

    bugbear Guest

    Indeed. Who is recommending this celebration you're against?

    bugbear, Jun 22, 2010
  9. David

    geomannie Guest

    Simon Brooke explained on 6/21/2010 :
    My father-in-law was (and to extent still is) a keen cyclist. One day,
    whilst out on a ride, one of his gang of 70-80+ year old cycling
    buddies dropped off his bike dead. The general concensus of his mates
    was "lucky bastard!".

    Got to agree, as a way to go it can't be beat.
    geomannie, Jun 22, 2010
  10. David

    James Guest

    You said it wasn't even sad and was something we should wish for. I
    don't recall whether you expressed similar sentiments over Jason
    MacIntyre's death (or indeed the large number of similar cases that
    get discussed here), but I suspect not. JM was doing what he enjoyed,
    and his death was probably fairly fast and painless (heart attacks
    aren't actually that much fun from what I've heard).

    I do agree with you that the modern attitude to death is often pretty
    unreasonable, but you can go too far the other way.

    James, Jun 22, 2010
  11. David

    D.M. Procida Guest

    It's pretty sad if you're only 48.

    D.M. Procida, Jun 22, 2010
  12. David

    David Guest

    My utmost appologies for offending anybody by calling this a tragedy. Maybe
    it was a tad over the top but I'd class Tom Simpson's death as a tragedy
    David, Jun 22, 2010
  13. David

    Squashme Guest

    I have liked Gavin Ewart's poem for quite a while.

    "When a Beau Goes In"

    When a Beau goes in,
    Into the drink,
    It makes you think,
    Because, you see, they always sink
    But nobody says “Poor lad”
    Or goes about looking sad
    Because, you see, it’s war,
    It’s the unalterable law.

    Although it’s perfectly certain
    The pilot’s gone for a Burton
    And the observer too
    It’s nothing to do with you
    And if they both should go
    To a land where falls no rain nor hail nor driven snow—
    Here, there, or anywhere,
    Do you suppose they care?

    You shouldn’t cry
    Or say a prayer or sigh.
    In the cold sea, in the dark
    It isn’t a lark
    But it isn’t Original Sin—
    It’s just a Beau going in.

    --Gavin Ewart
    Squashme, Jun 23, 2010
  14. David

    Mike Clark Guest

    In message <1jkhqch.251jnl1ergo5dN%>
    I tend to agree with Simon. The sadness of course is felt by those left
    behind, not those who die. Having a quick end to life, without going
    through a long lingering illness in which you find that you can no
    longer do the things you wish to do, seems a much more attractive
    prospect to me.

    The following website as some interesting animations of life tables
    showing how the probability of life expectancy varies over time and with
    lifestyle choices.

    Mike Clark, Jun 23, 2010
  15. David

    D.M. Procida Guest

    The sadness of someone's dying young is not depending upon that person's
    feeling sad about it.

    D.M. Procida, Jun 23, 2010
  16. Part of the problem is that "tragic" and "tragedy" have spread their
    meaning in modern (i.e. for at least the last few centuries) speech,
    and often simply mean "very sad". Some people like to use "tragic" in
    its literary sense. For them, the death referred to is sad, and
    ironic (since the British Heart Foundation were sponsoring the event),
    but not really tragic.
    Julian Bradfield, Jun 23, 2010
  17. David

    Sara Guest

    Good grief yes - I'm 48 and I don't feel old at all. Mind you, any
    faintly smug feelings from staying fairly fit compared to most of the
    women I know in my age range, were put firmly in their place by my older
    sister doing cartwheels at a family party recently.
    Sara, Jun 23, 2010
  18. David

    Squashme Guest

    You at least could feel smug about your ability to control your
    alcohol intake.
    Squashme, Jun 23, 2010
  19. David

    Mike Clark Guest

    In message <>
    If you take a look at the life tables I gave a link to you would see
    that for England and Wales using figures for 1975 about 5% of 45 year
    old men fail to live until 53 years old. So that is a 1 in 20
    probability of death. Not particularly low or rare.

    Indeed it's only in recent generations and largely in the western world
    where human life expectancy has increased to a point where many people
    hope to live life well into retirement. (Using figures above about 23%
    of 45 year old men can expect to die before 66 years old)That's one of
    the reasons that we have a major pension crisis. Earlier generations
    tended to die before, or shortly after retirement with few of them
    expecting to surivive for several decades post retirement as is now

    So the concept of dying unexpectedly young aged around 50 is a
    relatively recent subjective view rather than a universal expectation.

    Keeping fit by cycling can help your probability of survival, as can
    maintaining a healthy diet, but the only thing that is certain is death
    so all you're doing is nudging the margins.

    For example perhaps some of you might recall that we have recently
    celebrated "Towel Day" in memory of Douglas Adams who dropped dead of a
    heart attack aged 49 whilst exercising.

    Mike Clark, Jun 23, 2010
  20. David

    Danny Colyer Guest

    Sometimes I long for a "Like" button when I'm reading usenet.
    Danny Colyer, Jun 23, 2010
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