Something odd has been happening to a lot of riders lately, myself included.
We’ve been getting hurt.
I know that, to the average person, trying to assert that people who ride down hills on a plank of wood at speeds in excess of 35mph (if you’re going slow) don’t get hurt very often sounds like nonsense.
It’s a concept hard to grasp unless you’ve done it yourself…over and over again without falling or encountering eminent danger each time.
So when a lot of our best riders start getting taken out and setting off what seems to be a domino-effect in the community, it raises concern.
Is it really just coincidental bad luck on all fronts, or have people just gotten complacent and thus careless? In my case, it happened to be carelessness on the part of another rider, someone I will not be sharing a road with anytime soon.
"Skateboarders"—and by that I mean those helmet-less, kickflipping, f-tha-police types—tend to get hurt a lot more just because of the nature and frequency of the tricks they do. Riding down a hill fast is…usually pretty straightforward (pun intended), so the likelihood of something going wrong is reduced.
I majored in Japanese, not Probability & Statistics, so I wouldn’t even know where to begin a discussion on the chance of bad things happening when you’re taking a run, but by and large it seems fairly small.
For fear of making a bad analogy, I guess downhill skating could be like playing that game where you take a knife and poke it in between each one of your fingers on a table. Only instead of having to do it as fast as possible and change the order, you can do it at your leisure—so fatigue or carelessness are the only things that will win you a trip to the E.R.
The probability of getting hurt is low, but when the time comes for you to get hurt, it probably won’t be so fun.
I don’t consider myself to be a gambler, though, so maybe that’s the wrong way to look at things. Thoughts, anyone?