I didn’t know Barbara Warren, but I rode past her on Saturday. The ambulances had just arrived, and there were two people on the pavement, one upright and dazed, the other flat on the ground. Both were bloody. I’m assuming she was the one lying down.
Triathlons are supposed to be tough, but there are plenty of ways to mitigate the risks. Choosing a bike course free of traffic and hazards is paramount, and I think the race directors dropped the ball. In between the messy corner where outbound bikes went left across the inbound ones with a lone volunteer trying to stop the more aggro riders (and you assholes know who you are) and the potholed hairpin descent down Toro Canyon (where the crash happened), there was a course begging for trouble. When designing a race, you’ve got to balance toughness and safety, but safety has to win every time.
The current description of the SB bike course calls it “deceptively challenging.” Every time I think about that, I start to get pissed off. Which is why I’m going to stop writing and just keep Barbara Warren’s family in the light.