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cjbmx/hex
Hey gang!

Well by now most of our Oregon families have heard what happened to me last night. I wanted to post primarily as a reminder of how a starting gate can create severe injuries when not operating correctly. Forgive any mispelling or grammar mistakes as I type this with one finger and some pain meds.

I have always worried about the little tykes falling over right before a gate drops and getting pinched; never thought it would happen to me. Anyway most of us have seen gates fail to drop and a rack of riders go head over heals (but the gate remains up), that is what happened to josh buanualos, a couple others and I last night just before racing started. The difference was the gate decided to drop the second we hit the deck.

Unfortunately my left forearm was in the worst possible spot and took the full impact of the steel gate. Speculation is that somehow the electrical plug was jolted (by a flipping bike?) which caused the ram to cycle down/gate open.

Anyway no gory details, I went thru surgery last night to clean the compound punctures and reset the bones. Amazingly the breaks appear fairly clean and may not require any pins/plates. I go into a fracture specialist on Monday to get the final results.

I have had concussions, broken ribs and knee damage but this is by far the worst in over 30 years of bmx. That said I will be back on the gate when ready and hope all of you are still there.

Lastly to all of us that operate or maintain the gate systems , let’s make sure we take the appropriate steps to keep them operating correctly. Please do not take this comment as blame, just something we should take away from these types of accidents.

Thanks for all the well wishes and prayers!

Woo Hoo BMX! drinks.gif

CJ
LACK
Get well soon. lack
Titanium Tim
Oh wow, sorry to hear that. zBest of luck on a speedy and pain free recovery.

I run the gate when not riding and this is always one of those things in the back of my mind that scares me. I can't imagine watching it happen, especially to one of the younger riders. Our starting hill is paved and I wouldn't be surprised to see a limb severed if it ever happened.
Proctor
Man, Sorry to hear this. As a T.O. this is my worst nightmare.
Was it during a race, practice, gate up too long with an air pocket ?
So sorry to read this, hope you get well soon.

Proctor
Jake77
Why don't gates in the US have that area covered so this isn't an issue. I've seen video of the tracks in Europe with the curved backside. Horrible description but I think you have the idea.
cjbmx/hex
QUOTE (Proctor @ Jul 7 2010, 07:15 PM) *
Man, Sorry to hear this. As a T.O. this is my worst nightmare.
Was it during a race, practice, gate up too long with an air pocket ?
So sorry to read this, hope you get well soon.

Proctor




We had been dropping gates every 20 to 30 seconds or so. I have not recieved info on why the gate did not drop, I would assume some sort of pressure issue. I know the ram had been rebuilt/serviced not long ago. The electrical plug is usually taped and locked into a catch to limit movement. Sounds like that step may not have happened.

Anyway just hope all T/Os continue to be vigilant when setting up the gate system.

Our hill is paved right up to the slot the gate falls into, i feel very lucky to just have a broken arm; definitely could have been worse.
BIRD6961
man that hurts just reading about it. i always thought about that kind of incident as well. hope you recover soon.
utmost
QUOTE (Jake77 @ Jul 7 2010, 09:41 PM) *
Why don't gates in the US have that area covered so this isn't an issue. I've seen video of the tracks in Europe with the curved backside. Horrible description but I think you have the idea.

UHH what?
wagonguy
Damn, sorry to hear that CJ. Hope you have a speedy recovery.


Doug
lumpy
QUOTE (utmost @ Jul 8 2010, 05:02 AM) *
UHH what?


Basically, the gate is made in such a way that you couldn't get a limb trapped under it... It is a pretty cool idea.. But, the install on a stardard start hill would require a little more work... But it would be worth it if it prevents something like this just one time.

CJ, heal up... Sounds like you got pretty lucky on that one...

Brian
Chris C.
That really is a horrible story and one that I am surprised we don't hear more often. Very sorry to hear it.

Take care and get well.
jj
Carson, I know I mentioned it earlier, but I hope you're pain free and that thing heals up very soon. Brutal.
fangman
QUOTE (lumpy @ Jul 8 2010, 03:27 AM) *
Basically, the gate is made in such a way that you couldn't get a limb trapped under it... It is a pretty cool idea.. But, the install on a stardard start hill would require a little more work... But it would be worth it if it prevents something like this just one time.

CJ, heal up... Sounds like you got pretty lucky on that one...

Brian



Check out the video from this link. You can fast fwd close to the end to see the gate assembled and you'll see what brian is talking about. you would think that the USA would have taken the lead in using this type of gate.

http://www.bensinkbmxgates.com/8pgate_en.html

i happen to see a young kid (approx 9 yo) almost snap his arm off when the gate malfunctioned. this was approx 15 yrs ago and i still remember the sound off his bones snapping and the scream from the poor young fellow. bad part is that it was going to be his very first time racing. needless to say, we never saw the kid at the track again.
john516
yea we need those euro style gates here in the states, a few years back we had a kid get trapped and broke a few bones in his hand from the gate.
DC4416
*edit* Beaten to it by fangman! Must type quicker..

That sounds awful, heal up quick, I think in all of my years I have only heard of 2 people getting caught under a misfired gate, you're the 3rd, it is rare but when it happens it is brutal. Healing vibes Sir.

As per the gate Jake77 described, its one of these

Bensink or Similar!

In France no track can hold a race be it, club, local, regional, national whatever, nor can it even have a training session without one of these, one of the tracks we rode at had bought 2 pro gates so their riders could just do gate starts, even though they had a fully functioning, just not legal 8 man gate 2 feet away.
UniBmx
Carson, Man that sucks, Sorry to hear that, Glad you didn't loose any fingers,

Man that is alot of force to come down on you . Get well soon and hope to see ya at a track soon

Bernie U
Stromania
Sorry to hear this. I know this isn't the case, but it upsets me when the gate operator has no clue on how to stop the gate if need be. It seems like they are always taught how to raise and drop the gate, but not how to stop it if there is an emergency.

I wish you a speedy recovery
Shelley B
QUOTE
I think in all of my years I have only heard of 2 people getting caught under a misfired gate, you're the 3rd, it is rare but when it happens it is brutal.


My family must be snake bitten or lucky. My daughter had the gate fall on her leg several years ago. Same thing it was a practice gate. The gate did not drop she flipped, then it dropped. The parent running the gate felt horrible. I was not mad or upset w/ the parent I could have just as easily been running that gate. Luckily she just got a bad bruise. This particular gate was old and heavy the starting hill was wood.

This year at a SQR my husband was on a gate that dropped half way, stopped, he unclipped, caught himself before going over. However, the gate was not a solid front gate there were open sections between each lane. He put his foot down on the ground between the lane. The gate then fell the rest of the way across his toes, then he fell. Needless to say he did not race that day but, we were lucky, he did not break anything just a bad bruise. This time the malfunction happened because someone plugged their trailer into the building which happen to be on the same breaker as the gate. When they turned something on in the trailer it caused the electricity to the gate to stop when they cut it off the electricty came back causing the gate to stop half way down. (not sure I explained that correctly or used the right technical terms) Once again this was a freak thing the T.O.,volunteers or visiting trailer owner had no idea these 2 things were connected to each other.

We were very lucky in both cases.

Considering how many gates are dropped daily around the country this is rare but if there is away we can increase safety I think it is something we need to look at.

QUOTE
It seems like they are always taught how to raise and drop the gate, but not how to stop it if there is an emergency

How do you do that once the 2nd part of the cadence has started? I have run gates at the track since we first started racing and I have no idea how to do that.
Elvis
Those Pro-Gates they can demonstrate, some quality of the ram, where you can actually put your foot in the way of a dropping gate and not get bit. It'll just stop at that point.

But yeah, gate wrecks suck for whatever reason. The big thing which worries me is when you see a kid fall on the gate and then grab the top of the gate -- and the cadence is going on! It's easy to do, but obviously won't end well, especially if the gate falls into a paved recess.

Bikemonkeys
QUOTE (Shelley B @ Jul 8 2010, 08:47 AM) *
How do you do that once the 2nd part of the cadence has started? I have run gates at the track since we first started racing and I have no idea how to do that.

You can't. I tell people running the gate that once they hit the go button it's going, so please pay attention to what is going on on the gate.

I caught a kid once. The same thing that happened to Billy B. but it was the local transformer blowing out. A brand new kid was in the gate next to the kid with his foot stuck, with him and his bike halfway on the gate. I couldn't raise the gate till the kid moved, he was scared and didn't know to move and the stuck kids parent yelling to me to raise the gate. Luckily the kids foot was ok. We since changed the gate/ram/box and don't have empty spaces between the lanes.
BS
Carson, so bummed to hear about this. That is crazy that after 30 years a freak thing like this bites you. I wish you the best in your recovery and I'm glad you're going to get back on that pony.

QUOTE (Jake77 @ Jul 7 2010, 07:41 PM) *
Why don't gates in the US have that area covered so this isn't an issue. I've seen video of the tracks in Europe with the curved backside. Horrible description but I think you have the idea.

Expense
Elvis
QUOTE (BS @ Jul 8 2010, 10:53 AM) *
Expense


Yeah, that was my reaction. It's a good idea, but all the digging and whatnot to get it installed (having to set up drainage and all) looks like it'd be a hassle. And hassles are expensive.
lumpy
That Bensink gate is what I was talking about... As far as expense, an ounce of prevention..

Brian
cjbmx/hex
QUOTE (Bikemonkeys @ Jul 8 2010, 07:03 AM) *
You can't. I tell people running the gate that once they hit the go button it's going, so please pay attention to what is going on on the gate.

I caught a kid once. The same thing that happened to Billy B. but it was the local transformer blowing out. A brand new kid was in the gate next to the kid with his foot stuck, with him and his bike halfway on the gate. I couldn't raise the gate till the kid moved, he was scared and didn't know to move and the stuck kids parent yelling to me to raise the gate. Luckily the kids foot was ok. We since changed the gate/ram/box and don't have empty spaces between the lanes.



Actually you can stop the gate by hitting the start button a second time (or reset on the new systems). I was taught to keep my finger ready to do this up until the mid point of the cadance, after that I do not stop (unless its obvious i can without flipping a rider.) I have not messed with the random gate side of things.

Anyway, the different comments above are what I was hoping for, get folks thinking about the systems and make sure things are at least maintained often and considerations made when electric boxes are shared, ect... In a perfect world we would all be able to afford the cool Euro Systems, unfortunately thats not reality for most.

Thanks again for the well wishes, my wife helped me shower and dress for the first time in 26 years, odd.........

Bernie/Brian; miss you guys!

CJ
dtraceh
sorry to hear about your accident heres to a quick recovery
Bikemonkeys
QUOTE
Actually you can stop the gate by hitting the start button a second time (or reset on the new systems). I was taught to keep my finger ready to do this up until the mid point of the cadance, after that I do not stop (unless its obvious i can without flipping a rider.) I have not messed with the random gate side of things.
It's that mid point I was referring to.

Random is the same, only it makes a funny beeping sound to notify the riders.
BS
QUOTE (cjbmx/hex @ Jul 8 2010, 09:11 AM) *
miss you guys!

Miss you too, CJ!

QUOTE (lumpy @ Jul 8 2010, 09:05 AM) *
That Bensink gate is what I was talking about... As far as expense, an ounce of prevention..

Brian

I can see it maybe at the national/international level but I'm fairly certain that the tracks that I've been local to (and some of those are pretty successful) wouldn't be able to afford it.

Heck, I think CJ just said he got to shower with his wife for the first time in 26 years. I say it was totally worth it!!! (sorry, kidding I swear, CJ!)
lumpy
I would think a decent fabricator could make a gate like that pretty easily... One other plus side.. The gate isn't slamming against the ground, it might last longer..

Brian
UniBmx
laugh.gif CJ that sounded like fun

miss you too at the races

Bernie U
speedkelly

Hey there. Sorry for your injury, heal up soon.


Gates!

I have always been a little amazed that here in the USA lawsuit capital of the world. That we still use the type of gates that we do. I love the sport of BMX, but really this type of injury would be a slam dunk for any Law firm. That gate looks awesome, super safe, I wonder what the cost is? My fear would be that once a Law firm sues and wins this type of case you would have many others. I understand that BMX racing has it's danger, but come a bad gate malfunction and someones little kid loses an arm? tell me that parent is not going to sue the Track the ABA and the city that allowed the Bmx track to operate. Hmmmmm!
cjbmx/hex
QUOTE (speedkelly @ Jul 8 2010, 12:21 PM) *
Hey there. Sorry for your injury, heal up soon.


Gates!

I have always been a little amazed that here in the USA lawsuit capital of the world. That we still use the type of gates that we do. I love the sport of BMX, but really this type of injury would be a slam dunk for any Law firm. That gate looks awesome, super safe, I wonder what the cost is? My fear would be that once a Law firm sues and wins this type of case you would have many others. I understand that BMX racing has it's danger, but come a bad gate malfunction and someones little kid loses an arm? tell me that parent is not going to sue the Track the ABA and the city that allowed the Bmx track to operate. Hmmmmm!


I understand where your coming from, but....

It was my choice to get in the gate.
speedkelly
QUOTE (cjbmx/hex @ Jul 8 2010, 12:39 PM) *
I understand where your coming from, but....

It was my choice to get in the gate.


I understand you completely, and as stated I love Bmx racing. Just concerned for the sport, that once some greedy ass lawyer gets his mitts into Bmx racing?
cjbmx/hex
QUOTE (speedkelly @ Jul 8 2010, 12:46 PM) *
I understand you completely, and as stated I love Bmx racing. Just concerned for the sport, that once some greedy ass lawyer gets his mitts into Bmx racing?



biggrin.gif
MikeCarruth
QUOTE (utmost @ Jul 7 2010, 11:02 PM) *
UHH what?


He's talking about the Bensink gate.

http://www.bensinkbmxgates.com/8pgate_en.html

The gate actually drops into its own dedicated concrete pit. i think I heard somewhere that an 8-Man installation at a Euro-based track was like US $37,000 (I'd imagine shipping that whole assembly to the states would add another $5k easily, plus crane rentals and the expenses of prepping the area). It is all self contained, so you do not have any above-ground air or electrical to tangle with, which is kinda cool. There is a video of an installation at the above link.

For far less (around $25K) you could get your track a Pro-Gate "Safety Gate" this is where each position is a separate gate, and is set up in such a way that you could put your foot under it on a drop and not be injured.

http://www.progate.net/14.html

I think I heard that the Worlds is using this type of gate this year.

So sorry to hear about your injury. When I think of a fully loaded steel gate falling on someone's arm, it makes me cringe as if someone said "I got kicked in the nuts by a lead boot."

Heal fast and straight.

M
Deanna
Haven't talked to you in ages Carson. So sorry to hear about the accident. Heal up soon. smile.gif
cjbmx/hex
QUOTE (Deanna @ Jul 8 2010, 03:11 PM) *
Haven't talked to you in ages Carson. So sorry to hear about the accident. Heal up soon. smile.gif



Thanks Deanna,

These types of things always puts everyone back in touch! cool.gif

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