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Chris Swallow dies after crash in Classic TT;

Discussion in 'Motorcycle Related Discussions' started by Bernhard, Aug 27, 2019.

  1. Snotzo


    Mar 12, 2013
    you certainly have many opinions about a venue that you have never been to, I wonder how you manage to believe you know so much when you obviously know so little !

    Danger is a fact of life, it doesn't matter whether you are on a race track or crossing the road.
    In racing the risks are known and are accepted by participants, and Chris Swallow was no exception in this respect.
    Chris could have been riding a Paton, but he chose to race a Royal Enfield because he preferred a more traditional Classic machine, and was racing the same Enfield Bullet on which he finished in fourth place last year,a mere four seconds off a podium position.

    For as long as the Isle of Man Government continue to have the races, there will always be a great many riders willing to race there, and accept the risks. The Isle of Man TT course is for the majority the ultimate test of man and machine.

    When comparing modern Moto GP to the TT races, bear in mind that a Moto GP race duration is shorter than two TT laps.

    It was Dave Croxford who was Peter Williams team mate in the Island, not Dave Potter
    chris plant, cliffa and Burgs like this.
  2. speirmoor

    speirmoor VIP MEMBER

    Apr 11, 2010
    'If you think it’s too dangerous go home and cut your lawn, and leave us to it.” – Guy Martin
    Last edited: Sep 11, 2019
    Craig, chris plant, Eljahara and 3 others like this.
  3. Nortoniggy


    Nov 17, 2010

    If you are so risk averse I am surprised you ride a motorcycle at all. They can be dangerous things. Better get yourself a small Volvo and only go out in the daytime. ☺
    Burgs and kommando like this.
  4. Bernhard


    Apr 20, 2011
    Re; "I cannot imagine racing a bike at the IOM which had drum brakes. How would you be with brake fade or a locking brake ?" -

    As the late Geoff Duke, John Surtees, Mike Hailwood and not-so -late Giacomo Agostini would say, Welcome to our world.
    chris plant and kommando like this.
  5. storm42

    storm42 VIP MEMBER

    Jul 20, 2011
    There is risk in life, even whilst we sleep. There seems to be a theory that it is safer on the race track than riding on the roads, I don't think so, on the road we ride with a with a degree of safety in mind, ie: not on the limit. (most of the time) Yes we are in the hands of others but there are very few out there that actually mean to harm us.

    On the track, we ride as close to the limit (and often beyond) as our experience allows, and things go wrong very quickly, and it might not be our bit that goes wrong, there are 20 of 30 other people with varying experience that are trying as hard as they can to be at the front. Any thought of that being safe, come from the back up of the track staff, and close proximity of medical staff to stabilise the unfortunate, there being less things to hit at a track doesn't hold true at a lot of British tracks.

    Mix the two together and it get serious, a risk that a lot are not prepared to take and that is OK, but for those that choose to race on closed public roads, there is no greater thrill. The paddocks are full of people that take that risk and almost to a man, or woman, they are some of the nicest people on the planet, and living for the day. It is their life and they should have the right to live it as they wish, with support not criticism. If anyone struggles with watching video of the IOM, try to imagine what the families think when the riders are out there, I know they are not happy, but riders are selfish.

    Risk takers are not necessarily stupid, Chris Swallow's day job as a teacher sort of hints at that, and when you factor in that his dad Bill Swallow is also a teacher, and has won many Manx GPs, 9 I think, with many race and lap records to boot, that could stand as proof of that statement, ( the teacher bit not the racing)

    But despite the obvious intelligence and skill of the Swallow family, this is the second tragedy for Bill. At a race meeting in Scotland about nine years ago, Bill's son David, put a still warm barbecue in the back of his van in an effort to keep warm. He died from carbon monoxide poisoning a few days later. Bill was in the race that Chris died in, and found David having a fit in the van the next day in Scotland.

    Dave Potter raced in the TT and other road circuits, he was killed at Oulton Park, a closed circuit.

    The point is, risk is subjective and what is acceptable to one will be abhorrent to another. To die on the road, a track, a closed public road or asleep in the back of a van is not what anyone wants, but it will keep on happening, unfortunately.

    Life is for living, not existing.
    sm63, Gadge and Burgs like this.
  6. Burgs

    Burgs VIP MEMBER

    Dec 14, 2013
    Allen, I have been to the TT races twice and followed them for many a year, I never ever thought the races to be boring, the skill these racers show is unbelievable, running on roads versus purpose built race tracks.

    I am sad to hear that Chris, another very talented and successful racer has passed , but I can assure you he wanted to be there.

    My condolences to his family and followers RIP Chris Swallow.

  7. kommando


    May 7, 2005
    Bruce Anstey was back on the Island at the Classic after 2 years fighting a second bout of cancer which has a very low survival rate but so far he has won, he won the race as well despite the gap. Now ask him why he races on the island and what he thinks of the danger of racing vs other dangers. We all make choices and its best if others do not make them for you.
  8. jbruney


    Jan 5, 2019
    I have the greatest respect and admiration for these folks that put it on the line to run the road courses accepting the hazards before them. My skills and reflexes have always been far too slow for any of this, but I was fortunate enough to be born with the cognitive ability to recognize my own shortcomings in these aspects, enough so that I know when to quit pushing my bike and give way to the road and conditions.
    I've had close to 20 riding buddies, no longer with us, who did not possess the wherewithal to know when to back away. Others went from poor brake maintenance, worn rubber or not shifting their weight, & plain outright stupidity and ignorance..... a couple had no luck at all.
  9. o0norton0o

    o0norton0o VIP MEMBER

    Apr 27, 2015
    I'm a backcountry skier which, at it's most basic level, has unpredictable avalanche danger. There's also a version of backcountry skiing called extreme skiing, where guys ski in "no-fall zones". It means exactly what it sounds like, "If you fall, then you probably die". It's our IOM TT, with the unpredictability of unknown snowpack stability added in.

    In backcountry skiing there's 2 elements of "Risk" to consider.

    1) likelihood - what is the chance of a problematic incident in the given snowpack conditions, at a given location along the chosen travel route.

    2) consequences- what is the result of having an incident. Is there no long lasting effect, some serious injury, death, etc...

    If you decide the race the IOM TT, then you accept some really extreme consequences for mistakes in certain parts of the race course. Extreme skiing is similar. Famous, and not so famous, skiers are regularly killed every year. The high consequences part of the equation is the part that makes these sports seem crazy. If you are in a "no fall zone" and you fall and die, no one is surprised and there in lies the parting of the philosophies regarding "acceptable risk".

    Some racers see the IOM as having too high of a consequence for a mistake to go and race there, while other plan to manage the risks and compete. Racers are aware of the danger and make their choices. Out on the public roads the risk you take are more often at the mercy of other people's bad choices, although many of us (including myself) have crashed on public roads because of our own poor choices.

    Ultimately, people are going to disagree about what is "acceptable risk", but there will always be people who can't understand that other people don't agree with their risk assessment.
    ashman and jbruney like this.
  10. acotrel


    Jun 30, 2012
    I would like to take you for a ride on the pillion seat of a motorcycle. There was a guy who wanted to but a bike from me - I took him for a ride on the back and he got off shaking - I lost the sale. I can assure you of one thing - you will never experience the level of risk in your life, that I have. Not many people have been involved in a making nitroglycerine by the batch process. It is not nice. I get the same feeling about the IOM. While you are alive, you are alive. If it goes wrong, you are dead.

    I don't have a problem doing anything where the risks are controlled and minimised. Ordinary road racing is very safe. There are usually no solid objects around race circuits for you to hit. On our local circuit, there are two places where you exit corners facing walls. You just don't stick you neck out at those places. But in that context, the IOM is ridiculous. It becomes not a matter of 'IF' - but WHEN ? If I was making nitroglycerine, I would not accept the job which meant I had to be there every day.
    Bill Horsman went to the IOM a few years ago and won the Junior classic TT. He is the sort of guy - if he is on a race grid beside you, you might as well go home. So the IOM is probably safe - but not for duds like me. I think it would take a lot of experience to race there only once and do well. Horsman is not your ordinary road racer. Back when I was racing regularly, I would not even race at Bathurst. Phillip Island is enough for anybody. A crash there is usually enough to get you a ride in a helicopter. With the smaller circuits, it does not matter if you crash, particularly when it is raining. Then it is really safe.
    Last edited: Sep 14, 2019
  11. acotrel


    Jun 30, 2012
    Have a look at Goodwood. How could you ever get hurt racing there ? You would have to something really stupid.

  12. Snotzo


    Mar 12, 2013
    John Dawson-Damer was killed in an accident at Goodwood in the year 2000, a crash which also killed marshal Andrew Carpenter.
    Dawson-Damer was at the time chairman of the historic section of the Confederation of Australian Motor Sport. Both driver and marshal were attending Goodwood of their own free will. If either ever considered the risk, it never deterred them from attending the event.

    Best do as Guy Martin suggests and stick to mowing the grass !
  13. Gadge

    Gadge VIP MEMBER

    May 21, 2019
    Not sure Stirling Moss would agree - https://www.theguardian.com/sport/2015/apr/24/stirling-moss-crash-goodwood-1962-archive

    Or Bruce McLaren - https://www.mclaren.com/racing/heri...th-courage-in-the-face-of-adversity-27789266/

    Or Nigel Corner - https://www.theversed.com/17150/rem...d-the-luckiest-man-in-motorsport/#.NVVWhNHgse I saw that happen in front of me.

    Cars not bikes, but they're safer aren't they?
  14. Bernhard


    Apr 20, 2011
  15. Gadge

    Gadge VIP MEMBER

    May 21, 2019
    That's bicycles, infernally dangerous machines!

    Agreed, my point was Goodwood has a reputation for being a fast circuit. For the average speeds there isn't always that much run off. Even the best can get it wrong.
  16. Chris

    Chris VIP MEMBER

    Jan 21, 2008
    Goodwood run the f750 race because the acu will not allow them to run 80s f1 tt superbikes.
    Fast track with little run off.
  17. Bernhard


    Apr 20, 2011
    He was “safe” until he was swooped upon by a Magpie!!!!!!
    Gadge likes this.
  18. acotrel


    Jun 30, 2012
    Two of my friends rode at Goodwood a couple of years ago. They were silly. They obeyed the fuel rule and converted the Manx back to running petrol instead of methanol. Then they found out how fast the British get their Manxes and G50s going on petrol. I have the greatest admiration for the British - they do more than is humanly possible with less.
    I tend to stay away from circuits where the speeds are very high. I try to never go faster than the speed at which I am prepared to crash. The fastest I have crashed has been about 100 MPH, but I once came down on non-skid at about 90 MPH. At Goodwood, the surface is smooth and if you drop, it looks like there is room to slide before hitting anything. With the IOM, I cannot rationalise how it can be done safely. It would take virtually nothing to kill you if you went wrong anywhere. I know I am fallible. I could not ride 37 miles on that circuit without making a mistake.
    The second race of the Barry Sheene is not up on Youtube. In it a couple of guys crash. They simply slid harmlessly - did not roll even once. When you crash on non-skid, you roll every inch of the way and that is what does the damage.
  19. acotrel


    Jun 30, 2012
    The Phillip Island circuit in Australia is very safe. However when the Island Classic is held, the international riders get freaky about turn one. Personally I would think twice about even riding there. But the local kids love it because they can ride extremely fast there. But I once crashed there four times in one day due to a drum front brake which was unreliable. Every crash at Phillip Island is a biggie. Turn one is taken at super high speed and it is blind.

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