Airbag safety device for bike racers?

The ProTour air bag?

Christian Vande Velde, your miracle has arrived.

Twisted Spoke, being as literate and erudite as we are, was reading the New York Times when we saw a work of staggering gee-whizz.

An airbag device that equestrians are now using to protect themselves when they fall off the horse — and far worse, when the horse falls on top of them. That is way more painful than having Mark Cavendish land on your backside.

The Times article noted that 13 riders (horse, not bike) have been killed in the four years from falls. We hope the man who has crashed out of the last Tour de France and last two Giro’s, Christian Vande Velde is listening. Your troubles are over, baby.

We’ll just save ourselves some writing time and quote the New York Times: “The two-pound vest is attached by a cord to a rider’s saddle and is worn over a traditional protective vest made of high-density foam. When a rider is thrown from a horse, the cord is yanked, puncturing a cartridge of carbon dioxide and inflating the vest. The vest can be reused after the cartridge is replaced.”

According to the article these vests can inflate in as quickly as one-tenth of a second. The entire Euskatel-Euskadi squad, the crash test dummies of the peloton, should be wearing these things in bright, screaming orange.

If Lance had slipped a vest on before his high speed crash at the base of the Ramaz climb in the Alps, he might have scored himself another podium. I think he should still wear one in case Landis comes after him with a crowbar.

In any case, the vests go for anywhere from $400 to $700 — a bargain when you look at six months of training wiped out because the guy it front of you hit the brakes too hard and you flew over the bars. Over 6000 event riders are already wearing these protective vests.

Note to Garmin’s Jonathan Vaughters: Buy one for CVV immediately. The Vuelta is almost here — one more bad crash and you know he’s retiring.

Point Two said its vest inflates in one-tenth of a second; Hit Air said its average rate is one-quarter of a second.

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  • http://www.skibikejunkie.com mark

    This is a funny article, but some cleanup of the copy would make it that much more readable.

    "Twisted Spoke, being as literate and erudite as we are, was reading the New York Times when we saw a work of staggering gee-whizz."

    First off, not sure who the "we" are (did you have a mouse in your pocket?), but you shouldn't say "we was reading." Should be "we were." But then again, it probably shouldn't be "we" at all, since I think it was just you that was reading. Unless this is the royal we or you're channeling Lance Armstrong. Or Gollum.

    Next, it should be Giros (plural) not Giro's (possessive). You've got the plural/possessive bit right elsewhere, so I'm assuming this was just an honest mistake.

    Anyway, keep up the good work. And go fix the copy then delete this comment. It'll save your the embarrassment of having the errors and getting called out for them, and it'll save me the embarrassment of letting the world know I'm an OCD language Nazi.

    • http://www.atwistedspoke.com walshworld

      Mark, I gave up on trying to catch all the typos a while back. It's part of building reader feedback by encouraging people to correct me. Matt

  • Ed R

    Why stop there; riders can also start wearing over-the-calf compression "support hose" (that as a traditionalist you do not favor) coupled with arm warmers both interwoven with Kevlar to avoid those nasty abrasions.

  • Jorge

    I like your previous proposal better. The Air Donut has a lot of advantages over the Hit Air. The Air Donut does not need expensive carbon dioxide cartridges since it is used fully inflated and it looks quite useful in the final sprint. I am sure that Andre Greipel is looking at it quite seriously.

  • IdeaStormer Jorge

    I'd like to see one go off accidentally in the last 100 meters of a sprint as Renshaw and Garmin head butt.

    • http://www.atwistedspoke.com walshworld

      That would be very cool. Matt

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