A few weeks back USA Cycling gave us all a scare by threatening to consider banning helmet cams, tubular tires for juniors, and...some other stuff I don't care about. This threat of consideration fomented an uproar amongst USAC members, causing the USAC to reconsider their threat. So in case you missed the memo: there will be no ban on helmet cams.
But we're not out of the woods yet.
USAC's premise for considering the ban was based on hypothetical, anecdotal evidence, and was, to use the legal term: rickety-as-shit at best. Basically, the folks at USAC thought that a helmet cam could possibly get driven through a rider's head in a crash, although they did admit that there was "no particular accident" that had given them this impression.
However, while the evidence that helmet cams are actually dangerous is lacking, there is a metric butt-load of empirical evidence to back up the fact that CHAINRINGS are incredibly dangerous.
That's Elite Cyclocross racer Luca Damiani's calf after he was involved in a tangle with Justin Lindine at Cyclesmart International in Northampton a few weeks back. Lindine hooked the course tape with this bar, causing his bike to flip up, just as Damiani came around the corner behind him, and WHAM! Lindine's chainring went into Damiani's calf. Thing is, Damiani didn't realize what had happened, he just kept rolling. In the photo below, you can hardly see the cut on his left calf, and he's looking down going "what the hell happened?"
But by the time he got to the bottom of the hill about ten seconds later, he knew something was wrong, and he ducked under the tape while letting out these sickening, very black-box flight recorder type moans. I happened to be standing there with a video camera, not knowing what to do. At 10 seconds in, you see what could either be referred to, depending on what company you're in, as a "mouth" or a "leg vagina" open up as Luca says "STITCHES FUCK! Look at that."
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The whole incident reminded me of those old, Lone Wolf And Cub movies about that Ronin (rogue Samurai) and his infant-son in a baby carriage, roving around Japan getting in fights. What typified those films for me, was the move where Ogami Itto slashes at an opponent with his sword, the opponent stands there, looking nonplussed or slightly bemused for a few seconds, and then SPWOOOSH! — there's this audible gush of arterial spray as he or she collapses to the ground and dies. I looked all over the Youtubes, but this is all I could find, and it's not that great. At about 2:05 you'll see a small off-screen gush of arterial spray, but without the big SPWOOOSH! noise that accompanies it in my memory.
And now that we have become sufficiently sidetracked...
It is evidence like this that will no doubt drive USAC to ban chainrings and Samurai swords some time in the very near future. Hey, they had to specify that the use of “radios, telephones and other such communication devices” is not permitted during races...who's to say someone won't try to race with his samurai sword? Although Samurai swords would make those Cat 4 Cyclocross fist fights a little bit more exciting for the fans to watch.
Post-chainring ban, all racers, regardless of their cycling discipline, will be required to race exclusively on belt drive bikes with chain guards, dressed in downhill body armor, on courses comprised of bubble wrap and feather pillows.
I've run out of time to wrap this up in any way that makes a lick of sense, so I'll just say LEG VAGINA again, and now that you are sufficiently desensitized, you will have no problem finding the following inoffensive and hilarious: