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TMX Says: Health and Safety starts with you!

TMX Says: Health and Safety starts with you!

Did anybody/ everybody see that amazing footage of Jonny Walker getting it all wrong, having a Larry Loopout moment and inadvertently firing his bike at a marshal that was shot by Enduro.Live’s Brian Till at the Hixpania Hard Enduro over the weekend?

It’s certainly worth a look if you get chance as not only is it spectacular viewing but also highlights how dangerous marshalling/spectating at these kinds of events can potentially be if you choose the wrong place to stand.

As it turned out the marshal more or less dodged the flying bike – he may have taken a glancing blow but nothing more – and it’ll go down in history as one of those ‘ooh, oh so close’ moments that we can all enjoy. Of course, things don’t always go that way…

There was a story that popped up in my news feed recently about a downhill mountain bike race organiser and also a marshal who are due to appear in court next summer as they were involved with running an event in September of 2014 where a spectator was hit by a bicycle that its rider had lost control of. The spectator later died of head injuries.

It’s alleged that the event was run in such a way that exposed people to risk and that certain health and safety requirements weren’t met. From what I can gather it seems like it was simply a terrible accident and just like the Walker/ Hixpania thing could have easily been a near miss.

I find it somewhat worrying that the Health and Safety Executive are looking to prosecute in this case as the circumstances surrounding the accident are replicated on an almost weekly basis in off-road sports – particularly enduro where there’s a whole lot of course to marshal and spectators naturally gravitate towards the more extreme/ spectacular parts of the course where riders are more likely to lose control of their bikes.

I’m confident that all the reputable event promoters follow the health and safety guidelines given and I just hope that an accident of this nature never happens. I’m loathe to physically write down my opinions on what would ensure that it never could as some overzealous idjut is likely to jump all over them so let’s play it safe and all think twice about where we stand at events – even when we’re in official spectator zones.

We have to make the right choices, take responsibility for our own actions and remain diligent at all times is the point I’m trying to make here…

If you’re wondering where the report on the Hixpania Hard Enduro is in this issue then the bad news is that it came too late to publish and we’ll run it next week instead – there’s some stunning imagery so it’ll be well worth the wait. We’ll also have an exclusive interview with 22-time trial world champion Toni Bou which also makes for some very interesting reading.

Also in the pipeline is our series of flashback features that take a look at some vintage action from the TMX archives. With 2098 issues to choose from there’s plenty to go at.

If there’s something in particular you’d like to see drop me an email at anthony.sutton@jpress.co.uk and we’ll do our best to run your request…

Britain's national newspaper for trials and motocross since 1977. World's leading weekly off-road publication.

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