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Death of James Dobson

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Death of James Dobson

Old 11-14-18, 04:16 PM
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rydabent
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Death of James Dobson

Does anyone on the forum have any information on the cycling death of James Dobson? He was reported killed in the last couple of days while riding across country. He was featured on the Laid Back Bike Report last Sunday.

Last edited by rydabent; 11-14-18 at 08:00 PM.
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Old 11-14-18, 05:50 PM
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https://www.hattiesburgamerican.com/...ms/2000346002/
A fundraising cycling tour turned tragic this week when a 32-year-old cyclist from Dover, New Hampshire, was struck by a vehicle on U.S. 98 near WPA and Herman Lucas roads in Lamar County.

James Dobson was trying to raise $10,000 on the Positive Vibes Tour for CHaD hearts in actionat Children's Hospital at Dartmouth-Hitchcock in Lebanon, New Hampshire. The money was going to help with research for childhood cancers.
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Old 11-14-18, 06:55 PM
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Well, that sucks.
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Old 11-15-18, 07:35 AM
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It was a pleasure watching James' videos on YouTube. Rest in peace, brother triker.

I lived in Southern Mississippi many years ago and am familiar with this road. Straight road with good sight lines. Hard to believe that a driver paying reasonable attention would not have seen him. Still, things happen quickly at (and probably above) the posted 65 mph speed limit.

Edit to add this: There is a YouTube video of one of the witnesses who said that the driver that hit him probably did not see him because his view was shielded by another vehicle who swerved at the last minute.


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Old 11-15-18, 12:40 PM
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Originally Posted by Hoopdriver View Post
Edit to add this: There is a YouTube video of one of the witnesses who said that the driver that hit him probably did not see him because his view was shielded by another vehicle who swerved at the last minute. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kbtkuIffMBk
EDIT: Just noticed, he is NOT riding a trike. It is a 2-wheel recumbent. There is a video from just before the accident down thread.
(DIdn't want to change or delete this post as others have quoted it)

And the trike adds some extra width to the bike, and a trike can't hang any part of itself off the edge of the road. On a regular bike (the only type I have ever toured upon) I can snuggle up to the edge of the tarmac and my two right-side panniers are over the grass. If I hold my line nice and tight only 12" of me and machine are over the tarmac. Tadpole trikes are at least 30" wide, plus it is hard to keep the right-front wheel right at the edge of the road, because you can't see it properly. So a trike rider will likely fudge a few inches farther into the road. So my setup is 12" in the roadway, and trike riders are 34" into the road. This would be on roads without rumble strips as well. Add rumble strips and we are WAY out in the road on a trike.

Another issue, my helmet mounted mirror would be very near the fog line giving me a better angle at all of the cars coming up behind me. The trike guy, with the same mirror, would be about 16" farther left, and trikes are LOW. So there was no hope for the guy to see the second car's position and maybe have a chance to ditch. All he could possibly see is the front grill of the first car behind him.

He probably did have the most comfortable camp chair of any cyclist on tour. Personally, I never wanted to be that far into the road and so low I couldn't see far behind me. I did have a hankering for a tadpole trike at one time. For the reasons mentioned, I decided not to do it. Can't imagine riding one in a busy city either.

Or maybe they guy was just "taking the lane", as he is entitled to do.

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Old 11-15-18, 01:50 PM
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Originally Posted by JoeyBike View Post
He probably did have the most comfortable camp chair of any cyclist on tour. Personally, I never wanted to be that far into the road and so low I couldn't see far behind me. I did have a hankering for a tadpole trike at one time. For the reasons mentioned, I decided not to do it. Can't imagine riding one in a busy city either.
I have a tadpole trike that I enjoy immensely; however I don't ride in on any public street more active than a normal neighborhood street. There are those who claim that motorists are more aware of trikes because they are unusual and attention-grabbing. This is probably true to some extent, but still I wouldn't feel comfortable in traffic. I have two mirrors mounted on each of my handles and can say that they offer great visibility even in the distance. Helmet mirrors (which I use on my upright bikes) are not so good for me on the trike because of the angle of my head while reclined.
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Old 11-15-18, 02:00 PM
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Originally Posted by Hoopdriver View Post
Edit to add this: There is a YouTube video of one of the witnesses who said that the driver that hit him probably did not see him because his view was shielded by another vehicle who swerved at the last minute.
The risk from that very scenario was the catalyst for me to mount lights high from my upright bike when I commuted (half the time during hours of darkness) on an unlit busy 55 mph US highway for a seven year period. The lighting setup offered no additional protection if the first vehicle was a commercial truck or semi, but those vehicles seldom changed lanes suddenly at the last second like some dim-witted drivers of automobiles and light trucks.






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Old 11-15-18, 02:26 PM
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-mr. bill
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Old 11-15-18, 02:37 PM
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Originally Posted by mr_bill View Post
Day 43 / Vlog
#111 Cycling with a Friend


-mr. bill
Dude was literally a sitting duck.

And those rumble strips are one of the Top-3 reasons I quit bike touring in rural areas. It was sketch enough BEFORE they forced me into the middle of the travel lane.

Cellphone use.
Rumble strips.
Oversized vehicle are fashionable for non-professional drivers.


^^Pick these three in any order. A wide motor vehicle, driven by an amateur, taking up all of the space in the lane, very possibly distracted, and a bicycle filling the lane up ahead hidden behind other vehicles. Recipe for disaster. It does not take much imagination to see a line of cars traveling at 60+mph in both directions, the first car catches a small gap in oncoming traffic, veers suddenly, at speed, across the center line to avoid the cyclist doing 15mph. Then every subsequent car has fewer and fewer split seconds to do anything at all. Cross the double yellow into traffic, or steam-roll the cyclist? It's "El Diablo's choice".

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Old 11-15-18, 03:59 PM
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I would avoid a road like that at all costs.
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Old 11-16-18, 09:40 AM
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Originally Posted by Paul Barnard View Post
I would avoid a road like that at all costs.
Yeah, me too. But sometimes (dare I say "often") on long and extended bike tours you just end up on those roads. It was "OK" before the rumble strips. How I handled those situations was to NOT be there during busy periods for starters. I would keep a close eye on my helmet mounted mirror and if I saw a big truck coming in any direction that would cause a conflict for motorists i pulled over and took a mini-break until the traffic passed, if this wasn't possible because I was on a bridge or something I would either take the lane (which I hate doing - you never know who is in that first car) or squeeze against the rail, stop, and lean against the railing until everyone went by, praying no wide loads are back there. Or, just ride the fog line as near the rail or edge of the tarmac as I could get. (In Virginia for instance there is nothing but a ditch one inch beyond the tarmac edge on many roads).

No matter how you slice it, it's dangerous IMO. I looked for mirrors on the dude's recumbent in his videos and I could not see any. If you are the kind of cyclist who doesn't worry/care about the cars on the road around you, or have no interest in the CHANCE to save yourself, think your Guardian Angel is going to take care of you, play with your live stream instead of paying attention, then your chances of disaster go up exponentially IMO. I can't tell you how many times I just pulled off the road for a minute on a long bike tour. Hundreds. Maybe one of those times would have punched my clock, or caused a huge car accident avoiding me. I do LITERALLY share the road by putting myself in the other guy/gals shoes and act accordingly for my safety and theirs. Nobody deserves to die because I decided to play in traffic all summer. That said, there were at least a dozen times on tours I can think of where my life depended on the reaction time of a motorist. And I was as far right as humanly possible. Those rumble strips were the game-changer for me. The last straw so to speak. Now pulling off the road requires hitting the rumble strips first. No bueno.

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Old 11-16-18, 10:37 AM
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I haven't done a lot of touring, but you are right in that it's easy to end up on a bad road even with some fairly careful planning and using sat maps to scope an area out. If I ended up on that road, I'd pull off immediately and start searching for alternate routes. South MS has a good network of lightly traveled sub 45MPH two lane roads with good sight lines.
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Old 11-16-18, 01:56 PM
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Originally Posted by Paul Barnard View Post
I haven't done a lot of touring, but you are right in that it's easy to end up on a bad road even with some fairly careful planning and using sat maps to scope an area out. If I ended up on that road, I'd pull off immediately and start searching for alternate routes. South MS has a good network of lightly traveled sub 45MPH two lane roads with good sight lines.
Yeah, but often those "better" roads don't go anywhere. Or meander so much that you will never get there anyway. Also more of a loose dog issue on those back roads. It is a shame that a beautiful highway that would normally be low risk for cycling has to add "anti-cycling devices" to them. I understand why, just sad it has to be that way. I really used to enjoy getting out there for months at a time.
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Old 12-08-18, 09:37 AM
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Originally Posted by Daddy View Post
Perhaps the 'soon-to-be-repleased-to-the-public' police report WILL help shed some light on this event? I suggest staying tuned!!!

Here is a video that I pieced together from a portion of James' tour in which I was involved; I made and installed his BIG LEAF® cycling canopy. That 'report' I referenced will likely make mention of this and observations by other motorists who have offered commentary. Have a nice day.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UHWDmV2ry9E
I am expecting a collective yawn.
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Old 12-10-18, 06:17 AM
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Anyone from the area know if the the driver has been charged, and with what.
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Old 12-10-18, 07:25 AM
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Originally Posted by Paul Barnard View Post
I am expecting a collective yawn.
Video well done. This post sums up well "I felt so bad for James mother and family , the call no person wants or deserves . A mother is not suppose to bury her son . I thought of you Ed right away when I heard of James passing . I just watched your canopy vid you did with him plus all of James vids too . You are a class act Ed for sharing and bringing attention to the cause James gave his life for .."
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Old 12-11-18, 12:45 PM
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It's a "local" story up here because James lived in New Hampshire and his Mom is in Maine. A local Globe reporter has already written a story, and they usually do a good job following up such stories even when they draw out weeks, months, years. Up here we wait for the truth.


Down there they've moved on to the "good news" part of the story - that he has raised over 26K, well above the 10K goal.

But honestly prepare yourself for the MHP report to say "it was just an accident." It's the easiest "conclusion" to make in an "investigation."

That's what they did the last time. It took 18 months for an out of town, hell, out of country, newspaper, The Star, to complete the followup and correct a Mississippi story.

-mr. bill
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Old 12-11-18, 03:44 PM
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Originally Posted by mr_bill View Post

But honestly prepare yourself for the MHP report to say "it was just an accident." It's the easiest "conclusion" to make in an "investigation."

-mr. bill
I'm prepared.

30 years ago I was driving on a country road and came across a nice sized cardboard box in the middle of my lane. Fortunately I saw it a long way off and got around it in the opposing lane. I glanced back in my mirror out of habit before merging back into the correct lane and saw a toddler IN THE BOX! Spun the car around, grabbed the kid, and delivered him to the first house I could find. They knew him. Neighbor's kid.

Had there been three or four cars ahead of me shielding my view I can think of one or two scenarios where i may have hit that box. Seems eerily similar situation. I doubt a jury ever sees this case.
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Old 12-11-18, 04:14 PM
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Originally Posted by JoeyBike View Post
Had there been three or four cars ahead of me shielding my view I can think of one or two scenarios where i may have hit that box. Seems eerily similar situation. I doubt a jury ever sees this case.
"If you can't see you can't go!"

Why we let tailgaters get away with it I'll never understand.

-mr. bill
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Old 12-11-18, 04:24 PM
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Originally Posted by mr_bill View Post
"If you can't see you can't go!"

Why we let tailgaters get away with it I'll never understand.

-mr. bill
I'm a little rusty on my geometry but I don't think you would have to be tailgating to get caught in a bind like that. I'm generally not expecting the car ahead to slam on their brakes at random but I leave space. Generally 1 car length per 10mph. I don't look at anything but the windshield and my mirrors, and every car I drive has anti-lock brakes (or whatever they call it now). I'm not sure a smart car could handle a "non-moving" object just thrown into the highway right in front of you while driving 60 mph or whatever.

If I were on the jury, there had better be some math involved in the trial. I don't believe it easy to prove that the vehicle could have come to a complete stop in the lane no matter how attentive the driver may have been. Hard to find skid marks with modern braking systems.
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Old 12-12-18, 08:26 PM
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Multiple witnesses have the driver tailgating, but if you were on the jury....

(Not to worry though, because more likely than not he won't even get a ticket.)

-mr. bill
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Old 12-13-18, 12:48 PM
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What I am afraid of is what happened here in Nebr. A guy on a trike on a little used rural hiway was hit and killed by an 82 year old woman. She was known to have bad vision but was allowed to continue to drive. The Co Att didnt even give her a ticket. He said the cyclist "should not have been out on the hiway with that contraption"!!!!! BTW the guy had tall flags and was wearing a helmet.

The last I have heard the family is losing the family farm in civil court. IMO the family should have taken away her drivers license long before.
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Old 12-20-18, 11:10 AM
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It would be a totally different story if James was a stopped vehicle or a LEO (law enforcement officer). The investigation would be concluded and the driver would have a fair trial and sentenced to life. But since James was a cyclist he should have not been on the road...
Unfortunately non cyclists believe that way and only see the cell phone screen when driving.

​​​​​​There are two contradicting accounts of what happened. One is on Facebook and the other from "eyewitness at the scene" on YT.

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Old 12-20-18, 12:33 PM
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Originally Posted by stamp11127 View Post
It would be a totally different story if James was a stopped vehicle or a LEO (law enforcement officer). The investigation would be concluded and the driver would have a fair trail and sentenced to life. But since James was a cyclist he should have not been on the road...
Unfortunately non cyclists believe that way and only see the cell phone screen when driving...
Most jurors, if it comes to that, will put themselves into the motorist's shoes. The jury would be filled with speeding, tailgating, texting people. They will be sympathetic to their own kind. Hitting a cyclist is akin to hitting a deer. The deer "didn't belong" on the roadway. Should have stayed in the woods (or on the sidewalk).

A young lady yelled from her porch at my touring buddy and I on Highway 22 between Ponchatoula and Madisonville, Louisiana as we rode past her: "You boys tryin' to get ran over??" <-- This is the mindset of most jurors.

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Old 12-25-18, 07:19 AM
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Again, if you are so deranged that you want someone dead, buy them a bike and run over them. You may not even get your hands slapped. Sad.
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