Caution Ahead: What NOT to do as a Spectator of a Cycling Race

What NOT to do as a Spectator: Lessons learned at Cairns World Cup

For those of you that are unfamiliar with the Cairns World Cup, it is an annual race where over 300 of the world’s top performing mountain bikers from over 28 nations get together in Queensland, Australia for an arduous race dubbed the “Rumble in the Rainforest.” This year a spectator from the 2014 UCI MTB World Cup reminded us why we are all not professional mountain bikers and should leave the racing to the experts – Or those willing to go through the following…

I could ride like that, if I just had that bike

We’ve all been there…

…spectating from the sidelines of a race, full of liquid courage or just pumped up with adrenaline from watching the pros in action. Thinking to yourself ”I could ride like that, if I just had that bike”. There is a reason why you are not Pro Level and it’s safe to say it’s not the bike.

One spectator learned the hard way at the recent Cairns UCI World Cup Downhill Races. Pro-rider, Adam Brayton, hit a tree on his run and he was laid out flat. As he was being tended to on the course, a spectator, at the time unknown, decided he was going to do Brayton a favor and ride the bike down the course.

Seriously?! This “spectator” is going to ride Bratyon’s race rig down a UCI race course?! Through the whoops section?!

No protective gear, No helmet, only hat & sunglasses. Well, anyone could have predicted what this guy would do next…huge Ugly Yard Sale right at the beginning of the whoop section. Over the bar crash, knocks himself out, and it’s all on video for the world to see. Talk about geeking out at the wrong place and time.

Caught from another angle too!

The Race was put on hold, for the second time, while the unconscious spectator was tended to. He was put on a spine board and placed in the same ambulance as Brayton. Both were rushed to Cairns Base Hospital.

It turns out the spectator is Ben “bunny” McGowan. He states he wasn’t drunk. He just wanted to do Brayton a favor and take his bike down the hill. For his good intended favor, he scored himself 2 broken vertebrae and a dislocated shoulder. “Bunny” won’t be hopping any time soon but he can call himself a lucky guy, all his injuries are fixable. The best part is that he will be forever immortalized in the “crash” videos that have been circulating all of the Cycling sites. He’s famous for his good deed gone awry. If he does have one regret, it’s has to be that he didn’t have a Go-Pro attached to him. One more angle to relive his glory. Sending well wishes to Brayton and “Bunny” for a quick recovery!

Oh and next time you may want to check out any special deals we have going on in our protective cycling gear section, a little protective gear goes a long way!