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Cody Fidler - Thoughts

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I have many thoughts and concerns regarding the death of Cody Fidler at Parker Valley on Saturday.

I have two boys myself and have watched them go thru the ranks just as Cody had began as a 50cc racer. I wont say that he was a beginner at 5yrs. old as he had been riding for a while, however in context he was a beginner to the racing part of it.

My most sympathetic thoughts go out to the family and to all who knew and loved him.

My feelings about this are hard to contain as a strong promoter of the sport.

I feel that he should have gone home with his parents that evening carring a trophy and that his death was a tragic lesson for everyone who is a part of the JMX organiztion and everyone who organizes an race event.

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I want to express my sympathy for the Fidler's, my support for the 12 year old who accidentally hit him and my support for the promoter of the track.

I have raced there many, many times, been to a lot of the open practices and almost went to the open practice this past weekend. I know the promoter well and he is a stand up guy and has the safest tracks I have ever ridden.

While reading all this I hope nobody tries to go through the blame game... there is plenty of that to go around and it is better left to those involved and the rest of us to continue in offering sympathy and support.

Ivan

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Really makes you think about the chances that we take everyday. I also have a son (9) who has been riding since he was 5. We went to a few tracks when he was just starting out so he could ride with us but it got real old riding behind him and feeling how close that some idiots were riding WFO beside us. I decided that it was too much risk. I built a little 2 acre track behind my house to let the kids have at it. My 6 yr old daughter rides also.

My close friend was running practice laps at a track here in NC and came up on a double with a 65cc rider in the bottom of the jump. He did not know that they had let anyone but A/B riders out on the track. Long story short- he now has a metal brace in his shoulder because he had to decide whether to jump on top of the kid or take himself out while climbing the face of the double.

Weird thing is that my son has been really wanting to start racing and we went sunday after church to look at a friends YZ85. I heard about Cody Monday AM and have pretty much decided that he will do just fine on the track behind the house and going trail riding with me and our friends but not racing.

Bottom line, I feel that ALL tracks should have split class practices just like on race day. It will take longer and you will have less saddle time but unless we want the state to ban all kids from riding bikes (like ATV's) and/or heaven forbid another tragedy like Cody happening again we really need to make that happen at a minimum.

We are praying for Cody, his family and also the 12 yr old riding the 85cc.

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I started racing dirt bikes at age 7. I got my first bike at age 6. The only time I was ever allowed onto the track was during heat races for my class (mini's up to 75cc) and the finals for my class. In addition, we were required to attend a riders meeting that included a separate portion dedicated to us mini riders and our parents...a reiteration of the rules.

The concept of "open practices" did not exist. The time period is early 1970's in Kansas. Flagman were always present and well as starters. Anyone riding like an idiot would be black flagged and no bikes/riders "out of class" would be allowed on the course together.

IMHO mixing 50's with 85's and riders of varying skill levels (bearing in my that all of these riders are children) was, at the very least, an oversight.

I'm sure that as the family progresses through the stages of dealing with death there will be law suites when they hit the "anger" stage. This tragedy could put this track out of business permanently.

-Jay

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Bottom line, I feel that ALL tracks should have split class practices just like on race day. It will take longer and you will have less saddle time but unless we want the state to ban all kids from riding bikes (like ATV's) and/or heaven forbid another tragedy like Cody happening again we really need to make that happen at a minimum.

We are praying for Cody, his family and also the 12 yr old riding the 85cc.

These are my thoughts are also.

I am not trying to point a finger at "a" promoter or organizer however, like many, I feel that Cody's death should'nt be in vein. I do not feel like forgetting about his sacrifice to the sport in a couple of months like it never happened. This is what some would like us to do.

I do not want to go to another event and see "jumpers" practicing with "Non jumpers" such as the 50cc beginners. Flaggers and spotters should be on top of this during the 50cc practices and should immediately flagg off anyone who is jumping during this practice.

I have been there as a parent watching my son practice on his 50cc bike sweating bullets hoping he doesn't get landed on wondering why they are on the track together.

Like Connecticut, if we do not self-govern our sport the state will.

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I am surprised that this has happened at a JMX race/practice.

I have been expecting to hear about something like this at the local private parctice tracks that we all ride on for a while now, though. there are some parents who just send the wobbly 4 year old out there with big bikes and don't seem to consider the danger. I have personally seen kids I would almost describe as toddlers on these tiny 50cc atv's riding on motocross tracks with the big bikes as the track owner and dad just stand there like it's nothing. That's not too bright

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IMHO mixing 50's with 85's and riders of varying skill levels (bearing in my that all of these riders are children) was, at the very least, an oversight.

I agree. An 85 shouldn't be on the track with little 50s. Hopefully they will change that after this incident.

I can definitly feel sorry for the family, and the child who hit him. Things like this happen; no can argue that it isn't a dangerous sport. It is the chance we take and let our kids take when participating. I really hope the parents can accept that and not play the suing game and ruin it for everybody else.

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I agree. An 85 shouldn't be on the track with little 50s. Hopefully they will change that after this incident.

I wasn't there but from my experience that is not the norm at PVMX. Mixed skills in the big bike classes is more normal but the smaller bikes usually are segregated a lot more from what I have personally witnessed.

Like I said, there is a lot of blame to go around and a lot of mis-information out there. JMX is not the normal place where you pay and anything goes.

I can assure you from what I know of the promoter that he has done everything he felt he could do to reduce the risks at his place that are rampant everywhere else. For something like this to happen at JMX is unbelievable to me.

I just want to extend my sympathy and support to all involved.

Ivan

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It seems most of the solutions descibed above deal with limiting class sizes to the tracks at certain times. Not only is that hard to manage but concider that the same identicle circumstances could have happened with two 50cc bikes.

To me the way to avoid this would be having saftey marshals at the blind jumps at all times (regardless of the class of rider presently on the track). I used to see that at Mtn Home MX and on occasion at Lakeside. How much could it take to get that kinda help from either parents of the peewee riders or just volunteers from the crowd.

Every time I come up to a blind double I pray for two things, that I land it OK and that no ones off their bike on the other side.

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I just dont know what to say at this point reading you guys posts. I started a thread just feeling for the family. I agree in every since with what all have said. I have a 5 yr old and a 19 mo old that I want to get into the sport but this kind of thing scares me to death. I know what we do is dangerous but we half to trust the hands of the people who are sanctioning these events.

I agree, it is a judgement call. If I see more experience riders, older riders,with larger bikes on the track with my kid, do I go and take them off? Do I let them ride and gain experience? IMO, I know what I would do.

anyway, may GOD be with all that was invoved

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I agree, it is a judgement call. If I see more experience riders, older riders,with larger bikes on the track with my kid, do I go and take them off? Do I let them ride and gain experience? IMO, I know what I would do.

anyway, may GOD be with all that was invoved

Trailhaulin,

The only person truely responsible for your childs safety is you and not the event promotors, organizers, or anyone else. You are their parent and they trust you to make the right decisions and protect them. Don't ever think differently.

My boys mother and I have a long discussion about this the other day and both concluded that if we felt that our child was in adverse danger we (as the parent) would take them off the track and not wait for someone else to recognize the danger and act on it. Keep in mind that we had this discussion as a result of Codys death.

You want your kid to be tough and competitive but remember it is just for a trophy. It's funny that a trophy is worth risking your life for but not worth dying over.

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Some have obviously been misinformed or ignorantly assumed that this PRACTICE day was like most tracks in the southeast.

JMX splits into groups. The usual is:

1. 50s & 65 Beg

2. Fast 65 and 85

3. 125+

4. Slow big bikes & VET

All the practice days I have attended had flaggers and an EMT

I am more comfortable with these conditions than any other places.

It is obvious a bike was with the wrong group. Intentionally? Noticed? Going to flag him off? I don't know. It is a tragedy and sounds like several individuals (promoters and parents )can work to prevent a similar occurrence.

It is unfortunate for all involved and I pray for everyone.

I just want those posting assumptions of negligence and irresponsibility to know that events run by JMX are the best run I've ever been to.

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I just want those posting assumptions of negligence and irresponsibility to know that events run by JMX are the best run I've ever been to.

Ditto to that.

Ivan

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It is obvious a bike was with the wrong group. Intentionally? Noticed? Going to flag him off? I don't know. It is a tragedy and sounds like several individuals (promoters and parents )can work to prevent a similar occurrence.

It is unfortunate for all involved and I pray for everyone.

I just want those posting assumptions of negligence and irresponsibility to know that events run by JMX are the best run I've ever been to.

Determining negligence will be the courts responsibility.

However, no one here will be pressing charges against the JMX organization.

That will be the decision of the parents.

I have raced and practiced at Parker Valley and I, like you, know that there are at least 3 check points to prevent the wrong size bike from practicing in the wrong class.

1) They give you a sticker at sign-up that indicates your class.

2) There is a gate keeper that is supposed to double check the stickers as they enter the track. This insures that the correct bikes are entering the track for this practice.

3) Flaggers should be the final check as they are the ones who will have to flag off the illegal rider.

Unfortunately the rider who hit Cody made it past all three of these check points!

Tell me...how could a concerned parent not point a finger at the JMX organization?

So... you fell that we are assuming negligence and irresponsibility?

What do you think a court would say?

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Tell me...how could a concerned parent not point a finger at the JMX organization?

Because I do not believe that anyone here has enough complete information to do so.

What do you think a court would say?

I think we should leave that up to the courts and continue to offer sympathy and support.

I have seen these arguments spiral out of control before with other places only for the truth to get muddled and good people's names get dragged through the mud and the promoter of JMX is a really good guy who does more for safety than every other place I have ever ridden.

I don't want to see that happen here. Just as one can blame the promoter like you mentioned in your previous post, another can blame the family because it was advertised completely how the flagger situation would be and another can blame something else like even allowing bikes for 5 year olds (I have seen all 3 things blamed already and there is a rush for legislation to set age limits on bikes as a direct result of this).

There is plenty of blame to go around and pointing fingers just loses sight of the tragedy. Not one person, not one decision, not one thing in this terrible thing is the smoking gun.

Lessons will be learned and already have.

The only way for any accident to be avoided is not to ride. Abstinece is 100%.

Ivan

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I just don’t think all the responsibility lies with JMX.

Bad as I hate to point it out, but since you choose not to see it clearly.

I'll give you a couple more checkpoints that were missed.

1. The 85 rider.

2. His parent(s)

My son is the same age as the 85 rider. Old enough to realize there are 50's on the track. Maybe his Dad sent him out cause he was uncomfortable with the 85 group. Maybe all were so excited to ride and focused on their self they did not realize.

Maybe the rider was seen, but nobody could get him off before disaster struck.

So I personally am not casting blame in any direction. ALL parties involved made choices that ultimately resulted in a tragic accident. Just an accident.

JMX runs events with the best intentions and I hope the 85 rider just made a simple mistake and can forgive himself. He's just a kid too.

When my son was on 50's he rode outlaw tracks with big bikes. Now that he's on 85's and Supermini's he been on outlaw tracks with 50's. I'm lucky he made it through the 50's. He seems cautious and responsible on 85's so I never worried much about him hitting a smaller rider after all there were also big bikes. I never realized the responsibility I was putting on a 12 year old. Wont happen again.

Why point blame in one direction?

How about ideas for prevention instead.

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Your only arguement is if the kid on the 85 got on the track from another entry point illegally and accidently hit Cody before he passed a flagger.

If this was the case then I stand to be corrected.

Is this what happened? You seem to know.

You seem to be the guy that wants us all to turn a sympathetic cheek and hope that it never happens again.

I feel for Cody and his parents and say that some form of safety precautions be noticed. Possibly have a sort of "Summit" with all the promoters and organizers to get ideas from everyone involved of how to improve the safety of the sport locally. Just common sense ideas.

I have at least a couple of common sense suggestions myself.

It could be done in remenberence of Cody Fidler.

It should be a wake-up call.

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You seem to be the guy that wants us all to turn a sympathetic cheek and hope that it never happens again.

I don't see it that way.

I see it as being too soon to jump to conclusions and make decisions based solely on emotion with a lot of unknowns thrown in.

Right now is the time for sympathy and support. The rest can be discussed later when things can be discussed rationally.

Ivan

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Your only arguement is if the kid on the 85 got on the track from another entry point illegally and accidently hit Cody before he passed a flagger.

If this was the case then I stand to be corrected.

Is this what happened? You seem to know.

You seem to be the guy that wants us all to turn a sympathetic cheek and hope that it never happens again.

I feel for Cody and his parents and say that some form of safety precautions be noticed. Possibly have a sort of "Summit" with all the promoters and organizers to get ideas from everyone involved of how to improve the safety of the sport locally. Just common sense ideas.

I have at least a couple of common sense suggestions myself.

It could be done in remenberence of Cody Fidler.

It should be a wake-up call.

I see, so when you fall off the ladder at work it's the companies fault, right.

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This is exactly the type of thing I didn't want to see :applause:

Oh well.

Condolences and prayers.

Ivan

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