Power Cranks in BHRR E4
Cycling is unique in that we are all competing against and collaborating with each other in order to finish the race safely and return to our real jobs (unless you're one of those guys lucky enough to have the natural gifts to go pro).
I spent the race day working the registration tent and was next to the radio operator. I heard an inordinately large number of crash calls come in for a course such as Berkeley Hills.
Obviously, it's hard enough staying upright in normal conditions. It's even harder when riding Power Cranks which I've heard are 1. more fatiguing than regular cranks and 2. both hang down when coasting. (a potential pedal strike risk).
At the end of the E4 race, a number of riders came in and complained of someone who rode Power Cranks in the race and was wobbly throughout. Since I wasn't in the race and don't have first-hand knowledge, I'm not going to go off on anyone. But I think that we all need to think about this and take some blame/responsibility for our personal safety.
For the rider on the power cranks: Definitely think that it's foolish to ride these things in a race. You may say to yourself "I didn't crash and I have the strength to ride these in a race." Maybe that's so, but as there are ripple effects from all of our actions in a pack, the fact that you were reported by multiple people as squirrely causes everybody to adjust to you. I don't know if you caused a crash yesterday, there hasn't been a report of that nature. It's possible that you may in the future be a contributing factor in a highly preventable crash. I would hope that you would be more responsible when riding with your fellow racers.
To "power cranks" teammates: The pack in general and teammates in specific should be a safety reinforcing influence. If the rider had teammates in the race, I'd wager that some of you knew that he was going to use power cranks in the race. At least one of you should have used your judgment to advise against doing so.
To the E4 starters: Your safety is also in your own hands. If you're standing next to somebody with faulty, deficient or dangerous equipment, it's your prerogative to speak up, not only for your safety, but for that of the field. I've had somebody make a mechanical suggestion to me about brake rub before and I've seen somebody else mention a frayed cable to another rider. In each case, nothing but gratitude for those who pointed out problems. We've all got to take responsibility for our collective safety whenever possible.