Monday, April 29, 2013

Justice Breyer in solo fall off his bike

A Supreme Court press release:

For Immediate Release
For further information contact: Kathleen L. Arberg, 202-479-3000

April 27, 2013                                                                  

Associate Justice Stephen Breyer underwent reverse shoulder replacement surgery for a proximal humerus fracture this morning at MedStar Georgetown University Hospital.The fracture was sustained in his right shoulder in a fall from his bicycle on Friday afternoon, April 26, near the Korean War Veterans Memorial in Washington, D.C. He was taken by ambulance to the hospital following his injury.

The surgery was successful and the Justice is resting comfortably. He is expected to be released from the hospital early in the week.

Justice Breyer was appointed by President Clinton to the Supreme Court in 1994. He is 74 years old.



At 2:41 PM, Blogger murphstahoe said...

He is 74 years old, and healthy enough to ride a bike, get into a crash, have a successful surgery, rest comfortably, and released quickly. He'll be back on the bench soon.

Most 74 year olds having such an injury would be headed to the grave, not back to the Supreme Court bench. And injuries like this can happen from simple falls once over age 70, forget about car accidents.

An active lifestyle *saved* Breyer's quality of life. He was *unlucky* - you talk about how most falls are solo falls, but regardless of how someone falls, the reality is that 99.99999% of bike rides do not result in a solo fall. It is surprising that Breyer had a crash.

Use it or lose it.

Are you even 74 Rob? If you broke your shoulder, you'd be laid up for weeks, thanks to your sedentary lifestyle.

At 3:25 PM, Blogger Rob Anderson said...

It was not a "car accident"; he fell off his bike, typical accident for anyone who rides a bike a lot, which makes it completely unsurprising that he had this accident. Apparently he's had other cycling accidents.

You're implying that to have an "active lifestyle" one needs to ride a bike. I walk/jog every other day, walking to Kezar---about two miles from where I live---do eight laps on the track, a few sprints, and then walk home.

Thanks for taking an interest in my age (70) and my "lifestyle," Murph. Funny but I have no interest in you or your life at all, but I still remember that you were the Bicycle Coalition's Bike Commuter of the Year several years ago, which officially made you the Biggest Bike Nut here in Progressive Land. Quite an achievement.

At 3:46 PM, Blogger murphstahoe said...

typical accident for anyone who rides a bike a lot

Even if your statement that "most bike crashes are solo falls" were true (I don't want to debate that) - that does not imply that "most cyclists have solo falls". That is a logical fallacy. Do you have any stats that say that most cyclists have solo falls?

Simple comparison.,_SCOTUS_photo_portrait.jpg/220px-Stephen_Breyer,_SCOTUS_photo_portrait.jpg,_SCOTUS_photo_portrait.jpg/220px-Antonin_Scalia,_SCOTUS_photo_portrait.jpg

At 4:43 PM, Anonymous Shawn Allen said...

I walk/jog every other day, walking to Kezar---about two miles from where I live---do eight laps on the track, a few sprints, and then walk home.

Pics or it didn't happen

At 5:31 PM, Blogger Rob Anderson said...

Why should I care whether you believe it or not? I only mentioned it because Murphy assumed that I had a "sedentary lifestyle," implying that cyclists had some kind of advantage on maintaining fitness. People can be reasonably fit by doing other things---running, swimming, and even just walking.

The downside of riding a bike---along with safety considerations---is that it's not particularly good to maintain bone density, which is important as we age:

"We've had 65-year-old men whose bones look like 65-year-old women. They've suffered fragility fractures as a result," said Dr. Srinivas Ganesh, a sports medicine specialist with Kaiser Permanente in Redwood City who is a cyclist himself...

"We really try to tell them it's great what they're doing, but you need to realize that the bones underneath those muscles are not as strong as they could be," he said. "I tell my cyclists that they've got to get out there and do something else too."

At 9:03 AM, Blogger Mikesonn said...

Your bone density claim means that cyclists aren't doing other activities, which is more unlikely than a car driver. Cyclist implies active person and that they probably do many more activities than just cycling. A car driver/commuter will need to take extra time out of their already wasted day to visit a gym. Walking from the back of the parking lot into Walmart isn't going to save your bone density.

At 10:10 AM, Blogger Rob Anderson said...

Nice try to change the subject to "car drivers," Mike. Murph is suggesting that riding a bike is a superior exercise, and I pointed out that it has limitations, especially maintaining bone density, which is a concern for old people like Justice Breyer.

People don't have to take up an inherently risky hobby like cycling for fitness. A routine that includes a brisk walk will do just as well---and it will be better at maintaining bone density than riding a bike. This has nothing to do with cars. No need to visit a gym.

At 10:32 AM, Blogger Rob Anderson said...

From Robert Hurst's book, The Art of Cycling:

"It is absolutely true that accidents happen when they are least expected.The old warhorses of cycling---and there is not a single one of them who hasn’t been hit at some point or another---will always say their worst wrecks came at a time when their minds were wandering.They had momentarily forgotten the danger. They let themselves slip, just a little.Just enough (page 70)."

Of course this doesn't to you, Murph. You're too cool to ever have an accident.

John Forester, in Effective Cycling, analyzes statistics on cycling accidents to quantify how often they have accidents (page 261). Not surprisingly, the more experience and skill you have as a cyclist the fewer accidents you have: Children on average will ride 1,500 miles before they have an accident; "college-associated adults" will go 2,000 miles; and "club cyclists"---the most experienced and skillful---will only have an accident every 10,000 miles.

Murphy probably belongs in the last category, but it's pure hubris for people like him to think that they're never going to have an accident. In fact I bet he's already had some that he doesn't want to talk about.

At 11:04 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...


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