I've seen my fair share of high-flying riders while attending road racing events in Ireland.

Men ejected from their seats like boomerangs while doing all they could to stop a 365-pound machine from careering into hay bales. It's enough to bring a crowd of hundreds to silence in time with the cut-off of the machine's engine. 

Well, another one of these crashes just happened, and this time, someone captured it on a slow-motion video. The rider is Paul Cassidy, and the race is one of the most famous—The North West 200.

Here's how he miraculously walked away without serious injuries.

Just Another Practice 

Irish road races don't care if you're in the midst of a practice session, qualifying, or last-lap battle. Put a foot wrong and these events will bite back with instant, ferocious violence. But, sometimes, you don't even have to slip up. Your fate can be decided by outside circumstances, and that's what happened to Cassidy during Thursday's practice session.

The incident happened at the first right-hand bend after the start/finish line. 

Footage shows Cassidy riding off-line and mounting a sidewalk before his bike smashes into a protective barrier. Cassidy is then sent tumbling approximately 25 feet into the air before landing on the hood of a car. Somehow, this rider walked away with only bruises. 

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What Caused The Crash

We can see a couple of bikes riding the racing line before the footage shows Cassidy and another rider approaching the turn on the outside, forcing Cassidy to mount the pavement.

Here's what happened, according to Cassidy,

I'm all OK just bloody sore. I was behind a rider and had just clicked 4th I believe his bike cut out or something on the 1st right after the start… The marshals said the same thing too... He pulled to the left then looking over his shoulder not knowing I was going around him and we collided together... Unfortunately, nothing I could do at that sort of speed. Big thank you to everyone for all support… all the medical staff did a cracking job.


More Than Superhuman

Some people liken riders to superhumans after they walk away from crashes like these. But they're not. There's an unquantifiable, yet undeniable amount of luck involved in any road racing accident that a rider walks away from.

Some of the most innocuous-looking crashes have resulted in some of the worst injuries or even death, while some of the most horrific-looking saw the riders coming back and racing the same race the next year—Connor Cummins' 2010 crash is a great example of this.

The NW 200 is well-known as the last big race before the iconic Isle of Man TT, which runs from June 1st to 8th. And it promises to be a cracker, as Michael Dunlop could take the crown from his uncle Joey for the most IOM TT race wins ever.

If you tune in this year, remember that while these riders look like they're doing superhuman things, they're made of flesh and blood like you and me.

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