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"The 33"-Road Bike Racing We set this forum up for our members to discuss their experiences in either pro or amateur racing, whether they are the big races, or even the small backyard races. Don't forget to update all the members with your own race results.

View Poll Results: In which ways have you crashed?
1 time riding solo 61 27.98%
2-4 times riding solo 69 31.65%
5+ times riding solo 19 8.72%
1 time in a group ride 44 20.18%
2-4 times in a group ride 23 10.55%
5+ times in a group ride 4 1.83%
1 time in a race 49 22.48%
2-4 times in a race 48 22.02%
5+ times in a race 16 7.34%
Multiple Choice Poll. Voters: 218. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 02-23-08, 07:53 PM   #1
urbanknight
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How many of you have crashed?

This is inspired by the "don't race carbon if you can't afford to replace it" debates.

Racers only, click all that apply for which circumstances you have crashed in. This should show if you're really risking your precious carbon frame in a race, or if you're risking it elsewhere too!
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Old 02-23-08, 08:21 PM   #2
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Just to weigh in myself, I have crashed 4 times solo only. One of those times I was with 2 other riders, but that doesn't count as a group ride and neither of them were involved in the crash.
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Old 02-23-08, 08:26 PM   #3
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Twice solo. One super f'n nasty 31mph pavement to shoulder encounter, and one even nastier ACL tearing pavement to foot to knee to hip encounter. Both resulted from dropping chains while standing/sprinting.

Once in a race - broke the frame, had to warranty out the wheelset and my helmet. Got a face full of stitches and a 4000 dollar ER bill paid by the Army (thank you Uncle Sugar!). It was a crit in the rain, and on the second to last corner the two guys I was drafting slid out, and I went over the top of them, did a full flip and landed on my back on the sidewalk.
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Old 02-23-08, 08:26 PM   #4
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I don't want to comment, fearing I may ruin my streak of (relatively) good luck.
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Old 02-23-08, 08:31 PM   #5
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I don't want to comment, fearing I may ruin my streak of (relatively) good luck.
That's fine. Just vote for the accuracy of the poll
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Old 02-23-08, 08:39 PM   #6
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Riding side by side with a teammate on a training ride. Now keep in mind we live on the same street.
We are about a mile from the house returning home coming down a fairly steep hill in our neighborhood that T's into a cross road. Right is a dead end and left is our homes. He turns right
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Old 02-23-08, 08:42 PM   #7
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This poll won't prove anything.
If you start counting crashes per km/mile ridden, races would clearly be riskier.
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Old 02-23-08, 08:43 PM   #8
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Did you ever ask him what possessed him to turn the other way?
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Old 02-23-08, 08:46 PM   #9
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This poll won't prove anything.
If you start counting crashes per km/mile ridden, races would clearly be riskier.
That actually proves my theory perfectly. You are more likely to crash during training BECAUSE you ride more miles training. So anyone who trains on a fancy bike and races on a cheap bike is still giving their fancy bike a greater risk.

I'm sure the crash per mile is higher in racing, but nobody in their right mind races as many miles as they train... although I wonder how pro tour riders ever train with the number of long tours they ride.
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Old 02-23-08, 08:49 PM   #10
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Did you ever ask him what possessed him to turn the other way?

He just shrugged and laughed.....No permanent damage.
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Old 02-23-08, 08:59 PM   #11
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I have never gone down... but I have had a couple close calls. That is unless you count this one time some fred ran me into the f'ing curb in a parking lot because he couldn't talk and ride straight at the same time. I unclipped and caught myself... but the bike hit the ground. This all being said, I have only been riding since October.
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Old 02-23-08, 09:04 PM   #12
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i crashed in a race last year when the guy in front of me touched wheels which forced me to launch over him. I broke my wrist pretty bad but the bike was fine
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Old 02-23-08, 09:08 PM   #13
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That actually proves my theory perfectly. You are more likely to crash during training BECAUSE you ride more miles training. So anyone who trains on a fancy bike and races on a cheap bike is still giving their fancy bike a greater risk.
This makes little sense.
An hour spent training is less likely to include a crash than an hour of racing. I think this is true for most people - obviously excluding those who train in downtown NY during rush hour.

But I would definitely agree if you said that in the long run, everyone is likely to crash in training, potentially damaging the more expensive frame. My point is, that the training "long run" is much, much longer than the racing "long run".
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Old 02-23-08, 09:17 PM   #14
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You understand me just perfectly. People ride their fancy frame in "the long run" which is why I'm just trying to say that if you train all the time on your expensive rig, you're still likely to crash it eventually. I suppose that's still a lower risk than training and racing combined, but I wanted to see just how much more risk is added by racing.
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Old 02-23-08, 09:18 PM   #15
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solo crash - on my way home from 'cross practice I wasnt paying attention and mistimed a jump up onto a curb, I literally kissed the curb and bashed my front teeth in, I had braces for a few months but otherwise things worked out OK. That one was embarrassing.

races - 3x.
1st, just caught up in a big bunch crash that resulted in a minor fall

2nd, after initiating and riding in a 3 man breakaway on a very rainy day in a technical crit, I skidded through the last turn of the race on my arse while setting up to sprint around the other 2 in my break. Was going at least 30 mph when I went down, went airborne when I hit the curb, thank goodness for bails of hay. good news was that since my breakaway lapped the field, I got back on and finished for 3rd with a mangled drivetrain, bloody backside hanging out. Best and worst race I've ever ridden to date.

3rd, got bumped by a big dude into a ditch, cartwheeled into a wooden fence, concussion.

bike was fine in all of them, and aside from bumps, bruises and road rash, so was I.

Race your good stuff, that's why you have it.
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Old 02-23-08, 09:20 PM   #16
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I wonder if it would be a better idea to run a poll seeing how many people have crashed and how many of those crashes have resulted in a broken frame. One of my four crashes resulted in a bent (non replaceable) derailleur hanger, which I bent back but it was weakened so I eventually tossed the frame. Another destroyed the rear wheel (the front wheel destroyed itself, causing the crash). The other two only had scratched pedals.
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Old 02-23-08, 09:23 PM   #17
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I've seen a few broken frames, with exception of 1 scott carbon, all were aluminum. Wheels and forks, that's another matter entirely, seen lots of snapped forks and tacoed wheels.
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Old 02-23-08, 09:25 PM   #18
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So the argument should be to race your crappy wheels and only train on expensive carbon ones, right?
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Old 02-23-08, 09:37 PM   #19
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Two crashes on training rides- one in 1986, one in 2006. Both times I sustained far more damage than the bike. The first crash broke my tailbone but nothing happened to the bike. The tailbone still hurts if I sit wrong. On the second crash the bike was my expensive carbon race bike. It only had small scratches on the shifter caps, derailleur and pedal. I had much worse damage as I landed on my face at speed. The braces might come off next week. Then I can get the final dental work done. It'd have been much less expensive to completely demolish every single bit of the bike and leave me unscathed.

In about 70 cat 4 races from 1986-1990, and 8 cat V races in the last year or so, zero crashes.

OTOH, a teamate bought a new used spiffy carbon race frame, built it up, and on his second ride on it was in a small low speed group ride crash. No one hurt but a large sprinter dude fell on his frame and demolished it to the point that he can't even send it to Calfee for repair.

It's all luck.
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Old 02-23-08, 10:51 PM   #20
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I don't think I've ever crashed on a non-race group ride.

I crash about once per season racing.

A doctor in my former club did a survey on bicycle crashes and injuries that was pretty interesting-- most such surveys cover ER visits (the only place it's easy to get stats), so he surveyed a fairly large club for *all* their crashes and consequences. Surprisingly, I could actually write down probably every time I've hit the deck. I had a fairly large number of solo crashes related to bike commuting in rain, snow, and ice, none of which involved any injury.

I've damaged or broken two steel frames in racing crashes (one road, one track). I've seen steel, aluminum, and carbon frames destroyed in racing crashes.

I think there's a lot more than luck in crashes-- there's a lot of skill involved in being places where the crash probability is lower or where there's a better chance at an escape route. In most of my racing crashes I realized what I had done wrong before I hit the ground. Sometimes bad luck gets you anyway, but you can do a lot to reduce its effects.
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Old 02-23-08, 11:36 PM   #21
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^ Very true. When I did the juniors velodrome class, one of the first things they taught us was that it's usually better to go over a crash as the crash generally slides down the banking. In crits, it's the opposite, with the inside being less likely to get you washed out by falling riders. Learning more about that and who to look for has kept me out of any race crashes to date.

edit to *knock on wood*
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Old 02-23-08, 11:38 PM   #22
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I crashed once when a kid pushed a skateboard in front of me when I was moving at about 20. In my first race ever a person crashed in front of me and I had to jump of my bike. I've seen numerous crashes in the races i've done but been lucky or intuitive and avoided all those.
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Old 02-24-08, 07:15 AM   #23
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If you have raced longer than 10 years, all the boxes with 5 or more should be checked. Otherwise you aren't riding enough or racing hard enough.
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Old 02-24-08, 07:35 AM   #24
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I became intimate with a hedgerow on a group training ride yesterday.

It was a choice between someone else's bike, asphalt, oncoming van, and the hedge. Hedge won.

A proper English hedgerow though.
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Old 02-24-08, 08:17 AM   #25
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Crashes usually come on the cross bike, while riding in the woods. Skinny tires at higher pressures don't always work well when railing sandy corners.
My only group ride crash came a few years ago. We rounded a descending radius, off camber corner and there was a Ford Exploder riding the yellow line, right at us. Former 7Up and HealthNet team director, Jeff Corbett, just laid it down and slid right under the rear bumper of the truck. I saved my slide but had to make the decision to hit Jeff, hit the truck or hit his bike. I tried to bunnyhop his bike and landed right on the top tube of it. I got squirrely and went over the bars, landing flat on my back in the middle of the road.
The outcome?

Dented TT on my cross bike
Haggard lump on my leg
One very destroyed CAAD8 pro dog team bike...he gets 'em free...

...and a very long 90 minute slog home.
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