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Old 06-20-12, 05:07 PM   #1
Monkeyclaw
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How many crashes in a year?

I had my third crash in a year a couple of weeks ago.

The first crash was last November. I was riding through a sandy wash in the Tour de Tucson (the second wash, for those that know the ride). The sand caught my front wheel and twisted it. I went over the bars and landed on the back of my shoulder.

The second crash was in late January at a crit. I was following a teammate to the front of the group on a straightaway at the start of the last lap. Someone heard the last lap bell ring and jumped for the sprint (thinking it was the end of the race). They jumped sideways into my teammate, who went down in front of me. I ran over him and went down too. This one knocked me out for around 15 seconds and when I came to I had no idea what was going on. I was taken to the hospital but in the end there was little damage to my body except a fractured nose, a concussion and minor road rash.

The third crash was a couple of weeks ago. We were supposed to be doing crit practice but there was a concert at the park we were going to use. We decided to do some paceline work instead. With a pretty stiff crosswind, we were in a single echelon going between 28-30 mph. The pace slowed slightly and I rolled up a little bit - too much it turned out. There was a gust of wind from the side. The people in front moved slightly to the left, but the guy in front of me (#3 in line) swerved pretty hard to the left and clipped my front wheel. Down I went. Hit my head again, but I was just a little fuzzy afterward. Mostly road rash, but ground one of my knuckles down quite a bit. Skipped my next race because of it. I actually have video of it here: http://youtu.be/6anYkG1XNfw

So what is the max number of crashes you've been in during a 12-month period? I know some crashes can be avoided and some can't. Looking back, I could have probably avoided all three with appropriate caution. Did they discourage you? The latest one has been pretty disheartening. I've been told by the more experienced cat 2 riders that it wasn't my fault, but I know I could have been a bit quicker on the brakes to ensure spacing instead of rolling up. Then again, it seems there's always SOMETHING that could have been done to avoid a crash.
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Old 06-20-12, 05:13 PM   #2
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I had my disagreement with a fishook crash last year as well as sliding on snow when the back wheel went from under me and also on a muddy path where there was a narrow bit of wood which also took the back wheel out and dumped me on the mud.

They didnt discourage me just made me more cautious especially on the muddy path as I always look out for that bit of wood and slow down to avoid it.

The fishook incident made me more wary of riding on that bit of canal towpath but I did deliberately ride on it again just to get some confidence back but I havent ridden up that way for a while tho its such a muddy and narrow path I am not keen to ride it anyhow.
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Old 06-20-12, 06:04 PM   #3
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more racing = more crashes
less racing = less crashes
same for training

How many in a year? I suppose one crash for every 200-300 hours on the bike, or so...
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Old 06-20-12, 06:40 PM   #4
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Dry conditions - 1 crash every 18 months.
Racing in rain 4 corner crit - 3 crashes in 3 laps.

No more crits in the rain...

except sometimes. Too dumb to learn.
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Old 06-20-12, 06:49 PM   #5
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people who count crashes, court crashes.
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Old 06-20-12, 07:54 PM   #6
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Dude, golden rule - we do not talk about crashes...
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Old 06-20-12, 07:56 PM   #7
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This study looked into both traumatic and overuse injuries (crashes without significant injury were not counted). On average a high volume racer will suffer 0.5 injuries/year or 0.007/1000km with 50% of those being traumatic.

J Sports Sci. 2012 Jun;30(10):1047-53. Epub 2012 May 16.
Incidence and risk for traumatic and overuse injuries in top-level road cyclists.
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22587674

This study found that you have about a 27% chance of having some injury and 6% chance of serious injury per year.

Accid Anal Prev. 2011 Nov;43(6):2085-92. Epub 2011 Jun 23.
Incidence, severity and correlates of bicycling injuries in a sample of cyclists in Queensland, Australia.
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21819838


What a dangerous activity we do. Next thing you know some uneducated dolt will suggest that we should be denied health insurance because our lifestyle choices increase our health care costs.
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Old 06-20-12, 07:59 PM   #8
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Dude, golden rule - we do not talk about crashes...
correct.
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Old 06-20-12, 08:05 PM   #9
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wow... good thing you didn't mushroom into the road with that car right behind you... scary to see that, glad you didn't veer into the road. Were you aware of that car? Being last in line, id rather fether the brakes than go from shoulder into the road (toward the white line).
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Old 06-20-12, 08:06 PM   #10
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Dude, golden rule - we do not talk about crashes...
+1

It is like the first rule of Fight Club.
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Old 06-20-12, 08:11 PM   #11
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I reckon I've had 4 this YTD. None in races. 3 in the rain.
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Old 06-20-12, 08:12 PM   #12
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Im superstitious.



(I wasnt here)
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Old 06-20-12, 08:39 PM   #13
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I just got Fight Club to watch but haven't watched it yet, so I'll bite.

For 5 years (83-87) I crashed yearly in training, 1-2 times a year. I'm sure I crashed 3 times in a year at some point but I don't remember. I do remember that I crashed 3 times on one corner alone (the 2nd and 3rd times were when I intentionally went and did laps with that turn in order to get over my fear of crashing there). I was entering races this whole time but didn't crash in any of them.

The next 5 years (88-92) I crashed yearly in races. In one bad year I got caught up in 4 crashes in 5 weeks or so, I think in 1992. All of them were crashes where I was going into a turn near the front of the field, someone would come smoking up the inside, slide out, and take out a bunch of guys. Most of my crashes in other years were similar - I was in good position (typically sitting 3rd-8th in a single file field), someone would fly up the inside, lose it, and take out a bunch of guys including me. This is one of the reasons I tailgun when I race - I prefer to be away from the fighting if I can help it.

(From 1989 to about 1995 I mountain biked regularly and crashed on it regularly, but I'm not counting those.)

Then, except one crash (in a race, due to a problem with my cleat, in something like 2002), I didn't crash for 17 years, in training or racing. I was doing up to 55 races a year, focusing on crits (because they're normally a lot safer than road races, because the last thing I want to do is descend at 60 mph with a bunch of guys who are scared of group riding so all they do are road races and they don't know how to ride in a group in a crit...), dicing it out at the front in the field sprints, and the only time I went down was when I was sitting dead last, sprinted out of a turn, and unclipped.

In 2009 someone pulled an intentional move and took me and a bunch of other guys out. About 30 mph tumble. I broke my pelvis (first ever broken bone, and I managed to fracture two bones), another guy broke ribs, and there was a slew of other less severe injuries. Ironically I'd have been okay had I just fallen - my pelvis got broken when another rider hit me while I was tumbling. It took about two months before I could work, about 4 months before I could ride without too much pain, and about 7 months before I was fully healed (due to soft tissue damage - the bone was fine in 4 months).

In 2010 I made a careless error and fell at about 30 mph. This one took only 5 days to heal completely - I fell on Tuesday night and removed the last of the Tegaderm on the following Sunday.
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Old 06-21-12, 05:17 AM   #14
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I don't know how people remember all their crashes.

Recollecting the "big" ones of course, but all the slide outs and slight tumbles and etc?
If you are playing enough, most of these get lost with what you ate at your high school graduation party.

Maybe this thread should be banished, burned and left forever behind.
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Old 06-21-12, 07:32 AM   #15
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I'd vote for that.

Looking at the video, I saw two things that were red flags.

First, it looks like you were on the hoods right before you went down. Most people have more control in the drops, and when in the hoods, your arms tend to be straighter, less loose, easier to lock up. I've had my wheel clipped so hard it turned 45 degrees to one side, but I recovered because my grip was loose and I rolled with it. When you're tense, it's hard to recover. Your center of gravity isn't mobile. Balancing is difficult.

Second, overlapping wheels in an echelon situation demands focus. You looked gassed. You were yo-yoing on the back. You'd have been better off leaving a bigger gap and not fighting for that last little bit of draft when you are recovering from an effort.
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Old 06-21-12, 07:35 AM   #16
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one was enough. this thread is a blight, and i'd like to lock it , but I'm on my way out of here so you guys have a party. catch you on the rare bird alert forum.
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Old 06-21-12, 07:41 AM   #17
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one was enough. this thread is a blight, and i'd like to lock it , but I'm on my way out of here so you guys have a party. catch you on the rare bird alert forum.
Give me your Godly powers and I'll lock it, then I'll mess with Hammy
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Old 06-21-12, 08:44 AM   #18
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i had a stretch in 2008 where i crashed 5 or 6x in 3 weeks, including twice in one race. that sucked.
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Old 06-21-12, 08:44 AM   #19
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It varies from year to year. But what botto said about counting crashes courts crashes is true - if you ride scared, either of other riders or your own abilities, you WILL crash. There are some riders who complain endlessly about the sketchy riding of others, and crash repeatedly in races because of it. Others keep their mouths shut, ride the same races next to the same sketchy riders and stay upright. That should tell you something: crashing because of sketchy riders has as much to do you with you as with them, much of the time. I've crashed because of contact with another rider exactly once in the last four years (that's how long I've been racing, so I have no greater experience to draw on). Every other time I've hit the pavement, mild or serious, it's been my own fault. I crashed a bunch before taking up racing, too. Crashing just isn't that likely to happen if you keep a level head and maintain concentration.
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Old 06-21-12, 08:49 AM   #20
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i have a team mate who has crashed in like 40% of his races this year. we're sending him off the front more to try and reduce that percentage.
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Old 06-21-12, 08:51 AM   #21
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Dude, golden rule - we do not talk about crashes...

ruh-roh!
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Old 06-21-12, 09:46 AM   #22
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i have a team mate who has crashed in like 40% of his races this year. we're sending him off the front more to try and reduce that percentage.
So he can take out the break? Interesting strategy.
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Old 06-21-12, 10:02 AM   #23
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I'm scared to post in this thread because I haven't crashed this year.

But twice last year, once racing from a pedal clip, and once in a training ride overlapping wheels because the guy in front of me turned around to see everyone and moved left and I wasn't paying attention.
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Old 06-21-12, 10:26 AM   #24
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Thanks CDR for the write-up. Very informative and your history goes with my thinking. Actually, your blog write-up regarding road rash got me to thinking about this subject.

Quote:
Originally Posted by adam_mac84 View Post
wow... good thing you didn't mushroom into the road with that car right behind you... scary to see that, glad you didn't veer into the road. Were you aware of that car? Being last in line, id rather fether the brakes than go from shoulder into the road (toward the white line).
Gotta admit, didn't know about the car until reviewing the video. I didn't even notice it when reviewing the video until I slowed it down. I was too busy looking for other things. With my wheel being taken out from the right, I fell into the shoulder luckily.

Quote:
Originally Posted by shovelhd View Post
I'd vote for that.

Looking at the video, I saw two things that were red flags.

First, it looks like you were on the hoods right before you went down. Most people have more control in the drops, and when in the hoods, your arms tend to be straighter, less loose, easier to lock up. I've had my wheel clipped so hard it turned 45 degrees to one side, but I recovered because my grip was loose and I rolled with it. When you're tense, it's hard to recover. Your center of gravity isn't mobile. Balancing is difficult.

Second, overlapping wheels in an echelon situation demands focus. You looked gassed. You were yo-yoing on the back. You'd have been better off leaving a bigger gap and not fighting for that last little bit of draft when you are recovering from an effort.
Yes, I was gassed and on the hoods. The guy in front of me wasn't very experienced (though is a strong rider) and I didn't take that into account like I should have. In retrospect, I should have given a bit more room and been quicker on the brakes. I think the yo-yo was more to do with him being a little squirrely (another sign to give room...). This shows my experience level too.

Thanks for the comments everyone, sorry to bring up a taboo subject.
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Old 06-21-12, 10:59 AM   #25
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Quote:
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Yes, I was gassed and on the hoods. The guy in front of me wasn't very experienced (though is a strong rider) and I didn't take that into account like I should have. In retrospect, I should have given a bit more room and been quicker on the brakes. I think the yo-yo was more to do with him being a little squirrely (another sign to give room...). This shows my experience level too.

Thanks for the comments everyone, sorry to bring up a taboo subject.
Hey, we have to talk about things if we want to learn how best to avoid them. Having your wheel taken out is like being the rear car in a collision. You're at fault for not doing what you needed to do to avoid it, but the cause can often be the bike or car in front. In a paceline of guys you know, you certainly should be able to overlap in a cross-wind, with everyone mindful that there is someone behind them that is likely overlapped. He moved over a lot, and very suddenly. And at the same time, you obviously know what you could have done to avoid it happening. Someone almost took me down Tuesday night in our practice crit by moving over like that, but fortunately I reacted enough to avoid him. Of course he was (over)reacting to someone ahead of him. It rippled through a few of us, but nobody went down. Of course things like that happen many times in every race. IMO, crashes are almost always the result of at least two 'mistakes'. An ill advised overlap followed by an unexpected (and likely irrational) sudden move. Someone not checking their six followed by soeone not paying close enough attention... etc. etc.

I know you live up North, but if you can make it down to a few of the Underground Crit's (Tuesday, close to I-17 and Deer Valley), they are a great way to sharpen pack skills. It's a mix of cat's, from P to 5, and while numbers are down a bit due to the heat and this being off-season, there will still be 30-40 in the A race. I've been using them to sharpen my handling, fitness, and Race IQ. I've managed to finish on the lead lap lately, but it has been rather sedate the last few weeks. When the P-1's are there, I've been dropped when the pack decides to chase one of the really fast guys down. There is a bit of a rise on the front straight, and taking that at 30+ can wear you down. I'm looking forward to next time it really heats up, though, to measure my progress.

Even if you don't do the races, you should get on the email list, as it is one of the ways to stay in touch with what is happening down here in the Valley. And if you ever want to head down and stay over (A ends about 8:00), I can provide crash space.
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