First a story...
I crashed today 5 miles into my 15 mile commute during the rain
I was going through an intersection and once I reached the other side, I was going really slowly but I lost control and my bars turned abruptly or something. I somehow jumped off of my bike and landed on my feet and was 100% fine (physically at least) but my bike hit the ground. I looked back at the road and I think my front wheel slipped into a pothole/rut in the road that was covered in water, causing me to lose control. I don't remember where my hands were on the drop bars when I fell, but they might have been on the tops, which offers the least amount of handling/control, IMO.
Luckily, despite all of the cars (including the ones right behind me!!), I was able to get my body and my bike out of the roadway without any automobile running either over.
At first it looked really bad. Both of my roadbrake levers got bent inward extremely (I don't know how it happened on both sides!!), my front light mount broke a little bit, and I scratched up the end of my pedal, a point on my rack, and my rear derailleur, and possibly twisted my bars out of alignment a little, and derailed my chain.
I was able to twist my brake levers back into position, straighten my bike light, and put the chain back on, and I was good to go again after just a few minutes.
I was wearing sunglasses to prevent water from getting into my eyes (I have full coverage fenders too), but the sunglasses were really hindering my eyesight because there was so much crap on the lenses, my wearing the glasses definitely played a large part in this crash. I ended up taking off the glasses after the crash and the rain didn't bother my eyes. The rest of the ride went pretty well.
Once I got to my job, I was able to clean and look over my bike for any damage and make some more adjustments to straighten stuff out. Seems like the only permanent damage are just the scratches I mentioned before, which is fortunate.
I'm a little bit shaken up thinking about it, but the weather has cleared up for the ride home from work.
I'm 20 years old. I've never crashed the same way twice since I started biking daily in September, but I've had a large number of crashes. So far I've...
-Slipped in railroad tracks.
- fell over at 0mph when stuck in toe clips several times.
- been T-boned by a taxi at 5mph when I ran a red light (it came out of a blind spot.. but that's no excuse).
- slipped on black ice my first day of bike commuting ever.
- got blown over by a gust of wind when riding no handed.
- and now... crashed from a pothole/rut during the rain.
Only one of those accidents involved another person/vehicle, and I was completely at fault for that one. I've yet to get hurt or damage my bike severely so that is good, but I intend to ride my bike just about every day and be car free until I die.. I hope I stop crashing so much.
I don't think I'm a very reckless rider, I use a mirror/helmet/lights/reflectors/brightcolors/etc, am knowledgeable and a student of safe cycling habits on the road, and I don't let emotions cloud my judgment when riding. Safety is almost always a top concern for me. I sometimes run red lights when it appears safe to do so, and I cautiously lane split between cars, and I ride at a quick but comfortable pace.
Maybe I shouldn't do these more dangerous things at all, but I don't think that is really addressing the reasoning behind my crashes. I think these crashes are just my way of "learning the hard way" how to ride my bike. But I want to take control of the situation more, and not leave it so much up to fate and lack of years of experience.
I'm not really sure what I'm looking for in responses, but I wanted to post this thread.
What are your thoughts after reading this? Am I just gaining knowledgeable experience by learning the hard way, is this something everyone goes through when they start riding? I ride upwards of 200 miles per week, but I feel like I'm crashing way too much... it's been like 1 crash every 1-2 months, and I have been at fault for every one. How can I keep riding but stop crashing?