"The 33"-Road Bike Racing - Collateral Damage
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I was riding the "express" tour d'ile today. I started a group that wound up snowballing into the 2nd group on the ride with about 75 people in it. I noticed right away that there were some clowns in it. I personally don't have much close quarters riding experience but I just err on the side of being safe. I nearly got wiped out a couple times by people cutting me off. Anyway, we came to a hill where it narrowed (because we used one side of a dual carriageway) and some guys were just all over the place, passing far to close to each other, weaving all over the place. Then it happened, somebody near the front when down (with a look of horror on his face). I'd say about 10 people went down, including myself. However, I could not return to finish the remaining 2 miles.
I have, 2 finished tubes, 2 wheels out of true (1 so much that I can't even release the brakes to make it move freely), 1 finished tire (both tires were nearing the end of their lifespan anyway), 1 wrecked waterbottle cage (possibly 2) and some hurt pride.
Luckily I went down on my left so my deraillers are unscathed.
06-08-03, 05:03 PM
Join the club. I went down a couple of weeks ago and two other guys in the mob broke collar bones. I've been limping around since, but I'm thankful I can still ride without pain. Crits now make me nervous, so I might stick to road races. Plus in the cat 5 I'm in there are a lot of riders with no group experience, as you have mentioned.
It sounds like a lot of those guys were not very skilled bike handlers and don't ride in groups very often. That's one of the reasons I don't ride the tour- too many people and you don't know what they can or can't do.It's not like a race, where the riders are accustomed to racing and being in groups.
06-08-03, 08:44 PM
I'd like to only do road races or time trials, but there just aren't enough around. There are crits all the time! big bummer
I went down yesterday after my riding partner drifted into me and we locked handlebars. We managed to free ourselves but then he slid back and we touched wheels. He slid out and took out my rear wheel causing me to slide out too. Luckily our bikes came out pretty much unscathed. His bike lost a bit of bartape on the left drop and I lost a handlebar plug. We both picked up a bit of road rash on the knees and elbows. We were doing about 20MPH when we contacted.
06-09-03, 11:02 AM
I stopped doing the Tour de L`Ile years ago for the very reason that you had an accident, too many riders unaccustomed to riding in groups. After I joined a bike club with members used to riding together, I realized how dangerous the Tour is. Contrast my ride yesterday with yours: 130 km along some of the most beautiful country roads in the Montreal area. We started in Kirkland, rode out through Hudson, Rigaud, to Pointe Fortune where we crossed the Ottawa River on the ferry, then back along quiet roads in beatiful rolling countryside back to another ferry to Ile Bizard, and back home. All the time I was riding with people I know well, all experienced group riders, all of whom have done some racing. I never felt unsafe, no matter how fast we went. we finished 130 km with a 32 kph average speed, including the slow parts when we were stopping for the ferries and through the towns.
06-09-03, 04:01 PM
This is the reason so many races start fast....to burn off the unfit, inexperienced and ill-disciplined (doesn't always work!!!)
To outsiders, cycling looks easy enough- just like when we were kids but a bit faster. The skill factor comes in handy when the adrenaline is gone and a guy starts to drift back down the bunch, unable to hold a wheel, not able to hold his line and look around at the same time.....
now I understand why Spire hates Paris-Roubaix! when you've just been at the bottom of a stack- especially one you didn't cause- some of those races look like gratuitous mayhem!
hope you're back on the road soon.......
Jason T. Martin
06-23-03, 06:06 AM
There is a regular ride here in Austin on Saturdays that upwards of 150-200 people have shown up for on nice days...usually around 100 during the summer. Lots of tri folks (starts at a Tri Shop who provides B-fast tacoes and coffee for after) and a fair amount of road racers and then a smattering of people just enjoying themselves for the ride. It has been gong on so long that people are pretty good at taking care of each other and you see more experienced riders guiding the new folks. I am a little wary around tri folks sometimes (especially when I see them trying to climb in the big ring in their aero bars) but it all seems to work out. Our team also sponsors a beginner ride that LBS refers people to who are buying new bikes. We take people out on Sunday mornings for a short ride concentrating on handleing skills etc...
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