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Old 05-20-09, 12:07 AM   #1
Dawes-man
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Vintage Bicycle Injuries - Mine Smacked Me

I live on the 5th floor and keep my machines indoors. As I was carrying my Hetchins up the steps on Sunday I slipped. The front wheel hit the next step and wedged left full lock. The left end of the handlebar smacked me hard in the mouth as I went sprawling over the bike. It hurt like hell.

I managed to get up but at first I didn't want to probe the damage with my tongue, imagining a good chance of a broken tooth and preferring not to know, but I could taste blood. I put my hand to my mouth and then down to see a blob of scarlet in the palm. I'd cut the inside and outside of my upper lip. Did I say it hurt like hell?

That evening was the worst as the lip swelled up twice its normal size and I had difficulty eating, smiling or talking. Today it's a lot better but as I tease it from time to time I think back to other times I've nearly slipped carrying the bike up and down steps. I've got to be careful!

There was a news story here in Tokyo about a year ago: A guy had left his bicycle at the local station one night as he'd been drinking... or maybe it'd been raining so he decided to walk home. The next day he went to collect it on another bike and was riding home holding the stem of the other bike as he went. He fell off and the brake lever of the bike he was holding went into his eye, killing him instantly.

Am I a disaster waiting to happen? Or have any or all of you had mishaps and near-misses?
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Old 05-20-09, 01:09 AM   #2
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Well accidents are going to happen, whether happens carrying a bike or while riding a bus.

Your story made me cringe a bit, just thinking about the taste of blood.... Getting hit in the mouth is a pretty nasty accident, you have my sympathy and I hope you feel better soon!
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Old 05-20-09, 04:55 AM   #3
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Ouch! One slip I sorta learned a lesson from was when standing over a bike and tightening a seat binder bolt, the older kind requiring a regular wrench. I learned not to pull up when tightening, but instead to push down. When one pulls up, there's a likely chance the wrench will slip and one will punch oneself in the jaw with great force. Fortunately, no blood, however.

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Old 05-20-09, 07:04 AM   #4
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So what were you doing tot he bike to deserve that sort of disrespect? It must have been pretty mad.
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Old 05-20-09, 07:24 AM   #5
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One tip learned the hard way - always put your chain on the big ring when removing pedals
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Old 05-20-09, 07:36 AM   #6
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You have a Hetchins... even if you had broken bones there would still be no good reason for you not to be smiling.

I was removing some cantis one day and when the brake arm flipped outward it picked up a 2 inch piece of brake wire (just a strand) and drove it straight through my thumb.

I had about half an inch of wire sticking out from each side and it didn't really hurt until I had pull it out with some vice grips.
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Old 05-20-09, 07:39 AM   #7
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I leaned in close to a frayed brake wire and one of the frayed strands went into my eyeball. My eye was sore for like a week.
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Old 05-20-09, 07:56 AM   #8
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One tip learned the hard way - always put your chain on the big ring when removing pedals
There's no way but the hard way for this lesson. I've learned it at least three times (but I'm not that bright).

Mine: I was coiling an old brake cable (just to recycle), and a stray strand of wire, pointing in the wrong direction, pierced my thumb and snaked about an inch under the skin before coming out near my thumbnail. I'm pretty sure I screamed the whole time I was pulling that thing out. Upstairs neighbors must've thought I had some kind of torture chamber set up in the basement. And it turns out, without knowing it, I did.

Last edited by kbjack; 05-20-09 at 08:03 AM.
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Old 05-20-09, 09:58 AM   #9
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One tip learned the hard way - always put your chain on the big ring when removing pedals
Yes, this ... and frayed cables ... and wrenches that slip ... there's always something to keep my hands nicked up.

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A guy had left his bicycle at the local station one night as he'd been drinking... or maybe it'd been raining so he decided to walk home. The next day he went to collect it on another bike and was riding home holding the stem of the other bike as he went. He fell off and the brake lever of the bike he was holding went into his eye, killing him instantly.
I'm still alive, but something like that heppened to me ... I was out riding and I came upon a garage sale where I bought a bike. I started off down the seller's driveway, riding my bike and holding the stem of the garage sale bike, feeling great about a nice score. When I got to the base of the driveway, I was unable to turn because the two bikes' cables and handlebars had hooked up.

Fortunately this did not result in instant death as in the Tokyo story, but minor bruises and major embarrassment!
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Old 05-20-09, 12:16 PM   #10
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Slipped wrenches, frayed cables, yeah, done that and more.

But the real evidence is to be found on my shins. They are permanently scarred. I guess it's my commuter bike that does it to me most of the time... but I'm always banging out another gouge with the pedal.
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Old 05-20-09, 12:26 PM   #11
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But is the Hetchin's okay?
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Old 05-20-09, 12:51 PM   #12
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The important thing is there was no damage to the bike. Pain is temporary. A Hetchins is forever.

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Old 05-20-09, 01:06 PM   #13
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I was riding on a MUP and checking out some girl that just rollerbladed past. When I looked back forwards, I had to duck under a branch like now. When I dipped down to get under it, I smacked my chin on the top of my stem. embarrassing.

..and it was a varsity so it had a hex bolt on top. I still have scar tissue (i guess) a lump in my bottom lip a year later.
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Old 05-20-09, 01:06 PM   #14
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Same thing happened to me once...

Bar end went right into my left temple...my right elbow slammed into the large chainring and scraped along it...and of course my left knee impacted right on the concrete edge of a step.

I was crying like a baby - like you described - it hurt like hell.

Funny thing was the bike - Lotus at the time - was literally unscratched.

=8-)

Gotta say though that the most common accident I see...and it has happened to me...is a slip of the pedal wrench with your hand headed toward the big chain ring at light speed.

Have an Ibex scar on my right thumb knuckle to server as a reminder...

=8-)
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Old 05-20-09, 01:22 PM   #15
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Well fortunatly I do not have a war story to tell but I remember looking at am apartment once and the stairs got narrower and narrower and we ascended to the third floor I pretty much made up my mind that there was no way I was going to get a bike up and down those stairs!
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Old 05-22-09, 01:59 AM   #16
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Thanks to all who contributed to this thread!

My lip is much better now and to those who expressed concern about the Hetchins (perhaps rightly more than for me), it's fine. I even thought I caught it looking smug

As for wire in eyes and through thumbs.... puleeese!
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Old 05-22-09, 02:39 AM   #17
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Well fortunatly I do not have a war story to tell but I remember looking at am apartment once and the stairs got narrower and narrower and we ascended to the third floor I pretty much made up my mind that there was no way I was going to get a bike up and down those stairs!
I now live on the groundfloor which helps, but when I lived on the second floor of an appartment I used to carry a tandem up the stairs, its was tough!
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Old 05-22-09, 08:42 AM   #18
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MANY years ago I had just thoroughly overhauled my track bike and feeling strong that day had also changed to a smaller fixed rear cog. I was anxious to take it out for a quick spin. The bike was riding smooth as silk as I sprinted down the block. When I neared the busy intersection at the end of the block I applied hard back-pedal pressure to begin to quickly slow to a stop - no brakes on the track bike, of course.

At that moment I became shockingly aware, that in my haste to get the bike back out on the road, I had neglected to screw back on the rear hub lock washer which holds the fixed cog on the threaded hub. My bike was suddenly no longer a fixed gear bike. The cog had jolted, broke free, and almost instantly had unscrewed itself as the wheel rotated, now leaving my legs to back pedal (or to pedal forward) as if there were no chain on the bike at all. I was left coasting - FAST! And I was helplessly flying toward the intersection with the sound of the cog just rattling, floating detached around the inner axle nuts.

Cars on my left were waiting for the red traffic light to change - yes, I was heading toward busy moving traffic... and parked cars were on my right. But, as time seemed to suddenly freeze, I realized that near the corner there was a short space where parking was ever too briefly prohibited. I had no choice but to suddenly execute a instant acrobatic "body stop" at this opening before the crosswalk by basically jumping the bike into a 90 degree turn and throwing myself down sideways onto the coarse pavement for a loud crash and a brief slide. I vividly recall emitting a never before uttered sound - somewhere between the squeal of a little girl and a man being punched in the stomach - before I hit the ground.

Fortunately, I HAD successfully avoided riding into the moving cross traffic [relieved applause] and the bike was not damaged at all (I took the hit) [Loud Cheers!] Not yet feeling any pain at all, I quickly looked up to see a passing public bus with some startled passengers looking down at me in shock. And the occupants of the waiting cars beside me were now peering down, looking at me as if I were either a lunatic jack rabbit or perhaps had suffered a brief spastic seizure (No, they could not possibly have understood about fixed gear racing bikes without brakes).

I got up and immediately began limping quickly back homeward, trying to keep my head up as if to feign: "Oh, I MEANT to do that. Oh yeah, I'm Bad!..." Now, that short city block had become endlessly long as I also kept looking around to see if anyone else may have observed my idiocy. Embarrassed, I arrived back home... finally noticing that half of the ass of my shorts had been completely shredded away... along with ALL of my dignity.

I had road rash for weeks. But, the greater wound was the imagined laughter of neighbors who I felt were watching, lurking behind their curtains, whenever I rode past. I often rode the other way down the street, to avoid remembering that embarrassing moment. This feeling quickly passed, at least by the time my scrapes had healed, and I was soon again riding happily along in harms way again... still without brakes.

And then there was my last serious concussion - with the hospital stay which I still have no memory of...

Another time for that story.

There is just no cure for stupid.
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Old 05-22-09, 09:12 AM   #19
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...
There is just no cure for stupid.
Ooof, great description of your accident, I was cringing just reading it!

Not to quibble, but I have to correct you on the final point. There is a cure, and even a reward for those who find it.
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Old 05-22-09, 09:37 AM   #20
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for future reference, unclip foot, wedge where the tire meets seatstays, where a rear brake would normally go, apply furious presssure and get as much mass as possible toward the back of the bike
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Old 05-22-09, 09:48 AM   #21
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OUCH!!

There was a post on Fixed Gear Gallery a few years ago of a finger and a half that had been cut off by the chain and rear cog while adjusting chain tension with the bike in a stand.

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Old 05-22-09, 09:54 AM   #22
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A couple weeks ago, I was pulling the seat and seatpost out of my Schwinn Taveler. It was in there pretty good, so I put one foot on the pedal for leverage, and proceeded to pull on the seat. I had to pull pretty hard, and when it came out, WHAM! I punched myself in the mouth! Luckily nobody saw it. It hurt but I couldn't help laughing at myself for being so stupid.
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Old 05-22-09, 10:03 AM   #23
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there's a great thread in ss/fg for illustrating your mishaps in mspaint
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Old 05-22-09, 10:10 AM   #24
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While disassembling a rear axle to rebuild a hub, the offending locknut was really tightened down and required a lot of force to break loose. Both hands struggling on cone wrenches, and when it finally let go, the rim flew back into my forehead. Fortunately there's very liitle in there to be hurt anymore.
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Old 05-22-09, 10:19 AM   #25
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It took me a minute to realize what the importance of putting the chain on the largest ring before removing the pedals would be.

Ouch.

When I was 11-12 years old I learned the lesson of why you should never throw wrenches. I was working on a Huffy Pro 3 and something-I can't remember what-wasn't going well. Out of fustration, I threw a boxed end wrench at the bike. Bad idea. The wrench hit the rear tire and rocketed back at me, open end first. It caught me square in the jaw and knocked me on my butt. Luckily the stitches didn't leave a noticeable scar, but the lesson remains until this day.
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