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Commuting Bicycle commuting is easier than you think, before you know it, you'll be hooked. Learn the tips, hints, equipment, safety requirements for safely riding your bike to work.

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Old 02-12-06, 09:23 AM   #1
tg1896
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My first real crash

I guess it was bound to happen sooner or later. I was turning left into my subdivision and had oncoming traffic - but it was quite a distance away. I was more concerned with the car coming out of the subdivision and whether or not they had seen me. As I started into the turn I realized that the oncoming traffic was moving a lot faster than I thought, which made me take the turn without braking. I went wide, got into a serious disagreement with the curb (curb won) did a half-gainer over the handlebars (9.5 from the French judge) landed on my back on the sidewalk and cracked the helmet clean through. The good news is, the bike only sustained minor scratches. I wasn't too bad off - considering. Any way - two weeks later and all my injuries are nearly healed. I'm riding a lot more cautiously these days.

Any similar stories out there?.
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Old 02-12-06, 10:23 AM   #2
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YIKES! Good thing you didn't post this in Advocacy and Safety or they'd be all over you for being such a 'tard. Here you get sympathy. I don't believe I've ever had quite that sort of accident. I seem to specialize in bone-headed 2mph crashes, though (e.g. concentrating on the cylicst coming my way, not realizing my handlebar was about to get caught on the post of a gate on the ramp off of the GWB -- what a genius!).
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Old 02-12-06, 10:44 AM   #3
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Ouch. I went over the handlebars as a kid. Brake failure going down a steep hill. I had no choice but to go up into some guys lawn. I opted on his storage of galvanized trash cans over running into his house. I recall a lot of scrapes and bruises, and a totalled bicycle, but no hospitalization.

Kind of funny - It was a 5:30 am ride to church to be an altar boy at the 6 am Mass.
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Old 02-12-06, 11:12 AM   #4
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Glad you're doing OK. I've had a couple crashes. The first was when I started to get back into biking as a young adult. Bought toe clips, a frame pump and helmet for my old 10-speed. On the first outing, I was constantly looking over my left shoulder because the road was narrow and I was paranoid about cars. While looking left, I drifted right and bumped into a bush growing out over the road. I heard the helmet bounce off the pavement. Guess I bought the helment just in time. Put it to use on its maiden voyage.

I crashed a couple weeks ago on the ice in my driveway. Looked pretty funny I bet. A neighbor was driving by at exactly that moment. Probably confirmed all her notions about that crazy guy who rides in the winter.
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Old 02-12-06, 11:37 AM   #5
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I posted this over in "How was the Commute Today?" when it happened, but sounds kinda similar to the ones her. Back in January I was cutting through the local college campus and failed to notice a parking lot gate until it was too late. The wooden gate broke but still knocked me down. I initially thought I was OK and remember hearing the helmet smack the asphalt. Then I noticed the blood dripping on my pants. My sunglasses dug into my brow causing me to need 8-10 stitches. Next day eye was swollen shut and felt like I had busted a rib. All healed up now and bike was basically unharmed.

In my defense, the barrier was painted blue and sorta blended in. ode by the next week and now it is yellow with black stripes and traffic cones placed in front of it.
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Old 02-12-06, 12:05 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by oilfreeandhappy
Ouch. I went over the handlebars as a kid. Brake failure going down a steep hill. I had no choice but to go up into some guys lawn. I opted on his storage of galvanized trash cans over running into his house. I recall a lot of scrapes and bruises, and a totalled bicycle, but no hospitalization.

Kind of funny - It was a 5:30 am ride to church to be an altar boy at the 6 am Mass.
What kind of "brake failure"? I ask because that is my biggest fear; Going down a hill and my front brakes suddenly disassembling themselves right into my spokes.
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Old 02-12-06, 01:03 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tg1896
I was turning left into my subdivision and had oncoming traffic... As I started into the turn I realized that the oncoming traffic was moving a lot faster than I thought, which made me take the turn without braking. I went wide, got into a serious disagreement with the curb
Countersteering and line-of-sight. Were your handlebars turned to the right so you could make a sharp left? Was your head turned with you looking at the steet you were turning into? Take a tip from a motorcyclist, if you can't brake, countersteer as tight as you can without losing your tire and lowsiding and turn your head and look in the dirction you want to go.

The same thing happened to me (minus the crash ) coming home from work. I work in the foothills here in LA at 1850'. I descend to 1580' in 1/2 mile and can get to 35-40 mph if there's no traffic halfway down. I need to make a left turn at the bottom and descend down the next street. Well the light was green at the bottom, there was no cross-traffic so I wasn't braking hard, and I entered the intersection over 30 mph. I instinctively turned to my motorcycle skills to get me out of this one. I simultaneously turned my head as far left as I needed to look at the street I was making a left turn into and countersteered tightly without lowsiding so I could make a sharper turn. I did it and ended up in the middle of the lane so I had room to spare. I suggest you practice countersteering and line-of-sight when you out riding.
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Old 02-12-06, 01:21 PM   #8
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I'm intrigued - and confused (which is not at all unusual for me). I understand the looking hard to the left, because I also ride a motorcycle. The coutersteering right and lowsiding stuff isn't real clear to me. It also sounds counterintuitive. Explain in more detail.
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Old 02-12-06, 02:33 PM   #9
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Dude, if you ride a motorcycle and don't know what countersteering is, then you better stop and learn it before you kill yourself. How do you turn right now? I took the Motorcycle Safety Foundation classes before getting my M1 license. You should, too. Crashing into a curb on a bicycle will hurt you. Crashing to a curb on a motorcycle can kill you.

Take a look at Wikipedia for countersteering, lowsider, and highsider.
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Old 02-12-06, 05:08 PM   #10
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Okay, now I understand what you're talking about. I took the same course and they taught the same maneuver, but I don't recall it being called "oversteering". You threw me off when you said "turn your handlebars". I can see "pressing right" to turn left, but to me that's quite a bit different than actually turning your handlebars.

Anyhow, thanks for the tip. It's a good one and I will use it.
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