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Old 04-13-08, 05:32 PM   #1
RNICE
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Crash.

I was testing out my new rear rack early this morning on local rail to trail path. I guess I let my guard down or something because I missed a horizontal steel car stop in the sun and hit it at full speed (~20 - 25 I'd guess). I had time to say 'oh ****' and enough time in the air to think to myself that this was going to hurt. I think I flipped at least twice. Three sets of sutures on the left leg, a blueberry left hand where the shifters pinched, adios day old leg warmers (they gave themselves valiantly), hola back and bottom pain where I landed. Anyways, not fishing for pity, just wanted to say 1. yay for taking a cell phone on solo rides 2. yay for helmets.

And also wondered if anyone knows how dented an aluminum frame has to be before its not safe to ride. It looks like the drops took most of the impact and then hit the top tube enough to divot it and then the steerer took a hit that continued up as my clipless pedals tried to bring the bike with me on my flight.

I'm going to go to the township and ask permission to paint that bar hi-viz orange - not a very nice thing to put in the middle of a 'bike' path!

Some pics for reference.
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Old 04-13-08, 09:04 PM   #2
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I dont think the divots will cause any harm, beyond your pride, as long as the tubes are still straight.
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Old 04-13-08, 09:14 PM   #3
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Yeah, but how is the new rear rack?






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Old 04-13-08, 09:26 PM   #4
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...I missed a horizontal steel car stop...
Ouch. Hope you get back on another bike soon.

The handlebar picture - double ouch.

What is "a horizontal steel car stop" please?
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Old 04-13-08, 09:30 PM   #5
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that'll buff right out
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Old 04-13-08, 09:32 PM   #6
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What is "a horizontal steel car stop" please?
A gate-like affair that crosses most of the MUP leaving some space for bikes to fit through. Unlike bollards (posts) they can be unlocked and swung open for emergency and maintenance vehicles to pass. Ours around here are that dark brown rust-like finish.
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Old 04-13-08, 09:39 PM   #7
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A gate-like affair that crosses most of the MUP leaving some space for bikes to fit through. Unlike bollards (posts) they can be unlocked and swung open for emergency and maintenance vehicles to pass. Ours around here are that dark brown rust-like finish.
You mean like the color of... trees and stuff? In other words... an obstruction in the path that's hard to see?

I wouldn't be 'asking permission' of the township for anything. I'd be suing them to a) paint the damn things themselves, b) pay my medical bills, and c) fix my bike!

Although you may have a hard time explaining your speed as you hit it, since I'm assuming this was at an intersection... one where you would be required to stop? That might not go over so well, but it's worth looking into.
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Old 04-13-08, 09:40 PM   #8
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I don't think I've ever seen any type of car stop or post that wasn't painted a high visibility color. Very odd and dangerous. Thankfully your crash didn't require a trip to the dentist, bone doctor or ICU.
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Old 04-13-08, 10:39 PM   #9
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Crashes are happening all over lately!
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Old 04-13-08, 11:02 PM   #10
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You mean like the color of... trees and stuff? In other words... an obstruction in the path that's hard to see?
Depends on the season, I guess. They stand out wonderfully against the snow...
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Old 04-13-08, 11:07 PM   #11
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A gate-like affair that crosses most of the MUP leaving some space for bikes to fit through. Unlike bollards (posts) they can be unlocked and swung open for emergency and maintenance vehicles to pass. Ours around here are that dark brown rust-like finish.
Thanks - anyone got a picture (yes, I am that much of a geek )?
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Old 04-14-08, 12:12 AM   #12
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I had a similar crash a couple of years ago - first ride out on my Jamis Aurora I hit a railroad tie used as a bollard (and, unlike the steel bollards they typically use around here, not painted), although in my case it was because I was looking down at the rear derailer instead of where I was going. High viz paint might have saved me, or maybe not. Bent the fork back enough that the front wheel hit the downtube, slightly tacoed the front wheel, and cracked one of my ribs - I was able to pull the fork back straight enough by putting my feet on the bottom bracket and pulling hard on the wheel to ride it home, cracked rib and all. I ended up replacing the fork and disassembling the wheel to straighten the rim, then rebuilding it with the same rim and spokes.

I would have a bike shop look at the dents in your frame and give an opinion. Then, regardless of the opinion, I'd take it to another bike shop and get a second opinion to see if they agree. It's hard to tell the depth of the dents from the photos - they look to me like little more than paint scrapes, which of course would be no big deal, but from your description I'm assuming they're deeper than that. It's probably going to be OK, but if it were me I'd want a bike shop or two to tell me that in so many words before I trusted it.

Hope you heal fast, and hope you get some resolution from the township. At a minimum, get them to send a crew out to paint that gate!
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Old 04-14-08, 10:17 AM   #13
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We have those things here, usually one on each side of the MUP entrance, often offset so that one is closer to you than the other one. They look like big P's with the top loop really elongated. Up here they are galvanized steel and unpainted, can be really hard to see and you have to make a turn to fit around them, if both are closed. Usually both are open though. I have had to make a few really hard emergency stops to avoid hitting them at full speed when the gates that were open on my way in in the morning were closed on the way back. I think hi-viz paint and reflectors would definitely be in order. Not really sure what would be the best solution for keeping cars of the MUP, anything I can think of that will obstruct a car will be potentially dangerous to a cyclist.
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Old 04-14-08, 10:56 AM   #14
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I would just paint it. Unless you are going to go after the city.

See the yehuda moon strip as my case in point for painting it...
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Old 04-15-08, 11:59 AM   #15
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It was painted yellow maybe 15 years ago - it is badly faded and doesn't stand out at all. It wasn't near an intersection or road, sort of close to a path bridge - to keep ATVs and stuff off the bridge.

I'm going to get the county to repaint it, and if they make a protective offer to cover medical and bike costs I wouldn't turn it down (not likely, I know), but the fact is I chose to ride early in the morning and I ran into something that was in plain site - poor coloring and placement or not. It's tempting to try suing to clear my losses, but I don't think I could live with myself - I'd rather take responsibilty for my mistake.

The tricky part was there were three I beams and the horizontal steel pipe only went between two. I think visually my brain processed the gap between one and filled it in on the one in front of the sun. Cruel trick!

But overall I'm trying feel good about it. Considering the physics behind it I find it hard to explain how I didn't break a bone, especially looking at some of my bruises. The bike parts I can replace - you only get one set of knees. And I usually don't carry my cell phone, just something I thought would be a good idea that morning.

On a side note, the Delta Universal rack is a nice rack after some home fabricating and playing with spacing and washers. It's not truly universal, but on my cyclocross bike I was able to get it firmly on. Seems well made to me. And since the bike hung on the fence as I took to flight, it didn't even suffer a scuff.

I'm going to stick with the frame, it only has a couple of 'divots', so we'll just ride on and monitor closely, as soon as these stiches are out and I can order new drops. Pass the white touch up paint please...
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Old 04-15-08, 12:08 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by aley View Post
I had a similar crash a couple of years ago - first ride out on my Jamis Aurora I hit a railroad tie used as a bollard (and, unlike the steel bollards they typically use around here, not painted), although in my case it was because I was looking down at the rear derailer instead of where I was going. High viz paint might have saved me, or maybe not. Bent the fork back enough that the front wheel hit the downtube, slightly tacoed the front wheel, and cracked one of my ribs - I was able to pull the fork back straight enough by putting my feet on the bottom bracket and pulling hard on the wheel to ride it home, cracked rib and all. I ended up replacing the fork and disassembling the wheel to straighten the rim, then rebuilding it with the same rim and spokes.

I would have a bike shop look at the dents in your frame and give an opinion. Then, regardless of the opinion, I'd take it to another bike shop and get a second opinion to see if they agree. It's hard to tell the depth of the dents from the photos - they look to me like little more than paint scrapes, which of course would be no big deal, but from your description I'm assuming they're deeper than that. It's probably going to be OK, but if it were me I'd want a bike shop or two to tell me that in so many words before I trusted it.

Hope you heal fast, and hope you get some resolution from the township. At a minimum, get them to send a crew out to paint that gate!

Ouch. I don't know about you but I remember having thoughts during and after the crash. Right before I hit the bar I remember thinking 'my God, I'm going to break in half' and thinking in the air 'this landing is really going to hurt'.

That's pretty beast of you to keep going with a bad rib. I was afraid to move until help showed up.
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