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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 01-24-09, 07:16 PM   #1
cyclefreaksix
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Look up in the sky! It's a bird, it's a plane...

Nope, it was me going over the handlebars .

Riding into work yesterday morning at 0530. A stiff headwind was making me work harder than usual on the way in. The far left lane closed due to construction and my slower than normal pace convinced me to turn into a school parking lot that runs parallel to the road so that I could ease up a bit and catch my breath. Sooooo I'm poking along with my water bottle in my right hand taking a drink when I suddenly spot a car moving at a brisk pace towards me. I panicked and hit the brakes. Well since I was holding my water bottle; I only hit one brake (the front brake). Yup, up and over I went.

Amazing how much stuff gets knocked outta whack when a bike wreck occurs. Nothing seriously hurt, although my brand new Garmin etrex legend has a broken screen

Guess it's all part of the game...
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Old 01-24-09, 07:31 PM   #2
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Ouch!

I don't even consider drinking and driving (a bike, a car or otherwise). I stop at a red light or pull over to get a swig of water/Gatorade. It's far too dangerous on the streets of NYC to be trying to navigate these roads with one hand, drink and not get hit by a cab/car/clueless pedestrian.
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Old 01-24-09, 07:33 PM   #3
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That sucks. I'm glad you didn't get hurt too bad. The important question... were there any witnesses?
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Old 01-24-09, 07:40 PM   #4
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That sucks. I'm glad you didn't get hurt too bad. The important question... were there any witnesses?
Thankfully no! It was entirely my fault and other than the car driver no one was around to witness my idiocy. The car did stop and I waved 'em on. Nothing to see here folks, move on.
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Old 01-24-09, 08:43 PM   #5
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Ack. I hate that. I did something similar the second time I rode my bike to work. I actually never made it that day because I bloodied myself up. I walked my unrideable bike back home, got cleaned up and drove into work that day.
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Old 01-24-09, 09:15 PM   #6
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Next time throw the bottle at the car like and grenade, and then brake with both hands on the bars.
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Old 01-24-09, 09:51 PM   #7
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Better yet, learn how to brake!

It's entirely possible to stop a bike quickly and safely using only the front brake... you just have to overcome that reflex to grab the brake as hard as you can!

Practice it till it's second nature... it'll save your behind someday!
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Old 01-24-09, 11:13 PM   #8
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Wow, you have awesome front brakes!

I tried to jump what I thought was an icy pile of snow left by the snow plow that actually was rather soft on the other side. Front wheel sank deep and stopped dead while I continued forward at appoximately the same speed. Only possible witness was a 50 yards away plowing a driveway... Hmm.., perhaps he had made the very pile that caused me to endo?
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Old 01-24-09, 11:27 PM   #9
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Better yet, learn how to brake!

It's entirely possible to stop a bike quickly and safely using only the front brake... you just have to overcome that reflex to grab the brake as hard as you can!

Practice it till it's second nature... it'll save your behind someday!
Yup. In fact I almost never even use my rear brake at all.

OP, think about squeeeezing the brake rather than pulling or grabbing it. If you have to stop fast, you squeeze it faster, but you still squeeeeze it.

You can practice panic turns also. A bike can turn almost at a 90 degree angle if you're good. A lot of times it's better to turn rather than brake if a car is about to hit you.

(I'm not questioning how you handled your near collision, OP. I think you handled it great! You didn't get seriously hurt, and that's the main thing! Give yourself a pat on the back.)
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Old 01-25-09, 07:10 PM   #10
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In fact I almost never even use my rear brake at all.
+1

One exception: long hills where I don't want to over heat the front wheel.
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Old 01-25-09, 07:42 PM   #11
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Ouch! Glad you're ok. Fortunately I'm clumsy and haven't mastered the art of riding and drinking at the same time. Besides, I like to stop, drink and look at the traffic go by as I rest.
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Old 01-25-09, 09:00 PM   #12
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Lesson learned fellers, lesson learned.
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Old 01-25-09, 10:45 PM   #13
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OP, think about squeeeezing the brake rather than pulling or grabbing it. If you have to stop fast, you squeeze it faster, but you still squeeeeze it.
Also, if you can, shift your weight back and down. And keep your arms (or one arm, whatever) braced, pushing yourself against and away from the bars.
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