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  1. #1
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    Finally Fell Over

    I was warned by everyone. Many on this forum as well as the people at my lbs. Sooner or later riding with clipless pedels I would take a fall.
    Yesterday it finally happened. After 2 plus months of riding with Look clipless pedals I fell over. I was stopping for a water break at a little gas/convenience center. I slowed down, unclipped from my right pedal, coasted over to an area at the edge of the property near some trees and leaned over to the right stopping perfectly on my right foot.
    At this point for reasons I will never know, I pushed down with my right foot and threw my balance over to the left side. Of course my left foot was still locked into the pedal. Over I went just as easy as you please.
    I did remember what my lbs had told me about not trying to break my fall with my left hand, (they say many break their wrists this way) but rather just roll the shoulder and take the fall on your upper arm and shoulder.
    The result wasn't anything bad, I had to laugh at myself, plus I provided entertainment to the patrons including a couple of yahoos in a pick-up truck blaring country music.
    So now that monkey is off my back. I suppose now people will begin telling me it will happen again! and again!

  2. #2
    Senior Member BlazingPedals's Avatar
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    Not me! I won't tell you that! (I'll let others tell you.)

  3. #3
    The Grampster tlc20010's Avatar
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    Yep, the only thng you can be sure of is that your last fall won't be your last fall.

  4. #4
    Let's do a Century jppe's Avatar
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    Welcome to the club Dan!!

    There are worse places that it could have happened!! Probably a good topic for another thread.......

  5. #5
    Time for a change. stapfam's Avatar
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    Finally joined the club. Now look for the T shirt.
    How long was I in the army? Five foot seven.


    Spike Milligan

  6. #6
    Badger Biker ctyler's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by p8rider
    I was warned by everyone. Many on this forum as well as the people at my lbs. Sooner or later riding with clipless pedels I would take a fall.
    Yesterday it finally happened. After 2 plus months of riding with Look clipless pedals I fell over. I was stopping for a water break at a little gas/convenience center. I slowed down, unclipped from my right pedal, coasted over to an area at the edge of the property near some trees and leaned over to the right stopping perfectly on my right foot.
    At this point for reasons I will never know, I pushed down with my right foot and threw my balance over to the left side. Of course my left foot was still locked into the pedal. Over I went just as easy as you please.
    I did remember what my lbs had told me about not trying to break my fall with my left hand, (they say many break their wrists this way) but rather just roll the shoulder and take the fall on your upper arm and shoulder.
    The result wasn't anything bad, I had to laugh at myself, plus I provided entertainment to the patrons including a couple of yahoos in a pick-up truck blaring country music.
    So now that monkey is off my back. I suppose now people will begin telling me it will happen again! and again!
    I fell at the end of the first ride with Look Clipless prdals. I pulled up to the car and stopped. Then promptly fell over. After that one time, I never fell again. (Knock on wood!)

  7. #7
    Senior Member
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    I'm new to clipless also. I've fallen twice in the past month. ONce on the trail, and once in my own yard. I got up feeling kind of stupid, and hoping that none of my neighbors saw me. If you think about it, it must look kind of silly when there was no apparent reason for falling.
    CityRocksWoods: I ride, therefore, I am.

  8. #8
    Senior Member edp773's Avatar
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    I had a similar experience last fall with toe clips. Just like you, I removed my right foot and placed it on the ground, only to find myself falling to my left. The exception was that the release for my prosthetic leg caught on the water bottle cage, launching it about a foot away. When I looked up, a couple was gazing at me with jaws dropped. I laughed so hard, because their expression was priceless.
    Born Again Bicyclist! I found my Faith.

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  9. #9
    Senior Member RockyMtnMerlin's Avatar
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    Mine was at a stop sign on the southern edge of Munich, Germany (where I was stationed in the Navy). Rode up to the stop sign and even though I had been riding clipless pedals for a bunch of years, I just simply did not unclip. The German motorists who were stopping at the intersection were certianly amused. But I was up and gone before they could laugh at me!

  10. #10
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    I won't ride clipped in town anymore...
    The anxiety of needing to be nimble in traffic and a total of 6 falls (one where I put my elbow out to save me... landed on a tiny rock and had a sore elbow for a couple months...) .. has made me eschew clipping other than when I am in cruise mode...

    Still.. I am working to train myself to always give my ankle a flick.. whether I'm clipped or not.. cause if the flick is second nature... then one need not worry about if their attached... and use it at will...

    When I first rode clipless... I had to chant to myself to remind myself I was clipped...

    Sometimes I only clip one foot... leave the other free...
    but.. I've had the intense thrill of falling on the side I was clipped on as well...lol...
    so.. there are no quarantees...

    Anyone that never falls off their bike is a freak of nature in any case... or they haven't taken it outa the box.. ;o)

  11. #11
    Time for a change. stapfam's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bikewench
    I won't ride clipped in town anymore...
    The anxiety of needing to be nimble in traffic and a total of 6 falls (one where I put my elbow out to save me... landed on a tiny rock and had a sore elbow for a couple months...) .. has made me eschew clipping other than when I am in cruise mode...

    Still.. I am working to train myself to always give my ankle a flick.. whether I'm clipped or not.. cause if the flick is second nature... then one need not worry about if their attached... and use it at will...

    When I first rode clipless... I had to chant to myself to remind myself I was clipped...

    Sometimes I only clip one foot... leave the other free...
    but.. I've had the intense thrill of falling on the side I was clipped on as well...lol...
    so.. there are no quarantees...

    Anyone that never falls off their bike is a freak of nature in any case... or they haven't taken it outa the box.. ;o)
    In the early days, you either fall off, or fall off lots. Then as you get more experienced- you just fall off. I cannot ride any bike comfortably without SPD's but from what I have heard- these are the easiest pedals to get on with. We even have them on the tandem but a bit of security here as two sets of legs to prop the bike up with. Makes no difference as we still fall over with even that extra security. All I want to know is "Why do you always fall off in a busy High St, or where plenty of other people are watching"?
    How long was I in the army? Five foot seven.


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  12. #12
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    Alot of interesting stories here. Many made me laugh as much as I did when I fell on Sunday. As for clipless, I intend to keep using them I find it feels great to have my feet firmly set into place. Also going up steep grades when I stand in the pedals I now pull my legs up, getting a nice boost when compared with only mashing them down. I just guess there will be times when I fall, hopefully it will not be into traffic.

  13. #13
    Senior Member
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    We even have them on the tandem
    fall over in tandem....

    lol


    okay... even I'd laugh at that if I saw it...

  14. #14
    SVSTRIDER
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    I was told by a more serious (younger) rider that he always takes out his left foot when stopping as then you will be leaning away from the passing traffic. (remember we drive on the left here in Oz) Is there a "correct" foot to remove. On the 4 occasions over the last year of riding that I have fallen it was because I was in a rush and tried to put my right foot down while having the left foot free. Is that because the my dominant side is that one.

  15. #15
    Senior Member
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    I find the easiest thing to do is to ALWAYS unclip left when approaching a possible stop. This is a priority over downshifting to start again. I like to kick off with my right foot when I start and maybe not even clip again until I'm past the intersection. I use SPD's. They have a set of platforms for one side but I usually leave them off. Am 53, been riding clipless for about two years, and have only fallen twice.

    Both falls were within a week (some months back). I was climbing some of the really big hills around here and had just put a new 14-34T rear cog on my touring bike. On both occastions when I shifted up to the last gear the chain went past the gear and dropped between the cogs and the spokes an at the low speed and coasting uphill I came to a stop rather quickly.

    As to breaking your fall with your shoulder, I think that is poor advise. It is a rather good way to tear a rotator cuff. Two rounds of cortisone shots and awaiting an MRI tells me I think I'd rather break a wrist. Rather, like a parachute landing, try to land on the soft body parts and roll.

  16. #16
    Member Dakota's Avatar
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    The very same thing happened to me the very first day I went clipless. I was crossing a drawbridge, but had to stop to let a group of elderly bikesters meander by. They had a group ride going and we happened to cross paths. While waiting, I had one foot clipped, and for some reason shifted my weight to that foot. Amazing how fast you go down, but also amazing is how slow it feels. I'm 56, younger than anybody in that group, and I felt very stupid. They were all nice and asked if I was all right, and one guy even tried to catch me, but I couldn't get up and out of there fast enough.

    I since got the platforms for the back side of my SPDs, and whenever I come upon any situation where I may have to stop, I unclip and ride on the platforms until I can get back to cruise mode.

  17. #17
    Touring senior
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    Ah, who can forget their first one? Moving from the vertical to the horizontal in such an agonizingly slow, mentally numbing certainty -- I'm gonna hit, and it's gonna hurt. The Turtle Tumble - TT.

    My first one - near the top of a shallow hill - left foot down, but balanced to the right - actually I went past horizontal because I fell down into a gravelly ditch. I'd love to see a replay. Oh yes, it was out in front of the local hospital...just in case I got that wrist out there.

  18. #18
    Senior Member BlazingPedals's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by svstrider
    I was told by a more serious (younger) rider that he always takes out his left foot when stopping as then you will be leaning away from the passing traffic. (remember we drive on the left here in Oz) Is there a "correct" foot to remove. On the 4 occasions over the last year of riding that I have fallen it was because I was in a rush and tried to put my right foot down while having the left foot free. Is that because the my dominant side is that one.
    Think about it - if your left foot is unclipped, then the most likely direction for you to fall is to the right. Because that's the direction you can't catch yourself. Personally, I'd rather fall away from traffic. To restate: always unclip on the traffic side, that way if you accidently overbalance toward your unclipped side you will fall away from the cars and trucks. Of course, there will be those who point out, "what if you put your foot down on a spot of oil and slip?" The answer is obvious: DON'T DO THAT!!!

  19. #19
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    Great entry. I glad you were ok. you were really amoung the first post I read today. I am new to this forum and researching getting in the bike commuting. (co worker working with me on the "sport"). So the first thing I learned from you is not to try to break the fall and break my wrist. Thank you so very much for that tip for I sure would have broken mine.

  20. #20
    Huachuca Rider webist's Avatar
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    Most of the people in this town have not seen me fall.
    Last edited by webist; 03-02-06 at 04:32 PM. Reason: typo
    Just Peddlin' Around

  21. #21
    Senior Member Bearbig's Avatar
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    I have fallen more with the old toe clip pedals. I can only remember 2 with my clipless. Clipless are so eazy
    I usually unclip both feet!

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