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  1. #1
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    Fell twice on my first ride. Ouch!

    Took my new Bianchi Vigorelli out for its first spin Friday. Went twenty miles and all was wonderful. This was my first ride on a "real" road bike (I had been lurking and riding a Hybrid for a year). Also my first time with clipless pedals.

    I was on the home stretch, which is a mile and one half hill at a 10% elevation and I was geting tired, so I elected to stop and walk after making about half way up the hill. You guessed it, I forgot about the whole "clipless" thing and fell over on my right side. I hit a relatively soft shoulder and so, although it was quite a jolt, neither myself or my precious Bianchi was hurt. Ok, so I walk the bike up to the top of the hill and I climb back on and I'm going to ride triumphantly to my home, WRONG!. I forgot that I had the thing in super granny gear and when I clipped inon the right, I pushed the pedal and the bike went about five feet and over I went to the right. This time, I hit asphalt, again on my right side. Pretty good bash, but still no visible damage to the bike.

    While I am down scrambling to get out from under my bike, a mini-van comes down the road and just drives around me. Didn't even slow down. It seemed kind of comical actually. Anyway, I limped the rest of the way home and I now have a huge bruise on my right hip and left knee. Might be off the bike for a while.

    I will not let this get to me, but I really need to figure out this clipless thing. I'm 62 and cant take too many more of these impacts.

  2. #2
    Senior Member NOS88's Avatar
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    Ouch! It'll get easier. Just glad the mini-van saw you and drove around you. I think almost everyone on this forum with clipless has similar stories. You do get used to them.
    A conclusion is the place where you got tired of thinking. - S. Wright
    Favorite rides in the stable: Indy Fab CJ Ti - Colnago MXL - S-Works Roubaix - Habanero Team Issue - Jamis Eclipse carbon/831

  3. #3
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    The books say:

    1) Land on your shoulder. If you fall on your hand/wrist, you'll break your scaphoid bone - heals slowly.
    2) Fall to the kerb side away from the traffic.

    Sure...like I'll remember next time.

    I got rid of my toe straps after quite a tumble and found clipless a big improvement but still don't trust them for hills. I get acutely anxious when that wobble starts and I know I may not be able to get my feet out quickly.

    However, went out today, fairly flat and really good riding conditions (well, as good as it gets in London). Chose non-clipped (platform) pedals and really missed my SPD's.

    Practice and confidence I guess.

  4. #4
    Let's do a Century jppe's Avatar
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    Sorry to hear it happened but like what NOS offered you will get the hang of it and it will become second nature in due time. I really like your attitude towards the whole thing and that will get you through it.

    If it helps any, I was doing a 60+ organized ride today and towards the end is a 1 mile climb with a 12% grade at the end. Going up that hill I was reminded that when I first started riding a few years ago I fell at the top of that hill when I dropped the chain and I couldn't get out the pedals fast enough.

    Hang in there!!

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by JEgan712
    Pretty good bash, but still no visible damage to the bike. .
    You sir, really have your priorities right.

    For what it's worth, I had been using clipless for about a year without a single fall. Then I change out the rear cassette to a 34T granny. Now I had tried it a time or two one level ground to be sure it worked. While climbing a hill at about 6mph I shift to the top gear, overshift and drop the chain between the cassette and spokes. Though it doesn't lock the wheel it does come to a stop pretty fast.....slow dive to the right. Get back up, sort out the chain business,, start climbing, and do it again.

    Fortunately, my bike was OK.

  6. #6
    Senior Curmudgeon FarHorizon's Avatar
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    Clipless - Bah Humbug!!

  7. #7
    Geezer Member Grampy™'s Avatar
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    Bus stop flops don't really count unless there are witnesses........

    Glad to hear bike is ok and youare on the mend. Clipless is a pretty steep leaning curve.... with 2 falls you are almost an expert!
    Carpe who?

  8. #8
    pAIYILI Paiyili's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JEgan712
    I will not let this get to me, but I really need to figure out this clipless thing. I'm 62 and cant take too many more of these impacts.
    First, remember that nothing drives home a lesson like a bruise. I have been a martial arts teacher for thirty years, I know a lot about this concept. (grin) You are now less likely to forget than you were before the falls.
    Second, practice solves a lot of problems. What I did when moving to clipless was set the bike up in a trainer, wrote a script that caused my computer (near the trainer) to beep loudly at non-rhythmic intervals, and while pedaling, unclipped/clipped-in at each beep. This random unclipping practice served me well.
    You'll be fine.
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    Paiyili
    Windows Warrior Homepage

  9. #9
    Senior Member Raketmensch's Avatar
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    We've all been there. My second or third ride after I got my new bike, I decided to try some hill climbing. Sounds a lot like yours... about a 10% average grade for about a mile and a half. There was this 15% segment near the bottom, and I just couldn't quite stomp my way up it. Had to stop, couldn't twist out in time, and over I went like a tree falling in a forest. I ended up on my back, still clipped in, with the bike sticking up in the air. But as has been said, the learning curve is steep. You will get the hang of it very soon, and it'll feel real good when you do.

  10. #10
    Member Streetdoc's Avatar
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    [QUOTE=Grampy™]Bus stop flops don't really count unless there are witnesses........

    On my first club ride after getting my clipless shoes I did OK until near the end. I had been riding some near home solo. But as we neared the end of the ride we came up to a stop sign. You gussed it, could not get the right foot unclipped and naturally I had started leaning that way. About the time I hit the asphalt I hear laughter coming from a house on my left. When I look in that direction there are 3 veeery
    large guys on a porch about to fall out of their CHAIRS they are laughing so hard. I got up dusted myself off and finished the ride. One of the other club members had something to say to them(under his breath) but it isn't fit to post here.

  11. #11
    Bike Junkie roccobike's Avatar
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    JEgan712, I see you've got your priorities correct, protect that Bianchi! This is not a good thread for me to read, I just picked up my first set of clipless pedals about two hours ago. (I wonder if I can return them.)
    Roccobike BF Official Thread Terminator

  12. #12
    lunatic fringe Dogbait's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by FarHorizon
    Clipless - Bah Humbug!!
    +1
    A solution in search of a problem.... or as Jeff Cooper said, "A complicated solution for a non existant problem".

    Not that I haven't done the 0mph fallover with these...



    Dogbait

  13. #13
    Senior Member
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    Nice Fixied Gear there Dogbait!

  14. #14
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    FWIW,I just rewcently went clipless and have a new hip as of June, I've fallen more than a few but IMHO I've been hurt less because the clipless peds keep me alligned and I tend to land on my whole side instread of a ore focused point, also they tend to keep me from doing weid contortions as I fall. I do feel slower as I feel more cautious and tentative, but not slipping off my pedals gives me a lot better transfer and the clippless pedals have somehat reduced my knee pain and caused me to move my seat up to closer to the proper level since my feet are more centered, not heel pedaling with my knee pointing out.
    I'm going to assume that when I can go longer w/o falling my confidence will build.

  15. #15
    Senior Member RockyMtnMerlin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Monoborracho
    You sir, really have your priorities right.

    For what it's worth, I had been using clipless for about a year without a single fall. Then I change out the rear cassette to a 34T granny. Now I had tried it a time or two one level ground to be sure it worked. While climbing a hill at about 6mph I shift to the top gear, overshift and drop the chain between the cassette and spokes. Though it doesn't lock the wheel it does come to a stop pretty fast.....slow dive to the right. Get back up, sort out the chain business,, start climbing, and do it again.

    Fortunately, my bike was OK.
    You said the bike was okay but I would suggest you take a very close look at the spokes where the chain fell between the the cassette and those spokes. I don't know if you have one of those plastic spoke protector things or not. But in any case there could be damage to the spoke that would not be easy to see without close inspection. If you do see marks on the spokes, might be a good idea to have them looked at. You wouldn't want to go out on a ride and have a spoke break.

  16. #16
    Senior Member rule's Avatar
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    Yeah welcome to the clipless club. We have all been there, splayed out on the tarmac like high tech road kill.

    The best thing that I ever did when I first got my road bike with clipless pedals, thanks to a tip from a coach, was to practice with them. He suggested that I go for a quiet neighborhood ride with tons of stops, some on inclines, and just practice unclipping, coming to a stop, then getting under way and clipping back in again. It made a huge amount of difference in my bike handling skills.

  17. #17
    Berry Pie..the Holy Grail GrannyGear's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jppe
    when I dropped the chain and I couldn't get out the pedals fast enough. Hang in there!!
    +1 I went over still trying to flip my strap buckle, flipped over one of those molded curbs and slid down a bank, felt foolish but couldn't stop laughing. Shoulders are best, but they hurt, too. (At 58, I don't seem to bounce as well.) Watching George H.'s slo mo fall at Paris Roubaix yesterday was no laugh...my sympathy to him.
    ..... "I renewed my youth, to outward appearance, by mounting a bicycle for the first time." Mark Twain, Speeches
    .

  18. #18
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    Go to the park and pratice on the grass so if you fall its abit softer. I would adjust them as loose as i could to start. Best to just ride and pratice. Most of us and you will not even think about it after awhile.
    Touch every 3rd person and you'll find an idiot.

  19. #19
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    Thanks for all the advice and encouragement. I'm still sore but getting better. Cant wait to get back in the saddle. I'll try loosening the clips a bit. One thing I am pretty sure of, is that I will not forget what happened to me. I will always remember how sore I am today and especially that crappy feeling when the bike is going over and I'm helpless to stop it. I think that is going to be a really good teaching experience. On the second fall (at the top of the hill when I actually fell into the roadway) I really smacked down good, but as I had said, it was almost like a comedy bit. I felt like an idiot, flailing around like an upside down turtle, with my bike on me.

    I had clipped out a couple of time on the ride before the hill, but that was on level roadway and at intersections (plenty of time to think of what I was doing). I find now that these falls came when my mind was on getting up that hill and the concept of clipless pedals was not in my conscious at all. When that happens and the bike comes to a stop, its all over but the impact.

    I "will" take a close look at my bike though. It scratched the end of one of the handlebars and the end cap came out. I'm sure there will be some minor damage but my body pretty much acted as a big fat cusion for the bike and I'm thankful for that.

    Hope to see you on the road sometime soon. I'll be the one with the gorgeous new Bianchi and a huge bruise on my right hip.

  20. #20
    Let's do a Century jppe's Avatar
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    Reading your post again reminded me of my first organized ride. Near the end I had passed a large group of riders and feeling pretty good about myself. They passed me a very short time later at a stop sign as I was upside down on the asphalt with the bike sticking up in the air. I had to come to a quick stop and just like you experienced......uh oh!! Over we go!!

  21. #21
    Muscle bike design spec robtown's Avatar
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    It's good the van missed you. I've done the laugh-in fall over tricycle bit a couple times.
    I've learned to clip out early on a hill, before I slow down too much to balance. Another good one is taking the left foot out then falling to the right. When I first got my bike I hit a couple interections with cross traffic and couldn't clip out - I think that was worse than falling.

  22. #22
    Senior Member edp773's Avatar
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    I had a similar experience late last summer with toe clips. I had my right foot out ready for a stop and fell to my left. On the way down, the release for my prosthetic caught on the aluminum bottle cage, which launched the leg about a foot away. When I looked up there was a couple looking on in horror. Their eyes were bugging and jaws dropped. I could not stop myself from laughing at their expressions.

    I think it took three falls before I learned the system well. Hang in there.
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  23. #23
    Time for a change. stapfam's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wonkemtel
    FWIW,I just rewcently went clipless and have a new hip as of June, I've fallen more than a few but IMHO I've been hurt less because the clipless peds keep me alligned and I tend to land on my whole side instread of a ore focused point, also they tend to keep me from doing weid contortions as I fall. I do feel slower as I feel more cautious and tentative, but not slipping off my pedals gives me a lot better transfer and the clippless pedals have somehat reduced my knee pain and caused me to move my seat up to closer to the proper level since my feet are more centered, not heel pedaling with my knee pointing out.
    I'm going to assume that when I can go longer w/o falling my confidence will build.
    One of the dangers when falling is putting out an arm, or leg at higher speed, and breaking it. I fall over so quickly that I have no time to think about it till I'm down.

    Glad you've joined the club (The how did I get into this position? club)but You still have a few falls to make- Only been riding 15 years and still falling- but that is not on the road and 6" of mud is quite soft. can't offer any advice but how do you practice falling over?
    How long was I in the army? Five foot seven.


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  24. #24
    TREK 2300 owner rickkko's Avatar
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    I've bit the dust twice since Jan '04. 1st time I was following my girlfriend way to closely as she turned into a driveway. I was carrying a plastic bag of goodies in one hand/handlebar. She stopped unexpectedly. All I could do was stop and fall over. I had no time to think, unclip as we were going about 3 mph up a driveway.

    I fell on right shoulder. No injuries.

    Then less than a month ago a dog ran exactly into my pathway. He was on a leash. I didn't think the owner would let him away from his side but he had one of those extendable/retractible leashes. He didn't lock it so, the shiztzu-sized dog just bolted in front of me. I hit it square in the ribs and fell over on left shoulder and side of knee. Again, no injuries except for minor scratching on my leg.

    I've got 2200 miles on my speedplays/SIDI shoes but still know I'll probably fall again if there is no time to think 1st. Its a good thing my shoulders still have enough padding to protect me from a break as I fell on cement both times.

    I've read that you're suppose to turn your wheel away from the fall so your handlebar end will take the impact 1st. Unfortunately these things happen way to fast to think about how to finesse the impact.

    ..rickko..
    (BTW, I'm 60)

  25. #25
    Banned wagathon's Avatar
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    You better get rid of those pedals before you hurt your Vig

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