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Thread: Crash!!!

  1. #1
    Zipper
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    Crash!!!

    Good evening, folks. I've visited here periodically and have enjoyed you all immensely. But now I have an issue and hope you all have some insights. Monday I was cruising along a road just blocks from the house, maybe 16 - 17 mph. It was about 8 a.m., sunny, dry, no traffic, paved road, no obstacles, no gravel, no nuttin. Then, WHAM, I'm eating asphalt! Result: 18 stitches in the face and a screw inserted (tomorrow morning) in a wrist bone. I never lost consciousness.
    I cannot figure out what caused the crash, and that has me worried. One possible explanation: the front tire was flat after I righted the bike. Could it have blown out? Have any of you had an experience of this nature and/or any ideas about what might have caused it?
    Like most of you, I learn from my mistakes (and this wasn't my first fall), but if I can't determine what or how, I can't learn and may repeat the same mistake (shudder). Thanks for your comments.

    Zip

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    First of all, let me say how happy I am that you are not more seriously injured.

    As to the cause of your fall, from the info you give, I would not speculate.

    One would imagine it impossible for a tire to go flat and cause that sort of a fall without giving you some advanced clue (no matter how short the notice).

    If the tire had gone flat gradually, you would either have adjusted to the new mushiness, or would have noticed and reacted (by stopping) the degraded handling.

    For the tire to fail suddenly, there would most definitely have been some noise alerting you to the failure.

    I am at a loss to speculate whate else may have caused your problem.

    Good luck.

    Caruso

  3. #3
    His Brain is Gone! Tom Bombadil's Avatar
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    Very sorry to hear of your accident. Reading the details made me winch.

    As to the cause, at the time of the accident, you didn't happen to be riding very close to a large utility truck were you?

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    rck
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    zipper-Did your attention wander for a moment? I ask as I once was cruising through town on a beautiful morning fully intending on a long ride but not attending to my riding. As my mind wandered so also did my bike. I woke up in the middle of the street, lucky no cars came over the hill, thinking"what in the h just happened". What happened waffled my front wheel and bent my (steel) front fork and what happened is that I wandered my bike into the bumper of a parked car. I assume this as I have no actual memory of what happened but the evidence was in the bruise on the car bumper. (What kind of idiot parks his car on a street I'm riding on?) Fortunate for me that other than the bike my only injury was a mild concussion, a bruised ego and a bit of road rash. The wheel hung for a long time in the bst as a reminder. I dumped it when I hit 50 thinking that I was now smart enough not to be stupid. Right! Hope you recover asap.

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    Bike Junkie roccobike's Avatar
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    Zipper, what type of bike were you riding? Was it a road bike, hybrid or mountain bike? I ask because bikes with wider tires are more forgiving when hitting a problem with the road surface like a pothole or dropoff due to re-paving. On the other hand a road bike, especially one with narrow, 700C tires, is more susceptible (sp) to a problem with the road surface.
    Really sorry to hear you joined me in the fall on the asphault/get stiches club for 2007 but I'm glad you will be OK.
    Just curious, were you wearing a helmet? If yes, did it help to soften the blow?
    Roccobike BF Official Thread Terminator

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    all you need is love blues on a bike's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by roccobike
    Zipper, what type of bike were you riding? Was it a road bike, hybrid or mountain bike?
    There is a recall on certain types of Cannondale bikes. From yahoo.com:

    Bikes,

    Wednesday June 13, 8:04 pm ET
    By The Associated Press
    Product Recall: Cannondale Bikes,


    The following recalls have been announced:


    --About 6,700 mountain bicycles with Lefty Speed SL and Lefty Speed DLR forks, manufactured by Cannondale Bicycle Corp., because the forks can break during use, causing the rider to lose control of the bicycle, fall and suffer injuries. The company has received 15 reports of the bicycle forks breaking, including five reports of injuries including a broken collarbone, a concussion, broken ribs and bruises. Details: by phone at 800-245-3872; by Web at http://www.cannondale.com or http://www.cpsc.gov.
    Janie

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    I was on a charity ride a few months ago, downhill on a bridge at 25+ and a biker ahead of me, two bikes ahead, went down on his face for seemingly no reason. I saw him hit the pavement, but didn't see him actually begin to fall. Those who saw it surmised that either 1) he hit a gap in the road with narrow tires parallel to direction of travel and the wheel got into the crack in the asphalt, or 2) he went to put his weight on his hands in the drops and somehow misjudged one hand on the bars because he was distracted or looking to the side. The last was most likely the cause.

    I immediately stopped, as did others, including a physician. He wasn't moving. One side of his head was damaged, even with the helmet. Unfortunately, his outcome was not as good as yours.
    Most economic fallacies derive from the tendency to assume that there is a fixed pie, that one party can gain only at the expense of another.....Milton Friedman

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    Grumpy Old Bugga europa's Avatar
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    My prang of a couple of months back, happened as I tried to cross a half inch lip between the bitumen and the gutter at a very shallow angle. When I stood up ... and spat out some blood and did the compulsory stagger etc, I couldn't see what had caused the crash. It was only when I put my foot on the bitumen that I could see the step (this was at night but under good street lighting). Basically, I couldn't see the most dangerous thing in cycling outside of a cyclist - a step in the road surface almost but not quite parallel to your direction of travel. Instead of riding over that, my front wheel slid off it and the bike tossed me clear.

    The reason I mention this is because the experience was much like yours - riding along then a slam in the face. How do they get the road to rear up like that?

    My susgestion is the maybe your front wheel came off something - it might have been a step in the pavement such as I hit, it might have been a hole, but equally it might have been a stone or a stick, something that you didn't see but your front wheel tried (and failed) to climb.

    Just a thought. It might have also been the tooth fairy touting for business too.

    Richard
    I had a good bike ... so I FIXED it

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    Senior Member guybierhaus's Avatar
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    "paved road, no obstacles"

    This would worry me as well, but kind of agree with the others that there must have been something in road. Small rock (large stone) may have been enough to kick front wheel out and cause loss of control. The stone in turn may have been launched to side of road and out of site. I would think any kind of surface irregularity to cause a problem would of course still be there for you to see. I had an almost loss it when front wheel slipped off edge of a higher board and into a gap between boards when crossing a covered bridge with wood deck. My only sudden fall was a senior moment when I tried to brake by pedaling backwards and chain came off and jambed between chain stay and wheel. Wheel and bike stopped, I didn't.
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    I've seen that happen to other riders, they couldn't explain it either. We just wrote it off as "earth suck".

    Although 18 stitches in the face and a screw inserted in a wrist bone is nothing to sneeze at, I'm glad it wasn't any worse.

    Heal fast.

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    storys like this don't give me a good feeling. Strange things can happen. It is very difficult for me to see everything in the road. I have hit small holes in the road no bigger than a golf ball and the surprise of hitting something caused me to swerve. I have also seen box turtles just a few feet in front of me and luckly was able to miss them.

    I do understand that it is possible to not know what caused a crash though. About 1 month ago I was practicing doing track stands on my bike and the next thing that I know I am going over the handle bars and the bike is shooting out from under me going in reverse at full speed. I had no forward speed so I just hit the ground and rolled with no injurys. The bike was traveling backwards at 5 to 10 mph and it was not hurt either. I am still scratching my head and trying to decide how this happened. It sort of makes me gunshy and I am more careful as I practice the track stands now.

    Good luck with the medical procedures and ride the same road just to show it who's boss.

  12. #12
    Senior Member George's Avatar
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    I was telling a friend about my fall, when I was coming down a hill and all of a sudden the wheels weren't under me anymore, the ground was a little damp from dew. He told me he was riding in a group at speed and he went down for no reason at all. He was the only one that went down, but they all stopped to find out what happened. They looked, and found nothing on the road. Then he said that's part of riding. I don't know about that, it doesn't sound like the norm to me.
    George

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    Zipper - sorry to hear of your crash and hope you will soon recover.
    I'm wondering if you were firmly gripping the handlebars at the time. If you weren't, even the slightest ridge or a small rock in the road could have thrown you.

  14. #14
    Roadkill byte_speed's Avatar
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    It sounds to me like you may have had a concussion and don't remember the accident, similar to rck above. That has happened to me twice, both times related to chain breakage or slipping - as near as I can tell. The face stitches indicate you hit your head pretty hard. I don't recall if I blacked out or not.

    Was there any spoke damage? Something in the spokes would stop the wheel and possibly flatted the tire. Was there a wear spot on the tire? Hitting your face indicates to me you may have gone over the bars rather than slipped sideways. Was the chain and drive intact? A broken or slipped chain tends to throw you over the bars, but wouldn't explain the flat

    Heal quickly and stay safe.

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    OnTheRoad or AtTheBeach stonecrd's Avatar
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    I also vote for a seem in the road or a large rock. Flats normally won't cause a fall, I have had big front wheel blowouts and still the bike handled Ok. But if you hit something at a moment when you are inattentive you can go down rather quickly. I have had wind gusts knock me into the curb, and once got my wheel caught in crack that basically steered me right into a pole! Generally its just road rash, its unfortunate that you got hurt this bad and good that it was not worse. Heal up and get back on the bike, don't let this accident stop you from riding.
    The problem with the gene pool is that there is no lifeguard and the shallow end is much too large

    2013 Noah RS

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    Longitudinal crack is one possibility. I had a crash a couple of years ago - I was riding along, hands on the hoods, and went over some nasty railroad tracks which have broken asphalt on either side of each track. I always cross these tracks perpendicular and this was no exception, but as I hit the track, all of a sudden I found myself flying over the handlebars. What happened was that the brake levers had not been tightened down on the bars as well as they should have been, and the shock of the bump forced the levers to slide down on the bars, which in turn clamped on my brakes. My injuries were not terrible - a lot of bruising, and some damage to my collarbone (never treated, and has left a funny bump).

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    I have 3 reactions to this thread:

    1) Zipper - Sorry to hear about your crash. I hope you heal well and quickly. I also hope the group can help you understand a likely cause since it could improve your (and maybe our) safety on the road.

    2) Some of the replies implied the likelihood that Zipper hit a road irregularity with narrow tires and that wider tires might be safer in some circumstances. (It appears that we still don't know what kind of bike he was riding) I see lots of conversations in BF on bike performance issues, but I don't see comparable threads on what makes a bike safer. Most of us give serious consideration to safety when buying a car. If this is not the case with bikes, why not?

    3) My cursory search didn't find a poll in the 50+ group on how many of us have crashed and why. Has this been done? If so, can you point me to any threads?

    Disclaimer: Last month I took a rural corner too fast, went off the road into the ditch and flew over the handlebars to land on my back. My injuries (and the bike's) were relatively minor, but this has given me a heightened awareness of bike safety.

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    if you didn't hit something or a big seam or crack it is likely you flatted and crashed. very same thing happened to me once when I was riding on the NC coast a few years ago. I was just flying on the flats (its all flat there), with that coastal tailwind, feeling good, that perfect combination of man and machine. boom I'm down, and cars are whizzing by inches from my head. turns out my front tire flatted, didn't blow out, just suddenly flatted from the 120 lbs of pressure. it will and can cause you to fall. so if there's no other mechanical, no road obstacles, and you didn't lose your grip while shifting from the hoods to the drops, chances are the flat got you. it my case, I jumped up to get back on and fell again, before I realized I had a flat front tire. needed shoulder surgery from that too. that's on a racing bike with skinny (20 mm) high pressure tires. so ride your trainer while your healing up, and watch a bunch of bike moving/videos.

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    also, for those of you that haven't had a fall like that yet (most of you over 50s have undoubtably had more than one) you won't believe how fast it seems to happen. boom you're on the ground in an instant. none of this getting reday for impact stuff.

  20. #20
    OnTheRoad or AtTheBeach stonecrd's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Altamont
    also, for those of you that haven't had a fall like that yet (most of you over 50s have undoubtably had more than one) you won't believe how fast it seems to happen. boom you're on the ground in an instant. none of this getting reday for impact stuff.
    Yes, all of the talk about learning how to fall seems a bit silly to me. Every biker accident I have been in I generally 0 time to react.
    The problem with the gene pool is that there is no lifeguard and the shallow end is much too large

    2013 Noah RS

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    Life in the Slow Lane Baroque's Avatar
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    All these horror stories are making me feel very lucky. I actually found this forum because I'm sidelined with only a sprained foot after ditching a bike. Have lots of time to spend online for another week or so.
    Wish I could describe a scene of derring-do that led to the fall, but unfortunately, it was only stupidity on my part. Slippery shoes + metal pedals = recipe for disaster.

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    I'm just hoping there is no "earth suck" in my area, that is really funny!!

  23. #23
    Zipper
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    Thanks for your comments. Been out of commission getting the wrist fixed. As anticipated, your insights have been most helpful. To answer two questions: it is a road bike with 700cc wheels, and I was wearing a helmet. Had I not been wearing one I probably wouldn't be writing this. It is scraped, scratched and broken (the helmet, not my head).
    I think I like Altamont's explanation the best: front tire lost pressure. Although "earth suck" does have a ring to it. It's just a reminder that this addiction of ours does have its downside.
    I hope to be back soon; gotta get back on that horse that throwed me.

    Zip

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    Senior Member Terrierman's Avatar
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    Glad you are doing as well as you are. Your story is the kind that makes helmets make all kinds of sense. It does make one wish there was a little gravity reduction machine available now and then doesn't it? Heal well.
    It's all downhill from here. Except the parts that are uphill.

  25. #25
    Yen
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    Wow, I'm so sorry about your accident, it makes my hair stand on end a little. It sounds like all the conditions were perfect, and the unexpected just happened.

    I hope your wrist, face, and memory heal quickly.

    Jen
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