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  1. #1
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    1st accident.... ouch!

    I'm 52. Started riding about 6 weeks ago after a 30+ year layoff. Bought a near-mint '84 Trek 400 and with a few mechanical interruptions - front derailleur broke, had to replace the rear wheel, etc. - I've been riding 3 to 4 days a week, slowly building my mileage. I've also been slowing adding accessories, week by week. A helmet, gloves, and just today put on a great mirror that I ordered from rivbike.com a week or more ago.

    http://www.rivbike.com/products/show...-mirror/20-177

    Today I decided to ride a new-to-me 20 mile route. Rode about 8 miles and turned onto a brand new repaved road that has - get THIS! - bike lanes on both sides!!! It's only the 2nd one in our whole town, that's why I was excited about it.

    I rode on it for about a 1/2 mile and - stupid and careless on my part - rode OFF of the bike lane to the right hand side. Obviously I had relaxed and wasn't paying attention - DUH. Well, of course the new pavement was 3" to 4" higher than the shoulder, and in that split instant (when I should have just braked and come to a stop), instead I tried to get back on the road and - yup, you guessed it, I SPRAWLED. Fell with my arms extended and landed on my right side. My hip is slightly bruised. My knee has a small scrape on it - no big deal. But my RIBS??? Ouch!!!

    It took my breath, I hit so hard. Got up, made sure nothing was broken, looked my bike over (chain came off, one small scrape) and walked to some shade where I could sit down and catch my breath and get over being shook up. Here's the fun part of the story... I've ridden 145 miles this month and only passed 3 cyclists in that entire time. I had barely sat on the ground when a cyclist rode up and said "Are you alright?" Of COURSE someone who rides 25 miles every day on his Trek carbon-fiber bike and has all of the cool gear would SEE me fall.

    Almost called my wife to bring my truck and pick me up, I was hurting so bad... but decided to get back on the bike and finish the journey. It was uncomfortable and I had to grit it out but I did make it home.

    Now? I like my Tylenol and Ibuprofrin a LOT! Feels like a knife is stuck in my side when I turn the wrong way, but I'll get better.

    I'd read here recently that you need to wear gloves because "if you haven't wrecked, you will eventually." They saved my hands today... and I just got 'em last week.

    Thanks for letting me vent!

    Gary
    Albany, GA

  2. #2
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    Some day, after you've forgotten the pain you're currently in and you've ridden that road thousands of times, you will wonder how you ever managed to ride off the road. You'll just think it is impossible to not know exactly where you are headed every second whether you are paying attention or not. Until then, heal quickly and I hope you can find a comfortable position to sleep.

  3. #3
    Senior Member teachme's Avatar
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    Ouch! I too have just started cycling after 30+ years of not riding. Thanks for reminding me that a spill could happen. Going to try stay alert out there.
    Official member of the Brotherhood of Clyde...

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  4. #4
    Senior Member BikeArkansas's Avatar
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    Sorry about the pain. Had a few crashes myself, some my fault and some not. The ones that were my fault hurt the most.

    A point you made, whether you meant to or not, has often bothered me. Quite often I read threads that insist riders should take in the scenery. Guess I am not skilled enough to take in much scenery and keep from doing just what you did. There are shoulder drop off problems, as you found. Potholes abound that hunt for bicycle front tires. Cracks in the asphalt or concrete try to grab your wheels. If I am watching much scenery one of those mean potholes or whatever else that lurks will get me. In other words pay attention ALWAYS.
    Last edited by BikeArkansas; 05-24-11 at 08:24 PM.
    I started riding my bike to get healthy. Now I try to stay healthy so I can ride my bike.

  5. #5
    gone ride'n cyclinfool's Avatar
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    I have done that crash myself in exactly the same way. It hurts. Heal up and keep at it.
    The lesson here and it sounds like you already knew it - when you go off the road don't try to ride up the curb, stop and put the bike back on the road. Some more skilled riders can bunny hop the bike back on the road, most of us will just go splat on the pavement.
    "Of all the things I ever lost I miss my mind the most." Mark Twain
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  6. #6
    Senior Member NOS88's Avatar
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    Heal fast. Of course someone saw you. It wouldn't have really happened if there wasn't a witness.
    A conclusion is the place where you got tired of thinking. - S. Wright

  7. #7
    Senior Member OldsCOOL's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BrazAd View Post
    I'm 52. Started riding about 6 weeks ago after a 30+ year layoff. Bought a near-mint '84 Trek 400
    ============================
    I'd read here recently that you need to wear gloves because "if you haven't wrecked, you will eventually." They saved my hands today... and I just got 'em last week.
    Hey, I have an '85 Trek 460. Love the oldschool, vintage Trek's. Here is a pic of mine(sorry it didnt pose well):


    The bike was given to me by someone from a garage sale, it was selling for 75.00 back in '04. I'm now 53, been biking since high school. And I just bought my first helmet and pair of gloves last week
    Having a flat tire as part of the total cycling experience is highly overrated. Knowing how to fix one quickly is not.

    '85 Trek 460 road racer

    '89 Raleigh Technium PRE

    '79 Motobecane Super Mirage

  8. #8
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    OldsCool,

    Sweet looking bike! I wonder what the difference is between the 400 and the 460? Here's a recent shot of mine...



    Ribs are hurting this morning... just glad it wasn't worse. What's ironic is that with over 200 miles of road riding since I got started I've not come close to having an accident... and within the first 1/2 mile of being in a bike lane I completely lose it. The only verdict is that I obviously was TOO relaxed... wow. There's a lesson there...

    Gary

  9. #9
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    Now you know why a groove in the pavement parallel to your direction of travel is called "Death Valley"!
    Glad to hear no broken bones, or sprained anything.
    You need to beaware of your surroundings, traffic, holes, gravel, sewer grates, glass, etc. But you should still be able to take in the sights. Keep looking ahead of where you are going, take note of any hazards, plan for when you get to them. It will become second nature.
    And always stop for a fellow cyclist.

  10. #10
    Senior Member OldsCOOL's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BrazAd View Post
    OldsCool,

    Sweet looking bike! I wonder what the difference is between the 400 and the 460? Here's a recent shot of mine...



    Ribs are hurting this morning... just glad it wasn't worse. What's ironic is that with over 200 miles of road riding since I got started I've not come close to having an accident... and within the first 1/2 mile of being in a bike lane I completely lose it. The only verdict is that I obviously was TOO relaxed... wow. There's a lesson there...

    Gary
    Trek's have a long and traceable history. Here is a link you will love to read over (if you havent yet):
    http://vintage-trek.com/TrekBrochures.htm

    Your 400 was in the "sport" category and the 460 was in the "racing" category. Differences are most likely more subtle than radical. The 460 was best known for their RD cable coming through the bottom tube near the drop-out. Pretty slick and seemed to be a trademark thing for Trek that year.

    That 400 is in fantastic condition! I cant believe you have hoods. Mine have long ago rotted and I've had a hard time finding the right ones. Maybe I should just blindly order a set and see if they fit. But then, that's why I bought the gloves.
    Having a flat tire as part of the total cycling experience is highly overrated. Knowing how to fix one quickly is not.

    '85 Trek 460 road racer

    '89 Raleigh Technium PRE

    '79 Motobecane Super Mirage

  11. #11
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    Thanks for the link.

    Yup, the light brown hoods are still there and are still pliable! I'm getting ready to get a brown Brooks B17 saddle for it and will rewrap the handlebars with something in tan or brown - not sure what tape yet. The hoods definitely don't match the bar tape and black saddle (Avocet) that's on there now.



    After that a wireless computer and I should be set for a while. My first goal is to do 52 miles on my 52nd b'day in mid-July. Doesn't sound like much except by then it is **HOT** - **HOT** down here in southwest Georgia! Could easily be over 100 degrees that day, depending... but I'm still looking forward to it.

    Gary

  12. #12
    Time for a change. stapfam's Avatar
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    "Ride Your Age" rides are where you ride your age. Those of us with Winter birthdays normally delay that ride till the weather improves so IF it is too hot on your Birthday -Delay till it cools down.

    Now Birthday rides are a different matter- Something to celebrate here so get a ride in and get the birthday cake in. And pics are becessary aswell.
    How long was I in the army? Five foot seven.


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  13. #13
    Senior Member bigbadwullf's Avatar
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    I'd get those ribs looked at. Could be broken. Now, if you say "there is nothing that can be done for them".....you could puncture a lung or other items of interest. Best to get it looked at.

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  14. #14
    Pedals, Paddles and Poles Daspydyr's Avatar
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    After a tumble last December, several doctors I have met all say the same thing, with Bikes, its when you crash, not IF. Riding and tumbling happen. Sorry about your tumble, but hey-its normal! You get man card points for riding home.
    I think its disgusting and terrible how people treat Lance Armstrong, especially after winning 7 Tour de France Titles while on drugs!

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  15. #15
    Senior Member Allegheny Jet's Avatar
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    BrazAd, Glad your fall had no dire consequences. You stated that you had your arms extended when you fell. That's a no-no and can result in broken wrist, arms and shoulders. It's better to keep your hands on the bars and fall onto you side and hip, much like a football player when he is hit and tackled. I've seen where cycling groups will go to a grassy patch and practice falling at slow speeds to get the feel of crashing without extending an arm. I have fallen so much in cyclo cross riding/racing and mtb riding that its 2nd nature to hold the bar, and now when I crash on my road bike I just hang on and let the body take the blow.

    Not that I crash that often.
    oldschool areodynamic brick

  16. #16
    Senior Member NukeouT's Avatar
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    Trek 400/460 solidarity!




    -and yeah from my experience that sounds like you might have cracked or broken a rib or two! Nothing they can really do for you at the hospital other than charge you money. Atleast you're not a kid and dont have to worry about related growth problems if you did break something.

    Quote Originally Posted by OldsCOOL View Post
    Your 400 was in the "sport" category and the 460 was in the "racing" category. Differences are most likely more subtle than radical.
    From what I understand the 460 was marketed as a training bike for professional racers or an amateur racing bike. This might mean that the 400 was meant as a 'casual' racing bike. My assumption is therefore that the 460 has steeper and more race-like angles than the 400, but probably not by much.
    Last edited by NukeouT; 05-24-11 at 02:00 PM.
    Time waits for no one.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Allegheny Jet View Post
    BrazAd, Glad your fall had no dire consequences. You stated that you had your arms extended when you fell. That's a no-no and can result in broken wrist, arms and shoulders. It's better to keep your hands on the bars and fall onto you side and hip, much like a football player when he is hit and tackled. I've seen where cycling groups will go to a grassy patch and practice falling at slow speeds to get the feel of crashing without extending an arm. I have fallen so much in cyclo cross riding/racing and mtb riding that its 2nd nature to hold the bar, and now when I crash on my road bike I just hang on and let the body take the blow.

    Not that I crash that often.
    That's an interesting comment about holding on to the bars during a crash. I had my bike slide from underneath me last week when I hit a patch of sand/dirt while going through a section of pavement a bit too fast and wound up on my side and hip. I've got matching road rash burns on my left arm and left shin from that one. The bike wound up landing on the grass and I hit a combination of sand and pavement. I don't recall ever extending my arms when I crash but I don't hold onto the bars either.

    The one thing I've noticed is that if I'm on a bike with a heavier alloy or steel frame, the bike usually winds up on me after a crash and I wind up with lacerations from the chainring on my leg. My much lighter CF road bike always ends up away from me. Fortunately, the rare instances where I have crashed have been at low speeds so I've managed to escape any significant damage to either myself or the bike.

    A friend of mine wasn't so lucky many years ago. He hit a patch of gravel while going way too fast on a very bumpy descent and wound up sliding about 200 feet on his side.
    He had one of the worst case of cuts, abrasions and road rash I'd even seen and he looked like something from a horror film. The bike wound up with one slightly bent brake lever.
    At any age: Always carry a spare.
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  18. #18
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    I had a serious fall about a year ago and was sure the ribs were broken but alas x-rays said just bruised.I've got an 85 Trek 760 and an 89' trek 330 by the way.

  19. #19
    Senior Member OldsCOOL's Avatar
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    Just mention riding a Trek and the Trekkies show up. I love it.

    NukeouT, nice ride. What year is that?
    Having a flat tire as part of the total cycling experience is highly overrated. Knowing how to fix one quickly is not.

    '85 Trek 460 road racer

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  20. #20
    Time for a change. stapfam's Avatar
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    One of the things that has to be taken into consideration is lack of practice--Not of falling after an accident-But landing.

    When I was riding MTBs as my only ride (Up till 5 years ago) Falls were frequent. Luckily most of them were in 6" of mud or a big pile of leaves- but as I said falls were frequent. Sometimes I knew I was going down and sometimes not. You just finished up on your back still clipped in and hands on the bars.

    One thing I did learn early on was that if you are going down- Tuck the knees and elbows in and tuck the head down. It got to the stage that following riders knew when to slow down as I took up this stance just before I fell. Got a few cuts and bruises but nothing serious.

    Occasionally I did have a problem after a fall but that was not the norm. Had one fall on Broken bricks at about 40 mph and hit the knee hard on the ground. It hurt but we were 6 miles from home. Took about 3 miles before I could put any effort into that leg but working the knee joint got it mobile and got me home.

    Accidents happen and you cannot tell when. Do it often enough and you do learn how to land (Not fall). But I won't suggest you start practising-As you have found out- it can hurt.
    How long was I in the army? Five foot seven.


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  21. #21
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    Those are good points. I've always done something similar when xc-skiing. Last winter I had to deliberately bail near the bottom of a very icy, steep hill at 25 mph because some fool stopped about 10 yards in front of me while I was on my way down. I wound up sliding about 50 feet on my side off the track on the ice and would up with a lovely bruise on my right hip. Normally I would have just stepped out of the track and skied around her or done a hockey stop but the trails were solid ice and the only alternative was to bail and use my body to stop.

    The guy who was leading the party was rather upset that I had to crash.. He asked .. "Are you alright ?" I told him "Nothing that I haven't had to do before"
    He started lecturing the offender after the fact... oh well.

    Landing on the bike is a little different. I've always wound up unclipped with a not so soft landing on my side with my head tucked in.

  22. #22
    Starting over CraigB's Avatar
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    After riding off and on for 30+ years without incident (including bunny-hopping some curbs to escape danger on a couple of mass rides), I thought the old saw about 2 kinds of cyclists - those who've crashed and those who are going to - didn't apply to me. But then, the summer I got back into it after about a 10 year hiatus, I tried to hop about a 1-inch rise at the end of a concrete driveway and was too tired and/or out of practice to make it successfully. Bam! Down I went. Luckily damage was limited to a couple of abrasions on elbows and knees, and only a minor scrape on the end of the bars. I could hardly believe it.

    BTW, I ride a 21 year old Trek myself, at least when I decide to ride my road bike. Although the frame is a little newer than that, since it was replaced under warranty about 8 or 9 years ago due to a crack at the drive-side rear dropout:

    Craig in Indy

  23. #23
    Around now and then DnvrFox's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cyclinfool View Post
    I have done that crash myself in exactly the same way. It hurts. Heal up and keep at it.
    The lesson here and it sounds like you already knew it - when you go off the road don't try to ride up the curb, stop and put the bike back on the road. Some more skilled riders can bunny hop the bike back on the road, most of us will just go splat on the pavement.

    My wife did that crash, and, hopefully, lesson learned. Not fun. Heal quick.
    DnvrFox - still bicycling, swimming, walking and weight lifting at 74yo is participating a bit in BFN 50+.

  24. #24
    Senior Member miss kenton's Avatar
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    I just picked up my 3rd Trek tonight (Woot!) The FIRST time I rode my first Trek, I crashed and cut my elbow and knee. All the "stuff" in my bags flew all over the street. Of course, someone saw me! I was so hurt and embarrassed I just jumped back on the bike and kept going, blood streaming from both injuries. Good for you that you got back on the bike and finished the ride! We Trekkies are tough!

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