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Old 01-18-13, 11:14 PM   #1
John C. Ratliff
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Older People can still Eat Dirt

I was very happy to be wearing my helmet a week ago last Sunday, when as I was riding to our church choir practice, my front wheel came loose and caused me to veer into the curb. I couldn't understand why I could not get the bike away from the curb, and I took a very hard spill, a face plant actually. Luckily, this 67 year old found a soft spot to land his face, in the bark mulch after breaking apart a small bush. I ended up with my glasses planted so hard against my face that they bit into the bridge of my nose. I also had one gouge in my cheek; at my age, it didn't hurt my looks though.

As you can see, I have a helmet which will fit over my hood, and it worked very well. the front of the helmet and the light took the main head plant force, saving my nose and teeth a more delicious bite into the bark mulch. I hit at about 12 mph, and it made a hole about six inches into the ground/bark mulch area. The outside air temperature at the time was about 32 degrees F (0 degrees C). The baseball cap I wore under the hood came down and covered my nose; there were small pieces of skin on the underside of the cap when I took it off.

I didn't make it to the choir practice, but did sing as I was able to get cleaned up in time for the church service. 'Had to drive there though. I had my camera on the bike, and tripod too thinking to take photos of the interior of the church with all the Christmas greenery still up. That's how I had it for the photos here. I left the camera at home, then found out that the Christmas greenery was taken down just after the service, so I didn't get a chance at those photos. 'Forgot to throw the camera (on a tripod) into the car when going back to church.

The helmet definitely helped in this situation, and was further forward than you see in the post-accident photos. The light was also dislodged, as it was down over the front of the helmet. I have retired that helmet, and got a new one the same day. The new one is a Snell Certified Specialized MAX XXL with a ratchet system which will allow it to fit over my hood/hat combination, or on my bare head too. The Nutcase helmet I was wearing is also a very good choice, but I only used it in winter as it would be too large for use without the hood or hat under it.

John
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File Type: jpg Dad can eat dirt.jpg (74.2 KB, 70 views)
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Old 01-18-13, 11:22 PM   #2
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Old 01-19-13, 02:14 AM   #3
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Old 01-19-13, 03:54 AM   #4
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Glad it wasn't more serious. Lucky you didn't plant into a sidewalk, the curb itself, or the road. Wonder why the wheel came loose?
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Old 01-19-13, 06:31 AM   #5
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Glad it wasn't more serious. Lucky you didn't plant into a sidewalk, the curb itself, or the road. Wonder why the wheel came loose?
+1
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Old 01-19-13, 06:59 AM   #6
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Old 01-19-13, 08:48 AM   #7
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Far better to occasionally eat dirt and wood than to get dirt piled on your wooden suit.
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Old 01-19-13, 08:56 AM   #8
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Far better to occasionally eat dirt and wood than to get dirt piled on your wooden suit.
True. But better yet to be sure your front wheel stays between you and the dirt. Rumor has it that it rolls much better than your face.
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Old 01-19-13, 09:17 AM   #9
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One needs a helmet even on a 12mph ride to church.Glad it wasn't worse.A full face helmet seems like over kill until you crash.Maybe a clear bar like a football helmet would help.Because I ripped up my face last Sept. And Here is a reminder for a pre-ride bike check which I neglect at times.Sun is out its warming up I'm going for a ride!!Lets see what the wife says.
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Old 01-19-13, 10:06 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John C. Ratliff View Post
...I was riding to our church choir practice, my front wheel came loose...
How, exactly?
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Old 01-19-13, 11:23 AM   #11
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I am not sure how it came loose. It was up on the wall on a hook when I took it down to ride, and I had previously ridden it about twenty miles. Perhaps in taking it down I inadvertently hit the quick release arm...I don't know. At the bike shop the mechanic said he has seen quick releases back out by road vibration, so it pays to check them before each ride. I was riding my Rivendell Rambouillet, which also does not have the little safety "lips" on the forks--it is a classical touring bikes. Yes, it was very lucky I didn't plant on the sidewalk (about 15 seconds further down the road). I do now know that helmets do protect the face, even those that are not "full-face" helmets.

My "other bike" is a Rans Stratus long wheelbase recumbant bicycle. On this bicycle, this type of accident is not possible. I have about 12,000 miles on the Stratus, and less on the Rambouillet. The Stratus will get more workouts now, just based on this possibility.

John
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Last edited by John C. Ratliff; 01-19-13 at 11:39 AM. Reason: add info about the Stratus.
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Old 01-19-13, 11:29 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by John C. Ratliff View Post
I am not sure how it came loose. It was up on the wall on a hook when I took it down to ride, and I had previously ridden it about twenty miles. Perhaps in taking it down I inadvertently hit the quick release arm...I don't know. At the bike shop the mechanic said he has seen quick releases back out by road vibration, so it pays to check them before each ride. I was riding my Rivendell Rambouillet, which also does not have the little safety "lips" on the forks--it is a classical touring bikes.

John
I would think that road vibration would tend to sink the skewer deeper into the fork (rather than pull it out) since that is the direction of the force.
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Old 01-19-13, 11:49 AM   #13
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I would think that road vibration would tend to sink the skewer deeper into the fork (rather than pull it out) since that is the direction of the force.
I think it depends on the orientation of the lever. If it is up, in the direction of the fork, or back you are probably right. If it is slightly forward, maybe not. I do know that I used it in a combined trip to the Honda dealership to get my wife's car serviced, and had to take the front wheel off for that. It could be that I didn't tighten it down properly when I put the bike back together. But I rode it on a long ride after that. So, I really don't know. All I can say is that I'll be checking it before each trip now.

John
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Old 01-19-13, 11:50 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by John C. Ratliff View Post
Perhaps in taking it down I inadvertently hit the quick release arm...I don't know. At the bike shop the mechanic said he has seen quick releases back out by road vibration, so it pays to check them before each ride. I was riding my Rivendell Rambouillet, which also does not have the little safety "lips" on the forks--it is a classical touring bikes.
See response on the A&S helmet thread where you double posted this subject:
http://www.bikeforums.net/showthread...1#post15174431
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Old 01-19-13, 11:54 AM   #15
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Where are those lawyer lips when you really need them?
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Old 01-19-13, 12:03 PM   #16
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due to the fact that this is cross-posted in the appropriate place and that this topic brings forth bitter arguments, I'm locking it. Sorry for the inconvenience.
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