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Old 10-24-05, 08:15 AM   #1
cooker
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Even after 47 years of biking, and more recently, 2000 days of bike commuting, you can still make stupid, dangerous mistakes due to a moment of impatience or inattention. Fortunately I didnít get hurt, this time.

It was a cold and rainy day (really) when my wife asked me to pick up some groceries, and the list she gave me looked a bit daunting for a bike trip. Still, Iím trying to minimize car use, so I threw a pannier on the bike and a backpack on my back and set off. At the store, I bought 6 L of bagged milk, 1 L of cream, a loaf of bread, and a 10 lb. (what, no metric?) bag of potatoes. I had loaded the potatoes in the pannier and everything else in the back pack, and was starting to unlock my bike, when I noticed the quick release lever on the front wheel was part way up. I pressed it down but it didnít go all the way, so I unscrewed it slightly and then pressed it down again.

My second stop was a wine store two blocks away down a 4 lane main road. With the load on my back, I felt quite top heavy. Traffic was busy but slow, and on the second block I managed to negotiate a shaky lane change to the left-turn lane, and rode obliquely up over the lip of the liquor store driveway, careful not to let my wheel get forced to one side. I dismounted by a metal flower trellis, and started to lock my bike to it. I wasnít close enough, so I lifted the bike slightly to move it closer, and thatís when it happened. My front wheel fell off!

I had been riding in heavy traffic, making lane changes and riding diagonally over an elevated driveway entrance lip with 16 lbs/7.5 kg of groceries on my back, and a front wheel that wasnít securely attached to the bike. I guess when I adjusted it at the grocery store I hadnít noticed that it wasnít completely in the dropouts. I should have looked more carefully, and I should have realized something was out of whack when I had to unscrew the quick release a bit in order to press the lever down.

Live and learn.

Robert

Last edited by cooker; 10-24-05 at 09:26 AM.
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Old 10-24-05, 10:00 AM   #2
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The brakes weren't rubbing the tire?
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Old 10-24-05, 10:47 AM   #3
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My guess is that the axle was slightly out of the dropout when I tried to close the lever, causing me to loosen the quick release, but then popped back into the dropouts when I mounted the bike, leaving the wheel pretty well lined up, but the skewer loose. With the heavy load on my back and on the bike, I might not have noticed a slight brake rubbing or a bit of a wobble, and gravity kept the wheel in place until I lifted the bike.
I'll look at my dropouts later and see if there's a bit of a ridge ("lawyer lips") around the slot...that would fit my theory.
R
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Old 10-24-05, 12:15 PM   #4
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I've also had a similar run in for different reasons. Usually double lock my bike, mini on the rear wheel and a cable on the front and frame... more than once i've found the QR tabs open where someone had tried to steal a wheel they thought wasn't locked. Rode halfway home one night with my rear wheel seated by gravity and all manner of scary wobbles. Took me awhile to figure out, thought i'd just been losing my head.
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Old 10-24-05, 12:41 PM   #5
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I know what "liters" are but what's "bagged milk"? Seriously.
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Old 10-24-05, 01:00 PM   #6
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It's a canadian thing. In Canada, they sell milk in bags; you put the whole bag in a pitcher and cut a hole in the top.

Here's a picture:
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v1...ete2/milk7.jpg
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Old 10-24-05, 01:04 PM   #7
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Thanks! 47 years on this earth and that's first I've heard of it! Great picture.
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Old 10-24-05, 01:08 PM   #8
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Don't bicycles in Canada come with lawyer lips...?
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Old 10-24-05, 01:39 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The Fixer
Don't bicycles in Canada come with lawyer lips...?
Hey, no cross-border quips, please! Actually, my bike was made in Wisconsin. R
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Old 10-24-05, 06:03 PM   #10
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Sometimes I forget to reattach my brakes after doing some cleaning. Once I forgot both and had to stop with my feet at 20 mph right before a red light!
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Old 10-24-05, 06:54 PM   #11
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See, this is why I never clean my bike. It could be fatal!
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Old 10-24-05, 07:37 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dstrong
I know what "liters" are but what's "bagged milk"? Seriously.
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Old 10-24-05, 08:16 PM   #13
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Wasn't a thread almost exactly like this recently posted?
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Old 10-24-05, 10:25 PM   #14
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At the end of a ride last year i heard a weird like metal on metal noise comeing from the front of the bike whenever i lifted it up. Clicking. I thought it was the head shock breaking because it had done it befre. Once i got back to the car though i realized the front quick release was just hanking there and the sound was from there. The only thing holding it on were the brakes/thouse little things around the dropouts.
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Old 10-25-05, 10:20 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dstrong
Thanks! 47 years on this earth and that's first I've heard of it! Great picture.

Ditto that! What an interesting way to sell milk! The cat seems to be very impressed too
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Old 10-25-05, 11:14 PM   #16
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I watched a kid where I teach go over a speed bump in the parking lot, have his front wheel fall completely off, got the forks dug into the asphalt, go over the bars, land on his face (leaving a six foot bloody skid mark), and knock out ALL of his front teeth. He was completely out for 5 minutes. One week later he is back at school. Three weeks later and the road rash is gone. They put his teeth back in and will wait until December to see if they will grow back into his jaws.

Seeing that makes me check my QR each and every ride. Scared me bad.
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