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Old 09-23-03, 12:37 PM   #1
bhanu128
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How t0 fall down ?

falling down....some thing that every biker sooner or later has to face. seriously though f0lks, my question is what is the best way to hit the ground?
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Old 09-23-03, 12:43 PM   #2
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Not head first, i always put my hands down first, i try to bend them a bit to absorb some of the shock. Most of the time when you fall you dont think of a checklist on a good way to do it.
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Old 09-23-03, 12:45 PM   #3
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90% of the time there is no thought involved it just happesn and your instincts take over. Like putting your hands in front of you to brace the fall which coudl be good or bad, is one of the reaons to wear gloves so when your hands hit you don't get severe road rash on them.
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Old 09-23-03, 12:49 PM   #4
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Tuck and roll just go with it and don't try to fight it.But then again you may have to learn for yourself.
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Old 09-23-03, 01:44 PM   #5
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Practice...the more you fall the better you get...
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Old 09-23-03, 01:57 PM   #6
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Attend stunt school. You'll learn to fall the right way.
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Old 09-23-03, 01:57 PM   #7
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Embrace the fall. It's part of cycling. I feel the most alive right after a crash or a fall.
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Old 09-23-03, 02:05 PM   #8
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Yeah, one of these days I'm going to fall, and it's going to be so cool!...but until then...I'm scurred!
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Old 09-23-03, 02:11 PM   #9
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My shoulders I would say are the strongest part of my body. I tend to fall on my upper arm and shoulder. Given I dislocated my shoulder enough times, it doesn't really hurt nor does it dislocate anymore.
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Old 09-23-03, 02:12 PM   #10
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My advice would be not to fall down. But if ya gotta....do it softly.

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Old 09-23-03, 02:13 PM   #11
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I guess it depends on how you fall. If you're falling because of your clipless pedals, you'll be able to control it better than if you're in a crash. We had a minor crash on our tandem a few weeks ago (slid on a manhole cover when making a sharp turn). No time to think about it. Somehow we just clipped out. I don't even remember doing it, but by the time I hit the road I was unclipped. We both hit our left hip pretty hard, and I hit my head slightly (wearing helmet, no damage to helmet or head). Other than that we had some bruises, road rash, and some very sore muscles the next day. It happened so quickly that there wasn't time to react, instinct takes over.

You're best bet is to be very conscious of your surroundings & always have a way out planned when suspecting problems with vehicles. This will help minimize how often you crash. If a crash happens, your instincts will take over & you won't have time to think - only react.
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Old 09-23-03, 02:29 PM   #12
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I would say not to put your hands out when you fall- I think the bones in the wrists are pretty weak, and you're more likely to hurt yourself if you try to stop the fall with your hands. I would say try to land on your side if you can.

I think Maelstrom is right- you should practice falling so when it happens, you know what to do.

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Old 09-23-03, 03:13 PM   #13
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I go with the shoulder whenever possible. The wrist bones tend to be pretty weak, and if you fall on your hands with arms outstretched, the muscle tension in your arms will almost guarantee some wrist damage.

I learnt my best tip from a friend who races motorcycles. When you come off, relax! If your muscles are loose and you go with the flow of the fall, you're much less likely to do damage than if you try to stop the fall from happening and hit the ground tense.
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Old 09-23-03, 03:20 PM   #14
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No, you should NEVER put your hands down when you crash (unless at very slow speeds). I'm surprised this is not common knowledge, reading the posts here. Broken collarbones are the most common broken bone in cycling. This is because it is our natural instincts to try to break our falls with our hands toward the ground. It is possible to break your collarbone (or wrists, like mentioned above) without putting your hands down, but it's much less likely if you don't.

The best way to fall is to tuck and roll. Protect your head and make yourself into a ball, basically. This way, no one part of your body takes all the impact. Again, of course you can break bones this way also, but the chance is much less likely.

And, yes, practicing falling can help. I recommend getting a gym mat and doing some forward rolls from a standing position. It just gets you used to making yourself as small as possible, and protecting your head.
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Old 09-23-03, 03:30 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally posted by velo
No, you should NEVER put your hands down when you crash (unless at very slow speeds). I'm surprised this is not common knowledge, reading the posts here. Broken collarbones are the most common broken bone in cycling.
Good point on the collarbone....
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Old 09-23-03, 05:18 PM   #16
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yup never but down your hands in a crash. i have both the broken collarbone and the broken wrist to attest to that. best thing to do is tuck and roll, like they teach you in martial arts classes. the rolling decreases the impulse of the impact by lengthening the time that you allow for the momentum to dissapate. that's why a egg will break if you drop it on asphalt, but it'll stay intact if you drop it on a pillow.
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Old 09-23-03, 05:42 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally posted by deliriou5
.......that's why a egg will break if you drop it on asphalt, but it'll stay intact if you drop it on a pillow.
Dang!....I'm bringing my pillow with me on my next ride!.....
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Old 09-23-03, 06:00 PM   #18
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Less common than wrists and collarbones but doable is the elbow. I'm still nursing a sore left elbow from my fall back in July. It's called medial epicondylitis, very painful and very slow healing.

When I fell I didn't have time to react. I didn't realize I had my arm out, I thought I fell on my chest.

Even if I had practiced falling I'm not sure I would have had the forethought to protect myself. All I remember is my bike stopped, my sunglasses hit the ground, then I hit the ground.

Kathi
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Old 09-24-03, 03:05 PM   #19
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well i've been skiing for quite some time now, and usually falls are even faster on the mountain. nice thing about skiing is the snow doesnt cut you up, but you'll still get a hearty impact.


my best advice is to just stay loose and accept the ground. if you get tensed, you'll hurt yourself much worse than if you are loose. think of it as trying to snap a pencil vs. a rubber pencil.
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Old 09-24-03, 03:11 PM   #20
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Ya'll are worried about the falling, but that's not the part that hurts. It's the sudden deceleration! Therefore, ride as slow as I do, and falling is a non issue!
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Old 09-24-03, 03:16 PM   #21
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Quote:
Originally posted by mlwschultz
I guess it depends on how you fall.
This is so true. I had a fall because I failed to unclip. It was a controlled fall. I also had a fall where a tractor trailer's tailgate 'brushed' me into a curb. Landed on my head, thank you Bell for protecting my noggin. When you fall instincts will prevail. The real key is how violent of a fall it will be. That will depend alot on the speed traveled and the unexpectedness of the fall. The best you can hope for is a little road rash.
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Old 09-24-03, 04:04 PM   #22
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Its all tuck and roll much less damge if you can do it.
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Old 09-24-03, 04:41 PM   #23
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Hmmm sounds like I know this all to well...could be because I am tring to type with one arm in a cast...Well it wasnt my fault. We where at the collage school nats doing the road race of 20 km or so. About 7 km in to the ride there was a brake-way off with a girl racing along the out side so EVERY ONE but the girl in front of me. So i rode over top of her and blacked out. When i woke up i was in a car driving towards where my school was at the start-line. Then i was takin off to the hospital and waited for 5 hours till they said i have a hairline facture in my right arm and not being able to ride at all.

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Old 09-24-03, 09:47 PM   #24
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After you fall, you should play it off as if you found something on the ground. Like coins or a packet of ketchup. Maybe even mustard.
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Old 09-25-03, 03:50 AM   #25
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Don't forget to shift down before going down. This makes accelerating afterwards a bit easier.

But mostly: good luck to all of us (and--if possible--some anticipation and caution). Crashing is serious (I know), no matter how perfect your landing technique.
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