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Old 12-31-01, 11:13 AM   #1
cyclezealot
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Crashes II

I would appreciate slightly modifying Chris' 'Crashes' thread. The advice of other cyclists' about what their crash were like might be helpful to others who have not had a serious crash.
Many fear -bragging about one's lack of misfortune is something not to be done, because it encourages said event. I have just been lucky in my approximately 50,000 miles of riding. But my two crashes were minor and I am told crashes will happen. Friends have suffered broken bones.
So my question. What was your crash like? Is it so fast, little can be done to minimize the damage to yourself? How would you prepare yourself for the hard landing?
Hope my luck keeps up. The thought of broken bones scares the dickens out of me; yet not enough to ever consider not cycling. I am a careful person always, I hope. Speed, trick riding is not worth it. My cycling is geared to be pleasant.
Thanks for advice. CZ.
ps- Besides crashes are bad for the bike you value so much.
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Old 12-31-01, 11:30 AM   #2
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I think that flipping over the bars happens so fast, that I cant do anything like twist my body to land on my arse or anything.....I just land on my face. Like when you first start goin over you dont remember anything from that time until after u land on your face.
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Old 12-31-01, 11:46 AM   #3
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On the road, most crashes happen at relatively slow speeds, UNLESS you're racing. These slow-speed crashes happen mainly for three reasons:

1. False sense of security -- most of us aren't quite as alert at slow speeds as we are at high speeds. You miss things.

2. You do not have enough forward momentum to deflect lateral forces, or enough speed to maintain your balance and recover. Try hitting a small pothole at 30 km/h, then try it at 8 km/h -- you'll see what I mean.

3. Poor communications -- Accidents happen when situations change and you aren't prepared to compensate for the change. In a paceline, this happens when the guy in front of you changes speed/direct suddenly [to avoid an obstacle, or whatever] and fails to communicate the change to the people behind him. This happened to me this year when I signalled a slowdown but forgot to calle it. The afternoon sun was in our eyes and the person behind me didn't see the signal. Lost a wheel and took a cab home.

Always remember, when a front wheel kisses a back wheel, it's thr fron-wheel that suffers.

There is always the possibiity that you'll have a high-speed crash on the road, but not too likely. They happen in races -- like crits -- because you have a peloton of 80 guys packed tightly together and turning sharply at 50 km/h. At such speeds and with so many people, very small errors -- you handlebar hits my butt -- can be magnified. Bad weather and bad visibility can complicate things, too, so be careful.

What should you do? Wear a helmet, especially when riding with others and, if you plan to race, shave your legs. That will keep the hairs on your legs from pulling away skin when you slide along the pavement and prevent a road rash from becoming an ankle-to-hip scab.

You will crash if you ride. Period. Most of your crashes will be slow-speed events that do more damage to your bike and pride than to your body. If you race, you will have high-speed crashes and you will leave skin on the pavement. You cannot eliminate the risk but you can take steps -- wearing a helmet, practicing bike handling, learning how to fall, shaving -- that will minimize the potential damage.
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Old 12-31-01, 12:11 PM   #4
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Velo. Thanks for the reply. The 'learning how to fall' idea, is what most interests me. How do or did a cyclist do that? Would it be best to roll up like a ball, what?
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Old 12-31-01, 01:29 PM   #5
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Watch out for potholes, ridges, bad pavement patch-jobs, rocks, car parts, etc., particularly when riding on narrow racing tyres, as these can trigger a high-speed crash.

My most recent crash was at 10kph/6mph, on a slight downgrade, on a wet car park driveway. This is one scenario under which one should use both brakes simultaneously and gently; I locked the front wheel and immediately went into an unrecoverable skid.
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Old 12-31-01, 02:35 PM   #6
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Roll up like a ball. It hurts more, but if you stick out your arm to soften the fall, you increase the risk of breaking your collar bone. I rather have a few more scratches than a broken collar bone!
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Old 12-31-01, 03:23 PM   #7
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I learned to fall by playing rugby. My coach always said that, when you get tackled, relax. When you hit the ground with muscles tensed, you run a higher risk of soft-tissue injuries. In my experience, that's also good advice for cycling crashes.

The other thing to keep in mind is that you should always try to control the "flail reflex." When you lose balance, your reflex is to throw out your limbs to try and regain balance. The problem is that this doesn't help with balance on a bike and, more importantly, it almost guarantees that you'll hit the pavement joints [wrist, elbow, knee, shoulder] first. That's bad. Joints are the weakest points on you body. Your aim should be to hit the pavement on your thigh or upper arm below the shoulder. You'll only lose some lycra or skin.

Practice falling by going to a playing field and practicing side-rolls.
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Old 12-31-01, 04:06 PM   #8
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I like the idea of learning NOT to fall better!

Why practice for failure? Practice for perfection!
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Old 12-31-01, 05:29 PM   #9
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Ok, I have a potentially stupid question on the learning to fall thing. Does one need to anticipate a crash for this to be of any use. The reason I ask this is that on my most serious crash of the year (the Coolangatta one), my back wheel slid out from under me after hitting an oil slick when I went to take a roundabout way too fast.

I did manage to eventually slide away on my backside, but the initial impact was with my head because I simply wasn't ready to crash when it happened.


Oh yeah, my other crashes:

Surfers Paradise -- not serious, but a stupid one where I wasn't concentrating when picking my way through dense traffic. The lesson from that one is obvious.

Spicers Gap -- caused by riding slick tyres on a dirt road with loose gravel everywhere and losing the back wheel (kind of anticipated and was going slowly at the time)

Brays Creek -- see Spicer's Gap above.

BTW CZ, with my original thread I wasn't trying to brag about anyone's fortune or lack of it. I was just curious.
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Old 12-31-01, 07:17 PM   #10
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Chris. I was not referring to any one other than myself. That, in regards to bragging. Again, the common fear or more likely a supersition, don't say you haven't crashed, because you likely will.
Unfortunately, I have seen others war wounds, to think it impossible to happen to any of us. At least in the example of my friends, caused by the stupidity of the motoring primate.
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Old 12-31-01, 08:05 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally posted by KleinMp99
I think that flipping over the bars happens so fast, that I cant do anything like twist my body to land on my arse or anything.....I just land on my face. Like when you first start goin over you dont remember anything from that time until after u land on your face.
This is what happened to me last August when a pedestrian "clotheslined" me (stuck his arm out, elbow facing back to make it unbendable, fist balled.) It happened so fast, and I don't remember anything between being hit and getting up.
All I know is I went over the bars and landed on my face/head. (If you see this strange move, don't try to block it, you will go down FAST. Do anything but that.)

Expect the unexpected. My advice is, it's good to learn how to fall, but don't depend on that. Look for trouble before it happens
(like riding three feet away from car doors, for instance.)

Even so, accidents can happen anyway! (Go ahead and wear that helmet--better the helmet get trashed than you head.)

:thumbup:
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Old 12-31-01, 10:08 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally posted by Pete Clark


This is what happened to me last August when a pedestrian "clotheslined" me (stuck his arm out, elbow facing back to make it unbendable, fist balled.) It happened so fast, and I don't remember anything between being hit and getting up.

All I know is I went over the bars and landed on my face/head. (If you see this strange move, don't try to block it, you will go down FAST. Do anything but that.)



Expect the unexpected. My advice is, it's good to learn how to fall, but don't depend on that. Look for trouble before it happens

(like riding three feet away from car doors, for instance.)



Even so, accidents can happen anyway! (Go ahead and wear that helmet--better the helmet get trashed than you head.)



:thumbup:
That's when you grab his tricep and wrist and use him as a breakfall. He'll break an arm, you might get a few scratches, and he has only himself to blame.

I studied grappling for about three years, and the learning-to-fall part has saved me a number of broken bones, torn ligaments, and generally borked joints. I'd highly reccomend just six months playing Uke (spelling?) at a Judo school somewhere.
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Old 12-31-01, 11:56 PM   #13
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Best I believe is to pay close attention to your surroundings. My only crash so far has been wehn going down the santa ana river, and there is a wood bridge you have to cross from one side to the other. And I did not pay attention to the condition of the bridge and it was wet, so when I took the turn onto the bridge, my tires slid out from under me.. few cuts and bruises. I think best precaution.. have good medical insurance!
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Old 01-01-02, 02:03 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally posted by Matadon
That's when you grab his tricep and wrist and use him as a breakfall. He'll break an arm, you might get a few scratches, and he has only himself to blame.
That's assuming you can react quickly enough to the situation. These things happen fast.
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Old 01-01-02, 12:07 PM   #15
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One of the things you learn about falling is to tuck your shoulder in and roll, like Velocipedio said- you learn that in rugby or (american) football. My guess is that women probably suffer more in crashes since we don't get involved in as many contact sports. I also suffer from being a bit of a clutz and having not the greatest sense of balance (which actually has improved due to cycling). For some reason, most of my cycling injuries are pedal clonks- the pedal hitting my shin when I'm off the bike.
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Old 01-02-02, 10:41 AM   #16
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Originally posted by Chris L




That's assuming you can react quickly enough to the situation. These things happen fast.
True. I have kitten-on-crack-cocaine reflexes (many years of being the little guy will do that to you), but I probably would have been taken down, too.

I'd be pretty stomping mad if some moron ped clotheslined me, though. It fits in the same category as tripping a complete stranger, or throwing a fake-fur bag tied to a leash in front of an oncoming car on a narrow road.
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Old 01-02-02, 03:40 PM   #17
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Originally posted by Matadon
True. I have kitten-on-crack-cocaine reflexes (many years of being the little guy will do that to you), but I probably would have been taken down, too.

I'd be pretty stomping mad if some moron ped clotheslined me, though. It fits in the same category as tripping a complete stranger, or throwing a fake-fur bag tied to a leash in front of an oncoming car on a narrow road.
A trip to the local police station may not require the same reflexes.
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Old 01-02-02, 04:15 PM   #18
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A trip to the local police station may not require the same reflexes.
What, pray tell, will the police do with the Pediprimate denying all knowledge of your existence? It's your word against his; and if he has a friend, you don't have a leg to pedal on.

Now, taking down his license plate number and reporting him as a gross polluter may have its advantages...at least in California. Costs the state nothing, you nothing, and the moron about $50 and an hours' time to get his car re-smogged.
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Old 01-02-02, 08:20 PM   #19
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Actualy reporting them as a gross poluter as of a few years ago, basicaly did nothing. My brother got one of those in a old chevy sprint.. which was not poluting he just wrote back saying his car was not a gross poluter.. and nothign else happened.
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