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Old 02-26-04, 07:51 PM   #1
cottonmather0
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a small fall turns into a big headache

I was out this afternoon to make a few loops around the park only to learn that the park loop was closed for an event and cyclists were being turned away to go ride elsewhere. There were some other guys there whom I didn't know and we all decide to just leave. The policemen at the park let us cut through to a different exit so as to avoid rush-hour traffic. None of us were familiar with the area and we came up to an unexpected curb in the road.

The two guys in front of me managed to jump over, I realized that I wasn't going to make it and tried to stop and dismount. Instead, I couldn't get my cleats unclipped and I fell into the guy next to me (who I thought was behind me instead). It all happened very very fast.

We both end up on the ground and I land on his front wheel. It's slightly bent but still usable to get back to the car. Everything else seems fine, but as soon he peddles the chain sticks and twists up the rear derailer because of a bent tooth on the front ring that must have happened when he fell. Ends up bending the derailer hanger and quite possibly ruining the rear derailer.

I feel bad and offer to help him with the cost of any repairs and he immediately launches into me about how they are Campy components and it will be very expensive to repair and I had, "better be straight with him" about paying for the damage and "not try to pull anything".

So I don't know what to do: part of me says it was just like any other crash and that accidents happen and he's lucky that I'm offering to help out at all. The other part says that I pulled a total Fred and was a dumb klutz and that he's right and I'm responsible for the repairs.

Any advice on the proper etiquette here?
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Old 02-26-04, 08:20 PM   #2
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You offered to help him with the cost of repair and he still yells at you? Sounds like a tool. It would be nice of you to help him pay for the parts, you did fall into him. However, you guys were in a group albeit an informal one, he should have been alert and side hopped or cut right/left. Be a good guy, help him out but don't pay for it all.

PS if it is not Chorus or Record, it was not that exspensive.
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Old 02-26-04, 08:33 PM   #3
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You might consider paying half of any damage caused by the crash. From your description of the events, this would include straightening, or replacing, the bent chainwheel and straightening the bent wheel.

Damage to the derailleur, or other parts, caused by the other guys use of the damaged equipment is his own responsibility. He should have inspected his bike - or had a competent mechanic do so - before attempting to operate the bicycle. You did not cause the damage to the derailleur, he did through the operation of equipment that even a simple inspection would have determined to be unfit for continued use.

However, you could also take the position of, having reviewed your recollection of the circumstances surrounding the incident, you realize that the other guy was riding too closely considering that you and he had never ridden together and were not familiar with the riding style and abilities of the other and furthermore, the other guy was following too closely for the road conditions and did not allow sufficient room to avoid an emergency stop. Furthermore, when you did attempt to stop for an obstacle, the other guy recklessly passed too closely to the side of you and put himself and his bike in harms way. As such, you feel that you are not liable for damages incurred in the accident he could easily have prevented.
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Old 02-26-04, 08:34 PM   #4
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I think it was good of you to offer to pay (especially if you did so voluntarily). I would find out exactly what kind of components he has and see what he's talking about for repairs, and DEFINITELY, I would only pay for half. Still, I think he should have been behind you, and by pulling up alongside you, he bears a lot of the responsibility. Shoot, it was an accident! It's not like you were taking him out or something. This isn't Dynasty or Dallas or Knots Landing... sheesh!

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Old 02-26-04, 09:55 PM   #5
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If I offered to pay for damage and the other guy responded with that kind of attitude I'd just tell him to 'get f*cked then' and ride off. The correct response should have been 'thanks'.

ps. perhaps one of the more technically inclined here can explain to me how a bent tooth on a chainring would cause a chain to entangle the rear derailleur and bend it, because I can't see it.

Last edited by Allister; 02-26-04 at 10:02 PM.
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Old 02-26-04, 09:58 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by cottonmather0
I feel bad and offer to help him with the cost of any repairs and he immediately launches into me about how they are Campy components and it will be very expensive to repair and I had, "better be straight with him" about paying for the damage and "not try to pull anything".
Saying that components are very expensive because they're Campy is like saying a car is very expensive because it's a Dodge. Sure, the Viper might be expensive, but not all Dodges are Vipers. As Rev.Chuck said: he's a tool.
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Old 02-26-04, 10:15 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by Allister
If I offered to pay for damage and the other guy responded with that kind of attitude I'd just tell him to 'get f*cked then' and ride off. The correct response should have been 'thanks'.

ps. perhaps one of the more technically inclined here can explain to me how a bent tooth on a chainring would cause a chain to entangle the rear derailleur and bend it, because I can't see it.
The chain caught on a tooth and got stuck. Once he cranked further it just pulled the chain tight and pulled the rear derailer along with the the chain. Everything was locked up and the derailer (and hanger) had nowhere to go but into a straight line towards the direction of the force on the chain.
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Old 02-26-04, 10:21 PM   #8
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Thats his problem to deal with then.....just pay half of the crank cost wheel cost....
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Old 02-27-04, 03:30 AM   #9
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So what is your liability here? As far as I have heard, it is zero.

Cyclists are supposed to follow the rules of the road. When you ride in a group, you are taking chances. Any mishap can easily cause a chain reaction which no one can avoid. When you ride with a group, it is my understanding that it is at your own risk.

This person chose to ride close to you and now wants you to pay the full brunt of the consequences. If you refused to pay anything, I do not think he could compel you to pay a penny.

The fact that your offered to pay part was generous. You were especially generous because you did not do any bonehead thing to cause the mishap. It was the sort of thing that just happens in group riding every so often and if you ride in groups you live with that fact.

As for etiquette, well you offer to pay part which was gracious and he should return the favor by saying "thanks, but no thanks". For him to say the things he did is really bad manners. I would not go out of my way to ride with him in the future.
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Old 02-27-04, 05:50 AM   #10
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I think that while it is not your fault, since you offered to pay for the repairs, you should at least help out with the cost.
By saying you would at the time then backing out would make you look bad, and your word is no good anymore. One thing to consider, will you ever see this person again, or was it a one time chance meeting? If you will never see him again, not paying is a more possible solution.
I personally would feel bad to offer to pay, then back out and happen to see this person on a ride next week or month. I would be uncomfortable with that. BUT thats your choice obviously.

I guess you should let your conscience be your guide.
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Old 02-27-04, 06:51 AM   #11
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First, It was not all your fault. Perhaps he was too close or who knows but these types of accidents are usually "pilot" error and are often caused by 2 people. Rarely just one. Perhaps he was crowding you a little like the tool he is.

Second, very nice of you to offer repair. You are an honorable person.

Third, the guy is a freak and if I offered to repair like that and got treated like that, I would then tell him I was going to repair his bike, but I changed my mind because of your shtty attitude. Stick that ahole. What's he gonna do? Bad mouth you to his treament counselor? It is not dishonorable to back out in this case because that is what this tool deserves and he has offered no apology for his rude behavior.
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Old 02-27-04, 12:41 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by supcom
Damage to the derailleur, or other parts, caused by the other guys use of the damaged equipment is his own responsibility. He should have inspected his bike - or had a competent mechanic do so - before attempting to operate the bicycle. You did not cause the damage to the derailleur, he did through the operation of equipment that even a simple inspection would have determined to be unfit for continued use.

However, you could also take the position of, having reviewed your recollection of the circumstances surrounding the incident, you realize that the other guy was riding too closely considering that you and he had never ridden together and were not familiar with the riding style and abilities of the other and furthermore, the other guy was following too closely for the road conditions and did not allow sufficient room to avoid an emergency stop. Furthermore, when you did attempt to stop for an obstacle, the other guy recklessly passed too closely to the side of you and put himself and his bike in harms way. As such, you feel that you are not liable for damages incurred in the accident he could easily have prevented.
If I was to pay a penny, it would only be half of the damage directly caused by the crash. That he chose to ride without checking the rest of the bike thoroughly makes him the 100% owner of the resultant damage. After the reaction from him to your generous offer (see above re: riding in groups) however, I wouldn't give him one red cent.
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Old 02-27-04, 03:24 PM   #13
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If I offered to pay for damage and the other guy responded with that kind of attitude I'd just tell him to 'get f*cked then' and ride off. The correct response should have been 'thanks'.
I agree!

If they are so "expensive" he should have stayed at home. I'd actually go as far as to wave the money in his face, then tell him why he isn't getting it, but I'm an ass like that
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Old 02-27-04, 03:33 PM   #14
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I gotta agree with the majority here. Normal risk when riding with people, but you did the "right" thing and offered to help with the damages. If he said thanks and swapped numbers, great. He should probably have said, thanks, but really my fault for getting too close. To say what he did, with the attitude you portrayed, I'd say he's an ass and on his own.

I still don't get how - unless he was backpedaliing, and with a fair amount of force, and then it would be completely his fault - you bend a RD with a bent chain ring. I mean, the chain's SUPPOSED to get stuck on the teeth of the chainring and pull the chain along, no? Sounds like he had a bent wheel on his RD which caused this. Could have happened in the fall, but front chainring? Not buying it.
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Old 02-27-04, 03:59 PM   #15
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I still don't get how - unless he was backpedaliing, and with a fair amount of force, and then it would be completely his fault - you bend a RD with a bent chain ring. I mean, the chain's SUPPOSED to get stuck on the teeth of the chainring and pull the chain along, no? Sounds like he had a bent wheel on his RD which caused this. Could have happened in the fall, but front chainring? Not buying it.
It sounds like the chain did not release off the bottom of the chainwheel and started to wrap back around the chainwheel which pulled the der. forward.

Question- Were you both at a standstill when you fell over on him?
Either way I feel you did the right thing in offering to pay a share of the damages but the way he reacted I don't think I would follow up with him.
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Old 02-27-04, 04:30 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by cottonmather0
None of us were familiar with the area and we came up to an unexpected curb in the road.

The two guys in front of me managed to jump over, I realized that I wasn't going to make it and tried to stop and dismount. Instead, I couldn't get my cleats unclipped and I fell into the guy next to me (who I thought was behind me instead). It all happened very very fast.

I just don't understand how everyone is saying cottonmather0 is not at fault at all.

If I were the other fellow I would certainly think he was at fault. I realize and understand the "risk" of group riding, but there is also a bit of professionalism expected from other riders. I am not trying to say you don't know what you are doing, cottonmather0, I have had trouble getting unclipped as well, I imagine EVERYONE has at one time or another. but I think if you didn't belive at least a little bit that you were at fault, you wouldn't have offered to pay for the damages at the time it occured. am I right?

I am not blaming you or making fun of your ability, so don't take it that way. I just guess I see the other fellows point more than some here. I must also say his reaction of your offer seems out of line, but I could see myself coming unglued if it happened to my prize possession too. I saved along time to buy my Klein, and I would probably say a few things I may regret later.

Am I totally out of touch with reality thinking this way? Probably so, but I am still going to think that.
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Old 03-02-04, 04:23 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by cottonmather0
I was out this afternoon to make a few loops around the park only to learn that the park loop was closed for an event and cyclists were being turned away to go ride elsewhere. There were some other guys there whom I didn't know and we all decide to just leave. The policemen at the park let us cut through to a different exit so as to avoid rush-hour traffic. None of us were familiar with the area and we came up to an unexpected curb in the road.

The two guys in front of me managed to jump over, I realized that I wasn't going to make it and tried to stop and dismount. Instead, I couldn't get my cleats unclipped and I fell into the guy next to me (who I thought was behind me instead). It all happened very very fast.

We both end up on the ground and I land on his front wheel. It's slightly bent but still usable to get back to the car. Everything else seems fine, but as soon he peddles the chain sticks and twists up the rear derailer because of a bent tooth on the front ring that must have happened when he fell. Ends up bending the derailer hanger and quite possibly ruining the rear derailer.

I feel bad and offer to help him with the cost of any repairs and he immediately launches into me about how they are Campy components and it will be very expensive to repair and I had, "better be straight with him" about paying for the damage and "not try to pull anything".

So I don't know what to do: part of me says it was just like any other crash and that accidents happen and he's lucky that I'm offering to help out at all. The other part says that I pulled a total Fred and was a dumb klutz and that he's right and I'm responsible for the repairs.

Any advice on the proper etiquette here?
What does "Just like any other crash mean"? And then how about "...accidents happen"? Are you trying to rationalize a denial of responsibility? Admittedly, the guy you knocked over comes across as a anal retentive moron. But, do we only step up and cover our mistakes when we screw up a nice person's bike? Do we just walk away when we've wronged a belligerent moron? You lost control of your bicycle and precipitated the physical contact, per your description of events. Is there any doubt as to your liability to pay the damages?
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