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Old 11-22-09, 06:17 AM   #1
micmat
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accident--could I have avoided it

Was riding at 40kph on concrete bike path last week---good visibility but some scrub on one side of the track,suddenly ,from this scrub a dog on a long lead popped across the path,about 20 feet ahead--I hit the brakes and did a full somersault over the top--badly grazed and hurt my back quite badly ,but nothing broken--was it my poor technique to blame or was I doomed from the start(BTY---dog owner did not care less!)
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Old 11-22-09, 06:25 AM   #2
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What could you have done different to avoid crashing?
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Old 11-22-09, 06:52 AM   #3
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MUT Wars!

My advice is to find something you can do to avoid a recurrence. For one thing, 40 KPH sounds pretty fast for a MUT. There are so many different kinds of users and, right or wrong, you can't control what the others do.

I had a similar accident on August 9 that broke both of my elbows. I was out of work for 9 weeks and I'm barely back to riding. Since that time it has occured to me how profoundly an incident that I didn't see coming has affected my lifestyle.
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Old 11-22-09, 07:20 AM   #4
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Was riding at 40kph on concrete bike path last week---good visibility but some scrub on one side of the track,suddenly ,from this scrub a dog on a long lead popped across the path,about 20 feet ahead--I hit the brakes and did a full somersault over the top--badly grazed and hurt my back quite badly ,but nothing broken--was it my poor technique to blame or was I doomed from the start(BTY---dog owner did not care less!)
Most likely could have been avoided. You were going too fast for conditions (most MUPs speed limits are around 24 KPH). Since you were going too fast, you panicked when the dog jumped out and you grabbed too much front brake. If you had given yourself time to react (by traveling at the speed limit), you would probably have remembered to shift your weight to the rear (by hanging your butt way back over the saddle) and modulated your brake pressure accordingly. Staying under control would have allowed you to steer safely around the hazard.

MUPs are the domain of the pedestrian - be extra vigilant. I find most roads safer than MUPs, especially if I want to go fast.
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Old 11-22-09, 07:35 AM   #5
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Shift weight to the back and brace arms. Or next time just speed up and take the dog with you!
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Old 11-22-09, 09:06 AM   #6
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Well, any accident can be avoided assuming that we are omniscient. There are 2 aspects to this question. Could you have anticipated the eventuality of needing to come to a rapid unexpected stop on a MU path? I think the answer to this one is a resounding yes. You were travelling too fast for the circumstances. The second aspect is could you have avoided the crash with sufficient bike handling skills? I understand that flipping over the bars is easy to do in an all out stop on a bike. I suppose one can get a mountain bike and go out on grass and practice panic stops until you get the technique down. On this one, I think you probably could have avoided that crash with sufficient skills. But even so, skills alone will not save you on a MU path if you insist on going 40 kph. Eventually, a small child, dog, adult will amble out of the bushes without looking and things will go south fast.
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Old 11-22-09, 11:23 AM   #7
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If I understand correctly, you flipped because of heavy braking? Didn't hit the dog? Then yes, your brake skills need work. You did not see the dog early obviously, did you see the owner? If so, you might have wondered what they were doing there? To answer your question, "could it have been avoided?" Yes. The dog walker bears some responsibility, but you're unlikely to get any compensation, so, forget it. Work on your bike and observational skills. Hope you feel better soon.
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Old 11-22-09, 03:12 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by micmat View Post
Was riding at 40kph on concrete bike path last week---good visibility but some scrub on one side of the track,suddenly ,from this scrub a dog on a long lead popped across the path,about 20 feet ahead--I hit the brakes and did a full somersault over the top--badly grazed and hurt my back quite badly ,but nothing broken--was it my poor technique to blame or was I doomed from the start(BTY---dog owner did not care less!)
If there was enough scrub along the side of the path to hide a dog, you didn't have good enough visibility to be clipping along at 25 mph. If I were the dog owner, I'd probably be pissed at you too (although the fault was likely shared).
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Old 11-22-09, 03:15 PM   #9
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Was riding at 40kph on concrete bike path
I think this is the main thing you could've done differently. If you want to ride fast, try to find a road that you're comfortable riding on.
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Old 11-22-09, 04:37 PM   #10
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Yeah, 40 kmh on an MUT is crazy fast. At that speed, you probably could kill small animals or children.

I call this a "life lesson".
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Old 11-22-09, 04:48 PM   #11
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I think this is the main thing you could've done differently. If you want to ride fast, try to find a road that you're comfortable riding on.
Thanks guys,on reflection I was going too fast,although everybody rides this pace on that part of the track--I sure won't be again
Dog is fine---myself and bike cleared the leash completely,the owner only popped out later---he was at least 6' behind the dog
I normally ride the road,but use this path for training early am---adjoining road is far too dangerous in the mornings
I have certainly learned a lesson though
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Old 11-22-09, 08:46 PM   #12
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I do worry about those long reel type leashes. Don't know if this is what you encountered, but they are hard to see, sometimes. Some are so long that they are exactly equivalent to no leash at all.
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Old 11-22-09, 10:50 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by micmat View Post
Was riding at 40kph on concrete bike path last week---good visibility but some scrub on one side of the track,suddenly ,from this scrub a dog on a long lead popped across the path,about 20 feet ahead--I hit the brakes and did a full somersault over the top--badly grazed and hurt my back quite badly ,but nothing broken--was it my poor technique to blame or was I doomed from the start(BTY---dog owner did not care less!)
This is bound to sound more judgmental than I intend, but I think you're partly to blame. For starters, 40k is too fast--that's about 25mph, and around here (and most US cities I know of), the MUT speed limit is 15, for safety on what is, after all, a MULTI USE (not just cycling) trail. You should be aware that you may meet joggers, kids, old folks with walkers, whatever. If you're not willing to accommodate them, go ride where they aren't.
Having said that, the same thing applies to the dog owner, who didn't meet his responsibilities, either. Sorry about the fall, but there's a lesson in it.
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Old 11-23-09, 03:44 PM   #14
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Reel leashes aren't safe -- they create an illusion of safety while taking the dog completely out of the owner's control. Other than that, the dog walker may not have been able to hear you coming. I've had that experience before when on foot in curving or wooded paths -- narrowly missing being hit by a bike because it came fast out of nowhere and I didn't hear it until it was on top of me.

If there was brush to the sides of the path that was thick enough to obscure people and animals, that's something you should have been taking into account when deciding how fast to go. Just because lots of people go fast there doesn't mean they should be or that they're safe. They're just lucky so far.
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Old 11-24-09, 01:58 AM   #15
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Learn and practice the proper method of emergency braking. That will at least keep you from doing an endo. If your going to end up hitting something, at least you will be slowed way down and make sure the thing you hit, is the idiot dog OWNER. At least then he will have a reason to care.
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Old 11-25-09, 01:31 AM   #16
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Good point. No reason not to motivate the dog owner.
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Old 11-25-09, 07:41 AM   #17
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This is bound to sound more judgmental than I intend,
Check out post #11.
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Old 11-25-09, 08:00 AM   #18
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Thanks guys,on reflection I was going too fast,although everybody rides this pace on that part of the track--I sure won't be again
Dog is fine---myself and bike cleared the leash completely,the owner only popped out later---he was at least 6' behind the dog
I normally ride the road,but use this path for training early am---adjoining road is far too dangerous in the mornings
I have certainly learned a lesson though
1. work on your emergency braking skills

2. slow down on MUPs

3. If you want to train, do it on the road

4. ironic that you feel the road is too dangerous, but you had your accident on the MUP
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Old 11-25-09, 09:38 AM   #19
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next time kill the dog
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Old 11-25-09, 12:42 PM   #20
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stop being a muppet racer and get on the road-
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Old 11-25-09, 06:52 PM   #21
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Interestingly enough, loaded Xtracycles rarely endo.
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Old 11-26-09, 09:07 AM   #22
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Having taken up bicycling at 75 after several years away from it as a bike commuter I was surprised and delighted last spring to discover the MUP in my area. At first I casually cruised through the woods and trails and had no problem with anyone or anything along the path. Then, as the summer progressed and I became more comfortable with my abilities I found myself going faster and suddenly aware that other people were sort of "in the way". Old folks shuffling along, kids on tricycles, dogs on and off leashes (more troublesome on most of the time) with the owner on one side of the path and the dog on the other. Also, squirrels darting out from bushes, twigs and debris, etc. The fact is my mindset had completely changed and instead of enjoying the path at a gentle speed I was beginning to think of it as my own training ground. Occasionally I had close calls with faster younger riders on road bikes that flashed by silently. All of this reinforces all the comments above as to excessive speed on MUPs being unacceptable and has convinced me that it is time for an attitude change.
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Old 11-26-09, 09:41 AM   #23
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^^^^^^

So there you are: "A fool learns by experience. A wise man learns through other people's experience."

Or: "Good judgement comes from experience. Experience comes from bad judgement."
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Old 11-26-09, 11:22 AM   #24
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On first reading, I thought "scrub" referred to the person you had the accident with
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Old 11-29-09, 04:50 AM   #25
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Interestingly enough, loaded Xtracycles rarely endo.
...as rarely as they allow you to sustain 25mph
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