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Old 09-19-09, 08:29 PM   #1
Caecilia42
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Fell on my face, but how's the bike?

Had my first fall today (only been riding since May). Basically was surprised by someone appearing in front of me on an MUP and slammed on the brakes. Fell forward and to my left and I broke my fall with my face, so it's a bit of a mess (but the helmet and sunglasses helped a lot).

Looking over my bike (Bianchi Cortina), the only issue I see so far is a deep scrape on the left bar end and we have an extra set of those lying around. Anything I should be particularly on the lookout for? I'm already going to head to the LBS for a new helmet, should I just bring the whole thing in?
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Old 09-19-09, 08:31 PM   #2
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Ride it there.
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Old 09-19-09, 08:37 PM   #3
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Some helmet companies provide free or reduced cost helmets if there was a crash.

Some of these articles list companies providing free replacement:

http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&s...=Google+Search

Last edited by DnvrFox; 09-19-09 at 08:42 PM.
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Old 09-19-09, 10:44 PM   #4
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Trek is one such company. A person from these forums related a story of buying his first-ever helmet - a Trek Vapor - and getting into a bad crash. His brand new Vapor broke his fall and cracked. It would have been fatal, he was convinced, if not for the helmet.

Trek sent him a new one - free - the next day.
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Old 09-20-09, 12:12 AM   #5
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Owie!
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Old 09-20-09, 05:53 AM   #6
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I'm already going to head to the LBS for a new helmet, should I just bring the whole thing in?
If the bike has a carbon fiber frame or fork or other steerer parts, yes.
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Old 09-20-09, 05:56 AM   #7
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Had my first fall today (only been riding since May). Basically was surprised by someone appearing in front of me on an MUP and slammed on the brakes. Fell forward and to my left and I broke my fall with my face, so it's a bit of a mess (but the helmet and sunglasses helped a lot).
You need to read www.sheldonbrown.com/brakturn.html - executed correctly even a full-on emergency brake that lifts your rear wheel is safe.
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Old 09-20-09, 06:16 AM   #8
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Oh, sorry for my curt reply. Your bicycle is probably fine. Good suggestions to check about the helmet maker's crash replacement policy.

You'll have less visible scarring if you keep the sun off your wounds until they are healed. If you wanted to post a picture of your scraped up face in the "What do you look like?" thread, that would be pretty funny. Just a thought.

Getting a new helmet and back on the horse. Good for you!

Things to look for after a fall is handlebars askew, front wheel out of true, bent pedal axle or crank arm. If it's not convenient to bring the bike to the shop, the wheel spins straight, and the bike feels normal when you ride it, you probably don't have to.
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Old 09-20-09, 08:53 AM   #9
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Thanks so much for the thoughts. I know the accident was my own fault, and prior to it I had been practicing braking to have more control, but obviously not there yet.

It turns out Uvex offers 30% off a replacement helmet so I'll see if the LBS can send it back for me. Mine is visibly not symmetrical as well as smushed on the front, so it clearly took quite a bit of force. Some of the guys who helped me up did not have helmets - hope I inspired them (unless they figure they're not as much of an idiot as I am).

Spun the wheels on the bike a bit and they seem true, only minor scratches on the fork and left crankarm, but I get free service on it at the LBS 'cause I bought it from them, so might walk it over, only a few blocks. Stiff neck means I'm not up for riding it just yet.

My face ain't great - fat lip and scratches on the forehead, cheekbone (from the bottom of the sunglasses, which were pitted and scratched) and chin, which is really swollen - but not a "run in fear" thing either. Just glad my court appearance was last week and I have another week before the next (I'm a lawyer, not a defendant).
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Old 09-20-09, 10:44 AM   #10
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Glad you're ok. I too vote for posting your face picture in the "what do you look like thread" before healing process completes. It didn't happen unless there are pictures. ;-)

As far as the bike goes, have the LBS look at it, esp the wheels and alignment. I'd definitely ride it around to see if there is anything that doesn't "feel" right.

Good that you bought the extra service...

Get back on that horse
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Old 09-20-09, 11:26 AM   #11
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Also make sure your seat didn't get knocked lower, not sure how to explain. I crashed going down a driveway, going slow and somehow managed to knock my seat down lower than where it was, bike shop guy noticed it.
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Old 09-21-09, 06:24 AM   #12
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Glad to hear you are relatively okay Caecilia 42. Heal up soon. I know it's debatable whether helmets save lives but I was recently in a crash and skidded along a small ways on my helmet. I'm just glad my helmet got scraped up and not my beautiful face .

If you want just bring your bike into the shop and let them know what happened. Hopefully they won't find anything wrong with the bike but they could alert you to things to look out for.
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Old 09-21-09, 07:13 AM   #13
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Glad to hear you are relatively okay Caecilia 42. Heal up soon. I know it's debatable whether helmets save lives but I was recently in a crash and skidded along a small ways on my helmet. I'm just glad my helmet got scraped up and not my beautiful face .
That's a realistic appraisal of what helmets can do, and there is nothing wrong with wearing them because they can lessen injuries from a low speed accident. But in a Big Hit they're about as useful as sunscreen against a nuclear blast.

Also you both seem to have worn your helmets correctly - most people don't (they wear them too lose and tilted) and a mis-worn helmet is usefess.
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Old 09-21-09, 08:09 AM   #14
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That's a realistic appraisal of what helmets can do, and there is nothing wrong with wearing them because they can lessen injuries from a low speed accident. But in a Big Hit they're about as useful as sunscreen against a nuclear blast.

Also you both seem to have worn your helmets correctly - most people don't (they wear them too lose and tilted) and a mis-worn helmet is usefess.
Yes, I wear mine fairly low and tight over my forehead and it seems I would have cut open my scalp without it and possibly been concussed. The verdict from the dentist is that I chipped a front tooth and it has tiny crazemarks that may lead to problems in the next few months (and I'm on a soft food diet for a couple weeks), but I will not start wearing a mouthguard.

The bike got checked out - rear wheel may be a smidge out of true, but recommendation was to ride it and see how it handles. Hoping the neck pain clears up soon so I can go back out (doctor is not worried about the pain unless it last more than a few days).
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Old 09-21-09, 11:46 AM   #15
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Your helmet definitely saved you from more serious injury. I'm pretty sure mine has saved my life. Of course if a nuclear bomb goes off near you, a helmet is probably not going to help much.
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Old 09-21-09, 12:59 PM   #16
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People are more concerned after a bike wipeout for damage to their bike than to themselves. In my case, the worst thing that happened was the handlebar got twisted and the right brake lever got scratched.

Heh
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Old 09-26-09, 05:45 PM   #17
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Finally got back on the bike today (took a few days for the neck pain to subside and then work was insane). Took it easy, but the ride was totally smooth, perfect.

Wish my body was in as good shape, but I'm on a soft food diet until my dentist can bond my chipped front tooth - it's really annoying. Everything else is healing up nicely though.
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Old 09-26-09, 05:56 PM   #18
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let's see what we can do on our end to make sure this doesn't happen again. you said you only started riding since may? i presume you slammed the front brake and kind of flipped over the handlebar? you should read sheldon brown's article on braking turning. next time you slam the front brake as you did AND use your arms to brace yourself back. since i've i learned that, i can stop at full strength without coming close to flipping.

Last edited by common man; 09-26-09 at 06:12 PM.
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Old 09-27-09, 01:58 PM   #19
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Yep, I read Sheldon's article well before my accident and had been practicing using the front brake without flipping. Unfortunately, in the moment, it wasn't an automatic thing for me, plus I was riding one-handed (had just grabbed my waterbottle). I had been practicing my waterbottle skills for awhile too, but obviously need lots more time to get that fluid.

I'm naturally very uncoordinated, which the bike is mostly very forgiving of, but I need a lot more practice on the "skills".
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Old 09-27-09, 03:23 PM   #20
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The best riders crash, but crashing should be a very rare occurrence for the casual rider. In addition to learning braking techniques, ask yourself how someone appeared unexpectedly. Assume the part of the trail you can't see is blocked. You did the right thing to take a fall rather than hit someone. Sorry that you need dental work. That's bad luck.
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