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Old 05-12-11, 01:59 PM   #1
murkey
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stupid crash

fuu... wish i had read more of these crash threads so here's mine... be careful around those AC Transit buses!!!

this was two weeks ago. i was coming down a hill on my way home, spinning fast in the bike lane. i was in the middle of an intersection when the bus next to me started pulling into the bike lane toward a bus stop... in hindsight, i probably had enough room to slow down safely, but i panicked and hit the front brake way too hard.

needless to say, i went flying. separated my left shoulder and have road rash on my right knee, both elbows, left hip, and the shoulder. minor scrapes on my chin and hands. i was wearing a helmet - good thing, it's pretty scraped up. Bern is replacing it. bent my back wheel, tore the covering on the saddle, and ripped up my bar tape. other than that the bike looks like it's in good shape, but taking it to a local shop to have them check out the headset this weekend.

i actually got up and walked home. didn't realize how badly my shoulder was messed up until i tried to wash my hair in the shower... went to the ER after that and got a sling and some prescription painkillers (mmmm vicodin).

i take full responsibility for the crash. i had been riding for a couple hours and was buzzing off the endorphins, not paying enough attention, going too fast for my skill level, and haven't practiced enough stopping from higher speeds. so i guess the moral of the story is... start off slow, and don't let the thrill of riding go to your head. i'm just glad i was able to get up from this one.

feel free to offer advice and/or flame as you see fit!
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Old 05-12-11, 02:28 PM   #2
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btw, crash was here: http://maps.google.com/maps?f=q&sour...17467&t=h&z=16

i'd been riding around the berkely aquatic park.
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Old 05-12-11, 03:30 PM   #3
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Hope you heal up fast. If you need to panic stop, slide your ass off your saddle all the way back as far as it will go then squeeze the front brake. You can use the rear brake as well but you need to know you can't apply as much braking power as the front brake. Your rear wheel will start to skid if you use the rear brake too much. Here's a web site which sums it up:

http://www.seattlebicycleclub.org/me...anic_stop.html
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Old 05-12-11, 03:59 PM   #4
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don't feel too bad

I think most everyone feels that any accident they're in is stupid and could have been avoided in retrospect. Of course!

But I can't see riding paranoid and putting no energy into a bike because of this. These things happen and I'm glad to know you could walk away. Don't worry about the bike so much--it's easily replaceable.

What's did the doctor say about the shoulder? Will you avoid surgery?
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Old 05-12-11, 04:06 PM   #5
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thanks parity, that's useful info!
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Old 05-12-11, 04:07 PM   #6
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thanks SClaraPokeman, i feel a bit less dumb now

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What's did the doctor say about the shoulder? Will you avoid surgery?
no surgery, just going to take a few more weeks to heal!
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Old 05-12-11, 10:50 PM   #7
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feel free to offer advice and/or flame as you see fit!
Practice emergency braking, using both brakes. Frankly I don't think rim brakes on a road bike are strong enough to lock the front wheel. So unless you hit something as your were braking, hard to imagine what would have caused the crash. Maybe you tensed up and twisted the handle bars.
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Old 05-13-11, 04:16 AM   #8
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Practice emergency braking, using both brakes. Frankly I don't think rim brakes on a road bike are strong enough to lock the front wheel. So unless you hit something as your were braking, hard to imagine what would have caused the crash. Maybe you tensed up and twisted the handle bars.
You lack the hand strength of an experienced panic-braker. I have locked the front wheel at speed a couple of times; it's possible.
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Old 05-13-11, 07:56 AM   #9
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You lack the hand strength of an experienced panic-braker. I have locked the front wheel at speed a couple of times; it's possible.
Then you either have a ****ty tires or doing something wrong.
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Old 05-13-11, 08:44 AM   #10
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What happens is that when you slow really quickly your weight transfers forward. You have to be ready for this or you keep going while the bike doesn't. You don't actually lock up the front wheel, you just leave the bike behind as you go over the top. It seem like you locked teh front wheel, or that you braked so hard you were thrown over the bars, but that isn't what actually happens.

To stop in a heartbeat you need to get your weight back. I've seen talented riders do high-speed-to-zero demonstration that I thought would be impossible.
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Old 05-13-11, 10:45 AM   #11
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If you really did separate your shoulder (i.e. tore your AC joint, not the ball and socket joint) don't expect it to magically heal itself. If it's not very severe it might, but even separations not serious enough to need surgery can still require a month or two of professional physical therapy before you'll get full strength back. Ask me how I know.
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Old 05-13-11, 12:29 PM   #12
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What happens is that when you slow really quickly your weight transfers forward. You have to be ready for this or you keep going while the bike doesn't. You don't actually lock up the front wheel, you just leave the bike behind as you go over the top. It seem like you locked teh front wheel, or that you braked so hard you were thrown over the bars, but that isn't what actually happens.

To stop in a heartbeat you need to get your weight back. I've seen talented riders do high-speed-to-zero demonstration that I thought would be impossible.
Yep, agree 100%.
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Old 05-13-11, 12:33 PM   #13
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If you really did separate your shoulder (i.e. tore your AC joint, not the ball and socket joint) don't expect it to magically heal itself. If it's not very severe it might, but even separations not serious enough to need surgery can still require a month or two of professional physical therapy before you'll get full strength back. Ask me how I know.
thanks for the comment. i did tear the AC ligament, but i don't think it's severe. i'm regaining strength every day, and planning to start physical therapy next week. the joint has been staying in place really well the last few days!
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Old 05-13-11, 01:18 PM   #14
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thanks for the comment. i did tear the AC ligament, but i don't think it's severe. i'm regaining strength every day, and planning to start physical therapy next week. the joint has been staying in place really well the last few days!
Good to hear.

I tore mine pretty badly about two years ago, and as it was improving every day, I didn't even talk to a doctor. After a month I could hold about twenty pounds with that arm, but it had stopped getting stronger, and I decided to see a specialist. He took one look at me and knew it was a separated shoulder, and said from the MRI that I was on the cusp of needing surgery, it was up to me. I said no thanks, and after two months of PT it is back to almost-normal (got a nice bulge on my shoulder for a souvenir).
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Old 05-13-11, 01:56 PM   #15
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Good to hear.

I tore mine pretty badly about two years ago, and as it was improving every day, I didn't even talk to a doctor. After a month I could hold about twenty pounds with that arm, but it had stopped getting stronger, and I decided to see a specialist. He took one look at me and knew it was a separated shoulder, and said from the MRI that I was on the cusp of needing surgery, it was up to me. I said no thanks, and after two months of PT it is back to almost-normal (got a nice bulge on my shoulder for a souvenir).
sounds brutal, glad you're mostly recovered. the ER doctor didn't even think i had separated it until i made her push on it to feel how loose it was. she said it would heal on its own. my chiropractor thought it was a complete tear looking at the x-ray, but after two weeks it's usable and much less annoying then the bruises and scrapes, so it's hard to say. either way, i had some existing issues with my back and shoulder from pinching a nerve a few months ago, so PT is a must.
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Old 05-13-11, 09:31 PM   #16
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Almost had a similar fate on the 18% downhill at the Marin Headlands....yes I'm from out of town :-) guy ahead of me locked his rear and started fish tailing which got me to slow down enough to realize I couldn't really slow down.....hope you're feeling better.

Vicodin....mmmmm
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Old 05-13-11, 10:08 PM   #17
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On a related note... Anyone think it's possible to bend the front fork by grabbing the brakes too hard?
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Old 05-13-11, 10:17 PM   #18
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On a related note... Anyone think it's possible to bend the front fork by grabbing the brakes too hard?
Only if you hit something. Otherwise, pretty far from possible.
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Old 05-13-11, 10:22 PM   #19
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Only if you hit something. Otherwise, pretty far from possible.
My feelings, too. I have a bent fork and undamaged front wheel in one corner and two witnesses (who don't remember seeing a car) and a police report calling it mechanical failure in the other. Unfortunately, I have no memory at all of what happened. Nothing was found in the roadway.
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Old 05-13-11, 10:38 PM   #20
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Before I ask my question, I'll admit I must be suffering from too much stupid. (That will save someone the trouble of pointing it out.) You said you take full responsibility, but I'm not so sure. If the bus pulled into the bike lane without giving you room to safely avoid it, doesn't that make it the bus driver's fault? I know one should always expect to be treated as though one is invisible and always have an escape plan, but that shouldn't relieve others of their responsibility to not drive into cyclists. I'd appreciate it if someone could set me straight on this.

Hope you heal fully and quickly. I think the only thing that has kept me from a similar fate in the past is the fact that I ride a loooong touring frame and store a boat anchor between my knees and my ribs. Hey, it's made of a carbon fiber, if adipose is a carbon fiber.
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Old 05-13-11, 11:09 PM   #21
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Then you either have a ****ty tires or doing something wrong.
Or he has decent brakes. I agree with Ygduf that regular rim brakes can lock up a front tire if applied with enough force (based on personal experience). If the rider is sitting up and doesn't have his weight back then the rear wheel will usually start to lift before the front tire actually locks up (assuming a regular upright, single bike). But the front wheel can lock if the rider has his weight back - the trick is to relax the brake a little immediately so as not to crash
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Old 05-16-11, 12:08 AM   #22
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Before I ask my question, I'll admit I must be suffering from too much stupid. (That will save someone the trouble of pointing it out.) You said you take full responsibility, but I'm not so sure. If the bus pulled into the bike lane without giving you room to safely avoid it, doesn't that make it the bus driver's fault?
lol @ suffering from too much stupid, think that was part of my problem =D

i really didn't have my head fully in the game, and i don't know my bike well enough to be going as fast as i was. also, my brakes must be on the strong side - i definitely remember the moment my back wheel came off the ground

anyway, the silver lining is that i'm taking this and my tax refund as a chance to really turn the bicycle into what i want. i ordered some 170mm IRD cranks (had Origin8 175mm's that were making me nervous) and a new IRD bottom bracket, and i'm having a wheelset built with Velocity rims and some used Suntour hubs
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