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Old 01-24-05, 03:09 AM   #1
MEHK
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bad accident to scared to ride

About two years ago I crashed my bike during a duathlon in Hong Kong. Three surgeries later with one more planned in the next year, I haven't been back on the bike! I really want to ride again, but am terrified. I was thinking if maybe I started out on bike with sturdier wheels that might be better. Any suggestions? MEHK
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Old 01-24-05, 03:26 AM   #2
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what caused the crash and why would sturdier wheels help? was it wheel failure that cause the crash or do you mean that you would feel safer on wider MTB type wheels rather than thin racing wheels.

I would just start off somewhere quiet on my own like a bike path and take it easy. Just build it up and get used to the feeling of cycling again.
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Old 01-24-05, 08:34 PM   #3
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MEHK,

Get on the damn bike and ride it.

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Old 01-25-05, 12:26 AM   #4
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I had a simular circumstance when I first was hit by a car on a training ride. You just need to see (takes time) that what ever happened was an accident, will probably not happen again or can be fixed. It is normal to be scared to get back to something after a tramatic experience.

Even today I am a little shuddery on fast decents and fast straights. I have gotten back 90 percent and am getting better. The best advice is to get riding and go slow and get back... you will be riding long distances again in no time.
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Old 01-25-05, 02:40 PM   #5
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I was in a bad accident during a tri on 9/26/04. I broke my clavicle and my scapula...add about five feet of road rash and you get a good picture of what happened.

My first couple of times out on my bike we a little scary but you get over it quickly. You may want to try something like riding around in a parking lot and getting used to your bike again. Make slow sharp turns, ride with no hands, etc. Get your confidence back and hit the road.

Good luck.
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Old 01-25-05, 03:01 PM   #6
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Very sorry to hear you got into an accident. It doesnt matter how strong your frame or wheels are, if a car hits you or you bite it, you're still subject to serious injury. My suggestion is to get back on the bike as soon as possible and just ride, short ones at first, to get your confidence back. No doubt, it is your thoughts that are creating fear in you. Don't think, just get on it, but do think about what is around you. Good luck.
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Old 01-27-05, 05:19 AM   #7
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The accident was my fault. I wasn't confident with the clips and I think my bike was just too advanced for me. My husband bought it for me as a Chrismas present. I am a runner, and was injured and he was going crazy living with me not being able to exercise. He researched and bought me a Kestrel. It was light and way too fast. That is why I'm wondering if maybe I started with a "sturdier bike" it would be better. I'm training for Boston right now, but really want to experience triathlon this summer. My friends, family, etc. all say stick to running, because I'm good at it and it's safe. I don't know, part of me just really wants to get back on the bike. I just want to get on one that's easy to ride, but one that I cant get a workout on. Does this make sense? Let me know what you think. Thanks for answering. MEHK
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Old 01-27-05, 06:36 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MEHK
The accident was my fault. I wasn't confident with the clips and I think my bike was just too advanced for me. My husband bought it for me as a Chrismas present. I am a runner, and was injured and he was going crazy living with me not being able to exercise. He researched and bought me a Kestrel. It was light and way too fast. That is why I'm wondering if maybe I started with a "sturdier bike" it would be better. I'm training for Boston right now, but really want to experience triathlon this summer. My friends, family, etc. all say stick to running, because I'm good at it and it's safe. I don't know, part of me just really wants to get back on the bike. I just want to get on one that's easy to ride, but one that I cant get a workout on. Does this make sense? Let me know what you think. Thanks for answering. MEHK
When it comes to pedals, I am still using platform pedals & any running shoe. For some silly reason, I am terrified of those things.

Sturdier bike. Have you looked into the cyclocross forum? The cyclocross (cx) bike is the most versatile bike that you will ever find. It's a road bike on steriods, so to speak. All the frame is built tougher to withstand the rigors of off-road riding. So, what can you do with it? Commute, hop sidewalks, hit the trails if you feel like, group rides, & swap the knobby tires for racing tires, enter a du/tri with it!
If you are in Boston, you are pretty much near a hotbed for cyclocross racing (running while carrying your bike & riding) in Gloucester, MA.
If you should fall in this form of racing, the only thing you will get is dirty &/or muddy.

Here are pics of me & my running shoes...
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Old 01-27-05, 12:58 PM   #9
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How about a trainer? Stick it in front of your window.
You can spin and eventually you will want to take it on the road and your legs will be ready.
I think the cyclocross sounds good, being a metropolis dweller, the bike has good road design, and the freedom to go light offroad -like on vacation\ trips.

Sturdier wheels won't help unclipping your feet.
A bike with an inclined toptube like the cx will have a slightly lower center of gravity.

I personally would recommend a mtb if you want to have controll over the bike.
You undersize the frame and muscle the bike wherever you want it.
Small slick tires and they run ashphalt fine.
The exercise aspect is ANY cycle.

A light terrain racing mtb is called a crosscountry, XC. These are one step closer to mtb from cyclocross (how I think of them anyway) but still are light bikes with a more road style areo riding position.
Straight bars are an option with this type of bike.

Run platform pedals untill you feel more confident?

Sorry to hear you are not cycling, and got badly injured.
If I decided to race (mtb) I would accept the fact I may get injured before entering.
MTBing, I've crashed a few times, but not broken anything yet.
Almost my neck once...

A different angle> I am very confidant about ballance as I skateboarded for years, HAVE fallen, know how to fall, yes there are teqniques.

I might suggest Judo class when you doctor says fine. You would learn falling teqniques, as well as weight\ ballance skills.
There are several aspects of fitness overlooked by people, ballance skills are one.
In cycling, the skill is VERY important. Even the sticking your butt of the seat to countersteer or keep the back wheel down on a front tire skid is a ballance movement.

Offroad, with the smaller frames, you ride the bike off the seat, body stays upright and you move the bike side to side under you. Being limber and having good ballance is paramount offroad to muscle.

Any gymnastic persuit would strengthen these reflexes probably and give you a confidence about your physicality and cycling.

Don't know why i'm still typing...I dislike road bikes..the riders are o.k.
Oh ya, getting hurt sucks...and it is pretty much going to happen a couple times if you are going to ride a bike lots.
Your fault or someone elses.

You can't live in a bubble...well I guess you can...........................You can't cycle in a bubble.........well, if it was a REALLY BIG BUBBLE!!
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Old 01-28-05, 04:43 AM   #10
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Great reply. That is what I needed to hear. I simply can't face the clip-ons. I live in Hong Kong but am travelling back to Boston to run the Marathon in April. I spend summers in FL. I will definitely look into this bike. Thanks so much. MEHK
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Old 01-28-05, 04:47 AM   #11
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Thanks for that. I'm going to get a new bike! I'm going to put on my running shoes and go for it. I ride on the trainer pretty consistently ever since the accident. Even just a few weeks out of surgery. Unfortunately, every time I go out to ride I panic. I absolutely freak! Anyways, thanks for the input and all the kind words of encouragement. Trust me, I need it! MEHK
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Old 01-28-05, 06:19 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MEHK
Great reply. That is what I needed to hear. I simply can't face the clip-ons. I live in Hong Kong but am travelling back to Boston to run the Marathon in April. I spend summers in FL. I will definitely look into this bike. Thanks so much. MEHK
I hope you take a nice look at a cyclocross bike. Most of the newer bikes come with top mount brake levers, which lets you brake from the top of the bars (a nice upright riding position). If you spend summer in FL, perhaps you are near enough to these guys:

http://chainwheeldrive.com/site/page.cfm?PageID=536

I have participated in 5 duathlons, so far, with my Trek XO1. Love it! Since I ride with platform pedals, my running shoes are already on & I never worry about the transition zone. Poke around my webpage as I try to post as much about the sport of cyclocross as I can.
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Old 01-28-05, 08:07 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by MEHK
Great reply. That is what I needed to hear. I simply can't face the clip-ons. I live in Hong Kong but am travelling back to Boston to run the Marathon in April. I spend summers in FL. I will definitely look into this bike. Thanks so much. MEHK
Good to hear you are going to give it another try.

As far as clipping in goes I feel much safer clipped in than not. Just me I guess but that rock solid feeling and being one with the bike is real assuring for me.

There are probably many threads about clips vs platform so i won't invite debate here on that issue.
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Old 01-28-05, 12:02 PM   #14
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Clipless pedals (the ones you clip into!) are safe for an experienced rider who has good bike handling skills, but they are not suitable for a complete cycling newbie . Sure they will make you go faster but you need good control of the bike at low speed top avoid a fall. First develop you skills. If you use platform pedels you can fit mini toe clips, without a strap. These will position your foot but will not retain it.

Most experienced riders have been riding since they were kids and underestimate how much skill it taks to balance a bike at low speed and cope with unexpected road conditions or traffic.

For training on the road, wider tyres will give a surer ride. You can easily swap these, so save your narrowest tyres for racing.

Aerobars are a fav with tri riders but again, you need to be quite good to reach the controls in an emergency. They are not suitable for riding in traffic or on tricky roads. Avoid using them till you get more confidence.
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Old 01-28-05, 09:50 PM   #15
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All this advice is really helping! I'm actually thinking that maybe I can do it. Keep the advice coming. Thanks. MEHK
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Old 01-29-05, 05:22 PM   #16
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MEHK,

I noticed you didn't thank ME for my post and it was one of the first ones. I was sort of joking but "sort of not." Oklahoma is horse country and everyone who has ever ridden a horse has gotten thrown at one time or another. My advice reflects the adage used invariably here, i.e., get right back on the back of the horse that threw you. Immediately.

My old fashioned advice aside, I didn't mean to make light of your injuries or current fears. Good luck at Boston. If (and WHEN) you start riding again, just enjoy it. Like someone above said, being careful really means to be aware of the road environment around you.

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Old 01-29-05, 11:39 PM   #17
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I'm still new at this forum thing, so I hope I didn't offend. I actually believe your advice to be quite sound, as it is exactly what my father use to say about me and horses. (His advice after this accident was to stay on my feet, running that is, not riding.) Now that it has been nearly two years, I'm terrified. Not just of riding so much, but of something happenning again and not being able to be there for my children. After all this feedback, I'm just psyched to try again. I wish I didn't have to wait until I was back in the States this summer. Riding in Hong Kong is a suicide attempt, trust me. Thanks for the good luck in Boston. For the first time in I don't know how long I'm not excited about running but much more excited about giving this tri thing a try. MEHK
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Old 01-29-05, 11:41 PM   #18
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Can I put different tires on my Kestrel? What kind should I get? MEHK
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Old 01-30-05, 05:42 AM   #19
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Can I put different tires on my Kestrel? What kind should I get? MEHK
Yes, you can put different tires on your bike but it really depends upon what tires are you looking for.
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Old 01-30-05, 01:45 PM   #20
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MEHK,

No offense taken. Just kidding to lighten your fears a bit. The advice from others regarding different bikes is sound. I think once you get used to riding again, you can determine for yourself whether you want to ride with drops or not.

BTW, a friend of mine recently rode through S.E. Asia and loved it . . . after he got used to the mass of what apppears to be a random herd of traffic. He said as he got used to all the bikes, especially in Viet Nam, he finally got into the ebb and flow of it. Must be neat to be in aplace were bikes are simply taken for granted as a menas of transportation.

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Old 02-04-05, 03:17 PM   #21
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Dear MEHK

I would echo what other posters have said, get back on the bike, but I also think you are wise not attempt street riding in Hong Kong. I think a trainer would be a great transition piece of equiptment--you can use your own beautiful bike, but put on platform pedals and ride safely INDOORS. The longer you do that, the more "at home" it will feel when you finally do have a chance to go and ride outside. If you continue to have sudden feelings of panic whenever you ride out in the street, you may want to get some help to reduce the fear--like people do who are terrified of flying.

Have a great run in Boston, I hope you can make it back to the road.

a.c.
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Old 02-13-05, 11:45 PM   #22
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Hello all! I've been away for a few weeks. Phuket! It was great and they are recovering well from the Tsunami. The water was beautiful and clear. The locals have said that the wave really cleaned the water up. I had some great swims in the Ocean and now really have the tri-bug! I'm riding the trainer inside with my clip-ons and have been doing so since even before the accident. I'm planning on either putting platform wheels on or just buying a bike when I'm in the States in April that I can keep at my home there. A lot easier than taking one back and forth! Tell me exactly what to buy. I already have the "porsche" as my husband refers to it, so I think I need to be reasonable but above all confident and safe. Cyclocross, Mountain, ????? Let me know. Recommend brands, etc, types of wheels, etc. When it comes to running I know all the jargon, unfortunately I'm a bike moron. Talk to all soon. MEHK
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Old 02-14-05, 01:53 AM   #23
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If I understand you correctly, you have two concerns: first, that you are not confident in clipless pedals, and second that your bike is "too fast".

For the first, I would say definitely start out with platform pedals, or pedals with "rat-traps". Those serve to some degree to "connect" you to the pedals for efficiency; their great advantage is that when you slow down you can flip them to the bottom side of the pedal, allowing you easy exit if necessary, and then when you speed back up you can get back into the rat-traps for better efficiency. This is hard to do with clipless (although when I slow down I often clip-out, yet keep the front of the clip in, thus allowing me to pedal to some degree while not locked in).

Also, test out lots of different brands of clipless pedals! There are many brands out there with many different patented designs, and some may be more intuitive for you than others.

Also, there may be ways of easing exit. For example, when I first got my Look clipless I really had to struggle to get out of them, until I read some advice saying to put a little oil in them before riding. Voila! Clicking out was almost too easy! And many of the designs allow you to adjust the tightness of the pedals with some screw or another. And search these forums for strings about clipless pedals for advice. I'm sure there are some specifically addressing the problem of "I"m scared of my pedals".

As for your "fast" bike, I would say that you can ride any bike slowly if you wish. I guess you mean that to get a workout you have to ride too fast?? In that case, two factors seem to me to be key: a heavier bike, and wider tires. I don't mean "sturdier" tires per se, but rather wider because the more rubber in contact with the road = more resistance. While you can put wider tires on your Kestrel, they would probably not be wide enough - the race/road bike design (brake width, fork width, etc) will limit how wide you can go.

I would think a cyclocross bike is still designed to go fairly "fast", and your best choice might be a lower-end mountain bike. You might even choose a junky Wal-Mart model (perish the thought!), because they tend to be rather heavy compared to their higher-quality counterparts. You could also slow your bike down by using a lower-than-maximum pressure in the tires; once again, more rubber on the road = more resistance.

You can buy "smooth" fat tires, too, so you won't have a rough ride on pavement.
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Old 02-14-05, 02:04 AM   #24
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BTW, I know I didn't comment on your "fear" of riding. But the only advice I can give on that is to set yourself up for success - get pedals you know you can exit from, and get a bike that you can "ride fast" without going fast. And work up from there, until you're on your Kestrel going flat out and thinking about nothing but the wind in your hair and kicking the other riders' a**es.
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Old 02-14-05, 03:29 PM   #25
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Quit being a fraidy cat.

I was knocked unconscious in a crash last summer, ended up in the ER for 8 hours, if my helmet wasn't on I'd been dead.

I was back on my bike 2 days later.

BTW, I'm not trying to be a jerk, but you can't let Fear hold you back from living.
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