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first race crash

Old 05-06-08, 08:12 PM
  #1  
grafsk8er
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first race crash

well, i was racing in a 4/5 crit today and got into my first crash. i was about 7 laps in of a 22 lap race, and there's a guy to my right, and nobody on my left, until someone comes up my left side, and begins pinching me into the guy to my right. the guy pinching me in, his rear wheel rubbed up on my front wheel and down i went, right aroun 28-29 mph. never knew you could slide on concrete like that, haha. but anyways, i got some nice road rash, nothings broken. but i do need a new front wheel, my hoods straightened, or a new handlebar, i'm not really sure yet. thank god i got my crash otu of the way for the season.
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Old 05-06-08, 08:25 PM
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Sorry to hear that.......glad you are okay.
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Old 05-06-08, 08:59 PM
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Tegaderm for your road rash. Heal fast.
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Old 05-06-08, 09:00 PM
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Is it better to slide, roll, or just stick like velcro when you crash? In my last crash, I stuck. It hurt.
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Old 05-06-08, 09:23 PM
  #5  
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let's hope that's your only crash. Also, HTFU, grab those hoods and put them where they should be.

Glad you're mostly ok.
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Old 05-06-08, 10:10 PM
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Yeah dude, sorry to hear that!

Some guy almost did that to me at my first race at bethel. Came from around the left and swiped my front wheel. I somehow managed to stay up, but it was scary as hell.

You probably only need your hoods straightened.

Man, why do I love a sport where crashes like this are so common...
Heal up fast.
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Old 05-07-08, 06:32 AM
  #7  
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Originally Posted by grafsk8er View Post
well, i was racing in a 4/5 crit today and got into my first crash. i was about 7 laps in of a 22 lap race, and there's a guy to my right, and nobody on my left, until someone comes up my left side, and begins pinching me into the guy to my right. the guy pinching me in, his rear wheel rubbed up on my front wheel and down i went, right aroun 28-29 mph. never knew you could slide on concrete like that, haha. but anyways, i got some nice road rash, nothings broken. but i do need a new front wheel, my hoods straightened, or a new handlebar, i'm not really sure yet. thank god i got my crash otu of the way for the season.
that's what I thought on 4/15/2008, I've crashed twice since then. Since 2002, I've crashed 6 times (not including mountain bike or cyclocross related tumbles). 3 have been since 4/15. you dont choose crashes, they choose you. I'm feeling a target these days.
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Old 05-07-08, 07:16 AM
  #8  
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I always thought crashes happen in part because of the crasher, i.e. the guy who crashed helped contribute to the crash. A touch of brake here, a little coasting there, a hint of a drift elsewhere, and the crasher would have stayed upright. This is because most of my first 5 years of crashing, after thinking things over, I attribute the cause of the virtually every crash to be partially or mainly me. Almost all these crashes were in training, mostly solo, I'm sure a couple were "more than one". I didn't crash in races, I backed off before it got too crazy.

But then I started crashing in races, for 5 years, pretty consistently. One year in particular I got taken out by crashing guys 4 races in a row, I think I crashed another 2 or 3 times that year but in the fall. So I decided that it's not always up to the crasher. When guys slide sideways into your wheels (specifically, they fall over just inside you in a wet and rainy crit and their bike/body hits your wheels about 6 inches off the ground), there isn't a lot you can do. Or if someone wrecks right in front of you when you're 3 turns and 400 meters to go in a P123 race (lap 50 of 50), 35-40 mph, totally laid over in a turn, 5 from the front of a single file field, some yahoo comes rocketing up the side and doesn't make the turn, and the guys in front of you start stacking it up, there's nothing to do. All the judgment and bike handling in the world won't help. Just try not to get too hurt.

However, someone edging in on you shouldn't cause a crash, especially 7 laps into a 22 lap race. Let the guy in, no matter how poorly (or not) he was riding his bike. When appropriate, get around him and keep going. He may be a strong guy and get back in front of you no matter what you do - in that case, just use his strength and sit on him. Or he may be smart and use his guile to move up again. In this case, reassess your assessment of him. Finally, he may be doing somewhat unsafe moves on purpose. Note this and keep it in mind. His teammates may be like him (if they're all "advised" by the same guy) so keep an eye out on them too. One dirty rider typically leads to others.

Strength, bike handling skills, pack riding skills, and judgment are not mutually exclusive but they can be. If you see a guy who has only bits and pieces of the "skillz", tons of the "strength", and lacks even a bit of judgment, watch out. They're the ones to look out for because they're strong enough to get everyone into trouble.

If a racer has good judgment then don't worry. I think that makes up for everything. A weaker rider will eventually go off the back if they don't have good bike or pack skills. Or, if you're really strong, it may not matter. Witness Rebecca Twigg in the 80s. She couldn't ride in a field comfortably but she was smart enough to know that. Luckily she was strong enough to do whatever she wanted. It was common for her to sit 20-30 feet off the back of the field when it was slow or wide or the roads were narrow, or ride next to the field when it was fast. Then she'd attack. She was okay in small groups so a 4 or 5 woman break was fine. She won Worlds (track), numerous national titles, and podiumed in the Olympic and Worlds Road Race.

cdr
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Old 05-07-08, 07:21 AM
  #9  
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Originally Posted by Apus^2 View Post
Tegaderm for your road rash. Heal fast.
+1 I'm using this stuff now on my road rash. Awesome stuff.
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Old 05-07-08, 07:34 AM
  #10  
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Originally Posted by carpediemracing View Post
I always thought crashes happen in part because of the crasher, i.e. the guy who crashed helped contribute to the crash. A touch of brake here, a little coasting there, a hint of a drift elsewhere, and the crasher would have stayed upright. This is because most of my first 5 years of crashing, after thinking things over, I attribute the cause of the virtually every crash to be partially or mainly me. Almost all these crashes were in training, mostly solo, I'm sure a couple were "more than one". I didn't crash in races, I backed off before it got too crazy.

But then I started crashing in races, for 5 years, pretty consistently. One year in particular I got taken out by crashing guys 4 races in a row, I think I crashed another 2 or 3 times that year but in the fall. So I decided that it's not always up to the crasher. When guys slide sideways into your wheels (specifically, they fall over just inside you in a wet and rainy crit and their bike/body hits your wheels about 6 inches off the ground), there isn't a lot you can do. Or if someone wrecks right in front of you when you're 3 turns and 400 meters to go in a P123 race (lap 50 of 50), 35-40 mph, totally laid over in a turn, 5 from the front of a single file field, some yahoo comes rocketing up the side and doesn't make the turn, and the guys in front of you start stacking it up, there's nothing to do. All the judgment and bike handling in the world won't help. Just try not to get too hurt.

However, someone edging in on you shouldn't cause a crash, especially 7 laps into a 22 lap race. Let the guy in, no matter how poorly (or not) he was riding his bike. When appropriate, get around him and keep going. He may be a strong guy and get back in front of you no matter what you do - in that case, just use his strength and sit on him. Or he may be smart and use his guile to move up again. In this case, reassess your assessment of him. Finally, he may be doing somewhat unsafe moves on purpose. Note this and keep it in mind. His teammates may be like him (if they're all "advised" by the same guy) so keep an eye out on them too. One dirty rider typically leads to others.

Strength, bike handling skills, pack riding skills, and judgment are not mutually exclusive but they can be. If you see a guy who has only bits and pieces of the "skillz", tons of the "strength", and lacks even a bit of judgment, watch out. They're the ones to look out for because they're strong enough to get everyone into trouble.

If a racer has good judgment then don't worry. I think that makes up for everything. A weaker rider will eventually go off the back if they don't have good bike or pack skills. Or, if you're really strong, it may not matter. Witness Rebecca Twigg in the 80s. She couldn't ride in a field comfortably but she was smart enough to know that. Luckily she was strong enough to do whatever she wanted. It was common for her to sit 20-30 feet off the back of the field when it was slow or wide or the roads were narrow, or ride next to the field when it was fast. Then she'd attack. She was okay in small groups so a 4 or 5 woman break was fine. She won Worlds (track), numerous national titles, and podiumed in the Olympic and Worlds Road Race.

cdr

I've been thinking about this alot lately - and agree. I feel like a target for bad luck recently, but an honest assessment of my 3 recent crashes, I can think of woulda's, coulda's and shoulda's that might have mitigated each.

1st - I took a corner on a solo ride (while practicing cornering) way too hot, there was some oil in the lane because of some construction, but had I been paying more attention and weighted the front wheel better instead of simply leaning hard, I think it could have been avoided.

2nd - big pile up that I got into during a race - had I been riding in top 10-ish spots, could have been avoided completely, but given my postioning in the race, which wasnt where I typically am, I had no way of avoiding that one.

3rd - I got sideswiped by a car warming up for a road race. I should have been more attentive - given, the guy driving the car said he never saw me. I knew he was behind me, we were approaching a stop sign where I was about to turn left, I had my left hand out for a while then felt side/hood of car, and got knocked over by the rear view mirror.
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Old 05-07-08, 07:46 AM
  #11  
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Originally Posted by MDcatV View Post
2nd - big pile up that I got into during a race - had I been riding in top 10-ish spots, could have been avoided completely, but given my postioning in the race, which wasnt where I typically am, I had no way of avoiding that one.
I don't think pack position is necessarily the rider's fault. It's virtually impossible to maintain good position for the duration of a race - if you can either you have an insanely strong team or you need to upgrade. It takes a lot of strength and good pack handling skills. I know for me it's virtually impossible, I know I have 2-8 minutes at a time where I can be up front before I am cooked.

Therefore I spend most of my time at the back of the field, moving up if there's something that concerns me. At the back I can do all sorts of energy saving things and I can ride around most stack ups.

In a big stack up, if you're just behind, there's often nothing you can do. Yes, you could have moved up some, but I've been almost at the front of a field (between 5th and 10th, typically) and still gotten taken out. So on this one I think you should chalk it up to a true "race incident".

cdr

btw this is why I disagree with all the "stay in the top 10" advice to new racers. It just cooks them and with no benefit that I can see.
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Old 05-07-08, 08:06 AM
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Ouch, sorry to hear that.
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Old 05-07-08, 09:19 AM
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Originally Posted by carpediemracing View Post
btw this is why I disagree with all the "stay in the top 10" advice to new racers. It just cooks them and with no benefit that I can see.
+1. I keep hearing the voice in my head saying "move up" but I think that's only relevant in the final 5-10 laps of a crit or on a long road race where you have team mates who are willing to ride themselves into the ground to keep you from having to pull.
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Old 05-07-08, 09:25 AM
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on the positioning in top 10: I prefer to be up in the sharp end of the field. In a technical crit, I'd rather be up near the front so that I can pick my cornering line and maintain a steady pace until *I* want to attack instead of the accordion and jumping that those deeper in the field are subjected to.

Then again, I race like a knucklehead, go off the front over and over again to rare success, get bored if sitting in the field or in the back of the field so move up and attack when I get where I want to be ... which allows me to TOTALLY PWN 7th through 11th place.
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Old 05-07-08, 09:32 AM
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If I had the physical ability I'd choose to be in the top 5 every lap. Unfortunately my book of matches is small and tends to ignite all at once, so mid-pack is where I live.
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Old 05-07-08, 09:45 AM
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Originally Posted by currand View Post
If I had the physical ability I'd choose to be in the top 5 every lap. Unfortunately my book of matches is small and tends to ignite all at once, so mid-pack is where I live.
mine too, I'm just too stubborn (stupid) to acknowledge it.
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Old 05-07-08, 10:31 AM
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Plus, in a crit you're wasting energy if you're not in a position where the group moves smoothly around the turns. You're taking to much time slowing down and speeding up to catch up that you start running out of gas a few laps into doing that. Sure there will be hard accelerations after turns, but there need not be standstills right before the turns.
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Old 05-07-08, 10:40 AM
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Sorry to hear about the crash. Hopefully it will be your only one for the year. Another vote for tegaderm - that stuff will have you healed up in a week.
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Old 05-07-08, 10:41 AM
  #19  
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"his rear wheel rubbed up on my front wheel "

That's the part where I say it's your responsibility.

Not "fault" but... you are responsible for your front wheel's safety.

I mean, sorry you crashed, glad you're ok, but I assume you want to take whatever lesson you can from this, and I'd suggest this one: you are responsible for your front wheel's safety.

If the dude's coming across it, do whatever it takes to protect it. That could include braking, yelling, putting a hand on his hip and forcibly stopping his movement, leaning into the guy to your right, etc. But you gotta protect your wheel at all times.

Maybe the guy was a total squirrel and came across at high speed and you had no time to react... but that is pretty rare... and that's why you keep your hands near / on your brakes at all times, especially in a crit with low cat's in it.

Don't mean to be harsh, hope you take this as it's intended as helpful advice.

Creak.
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Old 05-07-08, 12:46 PM
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Originally Posted by Creakyknees View Post
"his rear wheel rubbed up on my front wheel "

That's the part where I say it's your responsibility.

Not "fault" but... you are responsible for your front wheel's safety.
+1

I'm being forgetful...
http://sprinterdellacasa.blogspot.co...scenarios.html

cdr
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Old 05-07-08, 02:37 PM
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Originally Posted by carpediemracing View Post
I think every new racer should be forced to sit and read that post before racing.

The tactics etc, we don't want everyone to know
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Old 05-07-08, 08:39 PM
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i had a guy on my right that he bumped me into, then he pinched me off, hence his rear wheel across my front wheel. i've got some pretty quick reflexes, but this all happened and i was on the ground in a matter of around 1-2 seconds. i didn't have much time to do anything. but like you guys said, with some more bike handling skills and assessing every possibility before i fall, i might have been able to avoid the crash. luckily, i was the only one that went down, and i dind't take anyone with me. i'll admit fault, but i was the one that was in the crash, so i pretty much saw exactly what was going on. i'm pretty sure it was just about unavoidable.
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Old 05-08-08, 07:58 PM
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Originally Posted by grafsk8er View Post
i had a guy on my right that he bumped me into, then he pinched me off, hence his rear wheel across my front wheel. i've got some pretty quick reflexes, but this all happened and i was on the ground in a matter of around 1-2 seconds. i didn't have much time to do anything. but like you guys said, with some more bike handling skills and assessing every possibility before i fall, i might have been able to avoid the crash. luckily, i was the only one that went down, and i dind't take anyone with me. i'll admit fault, but i was the one that was in the crash, so i pretty much saw exactly what was going on. i'm pretty sure it was just about unavoidable.
Sorry to hear you went down. Tough break.

A couple things I might have done...(cdr can feel free to correct me, if I'm wrong)

1. Use your voice. Tell him in a loud brisk voice that you're there. A quick, "Hey! Watch it!" or something may have kept him from coming in and clipping your wheel. I'd also be slowing a bit (breaking or coasting), just in case.

2. If he was not already past you, but right next to you, bump back. What I mean is, brace yourself for contact if you see someone coming in and don't let him displace you. Did you make contact with the rider to your right? What happened? Did he just kind of push back or deflect you? If so, this is what I'm talking about. If you didn't make contact with him, then good job. Perhaps you saved others from going down.

The good news is, you're young and will heal fast. It took about 4 weeks for two road rash scabs to fall off my aging body recently. Ridiculous.

Last edited by tyrade; 05-08-08 at 08:02 PM. Reason: Correction
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Old 05-08-08, 09:10 PM
  #24  
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Originally Posted by tyrade View Post
Sorry to hear you went down. Tough break.

A couple things I might have done...(cdr can feel free to correct me, if I'm wrong)

1. Use your voice. Tell him in a loud brisk voice that you're there. A quick, "Hey! Watch it!" or something may have kept him from coming in and clipping your wheel. I'd also be slowing a bit (breaking or coasting), just in case.

2. If he was not already past you, but right next to you, bump back. What I mean is, brace yourself for contact if you see someone coming in and don't let him displace you. Did you make contact with the rider to your right? What happened? Did he just kind of push back or deflect you? If so, this is what I'm talking about. If you didn't make contact with him, then good job. Perhaps you saved others from going down.

The good news is, you're young and will heal fast. It took about 4 weeks for two road rash scabs to fall off my aging body recently. Ridiculous.
My road rash might almost be gone, but my face is far from fixed...

I miss riding
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Old 05-08-08, 09:15 PM
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Originally Posted by grafsk8er View Post
well, i was racing in a 4/5 crit today and got into my first crash. i was about 7 laps in of a 22 lap race, and there's a guy to my right, and nobody on my left, until someone comes up my left side, and begins pinching me into the guy to my right. the guy pinching me in, his rear wheel rubbed up on my front wheel and down i went, right aroun 28-29 mph. never knew you could slide on concrete like that, haha. but anyways, i got some nice road rash, nothings broken. but i do need a new front wheel, my hoods straightened, or a new handlebar, i'm not really sure yet. thank god i got my crash otu of the way for the season.
I've said that 3 times this year.
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