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Do You Know How to Fall?

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Do You Know How to Fall?

Old 09-12-11, 07:56 PM
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Easy Peasy
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Do You Know How to Fall?

I use to do Judo, and we were taught how to fall without getting hurt. Obviously falling from a bike isn't exactly like getting thrown in a gym, but learning some basics about falling safely could be helpful in a bike accident.
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Old 09-12-11, 08:00 PM
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dpeters11
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My main thing is to fall on the non drive side to protect the derailleur and such. Last ine I did, I had to redo my handlebar tape, decided to upgrade at the same time.
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Old 09-12-11, 08:06 PM
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The last two falls I had (about a year and a half apart) were both the front wheel sliding out sideways on me. That sort of fall seems to happen so fast that you have no time to react, which is probably a good thing. I think both times I ended up on the ground with my hands still on the bars. The instinct to put an arm out to catch yourself is pretty strong and can lead to worse injuries.

I'm not sure many people could react fast enough in most accidents to do much, unless it's something can see coming but are unable to avoid.
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Old 09-12-11, 08:08 PM
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Originally Posted by dpeters11 View Post
My main thing is to fall on the non drive side to protect the derailleur and such.
But that means falling to the left, potentially into traffic.
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Old 09-12-11, 08:11 PM
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Originally Posted by Easy Peasy View Post
I use to do Judo, and we were taught how to fall without getting hurt. Obviously falling from a bike isn't exactly like getting thrown in a gym, but learning some basics about falling safely could be helpful in a bike accident.
I do Aikido and, the fall is like a circle where a person falls in circular fashion.

As for fall off a bike, I would think that falling away from traffic is best.
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Old 09-12-11, 08:13 PM
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Gecho,
You're right about those sudden sliding out accidents, but in situations you can see the accident happening, the knowledge of how to fall could save one from serious injury. I thought to start this thread because recently a colleague had some time before he fell, and instinctively put out a stiff arm to break his fall. Broke a wrist and clavicle too.
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Old 09-12-11, 08:23 PM
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Originally Posted by Easy Peasy View Post
Gecho,
You're right about those sudden sliding out accidents, but in situations you can see the accident happening, the knowledge of how to fall could save one from serious injury. I thought to start this thread because recently a colleague had some time before he fell, and instinctively put out a stiff arm to break his fall. Broke a wrist and clavicle too.

Juan Antonio Flecha demonstrated a perfect crash form when he got knocked off by the French TV car in the Tour de France. Note: not the guy who cartwheeled into the barbed wire fence.
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Old 09-12-11, 08:25 PM
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When was the last time you were able to CHOOSE which way you fell? I'd think that if you're able to do that, you're able to avert the fall.
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Old 09-12-11, 09:43 PM
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Any fall, however inelegant and destructive of the machine, is a good fall if you can walk - or crawl - away from the scene. When I took a fall on the GSX1100G (R.I.P.) after taking out the passenger's side window/door of a left-turning car, I slowly crawled off the right side of the road and onto a patch of grass. Then eventually I was able to stand up unassisted.

That was a very good fall.

p.s. give me the low side over the high side, any time.

Last edited by ChasH; 09-12-11 at 09:47 PM.
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Old 09-12-11, 09:47 PM
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Originally Posted by Easy Peasy View Post
Gecho,
You're right about those sudden sliding out accidents, but in situations you can see the accident happening, the knowledge of how to fall could save one from serious injury. I thought to start this thread because recently a colleague had some time before he fell, and instinctively put out a stiff arm to break his fall. Broke a wrist and clavicle too.
Good thread, I've actually wanted to start one with the same subject.

Originally Posted by RobertHurst View Post
Juan Antonio Flecha demonstrated a perfect crash form when he got knocked off by the French TV car in the Tour de France. Note: not the guy who cartwheeled into the barbed wire fence.
You mean this "falling form?" http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cO6YWws_K-o

Originally Posted by degnaw View Post
When was the last time you were able to CHOOSE which way you fell? I'd think that if you're able to do that, you're able to avert the fall.
*Sigh* This is like the thread I started about what to do when getting doored. Where people's unhelpful responses were the likes of: "I would never ride in the door zone." Of course 99% of the time one will not be able to "CHOOSE" which way one fell, this is a theoretical subject. Which I believe has merit in discussing. Heck, why not be informed of that potential 1%?

So please, let's contribute to the OP's original topic.

I think its clear that if one were to fall, you certainly have to do your best to try and get to the opposite side of traffic. In the USA of course that is your right side. Assuming the right is the shoulder. Stiff arming it out there will surely get you broken wrists and what not. Gloves might save your palms a bit.

One of the local sports talk radio station guys is a cyclist and he took a video of his buddy taking a fall going downhill because his front tire blew out. The cyclist then scoots to his right. "Smart ****ing move."

http://www.facebook.com/video/video....69652&comments
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Old 09-12-11, 09:57 PM
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You mean like this?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JMjSZhXHiHo
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Old 09-12-11, 10:29 PM
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Grade school tumbling in gym class works for me.
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Old 09-13-11, 05:23 AM
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Tumbling works. I "know" how to fall, but am not sure I would do it when the time comes. My father in law was taught how to fall at a young age and recently tripped over something, rolled, and hopped right back up - at the age of 80.
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Old 09-13-11, 05:45 AM
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Originally Posted by sudoshift View Post
*Sigh* This is like the thread I started about what to do when getting doored. Where people's unhelpful responses were the likes of: "I would never ride in the door zone." Of course 99% of the time one will not be able to "CHOOSE" which way one fell, this is a theoretical subject. Which I believe has merit in discussing. Heck, why not be informed of that potential 1%?
What I meant was, choose which direction one fell in (as the posters above me were discussing). You can certainly control which way you land.
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Old 09-13-11, 06:34 AM
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I always tried to fall away from the bike - divest the bike's momentum from myself, if you will. It worked for me hitting an unseen patch of ice on an empty bikeway, I just let the bike go flying and took to the ground on my feet, but this 'best case scenario' isn't always going to help. Last two times I fell badly, twice in the last five years or so, I splayed my leading arm out and tried taking the impact to my side & arm instead of my head. Like hitting the mats in karate or something.

I'm not counting off-roading: I've fallen into trees, or onto an outstretched foot, and ridden away just fine. Then again, I've also whipped around a rock the wrong way with my head landing right where my back wheel should have been - on rocks. My helmet took the damage for me. My wrist got mangled under my chest somehow.

When I was a young boy, we used to "practice" leaping off our bikes and landing on our feet. I've never jumped bike in a real world situation. If I had time, I wouldn't be falling.
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Old 09-13-11, 06:35 AM
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Originally Posted by sudoshift View Post
One of the local sports talk radio station guys is a cyclist and he took a video of his buddy taking a fall going downhill because his front tire blew out. The cyclist then scoots to his right. "Smart ****ing move."
The "smart move" wasn't the fall (so it's a bit off topic). Of course, if his buddy was a bit faster and chose to go to the right to avoid the crash, it might not have been so smart.
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Old 09-13-11, 08:45 AM
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I'm a mountain biker, so I get a lot of practice of what I call the rapid forward dismount. A shoulder roll works good too.
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Old 09-13-11, 09:12 AM
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I did aikido (similar to judo falls, really) for 5 years or so, but when I fell recently my bike basically went under me (wet on a painted line). I got a fracture in my elbow and a chip in my wrist.
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Old 09-13-11, 09:33 AM
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I don't have to know how to fall. I let gravity do all the work.
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Old 09-13-11, 10:31 AM
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imi
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Yeah, 25 years plus of martial arts training, ju-jutsu, judo, karate, aikido. I don't think about it, just end up laughing on the ground!
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Old 09-13-11, 11:11 PM
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Keep your body ON the bicycle and let ITS frame, bars, and wheels absorb as much of the impact as possible. Allow the shifters to bend in (they can be pushed back out), etc. The bike is replaceable and cheap compared to any of the parts of YOUR body.
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Old 09-14-11, 12:31 AM
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Originally Posted by gecho View Post
The last two falls I had (about a year and a half apart) were both the front wheel sliding out sideways on me. That sort of fall seems to happen so fast that you have no time to react, which is probably a good thing. I think both times I ended up on the ground with my hands still on the bars. The instinct to put an arm out to catch yourself is pretty strong and can lead to worse injuries.

I'm not sure many people could react fast enough in most accidents to do much, unless it's something can see coming but are unable to avoid.
Agreed. I don't fall often, not even mountain biking, but when I do, there's certainly not enough time to compose a plan.

"Hmm, well the rear wheel seems to be drifting left. Ah yes, the bike is definitely in an unrecoverable tailspin at 20mph. Let's survey the immediate surroundings and decide what actions will minimize the risk of physical harm during and after the fall. Oh, those small pine trees look rather supple and forgiving... yes yes, I'll let the bike approach 160 rotation and that'll put me into the trees with my back to them. Perfect! Ready... apply some side pressure to the bars... oops, that's a bit too much, I'll try about 78% of that... trajectory's looking good, BAIL!"

Or not. It goes more like this, in real life: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xplOY...ailpage#t=254s
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Old 09-14-11, 07:48 AM
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My falls are generally so surprising and short that I tend to crash and burn in quite the amusing fashion breaking as many body parts as possible.
Years of karate did nothing for me.
In other words, I fall wonderfully but it is the landing that kills me.
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Old 09-14-11, 08:08 AM
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Originally Posted by trek2.3bike View Post
Keep your body ON the bicycle and let ITS frame, bars, and wheels absorb as much of the impact as possible. Allow the shifters to bend in (they can be pushed back out), etc. The bike is replaceable and cheap compared to any of the parts of YOUR body.
Arn't you afraid of the frame between your legs, or the swinging handlebars coming down ontop of you? I have a scar in my knee from a gear tooth from almost 20 years ago, but the road rash had healed in a matter of days. How do you stay on something which has fallen over?
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Old 09-14-11, 08:29 AM
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Yes, the best way to fall off a bicycle is to fall off a recumbent.
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