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Your Last Fall?

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Your Last Fall?

Old 09-16-15, 11:53 PM
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Your Last Fall?

Fall doesn't technically begin until next week, but I started early. A rare rain came to Northern California today, and I was caught out in it during my commute home. As per my daily routine, I stop off at the North Berkeley Bart (public rail transit) station to pick up a bike trailer (which I lock up on my way to work) en route to picking up my daughter after school. So, just a few hours ago, in a rather embarrassing but not too painful way, I took my first fall in about 5 years. I came up the curb toward the bike rack and rode onto a section of brick pavers which were much more slippery than I expected. I've been doing the same maneuver every work day for over a year but this is the first time my wheels unexpectedly flew out from under me. There were at least 20 people gathered around the station to witness my spill. "Those bricks are slippery!" I warned the crowd. Most people had no compassion and/or showed indifference and pretended nothing had happened. I was only going about 8mph. One person asked if I was okay. "Yeah, I'm fine." I may have a bruise on my hip but the bike is fine and I had the good sense/fortune to keep my left hand firmly secured around the relatively NOS Campagnolo hoods such that basically no damage was done to the bike. Since this is a C&V forum, I will add that I did feel the impact of the Balilla toe strap buckle as it wedged between my foot and the ground; may position it a bit higher to avoid the same in the future.

When was your last fall?

'72 Cilo Pacer • '72 Peugeot PX10 • '73 Speedwell Ti • '74 Nishiki Competition • '74 Peugeot UE-8 • '86 Look Equipe 753 • '86 Look KG86 • '89 Parkpre Team Road • '90 Parkpre Team MTB • '90 Merlin Ti

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Old 09-17-15, 01:01 AM
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Almost exactly a year ago, bashing my way down some slippery single track on Mt Muller, going WAY too fast, just having a blast. Rear wheel locked up, skidding around a steep downhill left hand corner and a just a wee bit heavy on the front brake as i hit a root or rock; rolling hard to port off the trail.

Landed in some soft ferns or something. Best fall ever. Bounced right back up and got riding again before my buddy even caught up to me.
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Old 09-17-15, 01:39 AM
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Originally Posted by gaucho777
most people had no compassion.


glad your campy hoods are ok.

bodies heal. my last one (this summer) took about three weeks. it hurt.
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Old 09-17-15, 02:01 AM
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@eschlwc, Thanks for the compassion (not to mention the understanding to correct my typo). I just woke up my wife by blasting the Talking Heads. Sleepiness ignores compassion.
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Old 09-17-15, 02:17 AM
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How about a Last and a Fist Fall...

2002, while riding to work, I went over the bars at, roughly, 20mph. Landing dead center on the top of my head, I broke my neck in two places (stable breaks, thank goodness, considering what was to come next)...

When returning to some state of consciousness(was not actually knocked out - tough head), I heard someone say, "get his pack, or back pack, or something to that effect. Realizing the situation has not fully resolved itself, I stood up to fight. With an absolutely dead left arm, I prepared for, what I was sure to be, a very one sided, three against one, battle. However...

The three ran away, as soon as I stood up - lucky for me. I picked up my Giant XTC full suspension mountain bike, using my right hand (left one was without any feeling and I was not able to control it) and began the long walk home.

That, of course, is not the end of the story. A story which, I might add, plagues me to this day, this exact moment, in fact:-(

Sorry, no pictures of me in my neck brace. But you want to know the most interesting part of the story?

Two weeks later, while supporting and running behind my oldest grandson, who was five at the time (he is just turned four in the picture and he want to ride the blue Cambio Rino, behind him - fit is everything), I helped him learn how to ride his first bicycle, a Supercycle Somethingorother, that he picked out earlier that day. Took him less than ten minutes to get balance, get going and experience his First Fall, as he showed his newly acquired skill to his Nana (grandmother)...

"98% of the bikes I buy are projects".
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Old 09-17-15, 04:47 AM
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Last fall was Sept. of 2009. Came to a red light at the entrance to the local community college (morning rush, so cars and people everywhere) and didn't unclip in time. Went right down on the street. I was fine and so was the aluminum Giant OCR. Earlier that same year my wife and I rented MTBs in Park City, Utah and I tried to jump a curb and went down in the street there too. I was fine and so was the bike.
It's weird, and dismaying, when people see something like this and don't say a word. Probably too busy with the iPhone to care.

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Old 09-17-15, 05:43 AM
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A few years ago I was on our Perkiomen Trail (runs on the old right of way next to the Perkiomen creek). That creek will flood well over it's banks after a hard rain and will flood the trail in spots. On one of the paved sections is an off camber turn which (as it turns out) was slimmed over after the recent flood. On my Trek 850 I hit that a bit too fast and low sided onto the DS. My first thought was "you're too old for this. Pay attention." Just a couple of bruises and no harm to the bike. The slime probably prevented road rash.

Other than that I've been able to keep the rubber side down.
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Old 09-17-15, 05:51 AM
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About three miles into my morning commute I cross a major thoroughfare (U.S. Route 1) and suddenly street lighting becomes a lot more sparse. A hundred yards later I get on the sidewalk of a bridge over a canal and slow way down so I can weave around the barrier blocking cars from getting on the canal path. Getting on the sidewalk of the bridge involves a quick jog to the right as I'm passing a driveway; up to this point I'm riding in the lane.

Right. So last November they decided to repave part of that road. They got one of those big grinding machines and ground away about two inches of asphalt for the dark stretch of the road, all the way from where it crosses U.S. 1 to the canal bridge, which has a wooden deck (which is why I get on the sidewalk at that point). The whole ground-away surface was rough and bumpy and looked like a series of striations all parallel to the road. And at the right edge, where they stopped grinding it, there was a sharp 2" edge that looked exactly like all the other striations. And by bad luck, it was raining the first morning I encountered this road work. My headlight seemed to show the situation pretty well, but didn't highlight the sharp edge where the grinder had stopped. I was riding less than a foot to the left of it, and as usual I swerved to the right to get on the bridge sidewalk. So I steered into this curb-like edge at a very shallow angle, and my front wheel just wouldn't go up it. I steered to the right and some unseen force steered the handlebar straight again, the bike continued on a straight line, but my weight was already well into the turn. Down I went, crunch on my right knee, putting a two inch tear in my pants along with some road rash and a lot of gritty mud. A driver stopped to ask if I was okay, and I thanked him, said I was fine. I rode home, threw away my pants, took a shower, and went back to bed.

And to my humiliation, I did almost exactly the same thing the next day, barely keeping the bike upright as I hit exactly the same obstacle.
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Old 09-17-15, 05:55 AM
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A year ago last July, I caught the front tire on a two foot high root drop step at one of our local parks that has some informal MTB trails. Managed to land square on my head. Concussion lasted a couple of weeks, and it still hurts my head to think about it. Fortunately the bike was fine. Helmet, not so much. Since then, I've approached MTB trails more cautiously, and have ridden more gravel and ATV trails.

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Old 09-17-15, 06:03 AM
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Last fall was just before my brain surgery last year...so around the first of July. I had just bought a Masi 3V...and was test riding the bike (sans helmet! Duh). At my house, the road in front is a short, flat cul-de-sac. So, this is the first test of a new bike...just around the cul-de-sac a few times...on flat roads...everything went well! Then the road where my driveway is located has a bit of a hill...so I then take the bike down the hill (to a cul-de-sac as well) and then back up the hill...testing it for down hill and up hill...almost a perfect type location for bike testing!

On this Masi, again, it went fine on the flat...rode it a few times and it was riding sweet! Then...down the hill...again...no problems...sweet, stable...can't go too fast as it is a pretty short hill and then to the end. Then, up the hill...well...not so sweet...

Got up and about even with my driveway, i.e. almost done! I am standing on the pedals (it is pretty steep) and POP! goes the chain! This was one of those "Wile E. Coyote" moments...standing on pedals, chain broke...and enough time to think "this is going to hurt!" And down I went...knee, hip, elbow, shoulder, head (and yes, with brain surgery coming, was a bit worried!)...but...just some scrapes and bruises! Of course, the very FIRST thing I did after hitting the ground was to check the bike for damage! None there either!
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Old 09-17-15, 06:04 AM
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A couple years ago I was out training for a triathlon. I was on my Trek TTX tri bike doing about 25mph 10 miles from home out in the country. Next thing I remember I woke up in the middle of the road. Helmet smashed, bike smashed and one of my shoes 50 feet away. I didn't understand what had happened, I finally saw a small but deep pot hole. I road home 10 miles with my barend shifters and one of my brake levers hanging down by the cables. Best thing though I ripped my shorts from sliding on the road and my left butt cheeck was hanging out for the world to see. Let's not even talk about the road rash.
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Old 09-17-15, 06:30 AM
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Mine was 2012. It had been a long day...I had gone into the office early and I had a class after work. I grabbed a bite to eat after class, left for a quick 2 mile ride home and really just wanted to go to bed. I was actually counting down the blocks. Exactly a block away from my house I was stopped at a red light. I had lighting and the block had ample street lighting.

While stopped there, a block away, thinking about my bed, I saw the oncoming lights of a woman cutting her turn short. I yelled (I have PIPES and can outdo an Airzounds), and realized it was too late, there was nothing I could do. The woman hit me head on with her SUV in the wrong lane. I rolled up her windshield, rolled down her wind shield, and hit the ground. At least I caused damage to her hood! Broken tibia plateau, badly bruised shoulder, neck strain...etc. I was awake and in the hospital until 4am.

The cars that witnessed it kept driving, no one even checking if I was ok. Someone did call 911 because the police and ambulance were there fast. She was upset and mad because I yelled at her so loudly. Predictably in the insurance settlement phase her story changed from "I'm sorry, I didn't see you, I have bad vision and was distracted" to "he was riding against traffic and rode into me".

Oh yeah - the bike was fine.
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Old 09-17-15, 06:38 AM
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I seem to go down at least once per year, usually because I'm clipped in and for some reason can't clip out in time as I'm coming to a stop (and I'm usually going very slowly at this point, so no real harm). However, last fall I fell on a fast gravel descent while riding the Karsage Klassic near Pastor Bob's territory in NH. I first hit hard on my left hand while I was squeezing the brake lever, and that resulted in a broken knuckle. But then I skidded into the brush, meeting with reasonable force a big chunk of NH granite with my rib cage. I thought for sure I had broken ribs, but gathered myself, stood up, realized that my left hand hurt like heck and that braking would be a challenge. This was on a group ride, and the rest of the group didn't realize I had gone down, but I caught up with them when another rider was fixing a flat, and we realized that I should head to the ER, particularly given the puncture wound in my side that was staining my jersey with blood.

Really, the worst of it was my broken hand, which kept me off the bike a good chunk of last fall. Oh, and my helmet had a good dent, so I got a new one. And the rear wheel of that bike was severely taco-ed.
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Old 09-17-15, 06:46 AM
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I usually have one decent fall per year. It happened a few weeks ago while navigating a fast rocky section of single track. I was looking 10-15' ahead and missed a narrow gap between two jagged rocks. My front tire found it and stopped all forward motion which unclipped my feet from my pedals and sent me flying. Happily I was able to maneuver myself in the air so I didn't face plant onto the large rock directly in front of me. I tore up my forearms and right shin. All things considered I'm in good shape
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Old 09-17-15, 08:02 AM
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I finally took the clipless plunge this spring. Plenty of stop light related skinned knees from that one.
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Old 09-17-15, 08:20 AM
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I average 1-2 a year - usually on the mtb. Last one was a front tire washout on a descent into a heavily graveled corner - I had even slowed way down (about 5mph or so) and it still happened. Bike just disappeared from under me. The other crashes are usually my own stupid fault.
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Old 09-17-15, 08:22 AM
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I'd like to say that mountain biking doesn't count, since I'll inevitably tip over at some point when I'm trying something hard. However, earlier this season I had probably my worst crash since I was a kid.

I was coming down a trail toward the parking lot (about 30 yards before the lot). I hopped a little root that was right before a small bend in the trail. I landed a bit weird, ended up going face first into a stump that was sitting right beside the trail. I was wearing a normal helmet (not full-face). The entire front foam part in front of my forehead was crushed. When I took the helmet off it fell out. I was wearing simple safety glasses at the time. They also hit the stump and dug into my face, between my eyes. Fortunately, that was the worst injury. I had a few other scratches on the side of my face, but I believe what happened was I hit and rolled. The guy behind me said I "folded up like an accordion." I remember ending up on my back with my bike on top of me. The luckiest thing that happened that day was that the stump was half rotten, so I didn't receive the full brunt of it. They have since removed the stump from the trail. (Well, they cut it to about a half inch above the ground.) I was VERY sore for a few days, but nothing lasting.

The next day I went out and bought a full face helmet for mountain biking. (And a new road biking helmet since the one I destroyed was my old road biking helmet.)
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Old 09-17-15, 09:51 AM
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Cyclocross season starts Sunday for me. So in the next 3 months I will fall 5-10 times, all soft, most on off-camber corners.

The last real fall I took was during a group ride last year where someone broke a spoke and panicked. I was able to get to the ditch side before he knocked me over, so I fell into weeds. Group rides seem to be the biggest risk lately, so I don't do any big ones any more, and I make sure I know who I'm riding with in small ones.
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Old 09-17-15, 09:51 AM
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If you've ever driven in Mexico, you know well how many speed bumps there are. There are myriad ways to get around them or over them without coming to a complete stop. One way is to hit it at an angle. So I was doing just that, a little too fast and with a little too much angle. One of the pedals didn't clear and I whiplashed down wit my head hitting last. Broke the helmet I two places, but I got up and rode back home. This was last Spring.
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Old 09-17-15, 10:24 AM
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Coming up on four years for last (and worst) road wreck. A piece of debris wood flew off a truck trailer and landed in front of me while banging downhill. Saw it out of corner of vision and remember trying to jump it while thinking "this could be it". Next memory was lying on road shoulder while a cop was helping me sit up. Shattered wrist, broken teeth, facial lacerations. One helluva nasty wreck, my wrist looked like an "S" and took months to recover. Toughest fall season ever as had just turned 40 too, mortality was staring me straight down that year.
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Old 09-17-15, 11:13 AM
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Mine was last October, 2014. I was commuting to work on the Mt Vernon MUP. I think this was the second time I was using the Pinarello for transportation. Wasn't completely comfortable on it yet. There are a number of wooden "bridges" across wet or water areas on the trail. They are not straight but have curves in them. It had rained the night before so the trail was slightly wet or moist. The asphalt sections were mostly dry. I entered the longest one, which was about mile 5.25 or so, which has a slight bend in it to the left.
Next thing I knew I was down and sliding slightly. This was a serous face plant. My cheek and eye swelled up for weeks. Some one stopped and helped me ride back to the nearest Starbucks where my wife picked me up. There was concern that I fractured my cheek bone but there is no evidence of that. There are still nerves growing back under my eye after all this time.

The bike ended up fine except for the saddle, which now has a hole on the left side where it hit. I believe this was a front end slide out. I can't believe how fast it happened. There wasn't enough time to even know something was going to happen.

I could show pictures of my face but it is ugly enough without damage.
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Old 09-17-15, 01:10 PM
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This thread hurts.
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Old 09-17-15, 01:37 PM
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Spring 2014. I don't care to have any more like that one, thank you.
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Old 09-17-15, 01:39 PM
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I wouldn't call it a fall, but it took me off the bike.....

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Old 09-17-15, 01:44 PM
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Originally Posted by RobbieTunes View Post
I wouldn't call it a fall, but it took me off the bike.....

Oh, it's so much better with video. I have to ask how or why did you go down?
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