Go Back  Bike Forums > Bike Forums > Commuting
Reload this Page >

First Crash

Notices
Commuting Bicycle commuting is easier than you think, before you know it, you'll be hooked. Learn the tips, hints, equipment, safety requirements for safely riding your bike to work.

First Crash

Old 06-11-06, 12:56 PM
  #1  
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: Vancouver, BC, Canada
Posts: 162

Bikes: 2006 Marin San Anselmo, 2008 Specialized Roubaix Pro (custom), 2007 Salsa Casseroll

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
First Crash

Today I tried my first commute to work (not on a work day) just as a test. Things went pretty well, if a bit tiring at times. Once I got on the home stretch and into downtown Lincoln, I left the bike path and joined the street traffic. When approaching a stoplight in the middle of downtown, I applied my brakes a little too hard too early and skidded out on to the ground and slammed into the hubcap of a parked car. I gotta say, while a painful experience (scraped up knee and elbow and a ruined cycling glove), it wasn't nearly as bad as I thought it would be. My biggest worry was that I somehow screwed up my brand new bike (Marin San Anselmo). It appears all that happened was the pedal on the right got scraped a bit and the chain jumped to another gear. All in all I think I fared pretty good for my first commute and my first crash!
Brad Smith is offline  
Old 06-11-06, 01:02 PM
  #2  
Senior Member
 
Neist's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2006
Posts: 219
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
I just got into my first crash recently too.

I wasnt going too fast (maybe 15 mph) and I really didnt even hit the ground very hard..

But it sure hurt! I got bruises all over. Glad to hear your okay!
Neist is offline  
Old 06-11-06, 05:26 PM
  #3  
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: Vancouver, BC, Canada
Posts: 162

Bikes: 2006 Marin San Anselmo, 2008 Specialized Roubaix Pro (custom), 2007 Salsa Casseroll

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
The ride back home after the injury was uneventful, and in many ways easier than the ride to work (with the exception of the burning of the wounds under the bandages). The bike performed just as good as it did before, although I think the headlight was rattling quite a bit.

Would you guys recommend I take the bike into the shop just to be sure that nothing is wrong before continuing to commute?
Brad Smith is offline  
Old 06-11-06, 06:04 PM
  #4  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: Vero Beach FL
Posts: 1,102
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by Brad Smith
The ride back home after the injury was uneventful, and in many ways easier than the ride to work (with the exception of the burning of the wounds under the bandages). The bike performed just as good as it did before, although I think the headlight was rattling quite a bit.

Would you guys recommend I take the bike into the shop just to be sure that nothing is wrong before continuing to commute?

Hard call there. If the bike seems to work OK, I'd probably not take it in. Most of the bike shops around here offer a free check-up after the first month (mention then) , if yours does the same, I'd wait it out unless you feel you have a problem.
ScrubJ is offline  
Old 06-11-06, 06:11 PM
  #5  
Two H's!!! TWO!!!!!
 
chephy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: Toronto, ON
Posts: 4,267
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 27 Post(s)
Liked 12 Times in 8 Posts
Hey, congrats - did pretty well for your first crash.

I rode San Anselmo for several years there, and crashed on it an hour after I got it - on my way from the LBS! It was a really weird crash: in the middle of a wide, smooth, dry, empty residential street I just lost balance. However, I haven't had a single crash since then. So it seems San Anselmos want to crash once when they're new and never again after that - just to get it out of the way I suppose; it's a law of nature that every biker falls at some point, so might as well do it and be done with it for a while.
chephy is offline  
Old 06-11-06, 07:19 PM
  #6  
Commuter
 
JohnBrooking's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Southern Maine
Posts: 2,568

Bikes: 2006 Giant Cypress EX (7-speed internal hub)

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Glad you're okay. You might want to practice your braking a bit in an empty parking lot somewhere. Sounds silly, everyone knows how to brake, right? But there's more to it than you might think. A skid can be caused by too much rear brake and not enough front; maybe that's what happened to you. Sheldon Brown has a good article on braking technique. One thing I learned just recently is to shift my weight back when braking hard, to prevent going over the bars, which is what many people fear from the front brakes. Maybe you already know all this, so I don't want to patronize you if you do, but if not, check out Brown's article and go practice!

Here's an interesting thing to try in an empty lot. Get up to speed, then stop as quickly as you can with just the rear brake. Measure how far it took to stop. Now practice a bit using just the front brake, lifting your butt off the seat and back to counterweight the bike's forward momentum. When comfortable with that, try the same stop you tried first, but with just the front brake. It should be a lot shorter distance. Now try lastly with both brakes (remembering to shift your weight back again), and that distance should be shortest of all. Practice until second nature.
JohnBrooking is offline  
Old 06-11-06, 07:38 PM
  #7  
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: Vancouver, BC, Canada
Posts: 162

Bikes: 2006 Marin San Anselmo, 2008 Specialized Roubaix Pro (custom), 2007 Salsa Casseroll

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Thanks for the input, guys. I need to go get some new bike gloves tomorrow (the current pair was torn up in the crash), so I may have them look over it quickly when I'm getting those.

John: Thanks for the breaking advice. I definitely need to practice with it. I was so used to my old crappy bike (which did not stop quickly) that when I tried to stop things locked up a lot quicker than they used to. I'm going to get back in the saddle tomorrow and bike to work again, injuries be damned. I was a lot more cautious with my breaking on the way home. I'll definitely do the parking lot thing tomorrow night sometime.

Thanks for all the advice!
Brad Smith is offline  
Old 06-11-06, 08:57 PM
  #8  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 2006
Location: Somewhere
Posts: 909

Bikes: Kona Jake (2006)

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Had my first crash about 10 days ago. Took last week off from biking because my knee is sprained and still pretty painful. Would probably get back on the bike this week but the fiancee is out of town so the car is available- prob could use the extra week of just hitting the gym (treadmill) and not overdoing it.

If nothing else small crashes like that teach us to me more careful- better like this than hitting a moving car.
knucklesandwich is offline  
Old 06-11-06, 09:21 PM
  #9  
Crankenstein
 
bmclaughlin807's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2006
Location: Spokane
Posts: 4,037

Bikes: Novara Randonee (TankerBelle)

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 3 Times in 3 Posts
Originally Posted by knucklesandwich
prob could use the extra week of just hitting the gym (treadmill) and not overdoing it.
Not sure about YOUR knee injury, but I know that with mine, running/walking are a lot harder on it than biking... I'm bike commuting every day (8.5 miles each way) and my endurance and speed on the bike are improving steadily... but walking any decent distance still hurts it and makes it swell.

As far as my injury goes... my primary care doctor says I've got some damage to the menescus, the ACL has a tear, and the PCL looks like it PROBABLY has a tear. Still haven't seen ortho for it yet... damn waiting lists.
__________________
"There is no greater wonder than the way the face and character of a woman fit so perfectly in a man's mind, and stay there, and he could never tell you why. It just seems it was the thing he most wanted." Robert Louis Stevenson
bmclaughlin807 is offline  
Old 06-12-06, 02:45 AM
  #10  
Team Katana
 
古強者死神's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2006
Location: Tampa, Fl
Posts: 426

Bikes: None /cry

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Aww I just had my first crash a few days ago too, I can feel the love.

My lesson? No matter how much you may wish it were true, your bike just wont grip the ground if you try to make a sharp 90 degree turn on a wet road at a 45 degree lean angle. Oddly enough I always road with my full finger gloves on except this one time when I wanted to just "cruise" around.

The Injuries? ruined my favorite pants that I had forever with a hole in the knee and skined off a pretty good portion of skin on two of my knuckles. The pinky one goes a good 1/8th an inch deep.

Oh well didnt hurt too bad, derailed the chain. I got up and went riding some more and then walked around the store later bleeding all over the place.

As far as braking goes, remember most of your brake power is in the front, but in a panic stop you can use the rear as a rear brake wont make you skid or vear off course (if your going straight) I use exclusevly the front brake on road but I use rear brakes offroad if I am on unfamilar territory somtimes.
古強者死神 is offline  
Old 06-12-06, 03:23 AM
  #11  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2001
Location: England
Posts: 12,948
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 19 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 7 Times in 7 Posts
Braking technique is definately something you have to learn and practice. A useful concept to use is to regard traction as a limitted resource. The amount of traction depends on your tyres, pressure, road surface (sand/oil/water), camber, slope etc. You need traction to accelrate, steer and brake and balance and when it runs out you usually slide or fall.
When you are reaching the limit of traction ie just before your wheels break out and slide, you have a number of options:
Reduce braking power.
Reduce the radius of turn
Use camber to increase traction

With experience and practice you can usually sense the limit od traction and act. Very occasionally, even old dogs are taken by surprise and take a slide.

There is an article on traction kicking around the interweb somewhere, I'll try and find it again.
MichaelW is offline  
Old 06-12-06, 08:17 AM
  #12  
Neat - w/ ice on the side
 
dalmore's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Big Ring. Little Cog.
Posts: 1,200

Bikes: 2005 Dahon Speed TR, 2006 Dahon Mu SL, 2000 GT XiZang, 1999ish Rock Lobster, 2007 Dean Animas CTI

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Gald to hear you and the others relaying stories here escaped with minor issues.

Since this has evolved into a general braking discussion - I thought I'd share one thing I learned. Once on a on a steep descent (my driveway) with low speed and the front brakes applied, I stood up and promptly when over the handlebars. No damage to speak of to me or the bike but I got a nice little reminder to keep the weight rearward when braking ...
dalmore is offline  
Old 06-12-06, 08:38 AM
  #13  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 5,820
Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 383 Post(s)
Liked 133 Times in 91 Posts
I would try using the front brake only. The rear brake supplies very little braking power and locks up very easily, which can lead to a loss of control. Try teaching yourself to use the front brake only. In a panic situation, your training takes over and if you trained to use the front only, you will be ok. It also helps to have the rear brake set very loose. I have my rear brake set so loose i have to squeeze the lever to the bar to get it to lock up.

The only exception to the front brake rule is in the slippery stuff. In the rain, gravel, sand, etc, then use the rear mainly. Use the front sparingly and the minute you feel it start to lock up, release it.
__________________
Il faut de l'audace, encore de l'audace, toujours de l'audace

1980 3Rensho-- 1975 Raleigh Sprite 3spd
1990s Raleigh M20 MTB--2007 Windsor Hour (track)
1988 Ducati 750 F1
San Rensho is offline  
Old 06-13-06, 08:48 AM
  #14  
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: Vancouver, BC, Canada
Posts: 162

Bikes: 2006 Marin San Anselmo, 2008 Specialized Roubaix Pro (custom), 2007 Salsa Casseroll

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Just got finished biking into work for the first time on a workday. No crashes today! After a little practice, I'm a little more confident with my breaking and with my pace on the downtown streets. Hopefully by the end of the week I will feel more at ease on my route.
Brad Smith is offline  
Old 06-13-06, 09:10 AM
  #15  
That darn Yankee
 
TexasGuy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: West West Fort Worth
Posts: 4,284

Bikes: Mongoose XR-100, Eros Bianchi

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by Brad Smith
Just got finished biking into work for the first time on a workday. No crashes today! After a little practice, I'm a little more confident with my breaking and with my pace on the downtown streets. Hopefully by the end of the week I will feel more at ease on my route.
Pay attention to traffic and always nod
__________________
Life is about hanging onto what you think is important and finding out what really is important.
"Stop Ruining my joke!", "No, a joke implies humor attached at no additional cost"
So many sayings, so little sig space.
TexasGuy is offline  
Old 06-13-06, 09:58 AM
  #16  
saikurisutto
 
Niten's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: Lincoln, Nebraska
Posts: 110

Bikes: 1984 Trek 720, 2004 Marin Argenta, Police Auction Schwinn Impact, Coker Wheelman Highwheeler

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by Brad Smith
Just got finished biking into work for the first time on a workday.
Allez! Allez!
Niten is offline  
Old 06-13-06, 10:01 AM
  #17  
VegetarianBikeRider
 
coney's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: NYC, man.
Posts: 200
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Hit your rear brakes more than your front ones. You won't have the tendency to fly over your handlebars as easliy. Glad to hear everyone's recovering.

Also had my first crash a week ago. I was going down a hill, watching the line of cars on my left, because some idiot at the front was planning on turning right from the middle lane, lots of honking. I didn't see this sinkhole in the pavement, and I went flying over the handlebars, my back tire going over my head.

I landed on my right elbow and head (helmet, yes!), then tumbled a couple times til I came to a stop. I've never been so bruised and sore in my life. i think I was going almost 20mph. Bruises the size of my hand on my thighs, my elbow scraped up with bruised muscles, ribs hurt, neck hurt, back hurt, bruise on my hip (all of these bruises were the shape of bicycle parts).

But today I'm fairing well. But haven't been back on the bike yet, my arm still aches. I know I'm wimping out, but I've never crashed like that EVER. I'm lucky I didn't break anything. Lucky to have that helmet!
coney is offline  
Old 06-13-06, 10:12 AM
  #18  
Senior Member
 
Neist's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2006
Posts: 219
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
My wreck has put me out for at least 2 weeks.

I cant exactly cycle if I have bad wrist pain.
Neist is offline  
Old 06-13-06, 10:16 AM
  #19  
Senior Member
 
PatrickMcCabe's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: Chicago
Posts: 192

Bikes: Cannondale F300

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
I hope its your last crash!!!

Glad your OK.
PatrickMcCabe is offline  

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service -

Copyright © 2024 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.