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Crashed today

Old 09-17-16, 04:40 PM
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Lovemyride
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Crashed today

Well as they say , it is not if , but when . Well today was the day . No broken bones, and overall not bad considering , but just very disappointed in the setback .

As I reflect upon the incident , I keep thinking I made a mistake that lead to the crash . I ride most on my own, and only do group rides during events like today, 6 total in 4 years . Maybe one of you could set me straight so I do not repeat this type of fall .

the ride was the Halifax 100 in Ormond Beach . Not a large event maybe 100 or so doing the century distance from Ormond to St Augustine and back . I was with the lead pack doing 25 mph , I was next up for point . when the front rider gave the hand signal to clear , I passed it on , this I now feel was a mistake . In doing so I removed 1 hand from the wheel and as he went left, he must have slowed and I caught his rear wheel and went over the bars, and was ran over by a bike or so , ending my day . I'm thankful that most of the fall was on sand and not asphalt ouch !! So in hind sight , I feel both hands should have remained on the bars and focus should have been on waiting for him to clear even if it meant slowing down .

I never raced before , and had been getting a lot of miles in the past 4 months and felt real good today , I think I'm more depressed than hurt. Maybe in the morning the aches and pains to my ribs, neck and hip ,will out weigh the depression .O well , Thanks for being here for me to vent , this is a great site that I love reading . Al
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Old 09-17-16, 04:52 PM
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Crash

Been there, done that. Still riding. Faster and more experience. Haven't crashed in months. Am I due for another? Let's find out....
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Old 09-17-16, 05:17 PM
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appreciate that , I agree , I learned something today , and happy to be alive to go back out .
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Old 09-17-16, 05:21 PM
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Sorry to hear you crashed. I have done that a few times. Some have been my fault and some other peoples' fault. The bumps and scrapes heal but hopefully you learned something. Back on the bike you now know more about this type of a situation.
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Old 09-17-16, 07:57 PM
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Originally Posted by Lovemyride View Post
... focus should have been on waiting for him to clear even if it meant slowing down . ...
I think that pretty well sums up the situation.

I lost a good friend and cycling mentor because he got too enamored with drafting and ended up with two concussions in one day, both times from running his front wheel into someone else's rear wheel.
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Old 09-17-16, 08:22 PM
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And this is why I don't paceline with strangers. Everyone I know personally who has gone down has done so in a group environment, either hitting/being hit by another rider, or meeting with an immovable object attempting to avoid another rider.
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Old 09-17-16, 11:57 PM
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It sounds to me like the OP needs a lot more practice riding a paceline with people he knows and can become comfortable with before venturing out to ride with strangers.

One should never collide with someone pulling off the front, that's just plain bad riding on both riders' part. You don't actually need to be millimeters from someone's wheel to get a quality draft. Back off a bit until you have the skillset to know without looking where everything is and your buffer just happens without conscious thought.
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Old 09-18-16, 12:10 AM
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Originally Posted by Lovemyride View Post
As I reflect upon the incident , I keep thinking I made a mistake that lead to the crash . I ride most on my own, and only do group rides during events like today, 6 total in 4 years . Maybe one of you could set me straight so I do not repeat this type of fall .
If you are going to ride with large groups in an event you should be riding regularly with groups so you have a better feel for riding in pacelines. In this particular instance everyone should be pulling off to the same side. You shouldn't need to slow down or use hand signals. The rider in front just moves over a little and eases off on pedalling while you maintain your pace.
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Old 09-18-16, 05:19 AM
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If the guy in front of you slowed before he pulled off, he caused it. The whole idea of a paceline is to maintain a steady speed, including when you pull off. He may have pulled longer than he should have and was fatigued and wasn't able to maintain his speed.

Also, it sounds like you may have been following a little too closely. Keep at least half a wheel's distance between you and the person in front of you.
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Old 09-18-16, 06:27 AM
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I'm not sure what the hand signal to clear means. If it means he was pulling off and it was now your pull, why would you pass it on? To me that means you are also pulling off. Confused.
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Old 09-18-16, 09:06 AM
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I doubt it was removing your hand that caused the crash...perhaps for that briefest moment when you "expected" him to "just" move over that your focus moved from the rider in front to your taking that position...generally when you overlap the wheel in front it doesn't matter if you have one or both hands on the bars you are going down.
When I started racing/training to race one of the clubs I rode with/for held grass crits...in a local park...once a week. We'd bring our beaters and practice things like bumping, countering bumping, overlapping wheels and how to overcome the overlap without crashing, etc. It can be overcome but not easily and was a lot of fun. I was a much better handler and able to safely get out of situations due to that training. It also taught us how to look, watch and see what was going on in a race so we could either prepare for or avoid a sticky situation. I don't think much of that goes on anymore.
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Old 09-18-16, 10:06 AM
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Originally Posted by bruce19 View Post
I'm not sure what the hand signal to clear means. If it means he was pulling off and it was now your pull, why would you pass it on? To me that means you are also pulling off. Confused.
My thoughts also.

Even Pro riders use signals when pulling off to the side, but using a signal to clear????
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Old 09-18-16, 10:11 AM
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Originally Posted by bruce19 View Post
I'm not sure what the hand signal to clear means. If it means he was pulling off and it was now your pull, why would you pass it on? To me that means you are also pulling off. Confused.
I have the same questions. Why signal the rider in front is pulling over. Just hold the pace as that rider clears. Never heard of passing on this signal. Very confusing.
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Old 09-18-16, 10:16 AM
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And, one way to signal is to flick your right elbow out which allows you to keep you hand on the bars.
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Old 09-18-16, 11:36 AM
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Originally Posted by bruce19 View Post
And, one way to signal is to flick your right elbow out which allows you to keep you hand on the bars.
Good point. Another part this story is the 25 MPH paceline. Normally only very expeienced riders enter this speed pace line. That is fast. I would think this OP would want many rides in 20 MPH pacelines before making a jump to the 25 MPH group. The guys (and gals) that ride the 25 MPH lines are hard core. I have ridden in many 22 MPH lines, but the jump to 25 is masssive.
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Old 09-18-16, 02:40 PM
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I hit the rider in front and almost bought the farm I do not know who was a fault but I made up my mind to only ride alone. You can be an experienced rider (even the pros) and if for what ever reason you hit the wheel in front you can be on the ground before you realize what happened. I was only doing about 15 mph when I hit.
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Old 09-18-16, 04:38 PM
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The shock of a fall can mess with your confidence. It's a common experience. Every athlete has felt it. First time I got knocked down in boxing with a body shot I realized I wasn't superhuman after all. I was only familiar with knocking down the other fellows. Good learning experience.

First time I got wheel-hooked in an entry level crit was the last time I rode at that level. The other riders were too inexperienced and jittery. Moving up in class to a better group helped, and I got useful pointers from them.

Get together with a small group of experienced riders and work on those paceline skills. You'll get your confidence back and be better for the experience.

FWIW, I only ride in casual groups now. No more racing for me. And, yup, in every large group there will be unpredictable riders. But usually I find it's safest toward the front or at the very back. Anything in between is iffy. Since it's all non-competitive social riding, I usually hang at the back.
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Old 09-18-16, 04:43 PM
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This is a good example of why inexperienced cyclists should NEVER join a paceline....and why experienced cyclists often discourage anybody from joining their line that they do not know. FWIW, in events like these, there is often a "kid's table" paceline that you can join, somewhat behind the race leaders. Join that for at least a half-dozen events without incident, and maybe, just maybe, the big boys will allow you to join their paceline again.
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Old 09-18-16, 04:56 PM
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It happens. I consider myself to be a good bike handler, having ridden my entire adult life, including racing. I have been unfortunate enough to experience this type of crash several times. Most of the time it was my fault. This is a post I put in the "thin skin" thead.
It heals. A few years ago, when I was 70, I had a pretty nasty crash. I was drafting off my wife cresting the top of a hill and picking up speed, when I touched her back wheel with my front wheel. At between 17 and 20 mph, we all know how that works out.

I was not hurt badly, and rode the rest of the way home. It was obvious that it would take some sutures to close some of the deeper wounds. I landed in a deep rocky ditch, and it seemed like a full couple of seconds before my bike, which somehow became airborne, landed on top of me.

As the doctor cleaned the nastiest wound on my forearm, he held up a piece of debris and said,"this looks like a piece of a flower". He also reminded me to get a new helmet as he remove the dirt packed in my ear. The first antibiotics we tried did not work, and the forearm wound became infected. I was about to leave on a month-long bike tour in a couple of days, so he gave me another 10 day supply of a different antibiotic and wished me luck.

I don't think the thickness of skin rally made any difference in this case. Everything healed OK, and I try to keep a little more distance when drafting
Elbow and forearm



Knee

Last edited by Doug64; 09-19-16 at 07:19 PM.
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Old 09-18-16, 05:56 PM
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All your reply's are great , and I'm always open to feedback . I could take the time to answer them all , but being a 2 finger type expert I wont .

In hind site I agree that I had no business in that pace line . In fact , when the first rider peeled off ,I did move back to let him in . It was at that point he said they agreed to just go to the back and let it just progress .

I also feel I did learn much from the experience and will not repeat that mistake again , I also like the advise to stay back a wheel length, I recall at times being 2 inch or so away .
also wish I would take the time to post some pics , not so much of my rash and tier tracks across by , head, neck and back , but of the damage to my helmet , no wonder I'm in pain . I will say this , the sprocket digs in the helmet, show me how lucky I was , the helmet also broke ear to ear .
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Old 09-18-16, 06:20 PM
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Im sorry you crashed..

I did learn through this thread that our group rides in a paceline and i didnt know it. ( im never up front though since im slow)
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Old 09-19-16, 05:41 AM
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How is your bike?
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Old 09-19-16, 05:48 AM
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Originally Posted by Lovemyride View Post

In hind site I agree that I had no business in that pace line . In fact , when the first rider peeled off ,I did move back to let him in . It was at that point he said they agreed to just go to the back and let it just progress .
I commend you for being so open to taking the comments here and using them to better your riding. I am confused by the statement above. If the lead rider pulls off, why would you drop back to let him in? Where were you in the line? When a lead rider pulls off he/she is going to the back of the line so, again, why would you have to let them in?
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Old 09-19-16, 09:04 AM
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Originally Posted by AlexCyclistRoch View Post
This is a good example of why inexperienced cyclists should NEVER join a paceline....and why experienced cyclists often discourage anybody from joining their line that they do not know. FWIW, in events like these, there is often a "kid's table" paceline that you can join, somewhat behind the race leaders. Join that for at least a half-dozen events without incident, and maybe, just maybe, the big boys will allow you to join their paceline again.
Alex, I must tell you , on all other rides I was happy in the back with the kiddy's as you say . But on this ride I felt like the man to beat . heart rate was in the 90 s and I was cruising along . I did make a mistake , that will cost me lost hours of sleep ( 2 broken ribs) and days off the bike . I will however going forward leave a little space and drop back if need be till the last 20 miles when there should be less riders and more room . Lets just say at 58 I learned something , hahaha
Thank you for your honesty
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Old 09-19-16, 09:08 AM
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Originally Posted by bruce19 View Post
I commend you for being so open to taking the comments here and using them to better your riding. I am confused by the statement above. If the lead rider pulls off, why would you drop back to let him in? Where were you in the line? When a lead rider pulls off he/she is going to the back of the line so, again, why would you have to let them in?
Bruce, I was next up for lead. I remember looking down at our speed , wondering when he would pull out . He motioned with a right hand movement . My guess is that instead of accelerating out of the pace line , he let up and my momentum carried me . as he went to the left , I caught his wheel and that's all I remember .
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