Go Back  Bike Forums > Bike Forums > Fifty Plus (50+)
Reload this Page >

My number was not up.

Notices
Fifty Plus (50+) Share the victories, challenges, successes and special concerns of bicyclists 50 and older. Especially useful for those entering or reentering bicycling.

My number was not up.

Old 07-30-22, 09:52 AM
  #1  
Ray9
Full Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Sep 2013
Location: New England
Posts: 325

Bikes: Cannondale six-13

Mentioned: 8 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 143 Post(s)
Liked 108 Times in 24 Posts
My number was not up.

Since the pandemic I no longer go on long exploratory rides. I ride large loops around the bucolic, agricultural landscape of the small town I live in. I laid out the 50-mile course with almost all right turns so I would not have to cross traffic. But in some places those right turns are there, or I should say were, because I have reversed direction on one road without sacrificing mileage. I have had two 400-mile weeks this year and my weight is the same as it was in high school. Yesterday I came to the end of a road that has a stop sign with a large bush that blocks the view of oncoming traffic. If traffic is there, I honor the stop sign, if not I slowly roll through it. I use my front brake to slow down. Yesterday I heard traffic coming so I applied my front brake. I heard a strange noise like a guitar string breaking and my bike did not stop. By the time I got to the rear brake I was in the road in front of a car. The woman who nearly hit me did not yell at me. She asked If I was ok, and I thanked her profusely for not hitting me. My brake cable broke due to micro metal fatigue and I have replaced it.



I never panicked. If I had stopped, I would have been a sitting duck in front of her car. I aimed for the guard rails on the opposite side of the road and missed them by inches. It was close but no collision occurred. With the amount of riding I do it is inevitable that **** is going to happen. I know this and accept it. My number was not up; good luck with yours.
Ray9 is offline  
Old 07-30-22, 10:03 AM
  #2  
Iride01 
MotuekaCascadeChinook
 
Iride01's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2017
Location: Mississippi
Posts: 11,517

Bikes: Tarmac Disc Comp Di2 - 2020

Mentioned: 43 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 4684 Post(s)
Liked 3,176 Times in 2,216 Posts
Glad you are still with us and safe.
Iride01 is online now  
Likes For Iride01:
Old 07-30-22, 11:18 AM
  #3  
Ray9
Full Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Sep 2013
Location: New England
Posts: 325

Bikes: Cannondale six-13

Mentioned: 8 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 143 Post(s)
Liked 108 Times in 24 Posts
Stay safe and may all your turns be right turns.
Ray9 is offline  
Old 07-30-22, 12:50 PM
  #4  
rsbob 
Sniveling Weasel
 
rsbob's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2020
Location: Seattle-ish
Posts: 2,963
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1072 Post(s)
Liked 1,996 Times in 1,156 Posts
Wow that was a close one and luckily you had a caring and understanding driver. Sounds like a cautionary tale to always have your hands on both brake levers and apply pressure on each, but more on the front. Glad you came out fine.
__________________
Immoderate Cyclist “No regerts”



rsbob is offline  
Old 07-30-22, 04:16 PM
  #5  
epnnf
Full Member
 
epnnf's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: SW Ohio
Posts: 356

Bikes: 2016 Masi strada vita due, 2019 Kona Dew Plus

Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 244 Post(s)
Liked 66 Times in 47 Posts
Close calls happen too often. Ride safe.
epnnf is offline  
Old 07-30-22, 07:42 PM
  #6  
Clyde1820
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 2014
Location: USA
Posts: 1,712

Bikes: 1996 Trek 970 ZX

Mentioned: 8 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 547 Post(s)
Liked 431 Times in 333 Posts
Originally Posted by Ray9 View Post
Yesterday I heard traffic coming so I applied my front brake. I heard a strange noise like a guitar string breaking and my bike did not stop ...
Glad you made it through okay.

Had something like that occur, back when I was a teen-aged kid. Twenty-five mph and somebody didn't look before stepping in front of me. The rear brake's cable snapped, the front brake was all that was left ... there went the front wheel and I laid the bike down.

Two things I try to always do, these days: keep the brake's in top condition, with relatively frequent cable changes, regular maintenance, and daily eval of the brakes' condition; and, to never approaching an intersection where I cannot see all directions, without slowing to a very safe speed such that if something does happen I won't get splattered.

Has saved my bacon more than once, over the years. Never did want to lay it down again, after that first debacle. Didn't have full use of the arm for months, afterward. Was lucky I didn't land on my head, as I didn't wear a helmet back in those days. North of 50yrs of age, myself, I can no longer afford to be so unconcerned with how I approach that light comin' around the bend (as I often did, as a "pup").
Clyde1820 is offline  
Old 07-30-22, 08:32 PM
  #7  
sam21fire
Flying and Riding
 
sam21fire's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: NE Wisconsin
Posts: 353

Bikes: Trek 520

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 7 Post(s)
Liked 14 Times in 8 Posts
In the aircrew/flying world there's a basic concept of "what will I do if X important action doesn't work", aka always have a Plan B immediately available. Glad your guardian angel was paying attention.
sam21fire is offline  
Likes For sam21fire:
Old 08-01-22, 02:05 AM
  #8  
Artmo
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: SW Florida
Posts: 1,627

Bikes: '06 Bianchi Pista; '57 Maclean; '10 Scott CR1 Pro; 2005 Trek 2000 Tandem; '09 Comotion Macchiato Tandem; 199? Novara Road; '17 Circe Helios e-tandem:1994 Trek 2300

Mentioned: 5 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 126 Post(s)
Liked 72 Times in 45 Posts
Originally Posted by Ray9 View Post
Since the pandemic I no longer go on long exploratory rides. I ride large loops around the bucolic, agricultural landscape of the small town I live in. I laid out the 50-mile course with almost all right turns so I would not have to cross traffic. But in some places those right turns are there, or I should say were, because I have reversed direction on one road without sacrificing mileage. I have had two 400-mile weeks this year and my weight is the same as it was in high school. Yesterday I came to the end of a road that has a stop sign with a large bush that blocks the view of oncoming traffic. If traffic is there, I honor the stop sign, if not I slowly roll through it. I use my front brake to slow down. Yesterday I heard traffic coming so I applied my front brake. I heard a strange noise like a guitar string breaking and my bike did not stop. By the time I got to the rear brake I was in the road in front of a car. The woman who nearly hit me did not yell at me. She asked If I was ok, and I thanked her profusely for not hitting me. My brake cable broke due to micro metal fatigue and I have replaced it.



I never panicked. If I had stopped, I would have been a sitting duck in front of her car. I aimed for the guard rails on the opposite side of the road and missed them by inches. It was close but no collision occurred. With the amount of riding I do it is inevitable that **** is going to happen. I know this and accept it. My number was not up; good luck with yours.
Beats me why anyone would use only the front brake, unless riding fixed gear. But glad you survived.
Artmo is offline  
Likes For Artmo:
Old 08-01-22, 06:46 AM
  #9  
rowerek
Newbie
 
rowerek's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2013
Location: Treasure Coast/Palm Beach County, Florida
Posts: 72

Bikes: Colnago C40 2004, 1985 Centurion Elite RS, Specialized Roubaix Elite

Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 29 Post(s)
Liked 32 Times in 16 Posts
This close call reminds me of my own thinking whenever I come to an intersections with limited visibility. I feel uneasy that my life hangs on the front brake working properly, over and over again. There should be a back up system, redundancy that would make likelihood of total failure less likely.
Cars used to to have single circuit braking system now they have double with ABS and warning lights if fluid level is low. These days technology is available, but it still take organization, community, company, somebody with conviction and big pockets to redesign bicycle breaking system, add redundancy, safety, and make brakes less likely to totally fail, Cars have new safety features continuously added, double braking system, ABS, crumpling zone, safety belts, air bags. Bicycle manufacturers, biking community should follow this kind of thinking as well.
rowerek is offline  
Old 08-01-22, 07:13 AM
  #10  
boozergut
Full Member
 
boozergut's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Posts: 380

Bikes: Kona Dew, Gary Fisher Paragon, Salsa Campeon

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 83 Post(s)
Liked 63 Times in 37 Posts
Glad you didnt get smacked. Everyone is on their phone and the MU trails are becoming loaded with screaming ebikers. I've thus rediscovered the joy of an easy single track ride. I stop to take pictures. Take it easy.
boozergut is offline  
Old 08-01-22, 07:47 AM
  #11  
terrymorse 
climber has-been
 
terrymorse's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Palo Alto, CA
Posts: 4,828

Bikes: Scott Addict R1

Mentioned: 7 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1402 Post(s)
Liked 1,258 Times in 670 Posts
Originally Posted by rowerek View Post
I feel uneasy that my life hangs on the front brake working properly, over and over again. There should be a back up system, redundancy that would make likelihood of total failure less likely.
There is a back up system. It is called the rear brake.

I had to descend Mt. Diablo once, using just the rear brake. But not because the front brake failed. The front hub's spoke flange failed, putting the front wheel severely out of true, so I had to remove the front brake.

At no time did my life hang in the balance.
__________________
Ride, Rest, Repeat

terrymorse is offline  
Likes For terrymorse:
Old 08-01-22, 08:31 AM
  #12  
rowerek
Newbie
 
rowerek's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2013
Location: Treasure Coast/Palm Beach County, Florida
Posts: 72

Bikes: Colnago C40 2004, 1985 Centurion Elite RS, Specialized Roubaix Elite

Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 29 Post(s)
Liked 32 Times in 16 Posts
Just to clarify a few terms.
Rear brake is NOT a back up system, rear break is a part of regular, standard bicycle equipment.
Long descent braking is NOT emergency braking.
Then again, everybody is entitled to their own opinion.

Regarding front vs rear brake, below is a good, common sense explanation, based on rudimentary mechanics, of how they work and how they should be applied and understood. Hopefully some will find this helpful.
https://www.renehersecycles.com/how-...-on-a-bicycle/
"Front vs. Rear Brake
On dry pavement, the front brake alone halts the bike over the shortest distance.
Many riders think they need both brakes to stop effectively, if only because most bikes are outfitted with 2 brakes and that implies that one should use both. Here’s the way to think about it: the momentum of your body continues to move forward as your bike is slowing down, so your weight shifts forward. That’s why your rear wheel can come off the ground when braking hard. When your weight comes forward during hard braking, your rear wheel has close to zero traction. If you apply the rear brake under these conditions, the rear wheel will lock up without contributing significantly to the braking effort.

If you can apply the rear brake without locking up the rear wheel, then your weight isn’t shifting forward – a clear sign that you aren’t braking as hard as you should!

We tried braking with both brakes and with the front brake alone, and consistently found that if we focused all our attention on the front brake, we achieved much shorter stopping distances."
rowerek is offline  
Old 08-01-22, 11:13 AM
  #13  
MoAlpha
• —
 
Join Date: Jun 2015
Location: Land of Pleasant Living
Posts: 10,229

Bikes: Shmikes

Mentioned: 56 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 8523 Post(s)
Liked 4,457 Times in 2,384 Posts
Good outcome. I will just observe that one’s number tries to come up a lot less on a properly maintained bike.
MoAlpha is online now  
Old 08-01-22, 11:43 AM
  #14  
zandoval 
Senior Member
 
zandoval's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2010
Location: Bastrop Texas
Posts: 3,350

Bikes: Univega, Peu P6, Peu PR-10, Ted Williams, Peu UO-8, Peu UO-18 Mixte, Peu Dolomites

Mentioned: 6 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 531 Post(s)
Liked 806 Times in 527 Posts
When we survive things like this it changes our future ridding style. If we want to survive. Sure glad you are OK!

Ya know we have a tendency to trust our proven bicycle components. On our old bicycle and motorcycle components it was a normal practice to closely inspect our cables along with just about everything else on the bikes. Now days with Stainless Steel cables and lined cable housings and close fitting ferrules inspections are not as frequent, or failures.

Thanks for posting... I am going to go and inspect my cables right now...
__________________
No matter where your at... There you are... Δf:=f(1/2)-f(-1/2)
zandoval is offline  
Old 08-01-22, 12:58 PM
  #15  
rumrunn6
Senior Member
 
rumrunn6's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: 25 miles northwest of Boston
Posts: 27,664

Bikes: Bottecchia Sprint, GT Timberline 29r, Trek FX Alpha 7.0

Mentioned: 108 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 4655 Post(s)
Liked 2,370 Times in 1,616 Posts
glad you're still here!

fwiw - I never use just one of the brakes. there's probably a reason bikes have two & cars have four
rumrunn6 is offline  
Likes For rumrunn6:
Old 08-02-22, 05:05 AM
  #16  
Tony Marley
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: Houston area
Posts: 527

Bikes: Bike Friday Llama single; Bike Friday Tandem Tuesday; Easy Racers Ti-Rush recumbent; Catrike Expedition; Rans Seavo recumbent tandem

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 25 Post(s)
Liked 34 Times in 26 Posts
Very glad you came through that with just a scare. Your message is a cautionary tale to me to start checking my brake cables regularly.
Tony Marley is offline  
Likes For Tony Marley:
Old 08-02-22, 06:16 AM
  #17  
flan48
Full Member
 
flan48's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Monroe Township,NJ
Posts: 418

Bikes: Fuji Absolute 1.4

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 23 Post(s)
Liked 22 Times in 17 Posts
Originally Posted by Iride01 View Post
Glad you are still with us and safe.
+1 from me!!

Best regards
flan48 is offline  
Old 08-02-22, 07:00 AM
  #18  
SurferRosa
Señor Member
 
SurferRosa's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2018
Location: Pac NW
Posts: 6,135

Bikes: Old school lightweights

Mentioned: 75 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2572 Post(s)
Liked 3,553 Times in 1,891 Posts
Originally Posted by rowerek View Post
I feel uneasy that my life hangs on the front brake working properly, over and over again. There should be a back up system, redundancy that would make likelihood of total failure less likely. Technology is available, but it still take organization, community, company, somebody with conviction and big pockets to redesign bicycle breaking system, add redundancy, safety, and make brakes less likely to totally fail. Cars have double braking system, ABS, crumpling zone, safety belts, air bags. Bicycle manufacturers, biking community should follow this kind of thinking.
Have the "conviction" to add a coaster brake to your "breaking system" that already has two, independent brakes. I really look forward to your future thread on this.
SurferRosa is offline  
Old 08-02-22, 07:09 AM
  #19  
SurferRosa
Señor Member
 
SurferRosa's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2018
Location: Pac NW
Posts: 6,135

Bikes: Old school lightweights

Mentioned: 75 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2572 Post(s)
Liked 3,553 Times in 1,891 Posts
Originally Posted by rowerek View Post
Below is a good common sense explanation.

https://www.renehersecycles.com/how-...-on-a-bicycle/

We tried braking with both brakes and with the front brake alone, and consistently found that if we focused all our attention on the front brake, we achieved much shorter stopping distances."
"Common sense"?

SurferRosa is offline  
Old 08-02-22, 07:12 AM
  #20  
SurferRosa
Señor Member
 
SurferRosa's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2018
Location: Pac NW
Posts: 6,135

Bikes: Old school lightweights

Mentioned: 75 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2572 Post(s)
Liked 3,553 Times in 1,891 Posts
Originally Posted by Ray9 View Post
My number was not up.
Surely it would help all of us to see some pics of the bike and some detailed pics of the brake cable routing and the brake cables, both front and rear. Thank you for this!
SurferRosa is offline  
Old 08-02-22, 08:17 AM
  #21  
beng1
Full Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2014
Posts: 329
Mentioned: 3 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 367 Post(s)
Liked 161 Times in 80 Posts
Why would you have to change your cycling habits during an alleged pandemic? You are riding outside in open air alone right??? Or do you only ride in groups with the bikes within six feet of each other?

Anyway, if someone is serious about riding they should be serious about bike maintenance and regularly replace brake cables and check everything for alignment and wear. For a cable to snap it must have been really old.

Once back in the 1970s I was going down a really long steep hill on my Columbia road bike equipped with steel rims in the rain, at the bottom of the hill there was a stop sign in front of a busy two-lane state highway. I found I had zero brakes, and the odds of going through two lanes of fast highway traffic without dying were not good. So I stood up on both my feet on the road while holding onto the bikes bars, I found I was able to continue staying upright and balanced, sort of skiing down the wet hill with the bike under me to keep me balanced front to back, my feet did the job side to side. I was able to just stop by the bottom of the hill, but had worn holes through the soles of my P.F. Flyers. I would practice this maneuver before having to use it in an actual emergency though. If I had not been panicking I would have thought to jump off the back of the bike and slide down the road on my back until I stopped, but in situations like that few teenagers have the ability to think.
beng1 is offline  
Old 08-02-22, 09:05 AM
  #22  
terrymorse 
climber has-been
 
terrymorse's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Palo Alto, CA
Posts: 4,828

Bikes: Scott Addict R1

Mentioned: 7 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1402 Post(s)
Liked 1,258 Times in 670 Posts
Originally Posted by beng1 View Post
Why would you have to change your cycling habits during an alleged pandemic? You are riding outside in open air alone right??? Or do you only ride in groups with the bikes within six feet of each other?
1. It was a pandemic, not an alleged pandemic.

2. Group rides were banned in my county.

3. Riding over 5 miles from home was banned in a neighboring county, so I had to stay out of there completely.

I assume others had similar issues.
__________________
Ride, Rest, Repeat

terrymorse is offline  
Old 08-02-22, 10:20 AM
  #23  
79pmooney
A Roadie Forever
 
79pmooney's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2014
Location: Portland, OR
Posts: 10,800

Bikes: (2) ti TiCycles, 2007 w/ triple and 2011 fixed, 1979 Peter Mooney, ~1983 Trek 420 now fixed and ~1973 Raleigh Carlton Competition gravel grinder

Mentioned: 115 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 3582 Post(s)
Liked 2,396 Times in 1,569 Posts
Originally Posted by beng1 View Post
...

Anyway, if someone is serious about riding they should be serious about bike maintenance and regularly replace brake cables and check everything for alignment and wear. For a cable to snap it must have been really old.

...
Or have just a minor chafe at a hidden point like an improperly seated housing at the brake lever. (And comment - everyone checks that interface every time they change their brake cable, right? Just peel back 10" of HB tape, peer up there with a flashlight and note for sure all is good.) I'll admit to getting that interface wrong using the wrong or no cable (I'm forgetting the word) cap? sleeve? I have always noticed the spungy feeling creeping in so started riding with care and the failures were never catastrophic but yes, real wake up calls.

My thinking is that the lever/housng interface of the common aero/brifter brake lever is critical enough that it should be designed to be rock solid reliable with no end cap on the housing and a very good, clean, fair and tapered entry from the HB side so that fit can be idiotically easy. No parts to lose or need to have in a bike mod. (And just to be nice to us mechanical types, an easy to find entry from the lever side for when we replace that front cable because we do that often, right?)
79pmooney is offline  
Old 08-03-22, 02:42 PM
  #24  
beng1
Full Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2014
Posts: 329
Mentioned: 3 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 367 Post(s)
Liked 161 Times in 80 Posts
Originally Posted by terrymorse View Post
3. Riding over 5 miles from home was banned in a neighboring county, so I had to stay out of there completely.
I assume others had similar issues.
Yes, about half the countries voters had similar issues.
beng1 is offline  
Old 08-11-22, 09:23 AM
  #25  
Ray9
Full Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Sep 2013
Location: New England
Posts: 325

Bikes: Cannondale six-13

Mentioned: 8 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 143 Post(s)
Liked 108 Times in 24 Posts
I got some bad news from a bike shop tech. I need to replace the Chain, casette, and both chain rings. My Cannodale Super six EVO Hi Mod is tired, very tired. This is going to be expensive. I am going to hit my 401k for it. I will upgrade to super high-quality wheels but I will keep the clincher brakes. This leaves me no choice but to race the bike next year. I hope I can compete in a 75 and up division but I will probably have to go with the fifties. Carry on and may all your turns be right turns.
Ray9 is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service - Do Not Sell My Personal Information -

Copyright © 2021 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.