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The Silver Lining

Old 01-05-08, 04:44 PM
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The Silver Lining

Today, I decided to ride in the rain. I did it to be in communion with my brothers and sisters who live in faraway places with colder and wetter climes, and I did it to keep building up those base miles for my coming Century in April, and I did it because sometimes it's just plain fun to go play in the rain.

I took the Cypress. I didn't go fast. Other than the cold, the wind, the wet, the water on my sunglasses (which hold my mirror), and the dozens of palm fronds on the streets, it was like any other ride. One big difference -- I didn't see ONE other cyclist in an hour's worth of riding.

Anyway, I was at the end of my ride, feeling pretty good about the whole experience, when It Happened. I live on a corner lot, and I was riding up to my corner. I was no more than twenty yards from my front door, when I saw a car coming down the cross street (which has no stop sign) out of the corner of my eye. I turned and braked quickly to avoid an accident, and down I went!

I was going slowly, and sustained no personal injury. The Cypress looks to have some small wounds and may need an adjustment or two. The motorist stopped to enquire about my misfortune, and I waved her on, because I was alright. Another one then stopped and asked if I was alright. "Only a bruised ego," I told her.

Came inside and thought about the incident, and decided there were some silver linings in this accident:

1. At least I fell off at the END of the ride, rather than at the beginning or the middle.

2. At least I fell off when I was going slowly.

3. If I'm going to get all full of myself because I rode in the elements, I should prepare for the Good Lord to offer a humbling incident to remind me not to be too full of myself.
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Old 01-05-08, 05:21 PM
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Glad you weren't hurt.

My silver lining is that is wasn't me!!!
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Old 01-05-08, 05:46 PM
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Probably good to experience a fall (noninjurious) every once in a while just to realize it happens, isn't the end of the world, and to fully experience cycling (pretty limp rationalization). Glad no serious bang-ups and that you have a good attitude. Plus Mother of All Storms didn't defeat you. You're well on your way.
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Old 01-05-08, 05:47 PM
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I went for a ride a couple of weeks ago, and it started raining, and I went down within 10 minutes. Going slowly, thankfully. Although I may not have crashed had I been going a bit faster...but I'll take it as a positive.

Know how you feel!
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Old 01-05-08, 05:55 PM
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Good thing your weren't hurt. Are you actually describing a 4 way intersection without signs........
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Old 01-05-08, 05:58 PM
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I guess we didn't commune today.

It was 79 degees and sunny here in Cen Tx. I did 40 miles in the hills and didn't fall over.

However, like you, I didn't see another single bicycle on the roads, except for a young girl and her little brother who live around the corner.

Glad you're not hurt!
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Old 01-05-08, 05:59 PM
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Originally Posted by maddmaxx View Post
Good thing your weren't hurt. Are you actually describing a 4 way intersection without signs........
No, the street I was on has a stop sign, but they don't intersect at 90 degree angles, and it's difficult to see what's coming down the non-stop signed street without poking your nose practically into the intersection to see past parked cars. That's what I was doing when the car appeared almost right in front of me.
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Old 01-05-08, 06:01 PM
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Originally Posted by Digital Gee View Post
3. If I'm going to get all full of myself because I rode in the elements, I should prepare for the Good Lord to offer a humbling incident to remind me not to be too full of myself.
Oooo. I hate those number threes. They make me feel so... so... immature.
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Old 01-05-08, 08:17 PM
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Two different women stopped to help, and you didn't feign some sort of injury?

I think you're losin' it.
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Old 01-05-08, 08:51 PM
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Originally Posted by doctor j View Post
Two different women stopped to help, and you didn't feign some sort of injury?

I think you're losin' it.
You're right. I was consumed with embarrassment. Maybe next time?
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Old 01-05-08, 11:15 PM
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In truth, the first thing that popped into my mind when I crashed was, "Thank God no one in 50-plus saw this!"
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Old 01-05-08, 11:31 PM
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So was it a "tires slide out from under you" or "go over the handlebars" or "nearly had it under control until I lost my balance" or "Bang, you're on the ground - what the heck happened?" crash?
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Old 01-05-08, 11:55 PM
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Originally Posted by Tom Bombadil View Post
So was it a "tires slide out from under you" or "go over the handlebars" or "nearly had it under control until I lost my balance" or "Bang, you're on the ground - what the heck happened?" crash?
While I'd like to brag that I did a triple summersault over the handlebar, it was far less dramatic. I was easing out into the intersection to see if anyone was coming. It's difficult to see on-coming traffic because of all the parked cars. You have to poke out there a little bit, and I always take that slow, just in case. The lack of normal visibility because of the rain added to the problem. She just seemed to appear out of nowhere. I was startled, so I pulled too sharply to the right and hit the brakes and fell on my right side. Again, I was going so slowly it was fairly comic (like the guy on Laugh In). I'm also convinced the wet conditions had something to do with me being unable to control the bike when I turned.
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Old 01-06-08, 12:46 AM
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Originally Posted by Tom Bombadil View Post
So was it a "tires slide out from under you" or "go over the handlebars" or "nearly had it under control until I lost my balance" or "Bang, you're on the ground - what the heck happened?" crash?
Gosh, I guess my crash doesn't rate much around here.

No one has asked diddley about the details, or the current condition of me and my bike...but that's OK, I'm used to being ignored by the blowhards and literary snobs and animal right fanatics in here!



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Old 01-06-08, 01:02 AM
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That's what happens when you hijack a thread.
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Old 01-06-08, 01:12 AM
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Well, I think it's scary either one of you crashed. That's when I got hit by the car, too, was in a rainstorm. What happens? Does the bike hydroplane?
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Old 01-06-08, 01:24 AM
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Originally Posted by solveg View Post
Well, I think it's scary either one of you crashed. That's when I got hit by the car, too, was in a rainstorm. What happens? Does the bike hydroplane?
Hey, don't ask me, ask the original poster.

I ain't no thread hijacker...


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Old 01-06-08, 01:43 AM
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Actually, bikes don't "hydroplane" (climb up on top of a thin layer of water trapped between the tire and the road surface).

Unlike an automobile tire, the tires on a bike are not flat from edge to edge, so water is more easily forced sideways out from under the tire.

There is still the fact that wet pavement has less traction than dry pavement to deal with.
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Old 01-06-08, 01:43 AM
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Originally Posted by solveg View Post
Well, I think it's scary either one of you crashed. That's when I got hit by the car, too, was in a rainstorm. What happens? Does the bike hydroplane?
More seriously...

I think the main reason I went down is that I was going so slow -- out of respect for the rain -- that the slightest mistake resulted in a slow motion fall. I went over some sunken railroad tracks at a very slight angle, and the front tire just slid sideways along the track. I was going maybe 6 mph. If I'd been going faster, it probably would have been ok. But if I had crashed going faster, the results would have been much worse.

I've been riding for almost 12 years, and have ridden over 40 thousand miles in that time...but this is the first time I've ever ridden in a real rainstorm, so I didn't have anything to fall back on, experience-wise.

What I realized is that, FOR ME, to ride in the rain, I really want fenders and soft, knobby tires. And probably use shoes and flat pedals. I know many cyclists can ride road bikes in the rain and deal with it...

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Old 01-06-08, 02:09 AM
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I'm glad you weren't hurt too bad. I did my bit for riding in the rain today by buying a new rain suit. That storm that hit California is due to pummel us Monday night and I want to be ready.
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Old 01-06-08, 03:35 AM
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Now all these hard men who make a big point of having a fall at slow speed when it is obvious that they do not have the skill to control a bike in a fall. You need more practice so I suggest you get out on those hills and find a Big gnarly tree rooted section of Single track and practice riding it. Get a few falls into 6" of Mud or a soft bed of Leaves as practice and you will be ready to go out on the road and do it with style.
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Old 01-06-08, 04:59 AM
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Originally Posted by stapfam View Post
Now all these hard men who make a big point of having a fall at slow speed when it is obvious that they do not have the skill to control a bike in a fall. You need more practice so I suggest you get out on those hills and find a Big gnarly tree rooted section of Single track and practice riding it. Get a few falls into 6" of Mud or a soft bed of Leaves as practice and you will be ready to go out on the road and do it with style.
Actually, this is great advice. We tend to be so successful at not falling that when we do fall
it's not only a shocking suprise...but something we are not at all skilled at. Any Mtn. Bikers,
downhill skiers, water skiers etc can most certainly relate to this. Falling is a learned skill.

I'm still commuting over 75% of the time and I can't remember the last time I rode on dry
pavement. Up here we consider bare pavement a blessing this time of the year. I cross
railroad tracks twice daily, ride always on repaired blacktop cracks (kinda a slippery black
caulking material), water-filled hidden potholes (they tend to procreate overnight), and
have learned to expect gravity to win at any time. Falls are part of balance based recreation
and do require skillsets.

All that being said, falls can and often do cause injury and damage. I'm relieved no-one here
has been seriously hurt recently.

Happy trails
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Old 01-06-08, 08:12 AM
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Originally Posted by Big Paulie View Post
No one has asked diddley about the details, or the current condition of me and my bike...but that's OK, I'm used to being ignored by the blowhards and literary snobs and animal right fanatics in here!

We were just being respectful, and figured you didn't want to talk about it.
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Old 01-06-08, 08:49 AM
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Chapter 9 in your continuing saga as a cyclist in the Western World. Glad you weren't injured, AND that you took the plunge to ride in the elements. Not all cyclist will take this step. You did. Cudos!
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Old 01-06-08, 10:05 AM
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Big Paulie says he wants soft knobby tires to ride in the rain. I remember someone saying that knobby tires on the road would offer no advantage in wet conditions. True or false?
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