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On becoming one with the asphalt

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On becoming one with the asphalt

Old 10-28-08, 07:13 AM
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On becoming one with the asphalt

Monday, October 20 I was riding a Trek 7.2 FX in Clinton, Tennessee. I was halfway through a planned 50 mile solo ride. Traffic became a little heavy where I was and I decided to shoot up a driveway apron and onto a sidewalk for a while. The apron had a lip that raised it about an inch and a quarter above the level of the pavement. Somehow it caught my wheel and flipped the bike out from under me. I hit the asphalt at about 14 miles per hour. After getting my breath back and taking inventory, I rode on another couple of miles and got a hamburger. Then I called my wife. I could tell I was going to be too stiff and sore to ride back home.

I thought I would ride again in a day or two. It has been a week and my muscles are still a little too sore for riding regularly, although much better than they were. Moral of the story: do not crash when you are 62 years old.

Thanks to Google's Street View, I can go on-line and view the exact place where I crashed. It is the driveway on the east side of the road at 1152 N Charles G Sievers Blvd. (I was northbound.) Google says that address cannot be found, but I can get to it by clicking along the road and then scrolling a little. If you want to see it, it is just a block south of Longmire. The lip that got me is quite visible.
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Old 10-28-08, 07:17 AM
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My first major crash was also on a driveway lip. They have the ability to hide (black on black) and hitting them at too shallow an angle will kick your wheels out every time. Beware (next time). This is one of those crashes like railroad track gaps that everyone should learn about from others experiences...

Hope you heal soon. Did you get up and check the bike out before yourself?..
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Old 10-28-08, 07:30 AM
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I "came to" after a few seconds. The wind was knocked out of me. I got up as soon as I could and picked up a few things that fell out of my shirt pocket. Then I dragged myself and the bike over to the grass. I did not feel so good, so I leaned the bike against a stop sign post and lay down on the grass. Not much time passed because a policeman stopped to see how I was. He was in the oncoming traffic and saw me crash. He turned around as soon as he could, but by that time I was already on the grass. After I finished talking with him, I checked the bike. The handlebars were a little out of alignment. My $14 helmet from Wal-Mart was cracked in two places, but I never had even a headache.

Below is a screenshot from Google Maps. I ended up on the asphalt drive between the white overlay band with the street name and the painted arrow pointing toward the street. The stop sign post is at the left of the view.
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Last edited by twobikes; 10-28-08 at 07:31 AM. Reason: misspelled "shirt"
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Old 10-28-08, 07:34 AM
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Sorry about the crash but thankfully there weren't any broken parts.

As MaddM pointed out it's important to hit any changes in grade like that as close to 90 degrees as possible/practical.
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Old 10-28-08, 08:00 AM
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Originally Posted by jppe View Post
Sorry about the crash but thankfully there weren't any broken parts.

As MaddM pointed out it's important to hit any changes in grade like that as close to 90 degrees as possible/practical.
I have always known about the danger of hitting railroad tracks at an oblique angle. I should have thought more about driveway lips. I do not recall ever encountering one that pronounced before or I always had reason to take it at nearly a right angle.
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Old 10-28-08, 08:02 AM
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Originally Posted by twobikes View Post
Below is a screenshot from Google Maps.
Yep. Got one just like it at each end of my commute. Signal early, swing out wide, take it straight on.
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Old 10-28-08, 08:05 AM
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That was neat you were able to get a pic from google.
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Old 10-28-08, 08:15 AM
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Goodness!! I'm glad it wasn't worse. What a tough way to learn a
lesson! Of course, it's always advisable to try to hit the bump at as
close to a 90 degree angle as posible. But, if I can't get a good angle
on level changes such as that, I lift the front wheel over and if the
rear kicks out I just correct by counter-steering. Lifting the front at
speed isn't too hard to do with a little practice. (Doesn't work with
my recumbents though.)


I hope you're back on two wheels soon.

Happy Trails
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Old 10-28-08, 08:16 AM
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Think it is really true that slow speed crashes are the worst. Due to my own stupidity I went over the front of the bike going down a really steep hill at 10 mph. Finally went for some medical advice after 2 months of things not really improving. MRI on the shoulder showed no tears, much to my surprise. In rehab right now. The advice my 30 year old doc gave me was: "Do as much as you can until you can't stand the pain!"
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Old 10-28-08, 08:16 AM
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Hope your feel better soon. Falls at slower speeds can be harder on the body and helmets.
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Old 10-28-08, 08:21 AM
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Originally Posted by 10 Wheels View Post
That was neat you were able to get a pic from google.
It was rather simple. Bring up the image you want in Google or anything else. Press the PrtScrn/SysRq button on your computer keyboard. Open MS Paint (assuming you have a Windows machine). Pull down Edit and click on Paste. Drag the dotted cropping border around the portion of the screen image you want. Pull down Edit and click on Cut. Close that window without saving. Open a new MS Paint window. Pull down Edit and click on Paste. Save the file with the name and format you choose.

Maybe someone knows a better way.
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Old 10-28-08, 08:48 AM
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I think most of us go through what you experienced and your right about going down in our later years. I went down going 25 mph and it took about 4 months before my ribs felt right again. Anyway good luck with the healing and take care.
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Old 10-28-08, 08:57 AM
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Glad there were no serious injuries and hope you're feeling better soon.

I have a similar problem at the end of my driveway and always hit it head on.
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Old 10-28-08, 10:44 AM
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Originally Posted by 10 Wheels View Post
That was neat you were able to get a pic from google.
I was going to say the same thing. Technology is amazing. Even without the picture, I feel your pain. Been there. Your post helps to remind us of these "little" things of which to be aware.
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Old 10-28-08, 11:06 AM
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My one and only crash (knock on wood) is from a driveway lip as well. Going to slow hit the lip and over I went.

Here's to a speedy recovery.
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Old 10-28-08, 12:02 PM
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I hit a driveway lip like that once at about 18 mph. Lost a lot of skin and trashed an almost new Shimano wheel! Of course I was younger (56), so no worries. Also managed not to hit my head.

Good to hear you survived and didn't hurt the bike much!

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Old 10-28-08, 12:21 PM
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Good to hear you are ok.. How was the burger?
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Old 10-28-08, 01:00 PM
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Originally Posted by MadeInItaly View Post
Good to hear you are ok.. How was the burger?
It was a Wendy's #1 combo and was pretty good. I was feeling a little queasy standing in the counter line and the smell of fresh, hot grease made me wonder if I really wanted to eat it. But, it was already 2 PM and I had just ridden a bit more than 25 miles, so it was a good thing to eat it.

Thank you, all, for your good wishes.
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Old 10-28-08, 01:06 PM
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I love the guys that post here saying they were going 20MPH when they fell. We're talking serious injury! 14MPH... Ouch! I guess you know it could have been worse. I'd propably just laid there and called the wife, forget the hamburger.

Glad you're ok
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Old 10-28-08, 01:38 PM
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Ouch!

Glad you're okay. I ran into a curb once and fell into a puddle of water; darn curb was right in front of me but I was day dreaming or something. Funny how I still remember it and have avoided (knock wood) future falls of this nature.
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Old 10-28-08, 02:59 PM
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Originally Posted by twobikes View Post
Thanks to Google's Street View, I can go on-line and view the exact place where I crashed. It is the driveway on the east side of the road at 1152 N Charles G Sievers Blvd. (I was northbound.) Google says that address cannot be found, but I can get to it by clicking along the road and then scrolling a little. If you want to see it, it is just a block south of Longmire. The lip that got me is quite visible.
Somewhere someone who monitors a satellite camera got a good laugh.

I just witnessed a zero speed fall the other day. I stopped at a drugstore on the way home and up rides this 10-12 yr old kid on a nice bike. A Kona mountain bike. He was way too small for the bike and as I was watching him, I was thinking, how does he get on and off of that thing? About two seconds later, he brought the bike to a stop and promptly fell off of it. He was fine, like all kids of that age who can seemingly absorb just about anything.
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Old 10-28-08, 03:00 PM
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Originally Posted by spoke50 View Post
I'd probably just call for a hamburger.
Fixed.
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Old 10-28-08, 05:43 PM
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That really sucks man.
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Old 10-28-08, 06:41 PM
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Glad you're okay. Age (58) has definitely altered my attitude about falling. At 30, I still didn't think it would happen to me. At 40, I knew I would heal. Now, every time I go downhill over 25 or so I think about how long a fall would put me off the bike. And of course, the bike is more expensive to fix than my old ones. I use my brakes even on straightaways, think about flats and unseen ruts, just generally use a lot more caution than I used to. Gary
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Old 10-28-08, 07:50 PM
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I had a similar experience about a year ago, at age 60. I was in a bike lane going down a grade, doing close to 20 mph (pretty screamin' for a Trek comfort bike) when I ran into road construction and saw a driveway to duck into. I failed to notice the high lip and the front tire skidded and I flew off the bike sideways. Skinned knees, elbow, and leg, torn clothing, but nothing worse. My head felt funny and when I felt the side of my helmet, it had gravel embedded in it. The side of the helmet was cracked and I have come to greatly appreciate the protection a helmet provides. It must have looked spectacular, traffic stopped to check on my welfare. I managed to make it home OK - 17 miles of ow-ie. The bike was pretty much unscathed since I flew off of it and it crashed without any weight on it, just had to twist the quill handlebar stem to point the right way again.
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