Go Back  Bike Forums > Bike Forums > General Cycling Discussion
Reload this Page >

Which obstacles to avoid?

Notices
General Cycling Discussion Have a cycling related question or comment that doesn't fit in one of the other specialty forums? Drop on in and post in here! When possible, please select the forum above that most fits your post!

Which obstacles to avoid?

Old 06-28-17, 12:37 PM
  #1  
JoeMcD
Junior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jun 2017
Posts: 24
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 6 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Which obstacles to avoid?

I just recently started riding a road bike. I find myself having to watch the road condition like a hawk all the time to avoid running into anything. Moreover, because of the dropbars, I find that I am unable to look farther ahead or my neck hurts. I must be doing something wrong. What obstacles are safe to run over? Acrons? Pebbles less than an inch? Uneven asphalt, particularly near the edge of the manhole?
JoeMcD is offline  
Old 06-28-17, 12:45 PM
  #2  
DomaneS5
Fredly Fredster
 
DomaneS5's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2017
Posts: 616

Bikes: Trek Domane S5, Trek 1.1c, Motobecane Omni Strada Comp, Trek X-Caliber 6

Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 204 Post(s)
Liked 8 Times in 7 Posts
Originally Posted by JoeMcD View Post
I just recently started riding a road bike. I find myself having to watch the road condition like a hawk all the time to avoid running into anything. Moreover, because of the dropbars, I find that I am unable to look farther ahead or my neck hurts. I must be doing something wrong. What obstacles are safe to run over? Acrons? Pebbles less than an inch? Uneven asphalt, particularly near the edge of the manhole?


Parked cars and fire hydrants should be avoided at all costs.
DomaneS5 is offline  
Old 06-28-17, 12:52 PM
  #3  
memebag
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2013
Location: Houston, TX
Posts: 1,597

Bikes: 2017 Cannondale CAAD12 105, 2014 Giant Escape City

Mentioned: 4 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 820 Post(s)
Liked 3 Times in 3 Posts
First, something is bad wrong if you can't look forward without hurting your neck. You may not be flexible enough for your bike, or your fit could be bad.

Second, avoid every obstacle that might harm you. Some obstacles in that set are the same for everyone (cars, people, walls, etc.), but others are specific to you. I can ride over a bunch of stuff now that used to threaten my balance.
memebag is offline  
Old 06-28-17, 01:00 PM
  #4  
Fastfingaz
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2013
Posts: 1,354
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 159 Post(s)
Liked 7 Times in 6 Posts
Little Ol ladies crossing the street,,,
Fastfingaz is offline  
Old 06-28-17, 01:01 PM
  #5  
mcours2006
Senior Member
 
mcours2006's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2014
Location: Toronto, CANADA
Posts: 6,028

Bikes: Giant Rapid, Bianchi Advantage, Specialized Roubaix, 1985 Gardin Quatro, Norco Threshold, Raleigh Serengheti MTB

Mentioned: 47 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1928 Post(s)
Liked 259 Times in 148 Posts
Broken glass.
mcours2006 is offline  
Old 06-28-17, 01:07 PM
  #6  
JoeMcD
Junior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jun 2017
Posts: 24
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 6 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by DomaneS5 View Post


Parked cars and fire hydrants should be avoided at all costs.
JoeMcD is offline  
Old 06-28-17, 01:13 PM
  #7  
Machka 
In Real Life
 
Machka's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: Down under down under
Posts: 52,010

Bikes: Lots

Mentioned: 139 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 3160 Post(s)
Liked 418 Times in 251 Posts
1. Get your bicycle set up correctly.

2. Don't ride in the drops. Ride on the hoods.
Machka is offline  
Old 06-28-17, 01:21 PM
  #8  
canklecat
Me duelen las nalgas
 
canklecat's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2015
Location: Texas
Posts: 12,293

Bikes: Centurion Ironman, Trek 5900, Univega Via Carisma, Globe Carmel

Mentioned: 186 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 3958 Post(s)
Liked 1,720 Times in 1,107 Posts
Regarding the neck strain -- assuming the bike fits you appropriately -- you should work on neck and back strength and flexibility in addition to riding.

I need to do this almost every day, otherwise I'd never be able to ride a bike at all, let alone a drop bar road bike. Old neck and back injury and damaged C2 vertebrae from a car wreck umpteen years ago.

Just the basics to start -- neck rolls, shoulder rolls, etc. Gradually ease into strengthening. Stop whenever your neck is hurting and do some more stretches and massage the neck and shoulder muscles. I usually need to stop every 5-10 miles on the road bike to do this. I can ride farther with less discomfort on my upright hybrids, but I'm determined to get back into shape for the drop bar bike.

Regarding road hazards, avoid 'em all with skinny tire road bikes. They'll stumble over their own shadows, compared with bikes with fatter tires at lower pressure. A parking lot entrance ramp ledge that a 700x38 or wider tire would ignore might knock a skinny road bike tire off balance, if taken at the wrong angle. Ditto railroad track crossings, rutted and broken asphalt, etc. Avoid 'em all, if possible, or take the crossings perpendicularly at right angles.

And even puncture resistant road bike tires are vulnerable compared with puncture resistant hybrid tires. So avoid 'em all if you can.

That's why you need to work on neck conditioning. And don't just plow ahead with your head down when you're too tired to keep your head up. Stop and rest and massage the neck and shoulders.
canklecat is offline  
Old 06-28-17, 01:44 PM
  #9  
JoeMcD
Junior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jun 2017
Posts: 24
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 6 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by canklecat View Post
Regarding the neck strain -- assuming the bike fits you appropriately -- you should work on neck and back strength and flexibility in addition to riding.

I need to do this almost every day, otherwise I'd never be able to ride a bike at all, let alone a drop bar road bike. Old neck and back injury and damaged C2 vertebrae from a car wreck umpteen years ago.

Just the basics to start -- neck rolls, shoulder rolls, etc. Gradually ease into strengthening. Stop whenever your neck is hurting and do some more stretches and massage the neck and shoulder muscles. I usually need to stop every 5-10 miles on the road bike to do this. I can ride farther with less discomfort on my upright hybrids, but I'm determined to get back into shape for the drop bar bike.

Regarding road hazards, avoid 'em all with skinny tire road bikes. They'll stumble over their own shadows, compared with bikes with fatter tires at lower pressure. A parking lot entrance ramp ledge that a 700x38 or wider tire would ignore might knock a skinny road bike tire off balance, if taken at the wrong angle. Ditto railroad track crossings, rutted and broken asphalt, etc. Avoid 'em all, if possible, or take the crossings perpendicularly at right angles.

And even puncture resistant road bike tires are vulnerable compared with puncture resistant hybrid tires. So avoid 'em all if you can.

That's why you need to work on neck conditioning. And don't just plow ahead with your head down when you're too tired to keep your head up. Stop and rest and massage the neck and shoulders.
Thank you for the helpful tips! I will admit the bike is an inch larger than my recommended frame size. I didn't think it would make much of a difference because I was ok during the test ride. Now that it's bought, I will just have to cope with it.
JoeMcD is offline  
Old 06-28-17, 01:45 PM
  #10  
ddeand 
Senior Member
 
ddeand's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: Twin Cities
Posts: 899
Mentioned: 14 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 199 Post(s)
Liked 92 Times in 44 Posts
I'll second the suggestion regarding the fit and neck exercises.

Watch out for the basic road impediments (glass, sticks, rocks/gravel), but also be aware of longitudinal seams in the pavement. They can grab your tire and throw you for a loop! I usually find them where the road asphalt meets the concrete gutter.
__________________
Some days, it's not even worth gnawing through the restraints.
ddeand is offline  
Old 06-28-17, 01:46 PM
  #11  
GlennR
On Your Left
 
GlennR's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: Long Island, New York, USA
Posts: 7,714

Bikes: Trek Emonda SLR, Sram eTap, Zipp 303

Mentioned: 32 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2549 Post(s)
Liked 1,671 Times in 858 Posts
Doors opening on parked cars.
GlennR is offline  
Old 06-28-17, 01:59 PM
  #12  
canklecat
Me duelen las nalgas
 
canklecat's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2015
Location: Texas
Posts: 12,293

Bikes: Centurion Ironman, Trek 5900, Univega Via Carisma, Globe Carmel

Mentioned: 186 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 3958 Post(s)
Liked 1,720 Times in 1,107 Posts
Originally Posted by JoeMcD View Post
Thank you for the helpful tips! I will admit the bike is an inch larger than my recommended frame size. I didn't think it would make much of a difference because I was ok during the test ride. Now that it's bought, I will just have to cope with it.
That's not necessarily a bad thing. Sizes are somewhat flexible. My favorite bike is 58cm, technically slightly large for me (I'm 5'11", 33" inseam). I can straddle it flat footed but there ain't much room for Johnson and the twins. But with 175 cranks, a longer top tube, etc., it's like riding a sofa bike. I can ride it all day and night without getting tired. I suppose it would be closer to a French Fit if I used drop bars, which I might someday as my neck conditioning improves.

My new-to-me (going on three weeks and about 15 rides) road bike is a 22.5" 1989 vintage Centurion Ironman. Technically 57cm, although Centurion had no such official size in the catalog so it was probably rounded down to 56cm or up to 58cm. But it's very noticeably shorter than my 58cm Univega. It has 172.5 cranks, shorter top tube, steeper head tube angle, very "sporty" ride that translates into more neck pain. Took about three weeks to finish some 10-20 mile rides without stopping for a minute to stretch my back and neck.
canklecat is offline  
Old 06-28-17, 02:07 PM
  #13  
canklecat
Me duelen las nalgas
 
canklecat's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2015
Location: Texas
Posts: 12,293

Bikes: Centurion Ironman, Trek 5900, Univega Via Carisma, Globe Carmel

Mentioned: 186 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 3958 Post(s)
Liked 1,720 Times in 1,107 Posts
BTW, if you're not accustomed to taking lane control where appropriate, start getting used to it.

I don't mean to get off into a digression about cyclists vs drivers. Not my point. I mean do what's necessary for your own safety.

That means do not ride in the gutter or "as far right as possible". That's not what any cycling law says -- it's "as far right as practicable". Totally different word and legal interpretation. It means you aren't mandated to ride in the rutted, busted up pavement, or in the broken glass and construction debris along the road side.

My usual practice when I need to share a lane with vehicles is to take the rightmost wheel track. This is usually clear of oil, debris, and is smoother from years of wheels rounding off those rough edges in chipseal (our atrocious rural Texas "pavement"). It makes me more visible and generally encourages considerate drivers to pass safely.

If I try to hug the edge, I'm constantly distracted by watching for busted up pavement and broken glass, when my attention should include traffic around me. And hugging the road edge only confuses drivers. They're not sure whether or how to pass us. And we're less visible in tricky lighting.

So make yourself safer by using appropriate lane control so you avoid most road hazards and also help drivers by making it clear that we're sharing the road. It may seem counter intuitive but most drivers will pass safely more often when you ride this way.
canklecat is offline  
Old 06-28-17, 02:33 PM
  #14  
CAT7RDR
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 2017
Location: Hacienda Hgts
Posts: 1,001

Bikes: 1999 Schwinn Peloton Ultegra 10, Kestrel RT-1000 Ultegra, Trek Marlin 6 Deore 29'er

Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 350 Post(s)
Liked 662 Times in 368 Posts
By my own recent experience, be aware of low hanging branches and railroad tracks. Crashes, concussions and expensive bike repairs were my lessons for not always keeping my vision on the road ahead.
CAT7RDR is offline  
Old 06-28-17, 03:59 PM
  #15  
bobwysiwyg
Senior Member
 
bobwysiwyg's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2016
Location: 961' 42.28 N, 83.78 W (A2)
Posts: 2,344

Bikes: Mongoose Selous, Trek DS

Mentioned: 8 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 941 Post(s)
Liked 318 Times in 188 Posts
"That means do not ride in the gutter or "as far right as possible". That's not what any cycling law says -- it's "as far right as practicable". Totally different word and legal interpretation. It means you aren't mandated to ride in the rutted, busted up pavement, or in the broken glass and construction debris along the road side."

And it should be noted the cyclist decides what's practical.
bobwysiwyg is offline  
Old 06-28-17, 04:28 PM
  #16  
katsup
Senior Member
 
katsup's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2016
Location: Southern California
Posts: 1,394

Bikes: 2020 Soma Fog Cutter, 2021 Polygon Siskiu T8 and Vintage Mountain Bikes

Mentioned: 15 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 472 Post(s)
Liked 321 Times in 185 Posts
Originally Posted by CAT7RDR View Post
By my own recent experience, be aware of low hanging branches and railroad tracks. Crashes, concussions and expensive bike repairs were my lessons for not always keeping my vision on the road ahead.
I've learned my lesson the hard way with low hanging branches as well. Luckily, I saw it at the last second and got my head down so my helmet took the hit. I was able to stay on the bike.
katsup is offline  
Old 06-28-17, 04:43 PM
  #17  
CliffordK
Senior Member
 
CliffordK's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2014
Location: Eugene, Oregon, USA
Posts: 24,968
Mentioned: 202 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 13047 Post(s)
Liked 1,730 Times in 1,309 Posts
I've noticed that my helmet visors cut off a bit of my upper peripheral vision. So, the first thing that goes when I get a new helmet is the visor. Lately I've been wondering about eyebrows

One of my worst recent pinch flats was skimming the edge of a sewer grate at dark, there were some deep cracks in the pavement. At least that one, I look out for and avoid. I suppose avoid pavement cracks in general.

Things like 2x4s are good for giving you pinch flats. I try to avoid gravel, but sometimes it is unavoidable.

Originally Posted by DomaneS5 View Post


Parked cars and fire hydrants should be avoided at all costs.
Moving cars? Trees? Mailboxes? Those garbage cans that people like to put in the middle of bike paths? Deer?

CliffordK is offline  
Old 06-28-17, 04:53 PM
  #18  
doctor j
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Central Louisiana
Posts: 3,055
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 41 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 4 Times in 1 Post
Be careful with edges, such as manholes and the junction between pavement and a bridge. If the edge is tall enough and you hit it with too much speed, you will compress the tire/tube against the wheel and get what is known as a pinch flat or snakebite flat. There will be two small holes on the inner circumference of the inner tube.

Don't run over plastic shopping bags, a/k/a Arkansas Tumble Weeds. They can get wrapped up in your chain/rear derailleur and bring you to a quick halt.

Watch out for sticks/limbs as they can get hung in your chain, spokes, and derailleurs.

Gravel on otherwise paved roads can be deleterious to control of your bike, especially in corners. Larger rocks can cause pinch flats.

As you get more miles in, you'll learn more about obstacles, what to avoid, and how to react.
doctor j is offline  
Old 06-28-17, 05:04 PM
  #19  
Gresp15C
Senior Member
 
Gresp15C's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2014
Posts: 3,456
Mentioned: 18 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 903 Post(s)
Liked 406 Times in 281 Posts
When I look at cyclists passing me on road bikes, or coming the other way, typically their elbows are locked, meaning that their bars are too low for comfort. I suspect people are attracted to the look of super low bars, but that they aren't really appropriate for most of us.

I ride swept bars, with no shame. Comfort for miles and miles.
Gresp15C is offline  
Old 06-28-17, 05:06 PM
  #20  
CliffordK
Senior Member
 
CliffordK's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2014
Location: Eugene, Oregon, USA
Posts: 24,968
Mentioned: 202 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 13047 Post(s)
Liked 1,730 Times in 1,309 Posts
Oh,
And don't run over those little shards of wires thrown off by bald radial tires.

They're like hypodermic needles to bike tires.
CliffordK is offline  
Old 06-28-17, 05:26 PM
  #21  
1989Pre
Standard Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Brunswick, Maine
Posts: 2,814

Bikes: 1948 P. Barnard & Son, 1962 Rudge Sports, 1963 Freddie Grubb Routier, 1980 Manufrance Hirondelle, 1983 F. Moser Sprint, 1989 Raleigh Technium Pre, 2001 Raleigh M80

Mentioned: 18 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 719 Post(s)
Liked 15 Times in 12 Posts
Avoid everything you see, no matter how small, on a road bike. You'll probably be going too fast to accurately identify it, and it could be sharp. The 1/2" asphalt chunks up here, that are spewed everywhere when there is roadwork going on contain a lot of mica, which shreds tires. So avoid everything you can, but if you get a flat, don't worry: It's a good excuse to take a 10-minute break.
1989Pre is offline  
Old 06-28-17, 05:35 PM
  #22  
wolfchild
Senior Member
 
wolfchild's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Mississauga/Toronto, Ontario canada
Posts: 6,490

Bikes: I have 3 singlespeed/fixed gear bikes

Mentioned: 22 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1980 Post(s)
Liked 747 Times in 389 Posts
Be careful of other cyclists sneaking up from behind and passing too closely.
wolfchild is offline  
Old 06-28-17, 08:09 PM
  #23  
italktocats
Senior Member
 
italktocats's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2013
Posts: 886
Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 150 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
dont run over anything in corners, if you hit a nut on the front wheel youll most likely slowside in an instant
italktocats is offline  
Old 06-28-17, 08:39 PM
  #24  
Maelochs
Senior Member
 
Maelochs's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2015
Posts: 12,672

Bikes: 2015 Workswell 066, 2014 Dawes Sheila, 1983 Cannondale 500, 1984 Raleigh Olympian, 2007 Cannondale Rize 4, 2017 Fuji Sportif 1 LE

Mentioned: 142 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 6066 Post(s)
Liked 940 Times in 532 Posts
Simplest thing ... look ahead, not down. Learn to do that. if you are looking down you won't have time to avoid the little things ... and it won't matter because you will die.

Would ride as a passenger in a car with a driver who only looked ten feet ahead? Would you let your children (assuming you like your kids, of course)?

Raise the stem, shorten the stem if needed. Ride on the hoods or the drops, Practice. I am not joking. if you only look ten feet ahead you will be a statistic. At the speed things happen on the road, you need max field of vision.

On the way there i strongly recommend suburban neighborhood riding. you will see enough pavement cracks and storm grates, cars parked in the road, kids running out of driveways, to give you enough riding challenge to give you some confidence and also some safe miles.

"Bike handling" is a loose term that basically means "not falling over" and "going around obstacles without crashing." if I were you I would practice riding on smooth grass, smooth pavement, and also the transition between the two. I would recommend doing a few panic stops every day---practice stopping as hard as you can, see if you can lock up the back wheel ... you will develop instincts which could save your life.

I would practice doing tight-radius turns. Try to do a u-turn in one lane of a road.

Riding on grass and slightly uneven turf will help your confidence because the bike will bounce a little, and you will learn to relax and let it ... to Ride the bike, and not lock it in a death grip ....

You can also ride slowly on packed earth, even with really hard skinny tires. This is great because you gain confidence, and if the soil shifts a little, you will instinctively keep the bike upright and be thrilled at your own innate skill.

People nowadays have the idea that a skinny-tire road bike can only ride on smooth pavement. That's where they are best, for sure ... but you can ride them on all kinds of surfaces.
Maelochs is offline  
Old 06-28-17, 09:23 PM
  #25  
Wileyrat
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2013
Location: Tucson Az
Posts: 1,613

Bikes: 2015 Ridley Fenix, 1983 Team Fuji, 2019 Marin Nail Trail 6, and a few dust collectors

Mentioned: 3 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 321 Post(s)
Liked 166 Times in 109 Posts
All of them if possible.

You really should learn how to ride across railroad tracks, metal grates, metal expansion joints, and grated bridge decks, to name a few.
Wileyrat 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.