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Falling over...another embarrassing day

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Falling over...another embarrassing day

Old 06-11-18, 05:03 AM
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Hunterdog
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Falling over...another embarrassing day

Yesterday I was out for a nice ride, 60+ miles, and had finished about 45 miles. My route required that I ride through some in town riding. As I was going from red light to red light, because of the proximity of cars, I had to stop in a depression, not really a pot hole, but enough to cause me to start losing balance. I try to pull my right foot out of the clipless pedal and, of course, pull myself right over and fall. Nice. A couple of bruises and hugely wounded pride. I must do this once or twice a year.
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Old 06-11-18, 05:57 AM
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I had several (more than I can recall) embarrassing public crashes while first getting accustomed to clipless pedals. I became a bit more cautious and accomplished after each one. Don't sweat it!
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Old 06-11-18, 06:35 AM
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Join us at "Club Tombay".
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Old 06-11-18, 07:22 AM
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For mixed riding that includes a lot of stop and starts I now use double sided MTB pedals and MTB shoes. The shoes allow me to walk around no problems with the recessed cleats, no worry about pedal position, and when doing short runs between stops I sometimes don't click in. I also back off the spring tension.

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Old 06-11-18, 07:44 AM
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Once a year? You should work on track stands in a grassy area so you don't have to unclip or as a minimum have more time to unclip if you have too.
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Old 06-11-18, 08:28 AM
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When first learning how to clip into SPD's a decade or more ago, I fell over at intersection a handful of times, including once right in front of these high school girls doing a bikini car wash. That bothered me a lot until I bought my first electric unicycle.

I then proceeded to crash, step off, or fall and roll at just about every intersection between my home and my work. It got so bad that I started finding pieces of foam padding from my unicycle during my commute. In total, it was probably a few dozen crashes at intersection and at least hundreds elsewhere. I even crashed in front of a little league baseball team, and got cheers and claps for that one (sharp manhole cover).

The human mind is adaptable; just keep doing the hardest thing and soon it'll be no problem. If you get embarrassed from a little thing like a tip over, then just do it a bunch of time.
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Old 06-11-18, 08:44 AM
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It happens to more of us than are willing to admit it. I did an organized ride this last weekend and pulled into a rest stop planning to stop in one area and pulled one foot out in preparation to stop. At the last minute, I decided to stop in a different area there and turned the wrong way as I came to a halt with the foot I needed still clipped in and the other foot useless for my current conditions of balance. So needless to say I was just a piece of timber being felled and had to endure the moment among thirty or so witnesses.

It was nice though that the dirt and mud on my backside prompted others that passed me later during the ride to start a conversation instead of passing in silence.
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Old 06-11-18, 08:45 AM
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It’s called doing the turtle!

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Old 06-11-18, 08:57 AM
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I've done it twice. Once I unclipped the left foot and the bike fell to the right, and later that same day I was staring at my front wheel when I noticed a group in front of me had stopped in the middle of the road on a hill to walk their bikes, and I had no option but to hit the brakes.

Oh well, just learn to land on your shoulder instead of sticking arms out to catch yourself.
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Old 06-11-18, 09:50 AM
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I'm still very new to clipless....and it happened yesterday for me, on the Tour de Cure Charity ride.
3 or 4 riders in front of me stopped at an intersection, and I unclipped the right side, and went over on left (unclipped side) when stopping.
Talk about a slow motion, awkward, frozen in time moment.....

One of them helped me up, made sure I was OK (minor leg scratch, major embarrassment), and they left me to go climb the next hill.
Two of the guys there said it had also happened to them before, so I guess it does happen !!
I guess my lesson is I need to unclip sooner, and be aware of what foot I'm going to put down....
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Old 06-11-18, 09:58 AM
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I've stopped using clipless pedals, but still fell off bike, (with disc brakes, on 20" wheels, they're relatively huge)

Even at walking speed, going abruptly to zero... bike stopped , body remains in motion..

+ gravity ... truly , a Newtonian Physics event.





...
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Old 06-11-18, 10:08 AM
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I've got lots things in my life to keep me humble ... occasionally falling off my bike in front of other people while trying to unclip is just one in my repertoire.
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Old 06-11-18, 10:44 AM
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I haven't fallen 'yet' this year. Year is still young

Last edited by SylvainG; 06-11-18 at 12:32 PM. Reason: A word
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Old 06-11-18, 12:09 PM
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Tried clipless pedals. Decided that at my age and weight, falling even once can be significant...

Moved to BMX pedals. The nubs on them hold the rubber sole for 3/4 of a turn, most often I can bring the pedal up to the 8 o'clock position when stopped, pedaling backwards.

One day, when I first started using them, I tried to get my foot of the pedal while stopping, unsuccessfully I may add, stopped, and in slow motion I fell off to the right...

...right on top of my wife and her bike...

which then proceeded, in slow motion... to tip over while she was screaming at the top of her voice...

The whole neighborhood was amused!

Thankfully it wasn't in our neighborhood!...
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Old 06-11-18, 12:26 PM
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Originally Posted by jefnvk View Post
I've done it twice. Once I unclipped the left foot and the bike fell to the right, and later that same day I was staring at my front wheel when I noticed a group in front of me had stopped in the middle of the road on a hill to walk their bikes, and I had no option but to hit the brakes.

Oh well, just learn to land on your shoulder instead of sticking arms out to catch yourself.
Ain't that the truth, I used my hands to break a fall and fractured my elbow.
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Old 06-11-18, 12:36 PM
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Lucky guy here who has not yet fallen over since starting to use mountain style SPD pedals in the mid-90's. Probably helps that I had a couple of decades of experience first with toe clips and then Power Grips before going clipless. The pedals I use on my commuter bike and our tandem have clipless on one side and plain pinned on the other but seldom use the plain side.
Self-fulfilling prophecy: The odds of falling over are greater if you keep telling yourself that you will fall.
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Old 06-11-18, 04:49 PM
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IMHO...... Don't put your arms out to catch yourself. You will get hurt worse trying to break the fall with arms and hands. Don't land on just your shoulder either. The shoulder should be your final resting place unless you want to continue the role to your back.

Keep your hands on the bars and let your lower leg touch first sort of continue the roll up your body like they used to teach parachutists when round canopies were the thing. When you get over the scare and novelty, you can wind up on your back with the bike above you and just pedal away to divert some of the embarrassment away with humor.

I've never been hurt falling this way, though sometimes you get an abrasion that stings for a few days.
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Old 06-11-18, 07:32 PM
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Originally Posted by JanMM View Post
Lucky guy here who has not yet fallen over since starting to use mountain style SPD pedals in the mid-90's. Probably helps that I had a couple of decades of experience first with toe clips and then Power Grips before going clipless. The pedals I use on my commuter bike and our tandem have clipless on one side and plain pinned on the other but seldom use the plain side.
Self-fulfilling prophecy: The odds of falling over are greater if you keep telling yourself that you will fall.
Not sure how I would react to see two persons tipping over on a tandem...

Originally Posted by Iride01 View Post
IMHO...... Don't put your arms out to catch yourself. You will get hurt worse trying to break the fall with arms and hands. Don't land on just your shoulder either. The shoulder should be your final resting place unless you want to continue the role to your back.

Keep your hands on the bars and let your lower leg touch first sort of continue the roll up your body like they used to teach parachutists when round canopies were the thing. When you get over the scare and novelty, you can wind up on your back with the bike above you and just pedal away to divert some of the embarrassment away with humor.

I've never been hurt falling this way, though sometimes you get an abrasion that stings for a few days.
All four times I've fallen, I've fallen on my knee then hand, elbow and shoulder. All four time I've bled from my knee and elbow. Not fun. Must not know how to fall.
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Old 06-11-18, 07:39 PM
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Originally Posted by Hunterdog View Post
Yesterday I was out for a nice ride, 60+ miles, and had finished about 45 miles. My route required that I ride through some in town riding. As I was going from red light to red light, because of the proximity of cars, I had to stop in a depression, not really a pot hole, but enough to cause me to start losing balance. I try to pull my right foot out of the clipless pedal and, of course, pull myself right over and fall. Nice. A couple of bruises and hugely wounded pride. I must do this once or twice a year.
Is the bike okay?
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Old 06-12-18, 11:20 AM
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Other than getting hit by a car last month, the most recent time I had a clipless-style Tombay was riding my hybrid, which has platform pedals.

Sounds weird, I know.

I'd been so accustomed to the road bike and clipless that I'd come to rely on the palpable and audible *click*! So on one of the few occasions I took the hybrid with platform pedals for a casual group ride, I forgot what I was riding. I approached an intersection, twisted my left foot outward and... nothing. No reassuring click. As I slowed I frantically twisted my left foot trying to free it from the imaginary cleat lock. As I stopped I jerked my foot upward in a panic. As there was zero resistance, naturally I overcompensated and stumbled sideways without falling.

When I realized how idiotic this must have looked to the astonished driver behind me, I waved him on so I could catch my breath from laughing at myself.

Oh, this short video on angular momentum and torque is interesting, semi-apropos of cycling stuff.

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Old 06-12-18, 11:26 AM
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Regarding how-to-fall tips, meh. There's no one way that works for everybody, every time. Usually this stuff happens too quickly so it's mostly luck.

In the past when I've fallen I instinctively used my extended arm to break the fall. Other than an occasional elbow and forearm scrape, no problems.

When I got hit by a car last month (fairly slow speed, 5-10 mph), I held onto the grips and went down on my shoulder and rolled. Hard. Snapped the coracoid process, total dislocation. I knew what I was doing. Didn't help.

The results of falling are mostly dumb luck. If we're uninjured we congratulate ourselves on our lightning reflexes and self preservation skills. In reality, watching pros in road and off road events, this stuff happens too quickly for us to react. Occasionally we get lucky. Sometimes we don't.
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Old 06-12-18, 01:10 PM
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Last summer there was a dad riding with his 4-year old daughter and we were passing head on. I slowed way down in case the little girl cut in front of me, which she did at the last moment when she was 10 feet in front of me. I could have fallen in the grass but no, there was a sidewalk next to the drinking fountain 18 wide and of course I fell on the concrete. I got a scrape on my arm and a scratch on the face of my HRM watch. The father apologized profusely and helped me up. I now unclip any time I'm within 50 feet of little children.
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Old 06-12-18, 03:25 PM
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I just fell today, my foot got tangled up while I was trying to get off the bike. At work. In front of a dozen people. And in front of the security camera, which has someone watching live feed. No, not embarrassing in the slightest.

Fortunately I fell flat on my back, fortunate because I was wearing a backpack with two changes of clothes inside, which made a nice soft cushion. I'm not sure if I bopped the back of my head, between thickness of the backpack and the helmet I didn't feel a thing. However had my backpack not been 6 inches thick I would have a headache right now, because my head did go backwards uncontrolled.

All in all, my pride was all that took damage. The only thing for the bike was the seat was turned fully sideways and I had to realign it.
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Old 06-12-18, 04:06 PM
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Originally Posted by canklecat View Post
As I slowed I frantically twisted my left foot trying to free it from the imaginary cleat lock. As I stopped I jerked my foot upward in a panic. As there was zero resistance, naturally I overcompensated and stumbled sideways without falling.
I'm glad you weren't hurt because that is funny!
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Old 06-13-18, 06:10 AM
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Originally Posted by tagaproject6 View Post
Is the bike okay?
Bike is okay. Unlike rider, no emotional counselling needed!
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