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almost got hit by car, hit brakes hard= fell

Old 08-16-21, 02:41 PM
  #1  
freckles
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almost got hit by car, hit brakes hard= fell

Just a mile from home and a car pulled out fast blindly from a driveway onto a one way "sharrow". I hit my BF brake's hard and . Ouchie just below my left knee. Last time I fell was over 20 years ago ( coincidentally also a big gap not bicycling).


My Oma has roller brakes and is laid back (center far from front wheel), can't really brake hard, glides to a stop and I think I would of bumped into the car while braking if on Oma.


My BF has disc brakes, feels like I'm right behind the front wheel. So when I hit the brakes, the bike stopped really quick but my body was still... moving forward. I think the back wheel lifted up a bit and while stopped, I tumbled a bit forward with my bike to the left side, landed below my knee and got a nice little road rash. The fall tweaked my handlebars and left brake handle from their original position.


So while I love the disc brakes, what can I do for when this happens again? I feel super lucky that I basically fell over while nearly stopped. I feel like I am leaning back while braking. But when approaching a downhill red light, braking is more abrupt (compared to roller brakes) and I sometimes feel the rear tire lift a bit as I come to the stop and land my foot down. My center of gravity moves more forward as I lean up and forward to get off seat.


Should I lengthen the brake handle range? I pull the handle about 1/2 way currently.

Do I need to practice braking the rear brake harder than the front?

Am I supposed to pulse disc brakes? Does that control it better?


What am I doing wrong and how can I improve?
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Old 08-16-21, 03:06 PM
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Every situation is different. Some might be better to brake hard and take the fall as opposed to doing all the proper braking and keeping it under control just to find yourself being run over by the other vehicle.

Front brake on a normal bicycle will usually stop you quickest. But that quick stopping power has the potential to flip you over. Especially if you are going downhill. Also, max braking on the front might cause you to not be able to steer well in a turn and your front wheel lock up and go out from under you. I'd much rather lock up the back wheel and have it go out from under me than the front.

It's not something you can really practice to the max. You just gain experience over time and with the falls you survive.

I'd recommend you learn what not to do when you do fall with your bike and commit that to memory. My number one rule is keep my hands on the bars. Don't try to catch your fall with your hands. That is almost a certain wrist fracture or broken clavicle.
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Old 08-16-21, 03:07 PM
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Practice. Don't do anything that makes your brakes less efficient, just be glad you can brake hard and learn how to use that braking power appropriately. Your front brake does the lion's share of the braking. Applying the rear brake helps, but too much and you'll lose rear wheel traction and skid. Learn to push yourself back away from the bars to counter rear wheel lift under hard braking. Part of this "practice" will be learning to balance the front/rear braking. Pulsing the brakes won't do much unless you can sense when you're losing grip and you can ease off, but this will likely occur faster than you can detect or react to - automotive antilock brakes do basically this 15-20 times/second
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Old 08-16-21, 03:39 PM
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Use the front brakes but push back in the seat. Be prepared to give-up on braking and just steer. In fact practice an emergency lane change maneuver.
Use the rear brakes for low traction surfaces but then why brake at all ? I sometimes slide the rear tire even without the use of the rear brakes. In other words, just ride it.

Well, an emergency lane change maneuver is a well-known pedestrian-avoidance-maneuver whereby the bicycle is flicked laterally just enough to miss the pedestrian. A slower speed lane change maneuver is just a big S-curve, for instance, like when a closely-positioned car stops in front of a bicycle.

Last edited by KKBHH; 08-17-21 at 09:43 AM.
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Old 08-17-21, 06:22 AM
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Sounds to me like you did OK. It was an emergency situation, and you and your bike survived.

You can maybe improve the odds of a better outcome by practicing emergency braking, as you suggested. For emergency braking on a paved surface (there are other rules for braking on low-friction surfaces, like wet roads, gravel, snow, etc.), forget about the rear brake and focus on the front brake - I mean, it won't do any harm to pull the rear brake as well as the front, it just won't do you much good. As others have suggested above, you need to get your weight behind the saddle and low, and brace yourself with your hands/arms on the handlebar against the forces of deceleration. The ideal is to brake as hard as you can without skidding. If the front wheel starts to lock up, ease off the pressure on the brake. If you feel the rear wheel starting to lift off the ground, either get your weight back further/lower, or ease off on the front brake. Same if you feel yourself going other the bars. Or, as you did, just crash, hitting the pavement being (nearly always) preferable to hitting a car.

The advice to steer your way out of trouble is also good, but it relies upon you being aware of your surroundings. It doesn't help to swerve away from a car just to swerve into the path of a dump truck. If you can see an escape path, as suggested that is most often better than braking.
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Old 08-17-21, 06:51 AM
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As said above, learn better body positioning and braking technique. I'd venture to guess that there are extensive YouTube videos about braking with disc brakes (usually mountain biking themed). Body low and off the saddle, rear end backward, and arms strong with elbows bent. This sort of thing.

I also appreciate that one poster mentioned the emergency lane change. Be ready to steer through problems, not simply to blank out and brake hard.
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Old 08-17-21, 03:57 PM
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When i first read this I thought you were riding either your boyfriend's bike or your boyfriend .... when you mentioned your Oma I was thinking this was Not in the right section ... or on the right site. Glad I glanced at your profile.
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Old 08-17-21, 04:04 PM
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Originally Posted by Maelochs View Post
When i first read this I thought you were riding either your boyfriend's bike or your boyfriend .... when you mentioned your Oma I was thinking this was Not in the right section ... or on the right site. Glad I glanced at your profile.
Same here. At first I was thinking “Sharrow? The hell is *that*?” Then it started to get weird. Eventually I lost interest at “ouchie” and didn’t finish reading it all til a bit later.
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Old 08-17-21, 04:08 PM
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Oaky ... in a more serious vein .... In a panic stop, you generally don't have time or even physical control to modulate the brakes, barely time to shift your weight, and really if it a true "panic" stop, you are probably squeezing with superhuman force---adrenaline will help you crash, sometimes.

I do a few things .... on my MTB with hydraulic discs (and any off-road rider will show or tell you this) I use one or two fingers on the brake. Hydro discs don't need you to lock down with full force to overload the tire. Also, since I am right-handed and squeeze harder whih my right hand in a panic stop, I do have my rear brake a tad looser. i can handle a high-speed fishtail---tested and survived---but I would rather not haver to when everything else is also going wrong.

As for adjusting the front lever---i have to disagree with @litepud. if you can exceed max braking force easily then you are not decreasing efficiency by lengthening the throw---because you are maxxing out the braking before you are maxing out the lever. I would definitely adjust the front brakes a little looser. I still want to be able to lock the front if I want to (not that i ever would) but I want to have max potential braking and to rely on my (very limited) skill to maintain control---but there is a limit beyond which it is crazy. If you can fully lock the front tire too easily, then you are sacrificing a whole range of fine control.

Finally, I practice panic stops. When coming to a stop sign, say, if there is nothing else around, I might pick a spot a little early and then just jump all over the brakes, full force. ( I figure if anything goes wrong I can release and rebrake if I leave a little room.) This way I can feel how the bike reacts to max braking, I can be ready to move back so as to learn it as a reflex, and I can see how quickly i stop and whether my back brake is locking too easily or what.

It is kind of fun, and it definitely helps me be more comfortable if I need to stop with max effort. or maybe that is just the placebo effect, but placebos work about half the time, so who knows?
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Old 08-17-21, 04:31 PM
  #10  
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Threshold braking.... is good to practice and to know on anything you ride that has 2 wheels. (Or 4 even)

In my opinion ABS braking has dummied us down as a society. We no longer need to be skilled drivers/riders.

Even on a bicycle at 10 mph we need to be somewhat skilled. Those skills are only learned with practice!

Practice your emergency braking.
Practice your swerving.


Its okay to skid the rear. Its never okay to skid the front. Ideally you want to learn to shift your weight and skid neither tire.
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Old 08-17-21, 06:56 PM
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is your head ok?

gm
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Old 08-18-21, 06:18 AM
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Originally Posted by gringomojado View Post
is your head ok?

gm
Well, he's a cyclist, but other than that ........
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Old 08-18-21, 07:14 AM
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Practicing can't hurt, but I doubt it would've made much difference in the situation you described as it doesn't appear that you had any time to do anything but slam the brakes wherever you happened to be on the bike.

For that exact situation, my best strategy so far has been situational avoidance. Position myself in the lane the farthest distance I can get from the end of any blind driveways. If that's too close for comfort to the ends of the driveways, that's a street I'm not going very fast on. It's a lot easier to brake at 15 mph than it is at 24.


YMMV. This is what works for me.
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Old 08-19-21, 03:22 PM
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Originally Posted by livedarklions View Post
Practicing can't hurt, but I doubt it would've made much difference in the situation you described as it doesn't appear that you had any time to do anything but slam the brakes wherever you happened to be on the bike.
Ummmm ..... what? I practice panic stops so that when I actually need to make one I don't crash. if you are trying to say that he had no better option than to use his brakes in such a way as to cause himself to wreck .... well, good luck on the road.

I use my brakes in such a way as not to wreck. I guess I am a maverick.

(Because I respect you, i will elaborate .... ) there is no situation in which a cyclist should apply the brakes in such a way as to cause him/herself to crash. That is just common sense.

I cannot think of a time when I braked so hard as to lock up and my front wheel and dump myself .... and I have been riding in traffic for over 50 years.
The only time you can lock the front brake and still have enough traction to do a header is if you have over-applied the brakes---too much brake for the speed. Otherwise, the front tire would Skid---and you would either go headlong into the obstacle, or the wheel would wash out to one side or the other if you were not perfectly upright. If you are going slowly enough, to lock the brakes and not totally lose traction (skid) generally the front wheel flops to one side or the other .... but that means you braked too hard. Most of the time when people "go over the bars" it is because the front wheel turned 90 degrees and stopped .... the tiny contact patch of a bike tire isn't sending you on an endo, it just doesn't stick that much.

So .... the idea behind doing panic stops is to develop better control over how you apply the brakes. Learning to hold the bike at maximum rolling friction threshold without skidding or crashing. it is possible for something to pull out ahead of a rider so close and so suddenly that the rider cannot stop in time---in which case there is a collision. And to help forestall that, I agree with you .... if you know there are blind driveways, edge away from the very edge of the road ----- and look for "blind driveway" signs .... and general if you are riding in unfamiliar territory, go a little more slowly and watch for stuff like that. Some things are out of our control, certainly ... but being heads up has kept me alive after all these miles, and whatever you have been doing seems to have worked, also.
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Old 08-19-21, 04:17 PM
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I regularly "detune" my brakes. Not disc and I do not know how I would do this with them. With dual pivots and cantis, I use V-brake levers specifically so when I do a panic squeeze, all I do is slow very fast. Rear tire stays on the road and doesn't skid. Front slows me very fast. Drawback is that I have less power braking from the hoods. Not an issue for me as I was taught to brake from the drops when stopping was important.

I discovered this somewhat by accident. I set the bike of my logo up with old levers that had huge hoods that my hands loved. When I rode the bike, it became obvious why the hoods were do big. Well, I liked everything else so I left them on. That spring I rode the ride from Sisters, OR up McKenzie Pass to the high point, then back down. Started nervous because I knew I didn't have full braking power. Well, the bike handled wonderfully and I quickly forgot about my doubts. Halfway down I got surprised by a much sharper turn. "Oh ****! No way is my (fix gear) pedal making this!" Grabbed two fistfuls of brakes. And nothing happened except I slowed really fast! Took the corner at a very sane 25 mph. And was completely sold on the V-brake/dual pivot combo.
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Old 08-19-21, 04:25 PM
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OP is riding a BF NWT. That is a Bike Friday New World Tourist. It is a bike.It is a capable and versatile bike. Bike Friday has sold well for lots of years. Many happy customers. But they are different. They are not just like regular bikes. OP would be well advised to contact Friday direct. Or there should be a Friday users group.

General considerations. On level ground apply front brake as hard as you want. If your bike is set up normally you just cannot flip the bike. If the bike will flip the saddle is too high or too far forward. Someone here will not believe this. David Gordon Wilson, founder of IHPV, emeritus professor of mechanical engineering at MIT and at Cambridge, holder of world record for most miles on a Sturmey hub, has written about this extensively and analyzed the physics. Written about the physics in terms so simple anyone can understand. And still some will continue to flip rather than lower the saddle.

On downhill braking it takes real skill to stop quickly and safely. I’ve no idea what commenters are talking about with ‘leaning back’ or ‘bracing’. What is needed is to change the center of gravity of the bicycle. The way to do that is to get your butt out behind the saddle. While behind the saddle it is also possible to get your butt lower than the saddle. The further back and lower you can get the harder you can safely brake. If you aren’t that young and flexible or not that skilled or there is not enough time to get back there then you have less braking power.

Rear brake always does less than the front. On deceleration weight is transferred forward. Hard braking downhill there is really no significant weight on the rear wheel unless the rider is doing as suggested above and transferring body weight back. When there is no weight on the back wheel the rear brake is doing little or nothing. Applying the brake will likely make the rear wheel skid.

Fridays look like they have short wheelbases. They look like they could handle kinda too quick on hard downhill braking. This is where OP wants to talk to other Friday owners. It is an NWT and is set up for panniers. Carrying rear panniers with some weight in them nice and low might make sense if downhill braking is a routine problem.
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Old 08-19-21, 05:04 PM
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Originally Posted by Maelochs View Post
Ummmm ..... what? I practice panic stops so that when I actually need to make one I don't crash. if you are trying to say that he had no better option than to use his brakes in such a way as to cause himself to wreck .... well, good luck on the road.

I use my brakes in such a way as not to wreck. I guess I am a maverick.

(Because I respect you, i will elaborate .... ) there is no situation in which a cyclist should apply the brakes in such a way as to cause him/herself to crash. That is just common sense.

I cannot think of a time when I braked so hard as to lock up and my front wheel and dump myself .... and I have been riding in traffic for over 50 years.
The only time you can lock the front brake and still have enough traction to do a header is if you have over-applied the brakes---too much brake for the speed. Otherwise, the front tire would Skid---and you would either go headlong into the obstacle, or the wheel would wash out to one side or the other if you were not perfectly upright. If you are going slowly enough, to lock the brakes and not totally lose traction (skid) generally the front wheel flops to one side or the other .... but that means you braked too hard. Most of the time when people "go over the bars" it is because the front wheel turned 90 degrees and stopped .... the tiny contact patch of a bike tire isn't sending you on an endo, it just doesn't stick that much.

So .... the idea behind doing panic stops is to develop better control over how you apply the brakes. Learning to hold the bike at maximum rolling friction threshold without skidding or crashing. it is possible for something to pull out ahead of a rider so close and so suddenly that the rider cannot stop in time---in which case there is a collision. And to help forestall that, I agree with you .... if you know there are blind driveways, edge away from the very edge of the road ----- and look for "blind driveway" signs .... and general if you are riding in unfamiliar territory, go a little more slowly and watch for stuff like that. Some things are out of our control, certainly ... but being heads up has kept me alive after all these miles, and whatever you have been doing seems to have worked, also.

I've never had any kind of braking related accident, but I reckon there are situations where dumping the bike is your least bad alternative. I'd rather end up rolling on the ground than flying into someone's windshield, for example. I've never faced that choice, and I think we can all claim it's our practice and skill that have allowed us to avoid those situations, but I suspect there's a pretty healthy dose of luck involved as well. Honestly, I don't know why op fell exactly, but it sounded to me like they were leaning too far forward right as they had to slam. If you've got a half second to avoid the car, you ain't got time to shift your position and/or modulate your brakes. Hell, you probably won't know what you did until it's over whether or not you crash. I can't speak for anyone else, but when I've gotten out of the close call situations, the reactions that get me through them are instinctive at this point, and I find myself amazed that some part of my brain can do that without my conscious knowledge of how.

I do all kinds of stops when I'm riding on the streets and I think I have muscle memory that knows how to brake effectively for pretty much any situation where braking can work. I don't know if that's true for everyone, but I really don't feel I'd get any better contriving practice situations when I practice braking dozens of times every time I ride. I can't speak for anyone else in that regard, and like I said, l doubt practice could hurt unless you practice rolling off a cliff or something.

And then there's the situations where I'm pretty clear that if I had touched my brake, all it would've done is foiled the evasive dodge around the car that actually saved me. Not sure how to practice not braking, but in my mind it's an equally important safety tool.
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Old 08-19-21, 06:08 PM
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Originally Posted by livedarklions View Post
Honestly, I don't know why op fell exactly, but it sounded to me like they were leaning too far forward right as they had to slam. If you've got a half second to avoid the car, you ain't got time to shift your position and/or modulate your brakes. .
Thanks for making my point. I know I am on the right track when livedarklions agrees with me. The speed with which stuff happens is the reason to practice in advance.

Originally Posted by livedarklions View Post
I can't speak for anyone else, but when I've gotten out of the close call situations, the reactions that get me through them are instinctive at this point, and I find myself amazed that some part of my brain can do that without my conscious knowledge of how.
Dude .... do you think you were Born with cycling "instincts"? Really?

We all learned to ride .... and over time, those who rode more often learned to ride better.

When I commuted six days a week and road MTB on the seventh, I had much,. much better bike-handling skills than I have now---because I practiced and trained.

All those dudes doing amazing things on trials bikes, or BMX bikes? One-wheel stands, four-foot bunny hops, triple flips and spins? Yeah, they didn't come out of the womb doing that stuff. They practiced.

Originally Posted by livedarklions View Post
I do all kinds of stops when I'm riding on the streets and I think I have muscle memory that knows how to brake effectively for pretty much any situation where braking can work.
Again, repetition is practice. Practice is what creates muscle memory. Do it over and over and you get better at it. it becomes instinctive.

Originally Posted by livedarklions View Post
I don't know if that's true for everyone, but I really don't feel I'd get any better contriving practice situations when I practice braking dozens of times every time I ride
And the guys who do backflips on BMX bikes, they just nail them the first time ..... No. They Practice.

Originally Posted by livedarklions View Post
I can't speak for anyone else in that regard, and like I said, l doubt practice could hurt unless you practice rolling off a cliff or something.
Wow .... yeah, you actually almost admitted that practicing might be a thing ........

Originally Posted by livedarklions View Post
And then there's the situations where I'm pretty clear that if I had touched my brake, all it would've done is foiled the evasive dodge around the car that actually saved me. Not sure how to practice not braking, but in my mind it's an equally important safety tool.
Yup. I am sure both of us have our stories .... we have both been riding for a long, long time, and have seen all kinds of situations. And you know .... I agree one hundred percent.

If you ride a lot and have to stop short now and then you discover the inverse proportion between turning ability and stopping ability. Your tire has a given coefficient of friction, and you divide it up as you want---lateral or longitudinal forces. In other words, you can try to stop hard or you can try to turn hard, but you cannot do both. We know this from experience .... and plenty of times (I am sure it is true for both of us) we have decided that Steering is better than almost stopping when it comes to avoiding obstacles. In this case, it would have depended on oncoming traffic, though .... on a narrow and busy road I don't often choose to shoot across the oncoming traffic stream as a safety measure. If I knew I had room I might have tried steering. (Again our responses would likely have been "instinctive---whatever we had trained ourselves to do, whatever our brains processed as the optimal action, and however well our bodies could actually pull it off (all of which is improved by practice. )

I absolutely recommend that people do panic stops. You might not feel the need to do them frequently--I enjoy doing them, so that is part of that. But I have taught people to ride for charity rides, and I always insisted on them doing three or four maximum-effort stops, just so they had some idea how it feels.

I am sure we have both locked up the back end and fishtailed, and instinctively corrected ..... on one occasion recently (past three-four years) I actually used the fishtail to turn my bike so I could pedal out of the path of an oncoming vehicle. But we both have a lot of road experience. if this guy is new .... i suggest that he try stuff like panic stops, because it makes a person less likely to panic if they have practiced.

But ultimately, it is just Bike Forums and none of our opinions matter. I stand by my advice and you by yours because we are both trying honestly to help the guy, but in the end, nothing much that happens on BF matters much.

Glad you are still out there pedaling.

Last edited by Maelochs; 08-19-21 at 06:13 PM.
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Old 08-19-21, 07:49 PM
  #19  
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Originally Posted by Metieval View Post
Threshold braking.... is good to practice and to know on anything you ride that has 2 wheels. (Or 4 even)

In my opinion ABS braking has dummied us down as a society. We no longer need to be skilled drivers/riders.

Even on a bicycle at 10 mph we need to be somewhat skilled. Those skills are only learned with practice!

Practice your emergency braking.
Practice your swerving.


Its okay to skid the rear. Its never okay to skid the front. Ideally you want to learn to shift your weight and skid neither tire.
Not really. Probably has saved us from ourselves on very many occasions. ABS allows one to brake hard and still have the ability to steer, and not worry about going straight. Hugely useful in handling dynamics, especially at high speed.
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Old 08-19-21, 08:51 PM
  #20  
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Originally Posted by Maelochs View Post
Thanks for making my point. I know I am on the right track when livedarklions agrees with me. The speed with which stuff happens is the reason to practice in advance.

Dude .... do you think you were Born with cycling "instincts"? Really?

We all learned to ride .... and over time, those who rode more often learned to ride better.

When I commuted six days a week and road MTB on the seventh, I had much,. much better bike-handling skills than I have now---because I practiced and trained.

All those dudes doing amazing things on trials bikes, or BMX bikes? One-wheel stands, four-foot bunny hops, triple flips and spins? Yeah, they didn't come out of the womb doing that stuff. They practiced.

Again, repetition is practice. Practice is what creates muscle memory. Do it over and over and you get better at it. it becomes instinctive.

And the guys who do backflips on BMX bikes, they just nail them the first time ..... No. They Practice.

Wow .... yeah, you actually almost admitted that practicing might be a thing ........

Yup. I am sure both of us have our stories .... we have both been riding for a long, long time, and have seen all kinds of situations. And you know .... I agree one hundred percent.

If you ride a lot and have to stop short now and then you discover the inverse proportion between turning ability and stopping ability. Your tire has a given coefficient of friction, and you divide it up as you want---lateral or longitudinal forces. In other words, you can try to stop hard or you can try to turn hard, but you cannot do both. We know this from experience .... and plenty of times (I am sure it is true for both of us) we have decided that Steering is better than almost stopping when it comes to avoiding obstacles. In this case, it would have depended on oncoming traffic, though .... on a narrow and busy road I don't often choose to shoot across the oncoming traffic stream as a safety measure. If I knew I had room I might have tried steering. (Again our responses would likely have been "instinctive---whatever we had trained ourselves to do, whatever our brains processed as the optimal action, and however well our bodies could actually pull it off (all of which is improved by practice. )

I absolutely recommend that people do panic stops. You might not feel the need to do them frequently--I enjoy doing them, so that is part of that. But I have taught people to ride for charity rides, and I always insisted on them doing three or four maximum-effort stops, just so they had some idea how it feels.

I am sure we have both locked up the back end and fishtailed, and instinctively corrected ..... on one occasion recently (past three-four years) I actually used the fishtail to turn my bike so I could pedal out of the path of an oncoming vehicle. But we both have a lot of road experience. if this guy is new .... i suggest that he try stuff like panic stops, because it makes a person less likely to panic if they have practiced.

But ultimately, it is just Bike Forums and none of our opinions matter. I stand by my advice and you by yours because we are both trying honestly to help the guy, but in the end, nothing much that happens on BF matters much.

Glad you are still out there pedaling.

I think if we're honest with ourselves, we have to admit that we weren't there when op crashed, and we really don't know if we actually would have braked better in that situation than they did. No matter how good you are, there's a minimum braking distance for every speed. It's quite possible that op was too close to the car when it first became visible for anyone to actually stop the bike without putting at least part of their body on the ground. One hopes it would only be the feet. I've managed a few panic stops over the years with the Fred Flintstone brakes, I have never practiced it. I'm quite sure I couldn't teach it, and frankly I probably wouldn't try it if I weren't in a stop at all costs panic.

In my case, my instincts do not come from the deliberate set piece practices you are describing. It's from doing the things I learned as a child unconsciously, giving it no more thought than I do not falling down a flight of stairs while I walk. I'm sorry, but I just don't buy that you can simulate the sense of surprise and panic in a practice, you just have too much time to think about it to be any predictor of how automatic this is going to be in a split second situation.

I focused my first comment on positioning away from the ends of driveways because I think that's a strategy that can be communicated and applied easily. Honestly, if I look at the comments about braking techniques, I'd be completely confused if I didn't already have my own. As usual, no one agrees on much of anything.

No, I don't think practicing bmx backflips has anything to do with this. It's an absurd comparison. Five year olds develop basic braking techniques without anyone explaining it to them. Backflips are a completely different kind of skill.
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Old 08-19-21, 09:16 PM
  #21  
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Originally Posted by Mojo31 View Post
Not really. Probably has saved us from ourselves on very many occasions. ABS allows one to brake hard and still have the ability to steer, and not worry about going straight. Hugely useful in handling dynamics, especially at high speed.
So ABS allows unskilled drivers to drive faster by giving them the "ability" to brake while turning, with no worries about how/why.

Pretty fat line between "useful" and "skilled".

Btw "useful" was in my opinion. However useful was in the form of practicing to learn skill. In which ABS will probably never be on bicycles.
Even swapping brand of tires, rubber compound, new tires, old tires, weather, temperature, size of tires will change braking characteristics.
Emergency braking should be practiced. A rider should know the limits of his equipment, a rider should know the modulation of his brakes. Speed should be based on conditions. Speed should be based on lane position.

Skills learned and applied to braking. Is like learning the skill of being seen via lane position. Hugging the curb while on a bicycle is no different than riding the sidewalk. Hitting a car (car hitting cyclist) is not if, but when.

Learn to brake, learn to be seen, learn to be defensive, etc.....all are useful and valuable skills.
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Old 08-20-21, 08:03 AM
  #22  
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A number of years ago I was proceeding straight through an intersection at a pretty good clip. Suddenly a pickup truck going the opposite direction decides to make a left in front of me. Pure survival skills kicked in and I jammed on the brakes as did he. My bike bounced a lot, probably the rear end off the ground and bobbled back and forth but somehow I did remain upright - stopped in the middle of the intersection - adrenaline pumping and probably white as a sheet. The car behind me stopped and the driver got out of her car and asked if I was okay. I was but the rest of the ride was very cautious. I think only luck and probably the opposing driver's braking and swerving helped. Since a hip had already been replaced I was definitely, in a flash, very concerned about going down.

I'm not sure I have enough skin to practice for those types of incidents. I prefer falling on snow on the slopes.
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Old 08-20-21, 08:40 AM
  #23  
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Originally Posted by KKBHH View Post
Use the front brakes but push back in the seat. Be prepared to give-up on braking and just steer. In fact practice an emergency lane change maneuver.
Use the rear brakes for low traction surfaces but then why brake at all ? I sometimes slide the rear tire even without the use of the rear brakes. In other words, just ride it.

Well, an emergency lane change maneuver is a well-known pedestrian-avoidance-maneuver whereby the bicycle is flicked laterally just enough to miss the pedestrian. A slower speed lane change maneuver is just a big S-curve, for instance, like when a closely-positioned car stops in front of a bicycle.
This is good advice. When I go down long hills, I sometimes reach a point where I say to myself, "avoid and don't brake if a car pulls out" of a right side driveway. Below 20mph I might brake hard if there's time, but above that speed I plan on avoidance maneuver. I ride down hills in the middle of the road if possible, just to give myself and a driver a bit more time to see and react to the other party.

You didn't do anything wrong. Every situation is different, and things happen so quickly you may just react instinctively despite planning to avoid rather than brake at higher speeds.
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Old 08-24-21, 01:59 PM
  #24  
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Originally Posted by noimagination View Post
Sounds to me like you did OK. It was an emergency situation, and you and your bike survived.


You can maybe improve the odds of a better outcome by practicing emergency braking, as you suggested. For emergency braking on a paved surface (there are other rules for braking on low-friction surfaces, like wet roads, gravel, snow, etc.), forget about the rear brake and focus on the front brake - I mean, it won't do any harm to pull the rear brake as well as the front, it just won't do you much good. As others have suggested above, you need to get your weight behind the saddle and low, and brace yourself with your hands/arms on the handlebar against the forces of deceleration. The ideal is to brake as hard as you can without skidding. If the front wheel starts to lock up, ease off the pressure on the brake. If you feel the rear wheel starting to lift off the ground, either get your weight back further/lower, or ease off on the front brake. Same if you feel yourself going other the bars. Or, as you did, just crash, hitting the pavement being (nearly always) preferable to hitting a car.


The advice to steer your way out of trouble is also good, but it relies upon you being aware of your surroundings. It doesn't help to swerve away from a car just to swerve into the path of a dump truck. If you can see an escape path, as suggested that is most often better than braking.

Thank you, I've been practicing braking hard on quiet streets whenever I'm on my NWT. I hadn't ridden it for several months because its too hot to ride in the late morning so that might of factored into my mini crash.


Unfortunately, I couldn't swerve because there're cars behind me on this one way sh**ty "sharrow". If I rode in the center, I would of been ok to swerve away but in reality, I would of been run over earlier by an impatient car driver. I can definitely go faster on my NWT vs Oma but in general, I cycle slow.
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Old 08-24-21, 02:13 PM
  #25  
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Best advice i know is to never go to full on braking instantly. Go to squeezing progressively harder. The first bit of squeeze gets the pads in contact with the braking surface, increasing squeeze builds on that. You stay in control that way.
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