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Old 06-07-10, 02:54 PM   #1
Juan Foote
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Most amazing/exciting/death defying thing you have done on a bicycle?

Thinking back over the years after watching a video and I was recalling some of my 'less smart' moments as a teenager on a BMX bike. Now admittedly there are professionals out there who really fuzzy the line, but I am talking about you, personally.

In the summer of 86 IIRC we had built a ramp on the pipeline behind a friends house across the street. At first it was just one of those single sheet of plywood with a drop off, but quickly became more advanced. The start ramp ended up being four sheets of plywood with a two sided lip. One was flat and the other had a curve to it for more lift. The landing ramp consisted of five sheets, with the landing pad itself being double ply, and fully moveable so that we could increase or decrease the jump distance.
Normally we would space the ramps about 15-20 feet apart and practice the jumps and various tricks we were learning. "Freestyle" was a newly coined sport in Cali at the time that we didn't even know about, so we were working on what we thought was our own thing.
At one point we decided to move the ramps 40' apart and jump it. I personally went about 50' and wanted no more of it...I tacoed my back tire, and bent a pedal best friend jumped it at full out speed just to see how far he could go. Landed at 54' towards the bottom of the landing ramp itself. He instantly broke a pedal and put so much force on the gooseneck as to bend it over almost touching the front tire. He continued rolling out of control and did a header into a fence that just about knocked him out.
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Old 06-07-10, 07:04 PM   #2
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Riding my long-lost Bianchi road bike on the way home from uni late one night. I'm tired and riding downhill towards this one intersection, when all of a sudden I regain consciousness looking up at a bumper to my left and a bumper to my right. I'm thinking that I've been squashed between two cars so I better not move. Wait, no pain. I can feel my fingers and toes. Silence. Where's all the bystanders? Move my eyeballs to see. Nothing. Move my fingers and toes. No pain. Legs and arms. Same. Move head slightly. Still nothing. Look up. Still nothing. Feeling okay, so I get up. Nobody around at all. Huh? Both vehicles are parked at the curb.... well after the intersection. Hey! Where's the bike. Walk around and see it smashed up against the rear of the car in back. I'm standing there trying to figure things out when it dawns on me....

I fell asleep! Rolled through the intersection and plowed into first parked car, launching me over and into the back of parked van. A good sized dent from the brake lever on the back panel of the car. The front fork is bent so far that I can't steer and the frame tubes are all bent. My helmet... cracked and left a good dent in the van's panel.

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Old 06-08-10, 05:15 AM   #3
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In the early years of the Paris-Brest-Paris it was thought that if women were allowed to participate, they would die. Riding that distance would be too much for them.

I completed the PBP in 2003.
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Old 06-08-10, 06:32 AM   #4
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I'm too embarrassed to say actually.
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Old 06-08-10, 02:36 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by purplepeople View Post
...I fell asleep! Rolled through the intersection and plowed into first parked car...
Ugly! This is a serious fear for me, riding brevets. I am always groggy from hour 20 on; I'm trying to get faster to be able to sleep sooner and longer. I'm glad you were not seriously hurt.

My biggest escape: I was tucked and coasting down Sugarloaf Mountain in the dark, trying to see how big a number I could post on my computer (45). Near the bottom of the hill, there was a pile of sand extending from an unpaved driveway. I hit it at full speed and did a fishtail, which at that speed was terrifying, but I stayed up.
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Old 06-08-10, 03:43 PM   #6
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Does maintaining good cardio health count as death defying?
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Old 06-08-10, 03:45 PM   #7
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I hit 58mph twice last year while trying to crack 60. I was drafting a truck on the most recent try down the CSU-San Marcos side of Twin Oaks Parkway, but the driver chickened out (speed limit is 50) so he unfortunately slowed down.
I've also had (an admittedly dubious, due to an old Schwinn Paramount computer that was correctly calibrated at speeds around 20-30) a max speed on Baldy Road of 71.1mph. I'll be going back up there again this summer to crack 60.

Meh...road bike junk always sound so pedestrian compared to the idiocy we engaged in as kids on BMX bikes. Just glad we didn't have Youtube back then, or none of us would be alive today.
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Old 06-08-10, 04:12 PM   #8
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Going 52 mph down a long curving hill I had ridden many times, only this time the bridge at the bottom was closed for replacement. When I came around the curve and noticed the blockade I hit both brakes harder than I have ever squeezed them before, locked the back wheel and skidded to a stop 2" from the shiny new guardrail, needed a new tire.

T-boned a large dog @19 mph as it chased the rider in front of me, trashed a new bike.

Riding at night on a nice smooth freshly paved road I suddenly found myself on the street with a broken shoulder. Road crew left the black manhole covers recessed when they added the 3" of blacktop, got a new shoulder.

Snapped a quill-stem while coasting down hill. Shot across 4 lanes of traffic at the bottom and into a big pile of dirt from a construction crew.

Oh, and hit by cars 4X

Is that enough or should we discuss the years before helmets were common?

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Old 06-08-10, 04:32 PM   #9
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I came about 20 ft from riding off the edge of the road in Big Sur.I was happily looking at all of the sites and didn't pay attention that the road turned and I rode off into the gravel.There was no guardrail,and if the gravel wasn't there,I would have ridden straight off the cliff,500 ft to the beach.
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Old 06-08-10, 04:55 PM   #10
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When I was in college I had stayed over at a girlfriends house and overslept. In my mad dash to make it to class I tried to avoid a busy intersection by crossing over and riding on the sidewalk. This was in a fairly wealthy neighborhood that featured high brick fences right up at the side walk.

I was cranking it when the nose of a black Lincoln poked out of a driveway and I T-boned it and flew over the hood, flipping and rolling and by pure chance and reflex landing on my feet in a run. Scared poor Mr. Bennett and his lovely daughters (one a classmate and drop dead beautiful) such that he didn't care about the damage I did to his car. As for the bike I had to twist the handlebars back in line to the fork but otherwise I don't remember any damage.

Never rode on the sidewalk again ever. I don't remember if I was using toe clips back then or not but now that I think about it probably not as I wore and rode in chukka boots a lot at this time.
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