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Group ride crash. I feel like a turd. Should I?

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Group ride crash. I feel like a turd. Should I?

Old 12-03-11, 01:32 PM
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david58
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Group ride crash. I feel like a turd. Should I?

On my fourth group ride today. Colder than all get-out (27F), freezing fog, really a dumb day to ride. But we went.

Group kept bunching and unbunching, with several "stoppers" we would have to dodge around. I was about 2/3 of the way back, trying to keep some distance (bike length or so) between me and the guy/gal in front. I was also badly iced on my glasses, and was preparing to take them off so I could see a bit better.

Suddenly, a shout out from far ahead, and the folks in front of me slow quickly. I react and do the same.

Then, I feel something on my right foot, and hear ugly sounds. Yep, the guy behind me runs up on my wheel and foot, and goes down.

He broke what he termed a $500 shifter. Would not look at me or talk to me. I tried to apologize, but it didn't quite work out too well. I now have a useless, formerly $160 pair of shoes, the strap and buckle sawed off the shoe rendering it maybe cyclocross-worthy with lotsa duct tape. Paint on the bike is no big deal (tis aluminum, won't rust), may have to get new cabling for the rear derailleur.

Should I feel like such a turd? Was there something I could have done different? I hate the idea I was involved in a guy going down - and he's retired and a new shifter isn't cheap. I'm on a budget, and don't really have any replacement shoes and may be off the bike a while (which really stinks, I commute to work on my bike).

Felt so bad, soon after the other guy turned and rode home, I did the same. Literally sick over it - totally ruined my day.
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Old 12-03-11, 01:37 PM
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if the alternative was to hit the people in front of you, why should you feel bad?
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Old 12-03-11, 01:38 PM
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If the riders in front of you hit the brakes, you have to do the same. That's group riding. Sounds like the other guy is completely in the wrong. Now, if you hit the brakes hard without good reason, he might have cause to be pissed. Even so, you already apologized, so let it go. Group riding has risks. If you aren't willing to assume the risks, ride alone.
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Old 12-03-11, 01:41 PM
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You did good. He did bad. Fuggedaboutit.
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Old 12-03-11, 01:44 PM
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What's the saying? Don't race (or group ride) it unless you can afford to replace it?
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Old 12-03-11, 01:44 PM
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Not Your Fault....ride on..
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Old 12-03-11, 01:52 PM
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And this is why I prefer to ride only with people I know.

It was his fault.
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Old 12-03-11, 01:56 PM
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He was probably more pissed about the situation and his own reaction than he would be pissed at you. It's okay to feel bad, but don't feel like it's your fault, either.
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Old 12-03-11, 01:56 PM
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"stoppers?"
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Old 12-03-11, 01:56 PM
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+1 on the fact that you acted properly/okay and that it was simply a riding incident.

The rider behind, in such an emergency thing, takes responsibility for being behind. If you intentionally did stuff without any other provocation (i.e. no yell up front) then it would be your bad. In this case, it's not your bad.

Also the fact that you feel bad about it is okay. It shows you have a conscience, that you have a moral foundation.

I know that you won't feel better right away. Take solace in the fact that you did okay.

Hopefully the other guy figures out the situation. Sometimes they do, sometimes they don't.
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Old 12-03-11, 02:09 PM
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Originally Posted by botto View Post
"stoppers?"
Folks stopping on the shoulder that I could never understand why - it really made for an extra, and irritating, road hazard.
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Old 12-03-11, 02:12 PM
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Originally Posted by carpediemracing View Post
+1 on the fact that you acted properly/okay and that it was simply a riding incident.

The rider behind, in such an emergency thing, takes responsibility for being behind. If you intentionally did stuff without any other provocation (i.e. no yell up front) then it would be your bad. In this case, it's not your bad.

Also the fact that you feel bad about it is okay. It shows you have a conscience, that you have a moral foundation.

I know that you won't feel better right away. Take solace in the fact that you did okay.

Hopefully the other guy figures out the situation. Sometimes they do, sometimes they don't.
Well, as a noob that is just on his fourth ride, and just joining the club, I feel like crap and really don't know if I will go back to ride. If I hadn't been raised in the South, I'da made a good Catholic - guilt would be my middle name. Rode back to the car, did the grocery shopping and danged near blew cookies just from being upset about the incident. If I had crashed I would feel better about it...
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Old 12-03-11, 02:18 PM
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Yea not your fault at all...you're responsible for not hitting the person in front of you and ridings predictably. If the conditions sucks he should have been giving you room as you were those in front of you and he hit you. You should be pissed he wrecked your shoe. Kepp and eye on Bonktown, there are some smokin deals on Lake and Diadoria shoes and some Sidis as well.
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Old 12-03-11, 02:40 PM
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Sounds like the guy behind you was inattentive and made no effort to steer away from you. He probably couldn't look you in the eye because he knew it was his fault.
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Old 12-03-11, 02:45 PM
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Not your fault at all. You can feel bad about the accident, but it's not your fault and don't blame yourself. If anyone should apologize, it should be the guy that ran into you. But regardless, it's all part of the game.
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Old 12-03-11, 02:50 PM
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If the events were as you describe, it wasn't your fault at all. Forget about it and if the other guy gives you an attitude the next time you see him make it clear it was his fault. He ran into you. If he wasn't able to stop or swerve in time to avoid you he was either inattentive, a poor bike handler or both.
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Old 12-03-11, 02:55 PM
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If you had no choice but to hit the brakes then I don't see this as being your fault. When you do a group ride you assume the risks of crashing, that's just how it works. It is his responsility to fix his bike, your responsibility to replace your shoe.

Now, if you would have slammed on your brakes and swerved for no reason, I would have been pissed at you. Doing what you had to do, that's just riding.
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Old 12-03-11, 02:56 PM
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Doesn't sound like it was your fault or that there was much you could have done to prevent the accident.

$500.00 for a shifter? That's certainly a shame for him, but it was his choice to ride with expensive parts. It's a bicycle and accidents happen, if I can't afford to replace it, I don't ride it. I wouldn't feel too bad that his $500.00 shifter got broken. I bumped and destroyed a super-expensive camera lens once, from then on I vowed I'd never own something so expensive to me that if it got broken in the course of it's normal activity I'd be traumatized about it.

During our last vacation this guy was lamenting at dinner that he lost his new-ish multi-thousands of dollar watch on the beach (8 grand I think he said). Bummer dude, my heart is breaking for you, my $35.00 Fossil quit the other day and that bummed me out too.

Last edited by Snydermann; 12-03-11 at 03:05 PM.
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Old 12-03-11, 02:57 PM
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As (everyone?) has said: not your fault.

Here's the rule: it's your responsibility to not hit others in front of you. If you don't like it, ride in front of them.
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Old 12-03-11, 03:04 PM
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I wouldn't say you shouldn't feel bad. you can have compassion for the guy who broke parts on his bike. Should you feel as if you did something wrong....no. I raced motorcycles for a couple years and have now raced cat 5. same rules apply for both, the person behind you is responsible for watching what is happening ahead and you are to never worry about what is happening behind you. If you do, you are more likely to cause an accident because you're worrying about whats going on behind. You took safety precaution. it was a cold day, visability was poor, its not your fault he ran into you. In fact, you should be a little upset at the fact he ran into you. This was not a race, not a time trial, there was no need for him to follow so close that he couldn't react well enough, ESPECIALLY if you were having to make passes of stopped/slower riders.

You tried to apologize and he still wouldn't look at you or speak to you. at that point I would have told him to pay attention and an ear out for surroundings and sorry about your luck. If he chose to be a prick about it, thats his problem.

that was NOT your fault

I'm lucky to have 5 or 6 guys I ride with consistantly over the years. We know how eachother ride and communicate well. Going on group rides where you are unfamiliar with everyones skill level or demeanour. When i ride with those I have not ridden with before, I do what you did and give space. I either lead or take it up the back. Dont be afraid to go on group rides, they are much more fun than going solo. You did nothing wrong, infact did everything correct. good thing you were able to keep it up and not fall as well.

Last edited by bianchi10; 12-03-11 at 03:10 PM.
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Old 12-03-11, 03:13 PM
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Wow, suddenly I have no desire to learn to ride in a paceline.
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Old 12-03-11, 03:17 PM
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Originally Posted by lhorn View Post
Wow, suddenly I have no desire to learn to ride in a paceline.
you shouldn't feel that way. Dont be shaken and think that a crash happens with each group ride. I have been involved with a group ride crash. It sucked but it happens. I have been on a crap ton of group rides in the 3 years I have ridden, even racing. One crash in 3 years aint bad.
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Old 12-03-11, 03:25 PM
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Originally Posted by Harlan View Post
What's the saying? Don't race (or group ride) it unless you can afford to replace it?
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Old 12-03-11, 03:45 PM
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Originally Posted by bianchi10 View Post
you can have compassion for the guy who broke parts on his bike.
Very important point and well put.

I've made some bad moves myself. I can't remember ever taking someone out, but I do remember not pointing out a small stick that broke the dropout off of my friend's bike (he was riding on my wheel). I gave him a virtually new frame for a smokin' price ($100? $75?) which he promptly folded in a crash.

I've pushed the limit in races early in my life. When I thought I went over the edge, I'd move over a bit and put myself at the back of the field. I remember a pro looking at me like I was nuts when I gave up my hotly contested position at the front of a P123 field just as the race entered its final laps.

At the end of the day it's important to (as my mom said) live life with dignity. You did what you did correctly, no one can fault you for it.

And you can still feel bad for the guy's shifter. Just don't feel obligated to replace it.
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Old 12-03-11, 04:13 PM
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Yeah, hitting the brakes for something ahead is not your fault. It's his fault for not paying proper attention to the riders in front of him. As a car driver in MA, he would have gotten a ticket and been completely at fault for an accident.
Back to biking, for a group ride or race, each rider is responsible for their own front wheel, end of story. That's just how it is. You should be pissed he ran into you.
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