Go Back  Bike Forums > Bike Forums > Road Cycling
Reload this Page >

Noob cyclist intimidated by crash stories from teammates, thoughts?

Notices
Road Cycling “It is by riding a bicycle that you learn the contours of a country best, since you have to sweat up the hills and coast down them. Thus you remember them as they actually are, while in a motor car only a high hill impresses you, and you have no such accurate remembrance of country you have driven through as you gain by riding a bicycle.” -- Ernest Hemingway

Noob cyclist intimidated by crash stories from teammates, thoughts?

Old 02-16-15, 07:16 PM
  #1  
Junior Member
Thread Starter
 
VeloCross's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2015
Posts: 14

Bikes: 2009 Cannondale Caad 8, 2012 Bianchi Iseo

Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Noob cyclist intimidated by crash stories from teammates, thoughts?

Hi all, i wanna preface by saying I've loved cycling as a hobby for fitness and joy for a few years now. Figured if I loved it this much then racing must be better, right? I was on my weekly group/team ride today when the discussion changed to crash stories. Everyone was one upping each other, from mangled calves to broken bones and ribs, one dude even had a punctured lung. I know rule 5 and that crashing is part of racing but the frequency was very shocking to me. I'm at the point where I wanna skip the road season and just train for cross without even racing. (Yes I've seen sick cross crashes but nothing like one dudes story of mass sprint crashes going 38 mph). What would my more experienced cyclists on BF tell this racing noob? Htfu and get to work or what?
VeloCross is offline  
Old 02-16-15, 07:19 PM
  #2  
bt
Banned
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Posts: 2,664
Likes: 0
Liked 1 Time in 1 Post
find new team mates
bt is offline  
Old 02-16-15, 07:21 PM
  #3  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Minas Ithil
Posts: 9,173
Liked 642 Times in 398 Posts
Just toughen yourself up.
Lazyass is offline  
Old 02-16-15, 07:46 PM
  #4  
Administrator
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: Delaware shore
Posts: 13,568

Bikes: Cervelo C5, Guru Photon, Waterford, Specialized CX

Liked 2,297 Times in 1,528 Posts
Crashes do happen but most aren't really bad in terms of injuries. I've had three bad crashes where I was hurt and they were all training rides. So just go out, have fun, and don't worry.
StanSeven is offline  
Old 02-16-15, 07:52 PM
  #5  
bt
Banned
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Posts: 2,664
Likes: 0
Liked 1 Time in 1 Post
bring a bottle of tussin....




You feelin nausceous, take some tussin. Oh you broke yo leg, yeah get me the tussin, let me pour it on in there, yeah let the tussin sink in real deep, yeah let it seep down to the bone.
bt is offline  
Old 02-16-15, 08:24 PM
  #6  
Fatty McFatcakes
 
velociraptor's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2013
Location: Krispy Kreme
Posts: 986

Bikes: Aero Cheeseburger w/ Sr(h)am eBacon

Likes: 0
Liked 2 Times in 1 Post
If you're really that worried about getting a boo boo:



velociraptor is offline  
Old 02-16-15, 08:31 PM
  #7  
Junior Member
Thread Starter
 
VeloCross's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2015
Posts: 14

Bikes: 2009 Cannondale Caad 8, 2012 Bianchi Iseo

Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Lol, boo boo is fine, crushing ribs into my lungs is another thing. Am I the only person who is nervous about this? I guess it's the fear of the unknown vs reality.
VeloCross is offline  
Old 02-16-15, 08:34 PM
  #8  
Super Moderator
 
Homebrew01's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: Ffld Cnty Connecticut
Posts: 21,878

Bikes: Old Steelies I made, Old Cannondales

Liked 985 Times in 640 Posts
Serious crashes are rare. Mostly road rash.
__________________
Bikes: Old steel race bikes, old Cannondale race bikes, less old Cannondale race bike, crappy old mtn bike.

FYI: https://www.bikeforums.net/forum-sugg...ad-please.html
Homebrew01 is offline  
Old 02-16-15, 08:47 PM
  #9  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: Central Kentucky
Posts: 121
Likes: 0
Liked 1 Time in 1 Post
I've lost more skin than I care to admit. Hurts like hell. But............ there is nothing like finally ushering yourself into the ranks. Bragging rights are wonderful. After all it doesn't hurt forever. I've even been a victim of hit and run (training ride) and spent a week in the hospital. 1 year before I could ride again but went right back to racing. Not a lot scares me anymore. The endorphin rush always brought me back. To old to be competitive now and the crashes do have a accumulative affect. It's just too fun not to race competitively!
jgscisum is offline  
Old 02-17-15, 05:16 AM
  #10  
Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2015
Location: Istanbul, Turkey
Posts: 46

Bikes: Cube Cross Race

Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Crashes do happen. However I only know 3 that actually caused serious injury(broken bones and long treatments) all around my friends. And 2 of those could have been prevented if the riders were more careful. If you take care of your bike, service and inspect it regularly, ride carefully and know your limits you can prevent most of the crashes. Ofc there is nothing you can do if you get a puncture while going at 40 miles and lose control or if you get a hit and run or stuff like that. But these don't happen that often. All my crashes so far happened because of my stupidity. Thankfully I never had worse than losing my skin(which hurts but is not the end of the world).
Remember this video. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iV9_i9MEnMg Even this could have been prevented if the rider in the front have spotted the piece of aluminum and pointed it out.
Rondar is offline  
Old 02-17-15, 05:24 AM
  #11  
Senior Member
 
GhostSS's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2014
Location: Hawaii
Posts: 638

Bikes: 2012 Switch Performance BlackSkin LE Urban, 2013 Leader 725, 1975 Fuji America, 1990 Giant Cadex 980c, 1986 Peugeot PH10LE, 1995 Trek 2120 Carbon ZX

Liked 22 Times in 13 Posts
Originally Posted by VeloCross
Everyone was one upping each other, from mangled calves to broken bones and ribs, one dude even had a punctured lung. I know rule 5 and that crashing is part of racing but the frequency was very shocking to me.
Were the bikes ok?
GhostSS is offline  
Old 02-17-15, 07:30 AM
  #12  
Senior Member
 
happyscientist's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2012
Posts: 255

Bikes: C'Dale Synapse, Surly Disc Trucker, Giant Trance, Orbea Avant

Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
I ran into the same thing. With me, it was worse because women are told horror stories their entire lives as a way to discourage them from doing anything adventurous. Then, all of these men, who seemed so encouraging and supportive and who were arranging special training rides to help me with my weakness were telling terrifying tales. Then I realized that swapping war stories was being inclusive. Also, they were trying to say "these things happen. Accept it. Work on your bike handling skills. Ultimately, you will be OK, and even if you break something, you will be part of the club".

I will add that the year I raced, we did special drills for being bumped and handling your bike in very close quarters. I didn't need those skills in a race, but they have really come in handy on recreational rides. For example, I have hit a large dog, ridden over someone who crashed (felt bad about that), or hit someone's back wheel when he suddenly slowed without crashing myself. So if you are nervous, work on your bike handling skills.
happyscientist is offline  
Old 02-17-15, 07:53 AM
  #13  
pan y agua
 
merlinextraligh's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: Jacksonville
Posts: 31,408

Bikes: Willier Zero 7; Merlin Extralight; Calfee Dragonfly tandem, Calfee Adventure tandem; Cervelo P2; Motebecane Ti Fly 29er; Motebecanne Phantom Cross; Schwinn Paramount Track bike

Liked 822 Times in 425 Posts
If you race, it's highly likely you'll crash at some point. Some people crash more than others. Also new racers tend to crash more than experienced racers. But even the best racers crash sometime (just watch the Tour de France.)

The number of people that race on a regular basis for a number of years that have never crashed has to be pretty small.

That said, as Homebrew points out most crashes just involve road rash and serious crashes are rare.

Most common serious injury is a broken collar bone, which happens but fairly infrequently.

Permanent disabling injuries, and death, do happen, although they are extremely rare.

So if you're going to race a bike, you need to accept a fairly high risk you'll lose some skin at some point. A reasonably small risk that you'll break a bone or two, and an extremely small risk you could die.

Most people find the risk acceptably small. But if you're seriously worried about crashing, bike racing may not be your thing.
__________________
You could fall off a cliff and die.
You could get lost and die.
You could hit a tree and die.
OR YOU COULD STAY HOME AND FALL OFF THE COUCH AND DIE.
merlinextraligh is offline  
Old 02-17-15, 07:58 AM
  #14  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 2012
Location: Westchester County, NY
Posts: 1,299

Bikes: Giant TCR SL3 and Trek 1.5

Likes: 0
Liked 2 Times in 2 Posts
Originally Posted by VeloCross
Lol, boo boo is fine, crushing ribs into my lungs is another thing. Am I the only person who is nervous about this? I guess it's the fear of the unknown vs reality.
I would put it this way.... Be aware of the possibilities of crashing and what conditions are most likely to cause them. To the extent you can, ride smart and try to avoid them. Every crash I've ever had, and only one of those was anything of consequence, could have been avoided had I been riding differently.

One big piece of advice I can give you is make sure you take the road that you need. Don't be a tool and ride out in the middle of the lane, but don't ride too far over in the "gutter" either. If you take the space you need, you increase the chance cars will see you and won't do things you won't have time to react to.

My only crash of consequence involved a situation like that where a car turned right in front of me and I was going too fast to react in time to avoid clipping the car. Even there, the crash caused no damage to my bike and only minor damage to me in the form of bruises and road rash. I was out riding again in less than a week.

Had I taken more of the lane, I would have been more visible and could have potentially taken other action. Honestly, I was also going too fast for the traffic volume of the area too. Common sense is key.
cafzali is offline  
Old 02-17-15, 08:06 AM
  #15  
~>~
 
Join Date: Mar 2013
Location: TX Hill Country
Posts: 5,931
Liked 184 Times in 123 Posts
Originally Posted by happyscientist
So if you are nervous, work on your bike handling skills.
Amen.

Crashes most certainly do happen, on group rides and in races.
At least in a race everyone is playing by the same book and one is not likely to then be run over by a texting teenager in mommies' giant SUV.

Join a well respected club and choose who you train and race with carefully for a variety of reasons,"back when" I only rode with my predictable and well practiced teammates.

Road racing isn't for everyone, cyclo cross is an excellent way to improve bike handling skills, great fun and a full of entertaining wrecks to take part in.

-Bandera
Bandera is offline  
Old 02-17-15, 08:09 AM
  #16  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: Tariffville, CT
Posts: 15,409

Bikes: Tsunami road bikes, Dolan DF4 track

Liked 183 Times in 104 Posts
Originally Posted by VeloCross
Hi all, i wanna preface by saying I've loved cycling as a hobby for fitness and joy for a few years now. Figured if I loved it this much then racing must be better, right? I was on my weekly group/team ride today when the discussion changed to crash stories. Everyone was one upping each other, from mangled calves to broken bones and ribs, one dude even had a punctured lung. I know rule 5 and that crashing is part of racing but the frequency was very shocking to me. I'm at the point where I wanna skip the road season and just train for cross without even racing. (Yes I've seen sick cross crashes but nothing like one dudes story of mass sprint crashes going 38 mph). What would my more experienced cyclists on BF tell this racing noob? Htfu and get to work or what?
Originally Posted by happyscientist
I ran into the same thing. With me, it was worse because women are told horror stories their entire lives as a way to discourage them from doing anything adventurous. Then, all of these men, who seemed so encouraging and supportive and who were arranging special training rides to help me with my weakness were telling terrifying tales. Then I realized that swapping war stories was being inclusive. Also, they were trying to say "these things happen. Accept it. Work on your bike handling skills. Ultimately, you will be OK, and even if you break something, you will be part of the club".

I will add that the year I raced, we did special drills for being bumped and handling your bike in very close quarters. I didn't need those skills in a race, but they have really come in handy on recreational rides. For example, I have hit a large dog, ridden over someone who crashed (felt bad about that), or hit someone's back wheel when he suddenly slowed without crashing myself. So if you are nervous, work on your bike handling skills.
Cross and road racing (crits/RR) are different things. Related but different. The atmosphere at a crit is a bit different than at a cross race, mainly because in cross racing you really don't draft so there isn't such a huge energy difference between "being in the field" and "off the back". In cross you might be putting down 20-50w less drafting someone (just guessing here, based on conversations with cross folks as well as riding off road myself). On the other hand in a crit you might see a 300-500w difference between the guy pulling at 30 mph and someone 5 wheels back who has to soft pedal or coast to avoid hitting the wheel in front of him.

What that means is that there's massive pressure to stay in the field because even if you're suffering in the field at, say, 250w, if you get shelled then you'll have to do something insane like 500-700w to get back on. Therefore stepping it up from 250w to 280w to stay on wheels is worth it because you save energy in the long run by avoiding doing some 500w efforts to get back in the draft.

This means close quarters riding is critical on the road. In cross if you're a foot away or 5 feet away it doesn't matter, and a lot of cross riders prefer being a bit further away so they can see stuff better. On the road if you're 5 feet away that's a huge gap. 1-2 feet is fine. With riders you trust you'll measure the gap in inches.

So ultimately it's all about trying to stay closer to those around you, at higher speeds than cross. Because of this there's more chances for riders to make mistakes and therefore more chances for a crash.

I've been racing for a while now. I did contact drills (on grass) the 4th? season I raced, and since then I've been much more comfortable in the field. I've fallen, yes, and it stings. Due to my low aerobic capacities I basically enter only crits - for 10 years or so I did about 45-55 races a year. It took me until the end of my 26th season of racing to break a bone and that was when someone made such a blatant aggressive move (intentionally swerved across the field with about 300-400m to go) that the officials sought a 1 year ban for assault (versus 20 days for not holding their line).

With today's resources you can fall at about 25-28 mph on a Tuesday evening ride and remove the last of the Tegaderm by Sunday. The last fall I had, in 2010, was like that, and Monday I raced with bandage free. It's not a macho thing, it's just that properly handled road rash is a slight inconvenience at best.

A few of my teammates are quite good cross racers. One won the M35 Canadian Nationals (maybe twice?), another placed 3rd at the M35 Nationals or something ridiculously good like that. They do crits for training, mainly to work on speed. One of them (the Canuck) wins a Tues night race here. Looking at the date of that clip I realized that that's two weeks exactly after my crash that year - I crashed the Tues before Memorial Day.

There's a whole racing sub forum here. You should check it out.
__________________
"...during the Lance years, being fit became the No. 1 thing. Totally the only thing. It’s a big part of what we do, but fitness is not the only thing. There’s skills, there’s tactics … there’s all kinds of stuff..." Tim Johnson
carpediemracing is offline  
Old 02-17-15, 08:15 AM
  #17  
Galveston County Texas
 
10 Wheels's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: In The Wind
Posts: 33,298

Bikes: 02 GTO, 2011 Magnum

Liked 1,264 Times in 638 Posts
Make sure you have Good Health Insurance.

My crash totaled $95,000 worth of medical treatments.

Surgery 8 weeks later to stop the bleeding in my brain.

__________________
Fred "The Real Fred"

10 Wheels is offline  
Old 02-17-15, 08:23 AM
  #18  
Senior Member
 
intransit1217's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2014
Location: Kenosha , Wi
Posts: 1,231

Bikes: 2 Masi giramondo

Liked 6 Times in 6 Posts
Computrainer. $2000.00. Race all you want, no crashes.
intransit1217 is offline  
Old 02-17-15, 08:59 AM
  #19  
Senior Member
 
Silvercivic27's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2010
Location: Pittsburgh, PA
Posts: 2,435

Bikes: Colnago, Cervelo, Scott

Likes: 0
Liked 2 Times in 2 Posts
Actually, the medical insurance advice is very good. Not only that but if you travel for races make sure you know the details of how much it will cost for you to be treated in an "out of network" area or hospital. I won't travel too far (>1 state over) to race because of that. You'd be impressed what an ambulance ride and a head CT will cost you. And everybody gets a head CT, lol.
Silvercivic27 is offline  
Old 02-17-15, 09:02 AM
  #20  
Fatty McFatcakes
 
velociraptor's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2013
Location: Krispy Kreme
Posts: 986

Bikes: Aero Cheeseburger w/ Sr(h)am eBacon

Likes: 0
Liked 2 Times in 1 Post
I ride to improve my health and mitigate stress.

Additionally, I have a large number of responsibilities and people that depend on me for their well being & livelihoods.

For those reasons, I don't race.
velociraptor is offline  
Old 02-17-15, 09:15 AM
  #21  
Banned
 
BoSoxYacht's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: take your time, enjoy the scenery, it will be there when you get to it
Posts: 7,281

Bikes: 07 IRO BFGB fixed-gear, 07 Pedal Force RS

Likes: 0
Liked 1 Time in 1 Post
Originally Posted by 10 Wheels
Make sure you have Good Health Insurance.

My crash totaled $95,000 worth of medical treatments.

Surgery 8 weeks later to stop the bleeding in my brain.
My wreck was over $800k
BoSoxYacht is offline  
Old 02-17-15, 09:20 AM
  #22  
Galveston County Texas
 
10 Wheels's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: In The Wind
Posts: 33,298

Bikes: 02 GTO, 2011 Magnum

Liked 1,264 Times in 638 Posts
Originally Posted by BoSoxYacht
My wreck was over $800k
We should Never ride together.
__________________
Fred "The Real Fred"

10 Wheels is offline  
Old 02-17-15, 09:52 AM
  #23  
Banned
 
BoSoxYacht's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: take your time, enjoy the scenery, it will be there when you get to it
Posts: 7,281

Bikes: 07 IRO BFGB fixed-gear, 07 Pedal Force RS

Likes: 0
Liked 1 Time in 1 Post
Originally Posted by 10 Wheels
We should Never ride together.
BoSoxYacht is offline  
Old 02-17-15, 09:54 AM
  #24  
SuperGimp
 
TrojanHorse's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: Whittier, CA
Posts: 13,346

Bikes: Specialized Roubaix

Liked 64 Times in 47 Posts
Originally Posted by BoSoxYacht
My wreck was over $800k
Originally Posted by 10 Wheels
We should Never ride together.
More to the point, none of us should ride with either of you!

800k... holy mackerel. I hope your insurance doesn't have a lifetime cap, because you're well into it if they do
TrojanHorse is offline  
Old 02-17-15, 09:54 AM
  #25  
Banned
 
BoSoxYacht's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: take your time, enjoy the scenery, it will be there when you get to it
Posts: 7,281

Bikes: 07 IRO BFGB fixed-gear, 07 Pedal Force RS

Likes: 0
Liked 1 Time in 1 Post
Originally Posted by velociraptor
I ride to improve my health and mitigate stress.

Additionally, I have a large number of responsibilities and people that depend on me for their well being & livelihoods.

For those reasons, I don't race.
TTs and hillclimbs are relatively safe.

Be prepared to get smoked by some very fast old guys.
BoSoxYacht is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service - Your Privacy Choices -

Copyright © 2024 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.