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Team Down-Our low speed crash.

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Team Down-Our low speed crash.

Old 09-14-09, 07:44 AM
  #1  
Equinox
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Team Down-Our low speed crash.

It was in the first mile of a metric century. At the bottom of a hill were RR tracks for which we had to slow. We started to climb immediately after the tracks, and it was apparent I was in the wrong gear. While this was totally my fault, my stoker didn't have her "head in the game" so early in the ride. I was in the big ring,and i ran out of gears on my cassette quickly as we lost whatever momentum we had. I tried to get into the middle ring, but nothing was happening as we were under load. All I got was a click click click from the front derailleur. The next thing I knew, the chain was off and down we went on our left side. Our elbows were scraped and my ego was bruised but otherwise we were fine. I had this weird soft tissue pain in my left hamstring that felt like a cramp or a sprain that bothered me until the first break. I took some Endurolytes and that seemed to help. We finished strong. We were arguing whether this qualified as an actual crash because it was so lame and stupid. When I got home, I felt this big welt on my left butt cheek that I hadn't noticed before. I could not figure out where it came from until I realized I must have landed on the end of my stoker's handlebar (she doesn't have drop handlebars). This welt is pretty impressive and now it's turning lots of different colors. I began to wonder if that weird pain I felt in my hamstring was related to this near impalement. I'm thinking it might have been referred pain or perhaps some superficial trauma to the sciatic nerve. The pain is completely gone now. Lesson learned; pick the right gear and don't try to change rings under load.
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Old 09-14-09, 07:51 AM
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Glad your ok, and great you finished the ride.

Originally Posted by Equinox View Post
Lesson learned; pick the right gear and don't try to change rings under load.
Agreed you should try to avoid shifting under load. However, the next time you get caught in this situation, the way to solve the problem is for both of you to put in one very hard pedal stroke, and then soft pedal and shift as you soft pedal.

The hard pedal stroke gives you an instant where you effectively can coast taking the load off, and you soft pedal and shift in that instant.
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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.
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Old 09-14-09, 07:51 AM
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"Fall Down Go Boom" or FDGB = the expression we tend to use for anything that's not exactly a 'crash' that puts us down on the ground all by ourselves and through no fault but our own.

I'm not sure of who coined the phrase, but at least as far as off-road tandem riding on technical single track goes, a FDGB is a common occurance so the experession gets used a lot over on our off-road tandem forum. I won't comment on our FDGB history as I don't want to tempt fate and the cycling gods.

Glad that y'all were able to dust yourselves off, recover and finish your ride.

Last edited by TandemGeek; 09-14-09 at 08:10 AM.
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Old 09-14-09, 08:41 AM
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Originally Posted by TandemGeek View Post
"Fall Down Go Boom" or FDGB = the expression we tend to use for anything that's not exactly a 'crash' that puts us down on the ground all by ourselves and through no fault but our own.

I'm not sure of who coined the phrase, but at least as far as off-road tandem riding on technical single track goes, a FDGB is a common occurance so the experession gets used a lot over on our off-road tandem forum. I won't comment on our FDGB history as I don't want to tempt fate and the cycling gods.

Glad that y'all were able to dust yourselves off, recover and finish your ride.
I believe it was Tweete Bird and Sylvester on Loony Tunes!
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Old 09-14-09, 08:47 AM
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My wife and I have "crashed" once at zero mph (FDGB). Got caught having to stop behind a car on a steep, short driveway out of a shopping center. I'd gotten lazy on our Davinci having my trusty stoker get us started for a few seconds. Wrong gear, lazy captain - Lesson learned. I'll get off the bike if I have to to get us in a better gear and I don't take starts casually; I'm in the saddle and on the right pedal hard on a start clipped in or not.
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Old 09-14-09, 09:01 AM
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What was your speed when you went down? Did you go down because you were stopped but still clipped in?

On either half-bikes or tandems that is called captaining (because you go down with your ship).
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Old 09-14-09, 09:05 AM
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Originally Posted by Equinox View Post
We were arguing whether this qualified as an actual crash because it was so lame and stupid.

Just call it a "drop" instead of a crash...



.
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Old 09-14-09, 09:32 AM
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Originally Posted by merlinextraligh View Post
Glad your ok, and great you finished the ride.



Agreed you should try to avoid shifting under load. However, the next time you get caught in this situation, the way to solve the problem is for both of you to put in one very hard pedal stroke, and then soft pedal and shift as you soft pedal.

The hard pedal stroke gives you an instant where you effectively can coast taking the load off, and you soft pedal and shift in that instant.
I know the captain is 100% responsible, but because it was so early in the ride, my stoker was still "settling in" and she did not sense that we were in a tough situation. A boost fro her would have helped. I explained this to her (she's new) and she agreed to take 25% of the blame. I told her I could live with that.
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Old 09-14-09, 09:55 AM
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Originally Posted by Equinox View Post
I know the captain is 100% responsible, but because it was so early in the ride, my stoker was still "settling in" and she did not sense that we were in a tough situation. A boost fro her would have helped. I explained this to her (she's new) and she agreed to take 25% of the blame. I told her I could live with that.


Since the stoker is never wrong, you're already 25% ahead of the game!!!










.
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Old 09-14-09, 10:00 AM
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There was a pretty big epinephrine dump when we fell. I can't believe I didn't feel this knot on my butt until well after the ride. I can understand how seriously injured people can say they are fine after significant trauma. That is one amazing hormone. You have to be careful evaluating someone after an accident.
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Old 09-14-09, 10:10 AM
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Glad you guys are Ok...

+1 on Merlinextraligh's suggestion.

FWIW.. regarding low speed silly roll-overs or crashes that just barely happen... in old school motorsports we call them a 'tommy tipover'... and they don't count!

Bill J.
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Old 09-14-09, 11:07 AM
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That's exactly what it was. And I agree it doesn't count.
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Old 09-14-09, 02:07 PM
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We have had the low speed mishap once or twice. Sto.ker tells everyone they were horrible crashes...I call it tipping over.
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Old 09-14-09, 04:44 PM
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I can recall two occasions when I found ourselves in the wrong ring going too slow and too steep to shift.

The first time was on our first venture into real hills at the TN Tandem Rally, I just un-clipped and stopped. You have to be ready to do this before you reach the critical tip-over speed. To get started again, we got off, lifted the rear wheel and shifted into our lowest gear, made sure traffic was clear and got a little speed going by crossing the road level and then turning uphill.

The second time was on a hill that was just starting to get steep and the angle would be increasing further up (on Sugarloaf "Mountain" for any of you have been there). This time, as we approached tip-over speed, I did a nice little u-turn and went back to the bottom to start over in the proper ring.

The only time I've put the stoker on the ground, so far, was about our second our third club ride. We were dropped, lost, tired and frustrated. We stopped to check the map with her still clipped in and me with one foot down & clipped on the other side. I let our balance get off & dumped her right on her butt while somehow extricating myself from the tangle in the last fraction of a second. She had a couple of colorful words for me that day and colorful bruises for the next few weeks. I think she still did her first metric before they were all healed & she hasn't stopped since.
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Old 09-14-09, 10:24 PM
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Pedaling 90 degrees OOP there is always a power stroke (and no stalling effect) and that *could* have prevented a FDGB moment.
We've all had a few of those technicolor bruises!
Had one from right buttocks all the way up middle of the back after an altercation with a drunk driver and my single bike (he had his license suspended for 90 days + a citiation). Took photos of it and had a heck of a hassle with the drivers insurance. Went through several adjustors in one year's time and had one tell me ". . . and you never really got hurt" . . . showed him the colored photo of my naked backside.
Amazingly, after a FDGB moment it is usually better to keep riding (if there are no apparent serious injuries).
As you say: lesson learned.
Pedal on TWOgether!
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Old 09-15-09, 01:23 PM
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Originally Posted by Stray8 View Post
Since the stoker is never wrong, you're already 25% ahead of the game!!!



.
You must be a stoker! It always, always amazes me how Rule #1 is constantly misinterpreted. The rule is: "The stoker never makes mistakes." This means that no matter what, the captain/pilot/driver is always 100% to blame. The idea is to give the pilot some sense of responsibility, and to recognize that the stoker has absolutley no control of the bike.
However, even though the stoker never makes mistakes, it DOES NOT FOLLOW that the stoker is never wrong! The stoker is always right DOES NOT EQUAL The stoker never makes mistakes... The stoker is just there. A sack of potatoes also never makes mistakes. All it means is that the one in front is completely responsible for what happens to the stoker or to the sack of potatoes.

Big difference.

(And it's always funny how female stokers are always offended when I point out this small discrepancy.)

L.
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Old 09-15-09, 05:55 PM
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We had a FDGB on our first club ride on the tandem. We were about 17 mi out, and 1/2 the group decided to double back. We joined them and I went to the T in the road to get enough room to make a U turn. When I did and a very sssslllllooooowwww speed, the wheels sunk in to 3" of soft sand, and we went down.

Fortunately we were using platform pedals (first time out on a club ride, remember? I just knew that was a smart move) so we both managed to get a foot down on the pavement. The bike went down, and I was able to jump clear but my stoker (bride of 35 yrs) had her foot caught under the top bar.

The largest hurts and bruises were to our egos, and we had an uneventful return home.

Lesson learned? Plan well ahead for U turns, and stay on the pavement for any turn, and never trust "solid looking" hard pack.
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Old 09-16-09, 07:08 AM
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Raise your hand if this never happened to you. What?!? No takers!
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Old 09-16-09, 07:42 AM
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Does the following also count: My wife and I were riding our singles in "tandem" on a very steep grade (stoker hill training we call it). She ran out of gas and couldn't unclip in time. I fell over 3 seconds later making a sloooow u-turn when my rear tire spun in some sand. Must be a stoker mistake to blame in there somewhere.
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Old 09-18-09, 12:10 PM
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First of all: I hope you are both OK and that your stoker trusts you going forward. That is a very scary event for many when they are so out of control (not referring to you here). I know my "wife" has forgiven me for our issues, but not without an ever present apprehension. (Hey, we have only been doing this for 1.5 years.)
All,
Answer: I have both hands up. Crashed at 15mph on tracks racking my shoulder and hip. Ouch! 15~10mph on pavement to avoid DWI car nailing our knees to avoid becoming part of his front bumper AND once at less thatn 3mph on a semi-steep grade from chain-suck and newbie stupidity. (Note to self: Shift down prior to needing to and prepare for what could be considered issues.) We went over the left side on a road with no guard rail and both came unclipped out of bike. Thankfully, the 50lb Burley Bike stayed at top of hill on pavement shoulder and we rolled down 15~20 foot hill avoiding broken bottles, berry bushes and sharp rocks. Nothing hurt, but our pride. Luckily, we were with a group that provided support and a never ending reminder of the activity through joyous ribbing about "the time we rolled down that hill." We all laugh now.
Zona,
"Pedaling 90 degrees OOP there is always a power stroke (and no stalling effect) and that *could* have prevented a FDGB moment." I have seen so many folks this way this summer that I am going to change back. I tried this by accident due to a crash on above mentioned RR tracks and our chain dismounted and only worried about getting back home before my wife beat me sensless. We tried about 20~30 OOP for a while, but changed it back. I have seen them 45 and up to 90 this season. WHAT WORKS BEST? I am sure that is the answer = Whatever you like, but is there a more scientific one?
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Old 09-18-09, 06:52 PM
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Originally Posted by lhbernhardt View Post
(And it's always funny how female stokers are always offended when I point out this small discrepancy.)
No, they are ticked because you compared them to a sack of potatoes.
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Old 09-22-09, 11:17 AM
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Originally Posted by jgg3 View Post
No, they are ticked because you compared them to a sack of potatoes.
Yeah, that would certainly do it. But that's why I never use that analogy when pointing out the difference between "never making mistakes" and "is always right." I'm just amused by how "never making mistakes" always, always gets misinterpreted. But my experience has been that female stokers never follow the rules of logic anyway (being female probably has a lot to do with it) and because they're usually the ones who take the brunt of any crash (the pilot is protected by the stoker's handlebar, which serves as a "crash bar," but what does the stoker have?), I really should cut them some slack...

But regardless, "the stoker never makes mistakes" means that if any human error is involved in an unassisted crash (i.e., no mechanical stuff), the pilot is always 100% at fault.

Luis
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