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My crash

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Old 02-15-18, 10:41 AM
  #26  
MinnMan
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I'm not sure if I should be embarrassed to say this, but I go down on ice with enough frequency that I don't consider it to be such a big deal. Maybe 3 times this winter?

That feeling when you know that your tires are giving way on the ice and there's nothing you can do about it is scary, but, well, it happens.

The last time was about a week ago, I was riding on the roads at night (I do that a lot) which were partially clear and partially covered with slick ice. Generally this is no problem - I have studded tires, good lights, etc. But unexpectedly it started to snow. This can be very treacherous! As soon as the ground is covered, you can no longer distinguish where the ice lurks underneath AND, the thin sheen of new snow adds an unwanted extra lubrication.

The other thing is that even with good lights at night (I have a Magic Shine with 900 lumens), it can be hard to see the road surface well when you are making the transition from a spot well-illuminated by street lights to one otherwise in shadow. The combination of lighting transition and some ice hiding underneath, just at the bottom of a hill and on a curve (perfect combination) and I went down at about 14 MPH.

The GOOD thing is that when bundled up for winter, I'm wearing a lot of padding AND there is no road rash on ice. The palm of one hand was sore for a couple of days as it took some of the fall, but otherwise, no big deal.

I've been fortunate in that in all the times I've gone down (winter or otherwise), I've never hit my head (or rather, helmet). My worst crash gave me a broken hand, but all the others just road rash (in summer) or some bruises.
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Old 02-21-18, 03:35 PM
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PaulRivers
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Originally Posted by MinnMan View Post
The GOOD thing is that when bundled up for winter, I'm wearing a lot of padding AND there is no road rash on ice. The palm of one hand was sore for a couple of days as it took some of the fall, but otherwise, no big deal.
If you get the shifting-snow-on-top-of-ice combo, and you don't get hit by a car, the good news is a lot of times you fall onto some amount of snow.

But if you get sheer ice it's really nasty. My dad in is 60's (I'm in my 30's) fell down ice skating and hurt for the next 6 months.

There's a weird selection bias about these kind of posts - people who got hurt on ice and stopped biking in the winter aren't going to be coming online to post about it right? Back in the day before studded tires were common I asked a group in the local bike club who were talking about winter riding if they had ever broken anything doing it. Every single one of them had broken something - a wrist, a collarbone, etc on some sort of unexpected ice (this is in minnesota so of course if your climate is milder things may vary).

It doesn't hurt anyone but yourself if you fall, so it's not really a moral issue to convince other people about, but personally I wouldn't ride without studs in the winter as I just don't see it being worth the risk.
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Old 02-21-18, 03:58 PM
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Originally Posted by MinnMan View Post

The GOOD thing is that when bundled up for winter, I'm wearing a lot of padding AND there is no road rash on ice. The palm of one hand was sore for a couple of days as it took some of the fall, but otherwise, no big deal.
Originally Posted by PaulRivers View Post
If you get the shifting-snow-on-top-of-ice combo, and you don't get hit by a car, the good news is a lot of times you fall onto some amount of snow.

But if you get sheer ice it's really nasty. My dad in is 60's (I'm in my 30's) fell down ice skating and hurt for the next 6 months.

There's a weird selection bias about these kind of posts - people who got hurt on ice and stopped biking in the winter aren't going to be coming online to post about it right? Back in the day before studded tires were common I asked a group in the local bike club who were talking about winter riding if they had ever broken anything doing it. Every single one of them had broken something - a wrist, a collarbone, etc on some sort of unexpected ice (this is in minnesota so of course if your climate is milder things may vary).

It doesn't hurt anyone but yourself if you fall, so it's not really a moral issue to convince other people about, but personally I wouldn't ride without studs in the winter as I just don't see it being worth the risk.
Just for the record, I'm from Minnesota (see my screen name) and I ride with studs in the winter. And I'm much closer in age to your dad than to you.

(Also, if you are in your 30s, I don't believe you were around "back in the day, before studs were common". )

Yes there is a selection as to who is posting here, but falling on ice from skates or walking is actually quite different from going down on a bike. You may choose to disagree, but in my limited experience, going down on ice on a bicycle is not as bad. Much of the motion is horizontal, along the lubricated ice surface. No, I don't have any statistics to back that up. Just anecdotes.
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Old 02-21-18, 04:14 PM
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Originally Posted by MinnMan View Post
Just for the record, I'm from Minnesota (see my screen name) and I ride with studs in the winter. And I'm much closer in age to your dad than to you.
Ok.

Originally Posted by MinnMan View Post
(Also, if you are in your 30s, I don't believe you were around "back in the day, before studs were common". )
Sorry you have a chip on your shoulder.

Studded tires were not common in 2004, that's so long ago that if you had a kid then they'd be a freshman in high school now (14 years old). People buying things online was new and weird. Amazon was only just starting to sell things that weren't books.

Originally Posted by MinnMan View Post
Yes there is a selection as to who is posting here, but falling on ice from skates or walking is actually quite different from going down on a bike. You may choose to disagree, but in my limited experience, going down on ice on a bicycle is not as bad. Much of the motion is horizontal, along the lubricated ice surface. No, I don't have any statistics to back that up. Just anecdotes.
I don't have anything other an ancedotes either. I've fallen onto hard pavement in the summer and just gotten started...other times I know of people who did the same thing and broke their hip or collarbone. I don't think there's a clear hard data line.

Like I said, whatever one person chooses to do they're not hurting anyone else so it's their call what level of risk they want to take. I don't do extreme mountain biking because it's to risky for my taste. I avoid road riding on super busy stuff, I'll take back streets rather than a faster route via 45mph traffic. And riding in winter without studs is to risky for my taste. A family member broke their hip riding (in the summer) at a not-high speed when something went wrong when they tried to turn...I'd rather not go through that. Even if I assume that after surgery and everything things will be fine, I'd just rather use studs than go through the pain and hassle of it.
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Old 02-21-18, 04:22 PM
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Originally Posted by PaulRivers View Post
Ok.

Sorry you have a chip on your shoulder.

Studded tires were not common in 2004, that's so long ago that if you had a kid then they'd be a freshman in high school now (14 years old). People buying things online was new and weird. Amazon was only just starting to sell things that weren't books.
No chip, really. And if you were looking at my feathers, you'd see that they aren't ruffled.

It's very nice for you that you perceive 14 years as a long time ago. Hold on to that feeling while it lasts.
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Old 02-21-18, 07:06 PM
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Totally dislike falling on ice, but I've only done it once so far this year by accident. I don't have studded tires so that's on the list for next year. I keep a good eye out and ride the same routes many times so I have gotten to know them well in any weather or lighting condition.

I've found the worst thing to do is put out your arms to catch yourself with your hands, I've been lucky not to break anything but have had a sore wrist a few times. The last time I've fallen on ice, I held onto the bars and used my core to guide the fall. As in, I rolled into it, twisting slightly so that I roll along my thigh. While holding onto the flat bar, the bar end struck first so I didn't whip my upper body into the pavement. Of course I'm on my mtb, so it's flat bars.

I'm not the greatest mtber, so I've crashed often on the trail Those times I try to kick the bike away if possible, while tucking my arms in and rolling. The helmet helps a ton because I'm not completely worried about banging my head. I've hit my helmet to the ground but nothing severe, it lets me roll and dissipate that energy.

There have been multiple occasions where I somehow pass the bike, then it comes and smacks me from behind
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Old 02-22-18, 03:12 PM
  #32  
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Winter commuting does require extra care and focus. True, there are days, but most of the time it’s a fun (especially mental) challenge. Sometimes you win, sometimes you lose; your post reminds me me hitting the ice – yes – while riding through a parking lot not so long ago...

When possible, I try to stay as much away from cars or sharp edges etc. (as looking for save drop zones)

Be a survivor!
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