Chances of breaking something? (bones)

Discussion in 'Road Cycling' started by camshaft, Nov 6, 2003.

  1. camshaft

    camshaft New Member

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    Hey everyone,

    I haven't even began cycling yet, but I just started college and the guy down the hall from me is the captain of the road racing team. He's gotten me pretty interested, so I've been browsing the forums, and looking at affordable bikes (how do you tell your mom who knows nothing about bike racing that a $500 bike is considered an affordable one? lol). He'd also like me to join because their team is somewhat small, and I thought since I'm skinny that might also help (5'10.5", 128 lbs, about 7% fat ratio).

    Here's my concern though, even if I'm only in cat 5 or cat 4 am I eventually going to break something? I can take road rash and that kind of stuff, but I just have this vision of like breaking my arm in half with the bone sticking out and doing permanent damage to me. I also don't know what it feels like to break something, so that isn't helping me.

    What do you guys think?
    Thanks,
    Austin
     
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  2. 2LAP

    2LAP New Member

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    Depends on the dicipline, RR pretty slim, BMX dead cert.
     
  3. flyinghatchet

    flyinghatchet New Member

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    who cares, just ride like hell and have some fun, eh?
     
  4. camshaft

    camshaft New Member

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    I care because I'm young and just getting interested in cycling. If I knew that there was a high chance of doing permanent damage to myself I'd reconsider going into road racing. The guy who got me interested has already been hit by a car, and permanently messed up his wrist. He has the choice of either getting surgery on a tendon which will limit the movement of his wrist, or letting it go but getting severe arthritis when he gets older. If I knew something like that was likely to happen to me, as I said, I'd reconsider road racing.

    Austin
     
  5. Gustaf

    Gustaf New Member

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    Just out of curiosity, what School are you at? I my self just got into the collegiate racing scene.
     
  6. camshaft

    camshaft New Member

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    University of Penn. How about you?

    Austin
     
  7. Gustaf

    Gustaf New Member

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    Western Washington University.
     
  8. flyinghatchet

    flyinghatchet New Member

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    It is a complete waste of time to worry about getting hurt. Yes, there is always a chance of getting hurt, but you just have to be careful. I also have quite a bit of time ahead of me, I'm 14. ;)

    Graison
     
  9. byron27

    byron27 New Member

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    I think your risk of being injured in a car accident would be greater than your risk of being injured in a bike accident.
     
  10. holli

    holli New Member

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    I've raced road seriously for eight years and I've never broken a single bone. I've crashed many times but I've only got some roadrashes but nothing bad. Ofcourse there's a risk of having a bad crash and I know riders who have had serious crashes. Road racing is quite safe sport and I think you should just go for it and learn how to ride in group and avoid crashes.
     
  11. treebound

    treebound New Member

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    I was almost hit by two (2!) cars while walking in a cross walk at a busy university as both cars were passing school busses dropping off and picking up students at rush hour. I was in the crosswalk in daylight well before both cars started to pass the busses in the oncoming lane with traffic coming head-on at them. The first witch got away without my hand hitting her rear fendor, the second b-tard had to stop hard because I'd had enough and just stood there staring him down, after a few words through his open window he gassed it out of there after I pointed out to him that it is illegal to run over pedestrians, he did get a hand to the quarter panel on his way past as a memento and a reminder that he also nearly ran over my toes when he gassed it out of there.

    The bottom line is that life is dangerous. Use reasonable precautions and common sense and don't be overly stupid. For example, when on a training ride if you get behind the pack and they go through an intersection as the light turns yellow and then red, stop for the stupid light because a training ride on public roadways isn't worth dieing over like a SoCal cyclist did several years ago on a training ride.

    How dangerous a race is will to some extent depend on you, on the other competitors, the course conditions, and on variables out of your control (dogs, kids, cars, rain, hail, sleet, ice, so forth). You can die on the swim team if you're doing the backstroke and don't keep track of where you are in the pool and slam your head into the wall at full stroke.

    The higher your intensity the potentially higher the risks will be. Learn to fall properly, learn proper crash avoidance maneuvers, learn proper ancilliary damage maneuvers if you go down and the following racers don't react in time. Read and study whatever you can find, but apply everything to personally and adjust as necessary.

    Your statement "haven't even began cycling yet" causes me some wonderings. Is that "this year" or "ever"? If "ever" then perhaps give it a year before you start racing. Your physical stature and physique may or may not mean anything as to how competitive you are. Perhaps the best question to ask is why is the captain interested in getting you to join? Hopefully not to just use you as pack meat.

    Words to ponder, or ignore, at your choosing.
     
  12. camshaft

    camshaft New Member

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    Thanks for the responses guys.

    Treebound, I use to ride quite a bit on my $200 "toy store" bike, but I haven't in the past couple of years. The kid who's the captain is a friend of mine and didn't try to push me into it or anything, so I doubt he just wants me as pack meat. I have read that you should wait about a year before racing. I asked him about that to, and he said that it shouldn't really be a problem because a couple of the guys on the team started without any riding experience, and there's not really any competitive pressure, because there's only 12 people on the team total and we rarely win anything anyway. We can't come close to PennState, and the fact that a Princeton Alumni holds a high position at Fuji and gets them all their bikes for free doesn't bode well for us either (its alot easier to get a good team together when they hand you the bike, lol). So it becomes more like an activity. You can practice with them and race with them whenever you feel like it. Either way though, I figured I'd wait to see what training with them is like before I try to decide whether I'm going to race this year or next.

    Austin
     
  13. treebound

    treebound New Member

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    In that case then I'd say dive right in and give it a shot. Enter a few early races for experience and to get your certification record started as you get sort of ceded based partly on the number of races entered regardless of placings. Also, has the team manager looked into picking up last year's bikes from the other local teams that do have sponsorship? If your team is not seen as a competitive threat then they may see it as a way to generate some goodwill that may pay off for them in a race or two if they need a hand in a pull during some big event. It never hurts to ask, usually anyway.
    And as far as getting hurt in a race in the upcomming season, stay to the perimeter inside or outside depending in the course and avoid the squirrely sprints at the end and you should be fine. Once you get some exposure you'll get a better feel for what actually happens in a race. It's not a blood sucking gorry as some make it out to be and not nearly as cutthroat as some would like to believe. With what you've added you should have a good time and probably some good race experience to grow from. And who knows, you might even sneak in a podium finish or two during the season, and that's always cool to do.
     
  14. Nicko71

    Nicko71 New Member

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    Just crashed last week. YEp - much harder and Im sure Id have broken something. BUT the reason was a flat tyre- hey what could I do about that?

    Ive been riding since 1996. Had one tip over on a wet painted line travelling at 10km/ph. Had one crash into a ditch in a triathlon, where people seem to lack concentration anyway.

    3 crashes in 6 years. None serious - raced in big fast and aggressive bunches - am amazed at how safe cycling is considering whats involved.

    Dont think about it - BIKE RACING is safer than football - or even maybe running (if you take injuries into account).

    Cycling is a great sport , be defensive on the road. Look for the eyes of motorists - know they've seen you before you trust what they are going to do - then dont trust it anyway (thats my philosophy)

    good luck

    Nick
     
  15. Nicko71

    Nicko71 New Member

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    Just crashed last week. YEp - much harder and Im sure Id have broken something. BUT the reason was a flat tyre- hey what could I do about that?

    Ive been riding since 1996. Had one tip over on a wet painted line travelling at 10km/ph. Had one crash into a ditch in a triathlon, where people seem to lack concentration anyway.

    3 crashes in 6 years. None serious - raced in big fast and aggressive bunches - am amazed at how safe cycling is considering whats involved.

    Dont think about it - BIKE RACING is safer than football - or even maybe running (if you take injuries into account).

    Cycling is a great sport , be defensive on the road. Look for the eyes of motorists - know they've seen you before you trust what they are going to do - then dont trust it anyway (thats my philosophy)

    good luck

    Nick
     
  16. ouzo

    ouzo New Member

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    I've been riding bikes for as long as I can remember. Even been taken out by a car once. Only ever broke one bone, my wrist, and it felt nothing worse than a bad sprain.

    A mate of mine came off his bike at 60km/h, right behind me. He summersaulted over his handle bars. It was pretty nasty looking, but also no broken bones, only a broken helmet and road rash.

    If you gonna worry about falling and breaking something then it's gonna put alot of stress on your ride and you'll never feel relaxed on the bike. And if you're tense on the bike then you're likely to fall.

    There are only two type of riders out there, those that have fallen and those that are gonna fall.
     
  17. Roy Gardiner

    Roy Gardiner New Member

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    Right! You can store up trouble such as knee injuries and arthritis. Cycling, like swimming, does not do this. Bike *racing*, especially track and closed-circuit crits, is very safe. Much safer than road training where there are cars and idiots driving them.

    I have been commuting to central London (think 'middle of New York') for 20 years, racing for 10 years. Never broken a bone, half dozen or so 'informal carriageway inspections', only two racing, both trying to corner too fast.

    Go for it! And at 5'10'' 128lb you are very light. Just what a bike reacer needs and ideal climber material.
     
  18. cyclist_nc

    cyclist_nc New Member

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    If you don't love riding you won't do it reducing your risk of injury. If you do love riding, you won't worry about injury. Stay alert, listen to the sounds (cars) around you and always watch for the idiot driver who is not watching for you. Enjoy the journey.
     
  19. rayner

    rayner New Member

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    For getting a bike: Try going down to your local bike shop and seeing if theyve got any secondhand/demo/old stock bikes that they would be willing to give to you on a bond system e.g pay 400 bucks for a years use of the bike and get a set amount back when you give it back. This is fairly unlikely to happen but worth a shot, especially if you take the road captain with you when you do this as he may have contacts at a certain shop. If your just starting secondhand is definitely the way to go.

    The falling off thing: Ive only ever fallen on the track so i dont know how falling on the road feels, but after seeing other people fall on the road as long as you keep hold of your bars and protect your face with your shoulder it'l only be skin that comes off, nothing broken. Think of it just like any other sport, the harder you go in the less chance of getting hurt. If your going fast u'll slide but if you go slow you'll dig into the road more. As the other guys have said, take it easy untill u get a feel for itand once you've got a feel for it you wont have to worry about crashing. Have fun and good luck.
     
  20. ccorrick

    ccorrick New Member

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    At first this was an odd question to me. Every sport has it's dangers and chances of injuries. You just accept it as part of the game and go on. However, I see where you could be concerned. I do like to help people get into the sport and have a new found love for it, so I'll give my opinions too!

    Basically it boils down to you will either love it, or you won't. As far as a bike goes: See if one of the guys currently on the team has a bike you can borrow for a few weeks? Make sure it's a decent size (under or oversized bikes will be very uncomfortable.) Most cyclists end up with a couple of bikes eventually. Someone mentioned your local bikes shop, and that's a very good place to start.

    Racing will totally consume your life and is not a fly by night thing. It takes a lot of pain and dedication. You will be on the road almost every day and paying attention to what you eat. It hurts too. You will be in pain a lot :D. Not from injury just wonderful delightful pain. Legs, lungs, arms, back, butt. Everything will hurt at first. Just a warning. It's all fun to me. Like I said you will either love it or hate it more than likely. I'd ride my bike even without the prospect of racing.

    Sounds like you have the right build and a good friend to ride with for motivation.
     
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