Is wiping out (crashing) a danger when doing solo sprints?

Discussion in 'Cycling Training' started by JamesAA, Jul 17, 2014.

  1. JamesAA

    JamesAA New Member

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    I started doing some interval training on the street I live on. I do it early in the morning--no traffic whatsoever.

    My concern is wiping out. I do short sprints (about 100m), and so I get going at pretty decent speeds. I definitely would be feeling some serious pain if I were to lose control and wipe out.

    Pardon me if this sounds utterly stupid, but are the chances of wiping out fairly low? Almost zero? Or do they happen a scary enough percentage of time? I'm not sure what could cause the wipe out, but a blow out on the front tire I would think could do it???

    I really don't know. So I thought I'd ask more seasoned cyclists. I'm doing it often enough that it has me at least a little concerned. I want to know if I am playing with fire or if it's very unlikely to happen.

    Thanks :)
     
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  2. jhuskey

    jhuskey Moderator

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    Any time you are on a bike you are one mis-move away from a crash and the harder you push the more expposure you have. That being said practice will reduce your risk.
     
  3. danfoz

    danfoz Well-Known Member

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    Fully agree being on a bike at speed requires cautious attention at all times. Even at full tilt however one should be in complete control of their bike at all times which can be accomplished through progressively increasing speed, being familiar with ones bike and making sure it is in good working order, and plenty of practice.

    Always make sure snafu's are kept to a minimum i.e. low/no pedestrian scenario (closed courses are best), no chance of cars coming out of nowhere (blind corners, pulling out of driveways, etc), be aware of the road in front of you at all times (NEVER sprint with your head down), and sounds obvious but no drunk riding!

    I've had other accidents during competition and casual riding brought on by riders not holding their line, or allowing wheel overlap during a momentary lapse of reason, but none doing the full tilt boogie sprint training either solo or with friends that I've engaged in on and off for the over three decades I've been riding.

    NOTE: many accidents in sports that require coordination (martial arts, skiing, cycling, etc) are facilitated by physical exhaustion. Being flooded with lactate seriously diminishes motor coordination.
     
  4. JamesAA

    JamesAA New Member

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    What about wiping out in the absence of any cars or pedestrians (or animals for that matter)...I mean just blowing a front tire or something while at full speed. Could this cause one to lose control?

    Assuming you don't hit anything, are blowouts while biking pretty rare?
     
  5. danfoz

    danfoz Well-Known Member

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    Blowouts on clincher tires can easily cause a wipe out. This is the one big advantage of tubulars that are glued to the rim which usually always keep a bit of rubber between the rim and the road, even when the tire is flat.

    Blowouts are rare, but they do happen. Over inflating tires may lead to these types of scenarios (ever put a needle to a very full balloon vs. a 3/4 inflated one? Very different "explosions". But most everyone gets a flat tire at some point.

    I got a flat tire during a race at moderate speed going through a turn and it almost brought me down. I kept the bike upright and straight and luckily avoided the riders between me and the side of the road. I've never had a flat tire or blowout occur in a sprint though.

    Always make sure your tires are inflated to an appropriate pressure, are free of any embedded debris (small bits of glass, etc), and the tread has existing life. Lots of guys like to brag about riding their tires down to the threads, but it is potentially very dangerous. And when installing a new tube, always makes sure none of it is trapped between the tire and rim (visually confirm by going around the wheel fully on both sides) before fully inflating.
     
  6. jhuskey

    jhuskey Moderator

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    Blowouts or low tires are especially dangerous on hard steep curves.The tire can walk right off the rim.
     
  7. Felt_Rider

    Felt_Rider Active Member

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    ....another couple to add and possibility of self-inflicted chaos in a hard sprint since I have almost had these two happen to me.

    losing grip of one of the bars due to excessive sweat or just not holding tight enough

    worn cleats or cleat detaching (falls under what dan stated about keeping all gear in top working condition)


    .....ugh
     
  8. RapDaddyo

    RapDaddyo Active Member

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    Clinchers deflate instantly whereas tubulars deflate more slowly (normally). When you get a flat with clinchers, you have to avoid any side loads whatsoever, so hopefully when you get a flat you can hold a straight line and remain perfectly balanced. If you try to make a turn or put any side load on the tire, it will likely roll under the rim and you will go down for sure. For sprint practicing, I would look for a road with either very light traffic or at least a wide shoulder/bike lane, and not just for tire blowouts. I once broke my right cleat doing about 1K watts in a practice sprint. My right foot went off the pedal and struck the ground, I swerved hard to the right and almost lost control. It's a good thing it wasn't my left cleat because I would have swerved into traffic. It's also good to find a road segment with an upgrade because your speed won't build up so much and you won't spin out. I prefer about 6-8% grades for practice sprints.
     
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