Speaking of crashes....



SierraSlim

Member
Oct 4, 2010
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[COLOR= #0000ff]Hey, Y'all![/COLOR]

[COLOR= #0000ff]I just read the thread on crashes, and have a question about them (I can envision you rolling your eyes, here... "Here comes Sierra with another one," lol). [/COLOR]

[COLOR= #0000ff]I've never HAD a crash on a bike yet. Well, I did when I was 12 and went face-first into a chopped-down hedge and really scraped up my face... but since that was 48 years ago, I'm not sure it counts, lol -- though the fact that I still remember it may say something. [/COLOR]

[COLOR= #0000ff]Anyway, I haven't had a crash since I started biking in July, knock on wood, but I know that it's only a matter of time. And especially now that I've brought it up, that time is probably the next time I get on a bike, lol. The thought actually makes me fairly nervous because, aside from any pain involved, at almost 60 if I fall and break a hip, the recovery is not gonna be easy! But my question is this:[/COLOR]

[COLOR= #0000ff]Since I'm riding alone at 12-15 mph and don't have to worry about hitting other bikers, etc.... Is there anything you do while crashing to keep it from being worse than it will be? (I always wear a helmet and gloves.) Do you try to brace yourself, or will that just break your arm? Do you just try to relax and sort of roll (which must be hard in a panicky situation)? Any ideas to minimize the damage?[/COLOR]

[COLOR= #0000ff]Thanks![/COLOR]
 

64Paramount

Active Member
Jul 25, 2009
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I think that it's much like slipping on an icey sidewalk or a slippery bathtub; instinct is going to take over and you'll try to catch yourself however you can.

As you already mentioned, we prepare for the worst by wearing safety equipment (helmets, gloves).

Other than that I think the best thing to do is just ride defensively, just like you drive defensively when you drive your car.

My Dad rode a bicycle until he was in his mid seventies (my 1964 Schwinn Paramount was his) and never had a crash. If you're a careful rider you may never have a crash either. /img/vbsmilies/smilies/smile.gif
 

Froze

Well-Known Member
Jul 13, 2004
4,712
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NE Indiana
Try not to focus on the negative aspects of riding, that's a good starting point in preventing accidents. Also don't knock on wood because you may hurt your hand and drive out beetles and ash borers.

Sometimes you may not want to brace your self with out reached arms etc because you could break hands, arms or whatever, sometimes it's best to roll with the bike attached to you!

You may want to see if your city or a bike shop ever puts on classes on how to avoid and what to do in case of an accident. You can practice slow maneuvers on a grassy field so in case you fall you land on grass not pavement. There are web sites that discuss maneuvering techniques like these:
http://ezinearticles.com/?How-to-Maneuver-Bicycles-Like-a-Professional&id=4681011

I know this about MTB'ing but you'll be surprised as to how much you can learn from sites like this that can help you on the street: http://www.specialtyoutdoors.com/penny/biking/ridetips.asp
And: http://www.ehow.com/video_2361528_balance-bike-place.html See the other videos too. I know things like trackstand balancing may not seem important to you but it assists in your overall balance and coordination which will help you on the street. This is why I said practice on a grassy area!

Here is a site with basic bicycle safety skills: http://www.seattlebicycleclub.org/members/effective_cycling/group_riding_techniques.html
 

shuituzi

Banned
Oct 21, 2010
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Well, I did when I was 12 and went face-first into a chopped-down hedge and really scraped up my face... but since that was 48 years ago, I'm not sure it counts, lol -- though the fact that I still remember it may say something.
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SierraSlim

Member
Oct 4, 2010
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[COLOR= #0000ff]Hey, Paramount! [/COLOR]

[COLOR= #0000ff]I love knowing that your Dad never had a crash. There may be hope for me yet, lol, but I am one of the UNluckiest people you will ever know, so I try to be prepared. [/COLOR]

[COLOR= #0000ff]I am a SUPER-defensive driver, and it probably saved my life last week. I know the SUV driver had seen me, because he stopped at a stop sign to let me cross in front of him (I had gotten to the 4-way stop first). We proceeded down the road in the same direction. He drove slowly and began edging closer to me, and it made me nervous so I got up on the sidewalk. I don't know if that was the wrong thing to do, but he was pretty much squeezing me against the cars parked on the side of the road. As I continued down the sidewalk I kept glancing back at him, and it's a good thing because just as I got to where the sidewalk crossed his driveway, he floored it and raced into the driveway -- so abruptly that if I hadn't seen him coming and done a swerve backward into his side yard, he'd have hit me. [/COLOR]

[COLOR= #0000ff]Once I regained control I just kept going, because I didn't know what his problem was, and didn't want any confrontation. But it was my first near-miss, and he scared me to death. Also reinforced my defensive driving urge, lol. [/COLOR]

[COLOR= #0000ff]Happy pedaling defensively! /img/vbsmilies/smilies/wink.gif[/COLOR]

[COLOR= #0000ff]Sierra[/COLOR]
 

SierraSlim

Member
Oct 4, 2010
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[COLOR= #0000ff]Hi, Froze![/COLOR]

[COLOR= #0000ff]Loved your comment: [/COLOR][COLOR= #000000]Don't knock on wood because you may hurt your hand and drive out beetles and ash borers[/COLOR][COLOR= #0000ff]. In my case though, it would probably knock out what few brain cells I have left, lol. [/COLOR]

[COLOR= #0000ff]I looked at all the links you provided and really enjoyed them! The guy standstill-balancing on his bike was really impressive, but I would have to practice that on a mattress. /img/vbsmilies/smilies/tongue.gif And the group-riding site was very cool. I knew a lot of it, but there were some great tips I didn't know, so thanks! [/COLOR]

[COLOR= #0000ff]I won't dwell on the negative aspects like wrecking, I'm just one of those people for whom information is power, so I try to learn the right way to do just about anything. When I tried to learn ice-skating decades ago, they insisted that it didn't hurt when you fall if you just relax and let it happen. I was like, "How can you relax with ICE is about to hit your face???" Never did figure that out, so may not be able to with biking, either, lol. I'll just try to be careful, wear my helmet, and hope for the best.[/COLOR]

[COLOR= #0000ff]Have a good one![/COLOR]

[COLOR= #0000ff]Sierra[/COLOR]
 

drummerboy1248

New Member
May 23, 2004
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Alot of crashes happen so fast that you don't get a chance to really think about how to fall. But if you are able to recognize that you are going down, the best thing I have found is to unclip from the pedals, grab the brakes to slow down or let the bike go down, and try to stay on your feet. Easier said than done, especially in hard,slick soled road shoes, but it can save you or lessen the severity of injury. You may still go down, but it helps to slow you down some and control the fall a little. I raced regularly when I was single and was involved in alot of crashes, but never got hurt, or at least not anything that kept me from jumping back on and rejoining the race. Alot of the reason was because I kept my eyes up, saw it coming, and was able to get my feet free and on the ground first. The crashes where I have gone down and broken bones or been severely road rashed were caused by mechanical failure(chain snapped while in a standing sprint), turning onto an unbeknownst to me crushed rock covered road way at 30 mph, and getting caught in a west Texas dirt devil that blinded me and I clipped a pedal on the curb. I can't forget the times when I have been injured, but I choose to go on riding and racing anyway. Always wear a helmet - the snapped chain resulted in a shattered collar bone, but my head took the initial impact. I thinking the collar bone was alot easier fix than a shattered skull. But it did trash a brand new helmet, darnit!
 

blazingpedals

New Member
Oct 18, 2004
394
3
18
If you can't get a foot under you and simply stand up, it's probably better to drop and roll. You'll lose skin, but skin grows back pretty well and you'll be less likely to break something that's harder to mend. If the though of falling from a bike *really* bothers you, then consider starting your fall from a lower position.


 

Pinelander

New Member
Jul 5, 2009
39
4
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I'm not going to go into too much personal detail because I'm reminded of once thinking how it had been a long time since I had a flat, and then I verbalized the thought and soon had a string of flats. My crashes have been more like falls. Several times I've looked totally stupid at a traffic light where I couldn't get out of my clips fast enough and slowly fell over in front of other stopped motorists. It's hard to look cool picking your butt up off the pavement. Other than that, I guess a lot has to do with the area where you ride. I'm lucky and ride in a rural area with wide shoulders and generally well-paved roads. Still,... a little paranoia and a lot of situational awareness goes a long way. There is never a good time to daydream on a moving bike.
 

Froze

Well-Known Member
Jul 13, 2004
4,712
375
83
NE Indiana
I use to be able to track stand like that when I was in my 20's but the older I got the less well I could do it, and now that I'm in my 50's it's work to try to track stand for only a few seconds. As far as crashing goes, the less you worry about it the less likely it is to happen, the more you fixate on crashing the more likely you will. The biggest thing in crashing is avoiding them in the first place by riding carefully and don't override your skill level, and paying attention to what's around you at all times by keeping your ears unhindered, your eyes moving to get the big picture, don't let your eyes stare at any one point for more then 5 seconds, and especially don't get into a road trance by staring at the road in front of your tire. You need to keep your eyes constantly scanning looking for potential problems, including looking behind you with a quick glance by dropping your head and looking under your arms to the rear, especially important when preparing to turn either right or left.

As far as the feet thing goes if your going down there's two schools of thought, one that Drummerboy said and one he didn't. That is to keep your feet on the pedals if you go down because a leg flying about trying to stop a crash is less likely to break if it remains on the pedal. I've always practiced the latter especially at higher speeds and never broke a leg...but I've only had maybe a half a dozen crashes in 35+ years of riding and only 2 resulted in the left shoulder being partially dislocated twice and the another partially dislocated the right, and one crash cut my eye brow, I put super glue on it and two band-aids and rode to a hospital where they applied cold steel rod for a while then numbed and re-cut it and applied 3 butterfly stitches along with more superglue. the other 3 resulted in nothing but laughs for those who saw them!