What is your worst cycling experience?

Discussion in 'The Bike Cafe' started by Sandlotje, Apr 12, 2011.

  1. kdelong

    kdelong Well-Known Member

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    When I was 12 years old I ran into a house doing about 15 mph. It wasn't that bad of a day though because I wasn't concious enough to remember much of it. I've had crashes just like everyone else. No major ones though, cuts, bruises, scrapes. None that wrecked my bike badly enough that I wasn't able to ride back to the starting point. I guess that the worst experience was getting attacked by a dog just after climbing a rough hill and not having enough juice to sprint away. I ruined a nice expensive Zefal frame pump beating the dog to keep him off of me, and was angry about it the rest of the ride. Stupid dog owners.
     


  2. danfoz

    danfoz Well-Known Member

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    In high school I planned a ride with my buddy from Upstate NY to Charlemont MA.

    Halfway along in the middle of nowhere, I flatted, then flatted again, the 3rd time realized there was a piece of invisible glass embedded in the tire, at this point no more patches were left but a local farmer sold us a patch kit (he mysteriously had an unopened one handy, even though he had no bicycle) for $10 and wouldn't budge on the price... this was 1982! It was the only money I had brought along.

    Supposedly our particular route should have been 110 miles. Not bloody likely, my friend used the scale from the local map onto the larger map, our route was closer to 160. Doesn't seem like much of an issue, not unless finding this out at mile 85 as you're starting to bonk, thinking you are almost at the destination, with no money.

    Started to rain toward the end and we hit a viciously long downhill, woefully underdressed the descent was a choice between going faster and being colder for less time or gowing slower and being not as cold but for longer. Between the cold and the bonk, this self proclaimed tough guy started crying on the way down.

    Luckily we found a deli, again in the middle of nowhere, but had no money as I had spent it on the patch kit... life as a 15 year old with no CC's and poor planning compounded the issue. The kindly deli owner took pity on my uncontrollable shivering and didn't call the cops when I just sat down in the isle and started eating donuts straight out of the box without paying. Luckily, the friend who we were riding out to visit, convinced his parents to come and pick us up to drive us the rest of the way.

    No dead bodies, except for the occasional roadkill, and although a miserable ride overall (the first 75 miles were however fun), I would never wish it hadn't happened. The many crashes I have had over the course of 20+ years on the bike don't hold a candle to the sheer misery and despondancy suffered on this ride - including a really bad one which is responsible for a portion of my lower face no longer being able to grow facial hair!

    What would life be without the occasional adventure.
     
  3. rideNH

    rideNH New Member

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    My worst experience involved a car. I was riding on a fast flat section of road, not even a mile from my house, finishing a 3+ our ride, and hammering to get home. Doing the same speed as traffic, around 30 mph, a car directly to my left decided last minute to take a right. No directional, and no clue I was there apparently. I was able swerve hard left and avoid hitting that car, only to find out the car in front of him had put on their brakes for on to take a left. I was able to lay the bike down and slide into the back of the car. Damaged the bike, but damaged ribs even more. Adrenaline was pumping, so I didn't even realize I was hurt until 10 minutes after the accident.

    It was still better than going to work.
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  4. NLPayne13

    NLPayne13 New Member

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    I was riding about two weeks ago and was slogging up this climb and some teenagers thought it would be 'fun' to throw a yogurt at me out of their car, they were lucky that it just missed me, otherwise i wouldnt have been to pleased to say the lest. They got a few verbal and visual pleasantaries for their efforts!
     
  5. daviddb

    daviddb New Member

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    Back in the late sixties cycling home from school at the start of new term after the simmer hols I tore down Scots Hill ( The Alp d'Huez of Rickmansworth Urban District Council) at a rate of knots, got a wibble-wobble on and had a complete Eeyore about two thirds of the way down. Friction between myself and the tarmac was such that a Tri-ang metal model of HMS Swiftsure that was in my blazer pocket was completely razed down to hull level and the rest of me more or less marmalised.

    When I eventually limped home Mum, usually an absolute Saint impervious to domestic upsets, just totally tore my arce off for having ruined a brand new uniform that was meant to last all year. First pair of long trousers as well. I spent the entire year looking like the patchwork kid. Still have that model ship somewhere in the garage though......but Mum's just a bunch of happy memories these days.


    as always


    Daviddb
     
  6. Froze

    Froze Well-Known Member

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    What did he say?
     
  7. Gibsito

    Gibsito New Member

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    I have two. One leads to the other.

    Second worst experience: Realizing in the middle of my first tour I could ride no further due to tendinitis of the knees. Not enough preparation, too many hills for my fitness level, no stretching, etc. Packing the bike up and sending it home, and then spending the next 6-months off the bike while the knees recovered, was awful.

    Worst ever experience: Dropping the aforementioned bike in a flooded river, never to be seen again. I was leaving for work (lived on a boat at the time), when the bike fell off the dock and into the river. I dove onto the dock and tried to grab it, but was only able to touch the rear tire with the tip of my finger as it went below the murky, rushing, 30-foot deep waters. Diving in after it was out of the question (early-January cold, flood-stage river running at about 8 knots through a marina filled with boats, slips, debris, etc.). Attempts to find it later were fruitless. That happened 14 years ago and it still makes me sad to think about it. :-(
     
  8. grandamn

    grandamn New Member

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    I have only been road riding for the last 3 weeks. I went for my first ride with my new spd shoes and pedals. As I finished I unclipped my left one but forgot to unclip my right one. Of course I happen to fall in a thorn bush. It was a lesson learned.
     
  9. kdelong

    kdelong Well-Known Member

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    Don't feel bad. Everyone who has owned a pair of clipless pedals has learned the same lesson with varying degrees of pain and embarassment. In the old days, before my friends and I learned how to properly buckle toe straps, it was funny when all that we had were toe clips and straps and pedal cleats. At the end of a ride, anything to support yourself on while loosening the straps was prime real estate. Anyone who couldn't find a support went down. Finishing in the front of the pack on group rides was advisable.
     
  10. rc10

    rc10 New Member

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    I just started cycling this week and I've already had a bad experience Five miles in the trail I found out I forgot my bladder for my camel back at home lol it sucked so bad thank god a lady gave me a water bottle if it wasn't for her I'd be a goner, well maybe not a goner but in big trouble.
     
  11. Stuartm9999

    Stuartm9999 New Member

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    Well, it wasn't this year when I fell on ice and broke my arm or the year before when I fell on ice in exactly the same place and didn't break it! (Who say we learn from our mistakes).
    It wasn't in Toulouse when Is motorist opened a car door straight in front of me.
    Or lay on the wooden decking by Belfast's waterfront hall.
    No - it was a puncture on the way to work. Or shall I say a series of punctures. It was cold and wet in the rainy way that only Ireland can be. I changed the tube after first puncture but obviusly had failed to clear tyre. So I fixed the second puncture. Then I managed to find some thorns which resulted in about 3 or 4 new holes. By this time I'd done about 3 of 10 miles in an hour.
    My patches, tubes and everything were soaking and I was cold and miserable.
    Eventually I walked for about an hour to a bike shop - by this time it was sleeting - and got a new tube fitted.
    Set off 8am. Arrived office 12:30.
    Distance 9 miles.
     
  12. YosemiteGirl

    YosemiteGirl New Member

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    I had my first bad experience on a bike at the Pasadena marathon last weekend. It was wet, just pouring rain, and about 6.5 miles into the ride. about 10 of us were headed down a steep-ish hill, and I was quite a ways out front but taking the hill carefully because of a pretty tight right turn at the bottom.

    As I slowed a bit more to take the turn, I carefully held my line. Then I felt a tire rub up against my tire, on the inside! A group of at least 2 people had come up fast behind me, and, one decided to come up and overlap my rear tire on the inside. He didn't hold his line and ended up rubbing my back tire....I have no idea how I stayed up. None. Dumb beginner's luck, I guess. It rubbed for long enough for me to yell "hey what are you doing" as I pedaled like mad to get away.

    I heard the person go down behind me, and I think he took out at least 2 others. I was so scared I could barley ride for the next several miles. Good think my husband was with me to talk me down!
     
  13. swampy1970

    swampy1970 Well-Known Member

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    You make it sound like everyone finished a ride like a bunch of Lemmings.

    Didn't the news travel east across the Atlantic that you could actually reach down with one hand as you were braking with the other to give the buckle on the toestrap a quick flick so you could get your foot out without having to resort to playing on-the-bike-dominos or looking for something to grab hold of?
     
  14. insane

    insane New Member

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    One of my worst riding experiences was today :/ I was cycling to get some tea from a food centre about 15 km from where I live. It's a way I like to relieve stress. Since it was dark at night and wasn't planning to start cycling on the roads just yet, i decided to take a few park connectors[stretches of track for cyclists and joggers linking nearby parks].
    So at certain parts of the connectors there are crossing signals where the connector meets a stretch of road. Seeing the green man flashing I made a dash for it from a distance. So what I noticed was one of the bollards at the entry to the connector was missing, what I didn't notice was 4 bolts in the ground where the missing bollard would have been. I rode over it really fast, and pfffft both my tubes got busted. :( Never busted my tubes before so never saw the reason to carry a spare set. I had to push my bike back the 5 km i had traveled back home.
     
  15. ryan_tran03

    ryan_tran03 New Member

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    Hit by truck lol. No fun. However, I learned to love my sexy white helmet.

    ...and it loves me too.
     
  16. TGVZG

    TGVZG New Member

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    My worst cycling-related experiences:
    It was the end of the summer, I believe it was 1989. My dad asked me to zip over to my high school main office and drop off some tuition head-checks. Too lazy to walk a mile, I decided to take my brand new Maruishi (Tange tubing, Shimano 600 throughout, a beauty...) I was dressed in casual khakis, but decided to wear my new Detto Pietro racing shoes for the ride. I got to the school building, and figuring it would just take me a minute or so, I locked my bike with my Citadel lock, to a chain link fence. I come out of the office building a minute or two later... Gone was my bike, and a section of the gate. I ran into the building and asked one of the secretaries, who just walked in from a coffee break, if she had seen anyone suspicious outside. She answered, "No, but I did see two workmen politely asking me to clear the way so they could fix the gate". And I had to clickety clack my way home, realizing that I just blew all the money I received as Bar Mitzva presents... and wore down my new cleats. In those days, only professional or die-hard cyclists wore cleated shoes, or knew what the awkward looking footwear was all about, and I was accosted by amused looks, and side-long glances, on my mile-long trek.

    A few years later, I was pulled off another expensive bike at gun point.

    At least the criminals in my neighborhood have good taste...
     
  17. phil2

    phil2 New Member

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    My own worst experience was the one & only time I've had real cramps during a ride. I could actually watch my left quad muscle twitching about 5 mins before the incident, but I didn't anticipate such a spasm. I was on my back 15/20 min, couldn't move, the single most painful experience I have gone thru.
     
  18. Felt_Rider

    Felt_Rider Active Member

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    My worst was a few years ago when a stomach illness hit me mid ride. We were about 10 miles from the end when things were not going to wait any longer. Fortunately there was a small rural church and the door was open. Turned out there was a couple there cleaning and I asked if I could use the restroom. Fortunately I made it in the nick of time. Unfortunately it made the scene in Dumb and Dumber look and sound mild while the cleaning crew was just outside the door. Fortunately they had moved to another part of the building perhaps knowing that I was going to be really embarassed as I walked past them. Fortunately the toilet worked unlike the scene in Dumb and Dumber. I had stomach cramps the remaining 10 miles and made it home before another horrible event. For a long time I carried an Aniti-D pill in my tool bag for such emergency.

    Edit: I almost forgot that my worst was a near 40 mph crash on a mountain descent. Separated shoulder, lots of skin loss and about $500 worth of equipment damage.
     
  19. pantlesspenguin

    pantlesspenguin New Member

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    Man, some of these sound downright horrifying!! I'm lucky that I've only gotten away with a few falls & scrapes.

    I came VERY CLOSE to a catastrophe, though. The other day when I got my new bike, I was so eager to ride it that I hopped on after getting it home from the bike shop. There's a very short trail near my home & I rode it there. The trail is kind of hilly at a point, and my stupid Schwinn I had been using for the past 4 years would struggle to make it to the top unless the wind was to my back. At the bottom of the hill, there is a curve, and a ditch with a metal drain pipe encased in cement RIGHT off the path. It's totally a death trap. Well, it had been awhile since I had ridden on this particular trail, & I completely forgot about the curve and the pipe. I was going down the hill very fast, and it's a dang good thing I was paying attention & not letting my mind wander like I do sometimes while riding. I was able to slow down & make the curve just fine. Afterwards I was a bit shaken up w/ what might have been. To make matters worse, I had been so eager to get on the bike that I didn't even run inside to grab my helmet. It showed me an important lesson, though. PAY ATTENTION & ALWAYS WEAR A HELMET!!
     
  20. lance_armstrong

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    Trying to climb Mt. Ventoux while passing a kidney stone.
     
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