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View Full Version : Road cycling: My first BIG fall...ouch!



snowbunny
05-02-2006, 07:54 AM
Anyone else have a fall on their bike? Here's what happened to me last week>>

To my embarrassment, yes...I had my first big fall on my road bike. Last week I was riding with a group of 11. It was a great ride!....until I ate the pavement. The rider in front of me did not signal he was slowing down, and decided to turn back to check on his wife. Well, needless to say, he was in my line, and I couldn't do anything but hit the brakes, try to unclip fast...but well...I ended up clipping the back tire and he stayed up and I went down. (It all happened so fast! ). So, as the story goes.... here I am on the pavement...saying "crap!", then I stood up and looked at my bike. It was ok. Yes, bikers DO CHECK THEIR BIKES FIRST>>ha,ha!
Then, I doctored up my ouches. Right elbow, and right area below kneecap. It could have been worse. So after the cleanup...we continued the ride. (One male commented, wow...you're pretty tough!)...Minus a tear in my TREK jacket, and some cosmetic damage to my bike, the ouches......the ride was GREAT! I think the worst thing was when I got home:
1. Confronting my husband, who told me to be careful. However, I started off the conversation of how supportive I had been when he fell....that helped alot!!
2. Now this did bite!! Having to clean out the ouches to ensure no rocks, etc. were in the area. YIKES!!!
This was the absolutely the worst!!!! But I didn't want infection, etc., so this is part of the deal.

Now, if that wasn't enough....I had to teach the next morning. Talk about being stiff. Actually, moving my leg seemed to help with the stiffness. I am still recovering, not back at 100%...but getting there. I am still riding and teaching....haven't missed a day. (But just a little slower at the moment.) It just takes time to recover and get back.

So now I have my trophies to show everyone,...until they heal....ha,ha.

One friend told me: There are those who have fallen....and there are those "yet" to fall.

My fall could have been worse, and I am thankful it wasn't. Talk about a reality check!!!!


So, all you road and mountain bikers....tell me your story....I know there are some out there!!

megale3
05-02-2006, 09:43 AM
Glad you are OK!
Hit a parked car, Slid on gravel, had a guy- like you- grab a whole bunch of breaks, too close to curb, and the big one ....forgot to unclip when stoped and not a good track stander at that point OUCH:eek: Hang in there and keep the joints moving. Megale

alexkaboom
05-02-2006, 10:38 AM
Last year... great ride... had great fun on a trail near my house... then on my way home, back on my street a telephone pole jumped out in front of me.... seriously...

All I remember is thinking "but, I'm on smooth pavement!?" I didn't get hurt too badly but made me realize that mud is a lot softer... :D

Alex

megale3
05-02-2006, 12:04 PM
Last year... great ride... had great fun on a trail near my house... then on my way home, back on my street a telephone pole jumped out in front of me.... seriously...

All I remember is thinking "but, I'm on smooth pavement!?" I didn't get hurt too badly but made me realize that mud is a lot softer... :D

Alex

So Alexkaboom went "kaboom"? :D

alexkaboom
05-02-2006, 01:08 PM
So Alexkaboom went "kaboom"? :D

LOL... indeed.:p

Alex

JFK
05-02-2006, 01:12 PM
I once fell on freshly painted road lines. So not only did I have a nice case of road rash, I had road paint on me and my bike (I think that's called adding insult to injury).

I also got blown over on Mt. Washington last year. No injuries, but boy was I stunned for a minute or two there...

JFK
05-02-2006, 01:43 PM
It was the combination of really strong winds and going r-e-a-l-l-y slowly on a switchback. It's not something I'd worry about anywhere else. :)

alexkaboom
05-02-2006, 01:44 PM
ahhh.... switchbacks.... lovely!:D

spinmomma
05-02-2006, 02:57 PM
Riding on Route 1, various stoplights. I was riding into a "GREEN" light when a little grey haired lady (coming toward me) decided to turn left and beat me. Locked up the breaks, rear wheel came up, and over the bars I went. No major scratches, just a few visits to the chiropractor to get myself realigned.

SO here's the funny one. Was out riding with the boyfriend of 4 months. He decided to take a turn to get a few extra miles in. Once he caught back up to me, he came up on alongside of me and scared the @#$%^ out of me and I fell off. Tore the Pearl Izumi shorts, broke a shoe and ripped a glove. Cost him quite a bit to replace the items, and he did happily knowing it was his fault.

My only road rash fall was racing in a Crit at the Woody Creek Raceway in Aspen, just after a light rain. OOOUUUUUCCCCHHHH!!!!

I always tell any knew rider (with cleats especially) you will fall, get it in your mind that it IS going to happen, just go with it when you go.

lorimulichak
05-02-2006, 03:13 PM
My first BIG fall was no fun either . I was racing in Cleveland, there was a crash up ahead of me, I swerved to get out of the path of the guy on the asphalt and cut it too hard. Not only did I get asphalt burns (I have the scars on my elbows and knees to this day, I also herniated a disk....and years later ended up having a laminectomy. I am still trying to recover from the laminectomy (three years post-op).

I also caught an edge of a ski once and tumbled down the mountain tearing ligaments and cartilege in my knee, and had to have knee surgery to repair all that. At this point, I try to keep my feet planted firmly on the ground these days. I am getting too old for that orthopedic surgery stuff. Thank goodness the SPIN bikes are stationary and parked safely in the gym!

Pink
05-02-2006, 03:16 PM
Here's a little cut & paste from a previous thread regarding my fall:

I was on a flat, riding 2nd among 7 riders and I went down for no decernible reason. It would almost be better if I had a reason -- hole, gravel, car, whatever. I was unconscious, seizing, blood running down the side of the road. I was ambulanced to a parking lot and then medi-vaced to the hospital. 3 days in the hospital, came home, back for 2 separate operations. Occupational therapy for 8 months (discharged last month). I have NO memory of anything. In fact, I've very little memory of the entire month of July (head trauma, I am sure my helmet saved my life).

And might I add, I almost didn't want to open this thread but I'm glad I did. It does a gal good to look at falls in a light-hearted manner. But I want us all to be SAFE and injury-free.

JoyofSpin
05-02-2006, 03:26 PM
Oh yuck - live and learn and continue to ride the journey - so glad that it wasn't too bad a fall - and it'll make for a great story for a while - asuming it doesn't hurt to laugh! LOL! - Joy

JoyofSpin
05-02-2006, 03:28 PM
OH and by the way - the tailgating thing gets me in trouble in the car (those quick stops) I just miss a back bumper (usually while yelling at a child!) - Joy

One Cent
05-02-2006, 06:37 PM
Here is my "favorite" fall.
I was madly in lust with a coworker who did not know I existed. He finally asked me to ride with him to the National Mall to check out the cherry blossoms. I was giddy. Off we go - a beautiful day - I am so busy looking at his backisde that when I pop up the curb I puncture my back tire - flip over the handlebars and hang myself with my backpack on said handlebars. To add insult to injury a nice gray haired lady saw the whole thing and asked if she could help me up. . .
I know I was covered with cuts and scrapes but my ego quickly tucked tail!

And no - he did not ask me out again!
And it was also on my first Canondale. Canary yellow. It was hot.
:D

Chkadee
05-02-2006, 06:51 PM
This thread is doing nothing to help me get out on the road more often :eek: So why do I keep reading it?!!

RaffCycles
05-02-2006, 08:44 PM
Chkadee - you keep reading because we have all fallen and gotten back on our our horses and rode again.

So now I'm going to add to the saga.

A few years ago, I was riding with two friends. About a 1/4 mile behind us some jack@$$ in a truck starts beeping his horn like he was pissed at us. We make it through the intersection and he is still laying on the horn. He then proceeds to pass us without moving over. One of the other riders and I got run off the road. I flipped, landed on my gluteous, sprung up and picked up the nearest rock I could find. Needless to say, Nolan Ryan was jealous. Unfotunately he was out of range.

Witnesses called the police and park rangers and we filed a report. Guess who comes back while we are talking to the officers? Yup, our buddy, Jack@$$. He proceeds to tell the officers and park rangers that responded that we were challenging him to a race through the intersection and he didn't want to cross the double yellow to pass us, so it was too bad we didn't all fit on the road. When asked why he didn't stop, he said he needed to pick up a newspaper before they were all sold out. The guy wasn't cited.

A few scrapes and bruises, but the worst part was $250 in damages to my bike. I think Pringles used my wheel as a model. And my fork.... twisted like it was made out of foil.

I went to the prosecutor's office to try to recover my costs and he said he was determining if he was going to charge me with violating the sidepath law. Funny thing is that my bike was propped up against a sign that said riders keep right and the sidepath was on the left (which they photographed). Needless to say I couldn't recover anything in that community.

britspin
05-03-2006, 02:51 AM
I had an 'assisted fall' whilst turnig right at a 4 way junction on the way to work a while ago, I turned out of a side road, onto the busier road as a van decided to pull straight across, he broad-sided me (somehow I lifted my leg clear..no idea how), my pedal caught in his front grille stopping me dead, I sailed gracefully (!) according to witnesses, over the bars, landing flat on my back...said witnesses informed me that I was on the deck for at least a millisecond before getting up & screaming obscenities at this driver, asking him what he was looking for (he said he did not see flouro yellow clad me) etc.
Eventually we got to exchange details, then later his company refused to pay my damages at first, logic did prevail.
I was only bruised & a little bloody, but I was about 1km from work, and for weeks after folks kept coming into the gym..."Was that you I saw standing in the road swearing at top volume last week"....ummmm...

Pink
05-03-2006, 05:56 AM
We're a resilient bunch, aren't we? Proud to be a member!

megale3
05-03-2006, 09:38 AM
Here is my "favorite" fall.
I was madly in lust with a coworker who did not know I existed. He finally asked me to ride with him to the National Mall to check out the cherry blossoms. I was giddy. Off we go - a beautiful day - I am so busy looking at his backisde that when I pop up the curb I puncture my back tire - flip over the handlebars and hang myself with my backpack on said handlebars. To add insult to injury a nice gray haired lady saw the whole thing and asked if she could help me up. . .
I know I was covered with cuts and scrapes but my ego quickly tucked tail!

And no - he did not ask me out again!
And it was also on my first Canondale. Canary yellow. It was hot.
:D

Cannondales Rule! I am glad you are OK ... but How was the bike?? Do you still have it?
Meg

One Cent
05-03-2006, 11:05 AM
Cannondales Rule! I am glad you are OK ... but How was the bike?? Do you still have it?
Meg

The bike did not have a scratch on it. I actually handed the bike down to a younger brother about 4 years after that accident. It last him 2 more before he actually cracked the frame. He has never elaborated on how he did it. His exact words when he later told me were "it was ugly"!:eek:

Velojunkie
05-03-2006, 11:23 AM
My worst crash:
6:00pm Group ride, 30+ riders, Double paceline heading east with the sun at our backs. We had just left the shop and were only about 1/8 mile into the ride. I'm up in the front chit-chatting away when all of a sudden I hear a couple people yell "car" and everyone was deep into their brakes as we saw the car taking a left turn straight into the pack. :eek: The Girl in front of me just squeezed by the front bumper of the car while I ended up kissing the front right fender and part of the passenger window. The one guy to my right wound up on the hood and the guy in front of him was hit in the rear wheel sending him to the pavement.
How no one was seriously hurt I don't know, but the only injuries were the guy that landed on the hood had puncture marks where his front chainrings were impaled into his calf, the guy on the ground had road rash and a dislocated clavical and I had a broken clavical and some cuts on my left hip and leg.
When the police arrived, the woman's excuse was that she couldn't see because the sun was in her eyes and that we shouldn't have been riding on the road anyway. "Uhhh, so that means just blindly turn into oncoming traffic and hope for the best???"
Needless to say, the woman's insurance coughed up the $$$ for medical bills and 3 new bikes and we were all back on the 6pm ride within 2 weeks.:)

marnster
05-03-2006, 11:26 AM
Velo, you have some amazing stories...you could write a book I think! ;)

Velojunkie
05-03-2006, 11:41 AM
Velo, you have some amazing stories...you could write a book I think! ;)

:) Yeah, my wife says "I have more stories than Carter has peanuts".:rolleyes: But, in my defense, there are guys in our club that have been cycling for more than 40 years and I'm small potatos when it comes to having a lot of cycling stories. ;)

*****************************************

That crash happened in 1989.

I previously posted this in another thread "outdoor mishaps" on 4/14 about another crash I had back in 1996.

...in 1996 I was out training for a race and a car decided to take a right turn into me....I went through the passenger side window leading with my shoulder and head. Luckily I wasn't hurt, just a few scrapes and bruises, but I didn't ride outside for over a month. It sucked having to put my rollers out on my deck in the middle of July so I could get in a "ride", but I was scared to death to go out on the road and I have raced since 1983 with dozens of crashes under my belt. It took my friends to literally come and drag me out on a ride to get me "back on the horse" and I'm so greatful to them for that. I still wince everytime a large truck passes me, but I'm out there and if it's going to happen, it's going to happen, but I'm out there enjoying myself.

alexkaboom
05-03-2006, 12:29 PM
My worst crash:
6:00pm Group ride, 30+ riders, Double paceline heading east with the sun at our backs. We had just left the shop and were only about 1/8 mile into the ride. I'm up in the front chit-chatting away when all of a sudden I hear a couple people yell "car" and everyone was deep into their brakes as we saw the car taking a left turn straight into the pack. :eek: The Girl in front of me just squeezed by the front bumper of the car while I ended up kissing the front right fender and part of the passenger window. The one guy to my right wound up on the hood and the guy in front of him was hit in the rear wheel sending him to the pavement.
How no one was seriously hurt I don't know, but the only injuries were the guy that landed on the hood had puncture marks where his front chainrings were impaled into his calf, the guy on the ground had road rash and a dislocated clavical and I had a broken clavical and some cuts on my left hip and leg.
When the police arrived, the woman's excuse was that she couldn't see because the sun was in her eyes and that we shouldn't have been riding on the road anyway. "Uhhh, so that means just blindly turn into oncoming traffic and hope for the best???"
Needless to say, the woman's insurance coughed up the $$$ for medical bills and 3 new bikes and we were all back on the 6pm ride within 2 weeks.:)

Oh Geez! Some people shouldn't have a driver's license... how irresponsible! I'm glad the injuries weren't worse.

bktenn
05-03-2006, 08:46 PM
I just swithched from a road bike to Mtn. in three years I never took one dump. My first two weeks on the trails I can't remember how many, I have numerous brusis cuts and scrapes. This mtn thing is a whole new animal You see my horses over the years have turned me into cat1 tuck and roll pro.
Just how do you take on those hills with sand boulders, trees bed rocks , I find there is no choice but to suck it up and say oops I'll get out of your way soonsoon on


Baindaids ans ice Bk

raptor
05-03-2006, 09:35 PM
My worst crash:
Needless to say, the woman's insurance coughed up the $$$ for medical bills and 3 new bikes and we were all back on the 6pm ride within 2 weeks.:)

Sweet (and the no-injury part)! It's so nice to hear a driver paying the price. You don't hear that so often.

Though I've raced a few dozen times, I can't remember being in a pile-up. My crashes are solo, though one guy did an Iban Mayo on my bike when I fell in front of him (had to replace the seat stays after he rode over them). I sprained my shoulder on that one.

Best crash of mine: I was young, riding the bike path on a quiet afternoon. Clean, dry, smooth cement, bike in excellent tune, good tires, rider strong. I simply went too fast through a corner and slid out. I figure I was doing 20-22 mph, and slid about 30 feet, all on concrete. I lost about 3 square feet of skin on that one. That hurt. I still have some scars.

Lynn

Velojunkie
05-04-2006, 05:59 AM
I feel your pain Lynn, been there. Shaving your legs makes road rash a lot easier to clean the dirt and pebbles out of your wounds I've found.
Contrary to popular belief, it's not for aerodynamics. If I wanted an advantage the first place I'd start is to lay off the pizza. :rolleyes:

JFK
05-04-2006, 11:28 AM
Here's a classic example of "what not to do on your bike." A local racer was out riding at the end of last summer and decided to check his front QR...while he was riding. :eek: I didn't witness it (he told me about it) but he managed to break his arm and get a spoke through his hand.

He lived to tell about it, and got a spiffy new front wheel and fork (his arm had broken the previous fork). Still and all, I told him that if he really thinks he has an issue he should STOP and check. He agrees with me....now. ;)

Chkadee
05-11-2006, 10:41 PM
So, the BTA (Bicycle Transportation Alliance) guys are at school teaching bike safety to the 5th graders (I work as an instructional assistant with the 5th grade). Two guys have been there for nearly two weeks now. Today's lesson is emergency braking and I've been asked to lend a hand since their regular teacher is not at school. No problem. I'd already been asked to do the 7 mile ride (and will join all three classes for a total of about 21 miles!) planned for tomorrow and was pretty excited.

We got out to the track and took a lap around and as we were coming to the spot where we would either do an obstacle course or work on emergency braking, the kids begin lining up. I was bringing up the rear and decided to try this emergency braking thing so I unclipped on my right side and figured I would lean right. Can you see it coming? I stopped and my bike leaned left. Cut to slow motion fall. Hit my knee on the paved path and apparently jammed my shoulder catching myself because it's stiffening up now. Argh!

I'd done that right after I got my spd pedals. I went on a short ride with my son, got back into the driveway and unclipped one side and leaned the other direction.

I came home and put my regular pedals back on. I understand we will be riding on bark dust and some unpaved surfaces so it's probably best.

spinguru
05-12-2006, 04:04 PM
The most memorable fall was my first after going clipless. I was so proud of myself for getting the hang of riding with the cleats that I totally forgot I was clipped in when I came to a red light -- you guessed it -- slowed down and forgot to clip out -- just tried to put my foot down instinctively and boom, went right over on my side. I know it looked like something from a 3 stooges clip, because my best friend, who was riding behind me, almost fell from laughing so hard. Tears were streaming down her cheeks as I sheepishly picked myself up off the pavement and nursed my minor cuts and scrapes. Bike was fine. Ego severely bruised :).

Thank God I've never been seriously hurt -- poo poo!

JFK
05-12-2006, 04:19 PM
For cuts, scrapes and worse:

http://www.bravesoldier.com/1/main.php

I recommend Code Blue and the Crash Paks (because they have that mesh stuf that the pros use to hold a dressing in place. That stuff is the best).

keifer
05-12-2006, 04:31 PM
Hard to beleive but have only fallen twice in 20 years ... first one was a good one ... moved into a new subdivsion with a path from our street to the main road for commuting, but I took a different route home at night ... turns out that day they dug ditches to pour the road curb and the next morning, with no street lights yet, and it was 5:30am and still dark I head off, went to take the path and my front wheel went in the ditch flipped over the handlebars and landed on my head and had a piece of rebar go through my helmet strap and graze my cheek ... got up pissed, checked the bike out ... road into work ... next morning couldn't get out of bed when i told my doctor what happened he just about killed me ... second time was zipping into the driveway totally zoned out and forgot to unclip ... have never, ever done that agian!

gilberth
05-13-2006, 08:45 PM
Not for the squimish. Here's a 100mph bike crash
Howard
http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-162891478515007486

Chkadee
05-13-2006, 08:51 PM
Oh, man! I'm at a loss for words!

Brandy
05-14-2006, 12:05 AM
Okay...I shouldn't have watched that!

Velojunkie
05-14-2006, 09:27 AM
..................so I unclipped on my right side and figured I would lean right. Can you see it coming? I stopped and my bike leaned left. Cut to slow motion fall. Hit my knee on the paved path and apparently jammed my shoulder catching myself because it's stiffening up now. Argh!

I'd done that right after I got my spd pedals. I went on a short ride with my son, got back into the driveway and unclipped one side and leaned the other direction.

I came home and put my regular pedals back on. I understand we will be riding on bark dust and some unpaved surfaces so it's probably best.

This is one way of unclipping to try:
When you are coming to a stop and you unclip one foot, your clipped foot should be at the bottom of the pedal stroke and you should be out of the saddle and standing on that pedal. With your unclipped leg "dangling", for lack of a better word, your bike should automatically lean that way as you come to a stop and put your foot down. You should unclip your "weaker" leg.
Hope this will help you avoid the "Artie Johnson". :)


-Terry


.

raptor
05-14-2006, 11:20 AM
It helped me to think about coming to a stop with cleated pedals as if I'm coming in for a three-point landing. Drop the gear first!

Lynn

Chkadee
05-14-2006, 09:23 PM
Thanks for the hint Terry. I was very glad I changed my pedals for Friday's ride. The riding was slow and I had to make a couple of quick stops for skittish kids. When we got to the park and took to the trails, I had a ball. I think there's more mountain biking in my future.:D I also got a taste of what SPinning has done for me. We were heading up a pretty big hill and the last time up I let all the kids go in front and get all the way up as all of them were getting stuck halfway and walking the rest. I actually made it all the way up the hill! The exhilaration!!

Brandy
05-14-2006, 09:27 PM
I'm going to stick to unclipping on both sides. Had my SECOND fall today and some road rash as a trophy!

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v372/BrandyMama/rrresize.jpg

Chkadee
05-14-2006, 09:31 PM
Ouch Brandy!

Brandy
05-14-2006, 09:47 PM
It looks worse now, but it doesn't hurt. It was a day of milestones for me. First road rash. First slow leak flat. First time changing a flat and I did it all by myself!

britspin
05-15-2006, 02:43 AM
I always (& thought this was universal) clip out on the kerb side, so that is the foot you put down, lean away from the traffic, and if you fall over, you fall toward the sidewalk, not into traffic..that and anticipate, anticipate, anticipate.

Pink
05-15-2006, 06:05 AM
I always (& thought this was universal) clip out on the kerb side, so that is the foot you put down, lean away from the traffic, and if you fall over, you fall toward the sidewalk, not into traffic..that and anticipate, anticipate, anticipate.

Absolutely!

Lizardbiker
12-21-2006, 04:21 PM
I had my first slow motion tip over this September during the ADK540 - during the second night of the race on the last of four loops (136 miles per loop). I was stopped along the road with my "crew" (wife, mother in law and step father in law) changing batteries in my headlight. I went to turn around to go down a very nice descent, and halfway around I did a slow motion tip - almost felt like that guy on the tricycle wearing the yellow raincoat from the old Laugh In show!! I was too tired to be embarassed.