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went down today - warning!(18 posts)

went down today - warning!daveb
Mar 20, 2001 2:39 PM
Went for a pretty good slide today right near the end of my noon hour ride. Luckily the only casualties are some skin on my elbow, and my favorite pair of shorts, which now have just 7 panels, if you know what i mean. A factor in my crash, besides me being a dumb@ss, was gravel on the road - or more likely the lack of gravel. you see the street cleaners have been out cleaning up the winter gravel, and doing a really good job of leaving the road shoulders smooth clean and fast. I got busted making a speedy downhill right turn from a road that had been cleaned onto one that (surprise!) hadn't been done yet. Hit the gravel and down i go.
So if you live where there is alot of winter road sand still spread around, dont get fooled by the street sweepers like i did. Luckily I have the luxury of riding (and crashing) on nearly deserted roads.

re: went down today - warning!BC
Mar 20, 2001 2:42 PM
Where you from,man? Most of our roads in GA are very crowded.
re: went down today - warning!daveb
Mar 20, 2001 2:59 PM
Thats funny, BC, i live in BC. Near Victoria on Vancouver island. Thats why i was here last week hyping Roland Green's awesome performance at Redlands.
The roads i ride on don't have too much traffic but cyclists still need to be careful. I was lucky that no one was around when i went for my slide.
re: went down today - warning!Jiggy
Mar 20, 2001 4:17 PM
A factor in my crash, besides me being a dumb@ss, was gravel on the road - or more likely the lack of gravel.

BS! The reason, and only reason, you went down is because you WERE a ... you never let your guard down. Glad I wasn't riding with you 'cause you probably would have take me down as well.
Ease up.Ian
Mar 20, 2001 4:55 PM
If you can't post nice, don't post at all. There is no need for your attitude.
What a prick.Red
Mar 20, 2001 6:05 PM
You mean to say you've never come around a blind corner you've done dozens of times to find an unexpected condition ahead? How do you do that? Maybe because you're a doofus who rides approximately the distance from your parents house to your job at Carls Jr on that mid 80's bike you ride, the one with the upturned bars, right?

Or maybe you're God. What's it like?

Sh1t happens. How else could we explain you?
Do i really want to be a roadie??? Makes me think.(nm)ChickenLittle
Mar 20, 2001 6:17 PM
Yes, you want to -- a careful roadie.Humma Hah
Mar 20, 2001 7:29 PM
Maybe you initially want to be a roadie who wears long pants and watches out for loose gravel, among other things.

I'll say this, there's a distinct difference between most road riders and MTBers I've observed. MTBers tend to be reactive, watching very close in front of the bike and reacting lightning-fast to things they see at the last second. Roadies focus much further down the road and do some quick but deliberate thinking about how they're going to handle it. Both skills are good, and getting good at both approaches will make you a better cyclist overall.

The rewards of road cycling are worth the risk (which is not extreme, compared to many sports). Gliding down a smooth road, not getting shaken to death, racking up the miles, reaching the top of a hill, looking back to a ridge barely visible in the haze, and realizing you started somewhere way beyond that, grinding up a mountain a mile or more high on sheer will and then plummeting down again at ... uh, how fast you wanna go? Forty, fifty, 60 mph?
Well said...Kristin
Mar 21, 2001 5:33 AM
It makes me want to go for a long ride in the mountains. I've never riden outside Chicagoland. Here, points B, C & D are always the same elevation as point A. So, theres no point in looking back.

Bummer, I won't get outside Chicago this year either, as I am selling the farm to buy the bike.
Re: Well said...ChicagoAlan
Mar 21, 2001 10:10 AM
I've asked this question of others in this forum who are from Chicago:

What specifics can you provide about the cycling/riding scene in and around Chicago? During the times I've visited the city, it struck me as being flat, WINDY, and pothole city, although from what I understand it is a city that is very bike-friendly (as far as big cities go).

I may end up being transferred to Chicago for some time, and I'm just trying to get a feel for what to expect when I'm there. Do you belong to a cycling club? Are there many local centuries or other organized recreational events?
Re: Well said...ChicagoKristin
Mar 22, 2001 10:46 AM
hmmmm... Well, I personally don't have much experience cycling downtown. I live in the suburbs. But I'll tell you what I know.

Chicago is in the process of rating all the roads for cyclists--its not online yet. The loop roads are pretty good and the cabies here are not as evil as in New York. But once you get outside the loop, it's pothole city! I don't think I've ever seen a real hill inside the city limits. Perhaps you can make up for the lack of hills by riding into the strong headwinds on Michigan Avenue. 40mph+ at times. ;)

I ride with Willow Creek Community Church. There are some talented cyclists who show up. Its not real churchy, if that's not your thing (i.e. no pressure). It's free. Rides are every Tuesday evening. Last year rides were 10, 18, 22, 26 & 35 miles (I think), through the hills of S. Barrington. Beautiful, well chosen routes and a great group of people. They do several weekend trips including a couple centries each summer. I also know that the Fox Valley club is good (a lot of strong riders).

If you're looking for hills, live in the suburbs and commute downtown. The hilliest town I know is Hinsdale. Its kinda like a roller coaster there. Also, consider Barrington and Hoffman Estates.

Good luck! Chicago's a great city. If you want more particulars on anything, feel free to email me.


Chicago Bike Clubs --
Bike Illinois (problems this week) --
League of IL cyclists --
Bike Fed. of Wisconsin --
Info on GRABAAWR --
HH, I disagree with your MTBer and road rider comparisonJimbob
Mar 22, 2001 8:47 AM
I think a lot of times while riding the road you have to be watching the closer things. Maybe part of this is due to the fact that often are drafting or riding with a group in a paceline and watching for arm signals, etc. And with gravel and road surfaces it is sometimes tough to assess until you are right up to it.

With MTBing I know at speed I am looking way ahead and dissecting (without looking directly at and by memorization) what I already checked out micro-seconds earlier.

Atleast this is what I think. I do both disciplines. Do you guys think different??
Do you do both types?HH
Mar 22, 2001 12:04 PM
That statement was based on my observation of people who's experience was pure MTB, who'd entered a fun-run and were mixing it up with roadbikes for the first time. Your typical MTB these days is designed for crazy-fast steering, folks seem to want handlebars like broomsticks and really steep head angles. Ride such a bike down a bumpy trail, and every bump is likely to send it sideways, so you're constantly getting bounced to a new line and it takes full concentration to keep the bike on the trail. A whole generation of MTBers has been trained on these beasts -- the earliest MTB's were based on cruiser geometry and were as predictable as a Harley.

So you get such a rider out on the road, and their attention is focussed ten feet in front of the bike. Follow such a rider at your own risk. Aside from being willing to hit stuff that will potato-chip your wheels, they may also fail to pick a line in time for you to follow smoothly or avoid what they just saw.

But those lightning reflexes are definitely an asset, and a good reason to develop MTB riding skills in addition to road.

I do believe an experienced MTBer will typically plan ahead, too, but I think the best of them put in a lot of road miles in addition to MTB.

At any rate, making the transition from solo MTB to road pacelines does take some learning - the paceline leader looking ahead, avoiding and signaling hazards, trying to follow a smooth line, following riders trying to be steady and predictable, no sudden braking or acceleration, drafting cooperation, higher speeds, and more delicate bikes.
Yes, I do both....Jimbob
Mar 23, 2001 7:12 AM
I have recently bought another road bike for the first time in 8 years. But have been MTBing for 17 years. The new MTBs are definitely a quicker, more agile bike. This new geometry aids in going uphill. The DH bikes still have "cruiser" angles. For all around riding, this new steeper geo is an improvement over the old. I dont know what you meant by h-bars like broomsticks. If you meant wide, thats gonna slow down steering, not speed it up. Im currently looking for a version of my first MTB. THat was 17 years ago. A skilled rider in either discipline who can carry speed down rough terrain has to be able to look and scan ahead and ride what hes not looking at. I would say moreso in the dirt.

Yes, I will agree, there is a lot to learn to be able to ride corectly in a group on the road. Luckily, I have been able to ride with some of the worlds best to give me all the peleton etiquette. But it is tough, I will agree, and the average uninformed MTBer would be a serious hazard in any paceline.

I would also say as far as bike handling skills go only, the roadie has everything to gain from "cross training" on an MTB, and an MTBer has only a little to gain from riding the road.

Now, fitness wise the road is excellent, but a little overrated I think personally. Dont get me wrong, the road is probably the best form of cycling for fitness development. But youve seen Lance Armstrong come from the Tour and 3 weeks later not even finish a 2 hour MTB race and then say "thats the hardest thing Ive ever done." MTB riders are fit and skilled at thier trade. Tomac was tested years ago at the CO Springs facility to have one of the most efficient pedal strokes ever. They think it is due to riding on loose terrain and having to keep traction. Or, maybe hes just a natural and this could have happened with him being a pure roadie. Who knows. Anyway, you can get fit doing both. I love both disciplines. Both have thier own great aspects. I love getting on a long, peaceful, beautiful road and just going. Im amazed at the ground road bikes cover after riding strictly off road for so long. Happy riding to all.
leading by exampleGary
Mar 20, 2001 10:18 PM
No worries...Jiggy is just showing us that anyone can be a dumbass at any one point in time. :-)
Mar 21, 2001 6:07 AM
too late, you just slipped on internet gravel and wiped out. what a shame.
It happens to all of us, sooner or later..DINOSAUR
Mar 21, 2001 6:48 AM
Gravel is very wicked and can be compared with hitting a patch of ice.
Sooner or later we all go done for one reason or another, regardless of how good a rider you are. Now you are aware of the consequences when you encounter the nasty stuff. Program yourself to react accordingly. Glad you wern't seriously hurt. Pro's go down all the time. It's part of riding....
re: went down today - warning!ScottV
Mar 21, 2001 7:57 AM
Glad nothing worse happed to you. I always take it really easy in the spring. You never know when a new pothole might have popped up.

One thing that has helped me a great deal in situations like this is mountain biking. After some the technical stuff that I've done gravel on the road has become a non issue. Though at the speeds you were probable going I'm sure even I would have been down on my ass.