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God, I am such a Klutz!!!(15 posts)

God, I am such a Klutz!!!Kvonnah
Jan 29, 2003 7:39 PM
Seriously. I average a spill roughly every 300 miles. Just did it again yesterday in my parking lot at work. They sprayed de-icer (it has been averaging 50 degrees this winter in Denver, what were they thinking?) and I took a corner that I always take @ 22 mph and, Blam, I lose an edge and bike and me go sliding along both suffering pavement burn - tape and break lever on the bike, arm and hip on me.

I am getting sick of this. Every time it has happened it has been on surfaces I am used to riding (I bike commute) after something -rain, snow, ice or effing de-icer, that I didn't noticed has made it much more slick. I ride a Trek 2300 with Armadillo tires. Any suggestions, beside the obvious slow down and pay attention, to help stop the carnage to myself and ride?
re: God, I am such a Klutz!!!desmo
Jan 29, 2003 7:47 PM
Switch over to platforms with no clips and start "flat-trackin" those slick corners with one foot down. A big padded suit might help as well.
That's impressivemickey-mac
Jan 29, 2003 8:09 PM
Granted I don't ride on ice or snow, but my rough estimate is that I've gone down once in about every 10,000 to 12,000 miles. Are you the type who falls frequently when walking or running? Some people are just prone to falls, whether on the bike or elsewhere. Is this just a two wheel problem?
I used to ride with a co-worker who...Ray Sachs
Jan 30, 2003 5:49 AM
wiped out all the time. Not quite every ride, but many times per season - probably close to once a week. And when he didn't, he should have. I remember following him down a perfectly smooth and dry descent in the mid-30mph range and while going through a sweeping curve at speed, his rear wheel jumped a good six inches to the left for no reason that I could see at all. He recovered from that one, but usually went down. It was sort of a joke around the office (a bunch of cyclists here) - we'd give him a hard time when he made it through a ride without drawing blood.

I don't think he rides much anymore - probably smart in his case.

Be careful out there,

training wheels until Spring? nmBruno S
Jan 29, 2003 8:28 PM
It's probably mental.micha
Jan 30, 2003 3:38 AM
It seems to me you're not reading your riding environment carefully all the time. You probably take note of the conditions only at the beginnig of your commute and let your brain get stuck in the "dry, good traction, no problems" mode. You're basically an optimist with courage. People like that crash a lot, but win races.

I have the exact opposite problem. I read my riding environment too nervously. This means that I go around turns much slower than I could have and hate myself for it. I'm basically a pessimist without courage. People like that almost never crash, but never win races.

For your commute, you might want to put yourself in the middle between these two extremes.

There's a little bike-handling thing that might help at relatively low speeds: When running into totally unforeseen gravel or sand in a turn, bring the bike upright under you and lean the body more into the inside of the turn. You could practice this in a parking lot: make some very low-speed, tight U-turns with the bike perfectly vertical. The only thing that leans is your body. You'll get the idea.
Jan 30, 2003 5:55 AM
You might try running lower pressures in your tires, particularly if you are pumping them up over 110 psi. Some tires also are more prone to slip or stick to the road. Michelin makes a winter version of the Axial Pro that supposed be stickier. I think most of the long-wearing tires, like Armadillos, tend to be harder and thus slippier. Given your history, it might be worthwhile to start using stickier tires (like most of the more expensive racing tires), which won't wear as long but might keep you upright.

You also ought to examine your riding style. Perhaps you are just trying to corner too aggressively. I have been riding for 30 years and have only fallen once, at a stop sign when I couldn't unclip from my pedals.
Do you give yourself enough time to get to work?velocity
Jan 30, 2003 6:57 AM
I commute as well. I've only gone down a couple of times outside of my commute, but on my commute I've more frequently had crashes. I attribute those accidents mostly to my leaving late, rushing to work, and not paying enough attention to hazards like slick patches of road. I think the answer IS mostly obvious -- go slower, pay more attention, and save the hammering for your non-commute cycling hours. You don't want to seriously damage your bike and/or yourself commuting.
Jan 30, 2003 7:11 AM
Try Southern California. We get about 2 days of inclement weather a year, no ice, no de-icer. Heck, I took the trash out last night in bare feet.
Been there, fallen off that...Caseysdad
Jan 30, 2003 7:15 AM
I moved into my new house about three years ago and immediately got way off into having a garage in which I could work on my bike. After a blissfully long tune up session, I hopped on for a quick test ride up and down the cul de sac.

Coming down the hill at about 5 mph, I glanced down at my chain/brakes/wheel... something. When I looked back up, the neighbor's dog was making a noisy bee-line straight for me and was already about three steps into the road. Reflexively, I grabbed two fists full of brake levers, stopped the bike dead in its tracks and immediately went airborne. Landed hard on my left shoulder. (No time to think about falling "right" or to contemplate my flight path.) Jumped up immediately in anticipation of said dog, only to notice the unmistakable pain of a snapped collarbone - and no Rover. Turns out, the dog was tied up and had stopped well short of my path down the road. (Need I ask what kind of rocket scientist ties their dog in the yard but still gives them enough line to let them stroll six feet into the street???)

End result: eight weeks of no riding - though on the up side, also eight weeks of minimal unpacking boxes - and the pleasure of looking like a complete dork in front of all my brand new neighbors, most of whom just happened to be staning in their front yards at that very moment.

Adding insult (or at least embarrassment) to injury was the futility of trying to explain to the doctor at the emergency room why, no, in fact I wasn't wearing my helmet for my 60-second ride covering the 100 yards of road beyond my driveway.

Bottom line, nasty wipe-outs are going to happen. Just remember that any accident that you can walk away from is a good accident. And any accident that nobody sees is a great accident!
Jan 30, 2003 7:32 AM
Live up to your website handle of kvonnah and concentrate! Crashes hurt and hopefully can be avoided.

In such weather, I ride bikes with upright handlebars and corner with more care. (Here in Baltimore,I have commuted to work by bike since the late 1970s.)

As an aside, are you frum?
Blasphemy! Yor gonna burn in hell! nmeschelon
Jan 30, 2003 7:59 AM
re: God, I am such a Klutz!!!Kvonnah
Jan 30, 2003 9:05 AM
Training wheels and padded suit! ratflmao! Yes those would probably help me a lot. I some of you have brought up good points. It only happens on my commute suggesting that I am not concentrating on the ride. Everything is so routine on the commute that I tend to think of completely un-related things and do not pay enough attention to the conditions.

Another problem is that the weather HAS been so amazing this winter, hardly any rain or snow, that when it does happen I tend to be less cautious.

Finally, to the person who said it was better if there were no witnesses, I agree. My first week with my Looks I came to a stop sign and was struggling to get out and did the Artie Johnson from LAFF IN 1 mph fall over sideways directly in front of a car load of beautiful collage girls that I thought I would impress with my great acceleration from a stop. THAT was comedy.
re: God, I am such a Klutz!!!Rich_Racer
Jan 30, 2003 9:29 AM
Maybe the simplest answer would be to start taking slightly different routes to work. Granted I now live in SoCal so don't have the aformentioned problems but I've been commuting to work via 3 different routes. I guess though if you're late you'll go too fast on the shortest route everytime! That is, I do!
This would be my recommendation.....scary slow
Jan 30, 2003 10:15 AM