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Friday Poll: How many crashes have you had? How long have you been riding?(42 posts)

Friday Poll: How many crashes have you had? How long have you been riding?Kristin
Mar 14, 2003 7:20 AM
Tell about your:
A. Scariest
B. Worst
C. Funniest
I've had 2 in my life. I've been riding for 4 years kinda.Kristin
Mar 14, 2003 7:28 AM
I'll re-tell about my first crash. I was six...

It was spring and I was experiencing negative cash flow. I decided to start a small company--beer bottle floral arrangements. I rode my huffy down to the swamp and dug up some dicarded Budwiser bottles. I cleaned em up and filled em with some weeds, then sold them door to door for a quarter a piece. I ran out of inventory (sold three) and was feeling rather proud of myself. I went back and loaded up with more! Now, managing such a large inventory and navigating my delivery truck was tricky. So I momentarily released my grip on the wheel to steady the merchandise. That's just about the time I remembered that didn't know how to ride with no hands. I still have a 4 inch scar on my leg. My father liquidated the business.
Ouch. Reminds me of the childhood introduction to physics-128
Mar 14, 2003 8:19 AM
trying to ride home with the sunday paper slung over your wrist.

Stay upright, "Streets are un-even, when you're down."
check back with me after this weekendJS Haiku Shop
Mar 14, 2003 7:31 AM
'cause Wonderdog is forcing me to ride 40-50 fixed over rolling hills with him. of course, i've ridden all of 2.5 miles fixed so far, and almost broke my neck 3 times in that short time. i suspect scariest, worst, and funniest on saturday.

3 car incidents in the last 14yearsonespeed
Mar 14, 2003 7:32 AM
1. January 1992-hit by a car while messengering, that ran a redlight-ended up in surgery 2 months later and back to work as a messenger 2 months after.

2. January 1998-hit by a car that turned right with no signal. Ended my career as a messenger.

3. February 2002-hit by a car from behind at 50mph,after I merged into a left hand turn lane. I was thrown 30-40 feet and ended up in the ER with a lot of bruises but nothing too bad.

Close calls are too numerous to count and I dont count bike scrapes by fellow cyclists. But I still ride everyday.
re: Friday Poll: How many crashes have you had? How long have you been riding?Fender
Mar 14, 2003 7:50 AM
I have way too many, but here are some of the "best":

1) 30lb dogs starts chasing the group I'm in. After getting caught mid pack it decides to run back home and cuts across me. I hit head first into the pavement and ended up in the ER, on mothers day (I was 18 at the time). Dog later died.

2) Tried jumping of an 18" bench. Face-planted onto the grass, which had just been covered with fresh manure.

3)Couldn't unclip my pedals as I came to a stop, in front of all these Asian tourists.

4)Getting hit by a car while descending at 30+mph. No major damage.

I'll stop here.
29 years: 3 crashes, 2 minor, 1 major.DINOSAUR
Mar 14, 2003 7:50 AM
Worst crash was in Feb of 2000: Returning home and almost .4 miles from my driveway I sustained a blow out to my front tire while descending. I went down hard, knocked unconscious, fractured 4 ribs and a minor concussion (not to mention the abrasions and contusions). I spent 7 days in the hosptial. The ER doctor said my helmet saved my life.

First crash 1977 (?): A guy pulled out of a side road driving a pickup truck directly in my path and I ran into him. No injures but I later found out I damaged the rear axel of my bike.

Second crash 1981 (?) Descending Mt. Hamilton Rd in San Jose Ca and I went down while descending and received a case of road rash.

Funniest- I was unclipping at the bottom of my driveway a couple of years ago and decided to unclip my right foot first and I toppled over directly in front of a car driving on the road and I curled up in a little ball in order to make as small a target as possible. They veered around me and kept on going like it was no big deal. First scratch on my then almost new Klein.

Scariest- My near encounter with almost running over the biggest rattle snake I have ever seen in my life while descending around 35 MPH. Mr. rattle snake looked like a large tree branch laying in the road, luckily he was going the right direction.

Lessions learned- Always wear your helmet, don't let your guard down just because you are almost home, don't think because a motorist looks at you he/she sees you, and watch your speed when descending, I learned to become a better climber to make up time (losing body weight really helped).

I'm now very adapt at unclipping with either foot...
How did you go about learning to unclip with both feet?Kristin
Mar 14, 2003 8:11 AM
I decided 2 years ago to attempt this. But instead of trying to unclip right (I normally go left), I decided to stop normally, then unclip my right foot, clip in my left foot, then try to take off that way. I immediatly weighted to the left side and toppled over. It would have been funny if this 80 year old man who saw it hadn't asked my A THOUSAND times if I was okay.
Mar 14, 2003 8:23 AM
What helped me is once and awhile I have to stop at an intersection (I can usually go a whole ride without stopping where I live)and I unclip my right foot and put it on a berm so It's easier to take off. Most of the time I unclip with my left foot...not having your cleat tension too tight and chucking your cleats before they get too worn helps also..if I unclip with my right foot I have to think about it, left footed comes naturally.....I guess we could call this "My Left Foot"....
mountain biking...._rt_
Mar 14, 2003 9:41 AM
teaches you to unclip with either foot. or you fall even more than you would otherwise. i still favor unclipping right foot first but either side will do.

on the other hand, i can only coast with my right foot forward and don't even ask me to attempt to hop a log with my left foot in front!

I assume you're talking about road crashes...lonefrontranger
Mar 14, 2003 7:51 AM
Because if I had to tally up all my MTB / 'cross bike trail crashes we'd be here for a real long time. Most of those don't count anyway 'cos they're the sort of roll-over-slow kind that usually result in more amusement than anything.

Worst: Would have to be when I broke my left forearm. Took a lot of surgery to fix it and it never healed right in the end (wrist has very limited mobility, forearm is a bit curved). That was a stupid crash when I was a teen just getting into "serious" biking - I was farting around riding no-hands and hit a rock.

Scariest: Probably when my teammate hooked my wheel at 30mph in one of my first road races and turned my entire right side into hamburger, from which resulted the big alien on my shoulder. Even last year's crit crash can't top the feeling of sliding / tumbling for what seems like forever along the pavement. The smell of burning skin is really gross.

Funniest: The "synchonized dorks" Arte my teammate and I did off a curb at KY/IN district crit a few years back.

I seem to have a real good crash on the road an average of about once every 18 months. I've been hit by cars twice, both times I was lucky and unhurt except for a LOT of bruises.
re: Friday Poll: How many crashes have you had? How long have you been riding?PEDDLEFOOT
Mar 14, 2003 7:54 AM
I'v been riding road for three years and have only 1 minor crash.I slid on some loose gravel and lost it on the shoulder of the road.I went tumbling over on the gravel shoulder and slid a little.I was only going 15 mph at the time.No serious injuries just some scrapes and cuts.The bike was fine to except for minor scratches to the levers.

The funniest was the usual first time riding clipless pedals story.Stopping at a red light at a busy intersection and forgot to clip out.Fell over in slow motion.Everybody just stared at me like I was a total idiot.I probably looked like one.I just had to start laughing.I bowed to the people looking at me and then got back on and road away.
finally happened.just like they said it would:TheCliplessD'oh128
Mar 14, 2003 7:56 AM
Moral: Don't change your routine.
My Habit: Unclip the right, slow, lean right, contact, stop, unclip left. No problem.

Had to be a hero this day, and unclip both as I slowed to a stop, directly in front of the house. With both shoes resting on pedals, didn't dab right foot as usual because hey, I'm cool. Turns out, just as I ran out of momentum and stalled, both feet were hung up in the pedals. Great, I thought, I have stopped and will fall over unless I can GETONEOFTHESESHOES ON THE..!! We're going over. Shiit. Commit to fall. Commit to fall. Have no choice. Repeat: no choice.
And of course it's all in slow motion from there down. A terrifically pathetic "crash". But isn't it weird, how just before this classic maneuver your whole reputation flashes before your eyes. What will they think of me? How am I ever going to explain this.

(Ride safe -ly)
Many minor, a couple serious, in about 44 years ...Humma Hah
Mar 14, 2003 8:08 AM
The first I can remember was when a woman who was driving a 1940-something relic with bad brakes was turning left while tending to the toddler in the front seat beside her and creamed me right in front of my home. The ambulance was right there waiting for the light to change, and a police car was a block away. Went to the hospital, got x-rayed and checked out, had two bruises. I was 15. That episode wised me up to cars.

I've been doored about 3 times in my life.

I've had some close calls with cars, but nothing really bad lately in traffic other than getting doored a couple of years ago.

I've had bunches of comical wrecks of my own doing, especially off-road or goofing around.
Um, Zero, but I'm afraid I'll have one today for answering...Fez
Mar 14, 2003 8:10 AM
This doesn't really count as a real crash, but over 10 years ago I was on a bike trail JRA when an old guy on a real old bike cut me off as he was entering the trail. Contact was unavoidable, but I didn't crash.

The interesting part of this run-in was I noticed he had an open Budweiser 40 ouncer in one of his hands.
30 years cycling, 0 (zero) crashestarwheel
Mar 14, 2003 8:19 AM
Am I just lucky, or am I doing something right? I don't race, so that's an important factor to consider. I'm also very careful riding in traffic and always wear brightly colored jerseys, due in part to experiences (recounted below) learned from riding a motorcycle.

I am not counting the one time I toppled over at a stop sign when I couldn't unclip, but I don't consider that a crash. I also am not counting two crashes I had riding a motorcycle in high school. In one case, I flew over the handlebar riding too fast over some downhill terraces and broke my collar bone. In the other case, I hit an unmarked cable stretched across a dirt road. Fortunately, I saw the cable in the last few seconds and was able to skid sideways, putting dent in my gas tank and a nice red stripe across my chest. This was a very scary incident because the cable could have broken my neck if I had not seen it and laid down my motorcycle at the last second. Part of the reason why I quit riding and sold the motorcycle.
it was nice knowing you nmJS Haiku Shop
Mar 14, 2003 8:23 AM
uh, oh ... is this like talking about flats? nmtarwheel
Mar 14, 2003 9:32 AM
noooooooooooooo comment nmJS Haiku Shop
Mar 14, 2003 9:44 AM
My middle name used to be Crash.MR_GRUMPY
Mar 14, 2003 8:28 AM
Been riding for about 20 years, and racing for 15. The last 6 years, serious.
I've lost count on the number of crashes I've been in, but I've been crash free for the last two years. (Maybe I've finally learned not to look at other peoples crashes).
Scariest: On a 2000 training ride, we were just setting up for the final sprint. We were going 28 MPH when a car pulled up on my left. All of a sudden, I ran over a big sharp rock. My front tire blew out, and kicked my bike to the right. I saw that I was going to fall into the side of the car next to me, so I reached out with my left hand, and pushed off his back fender. That allowed me to miss him and crash just behind. Tons of road rash, but no injuries.
Worst: 2000 Masters Nationals. 3 miles into the road race the pace was up to 35 MPH on the flats, when two riders, 10 rows ahead, touched wheels. All of a sudden, 20 riders were flying into the air. I made a perfect one point landing, but unfortunely I landed on another bike. I snapped that sucker at the top and down tubes. I drove home from Indiana with busted ribs and a pulled groin.
Ain't life grand..........
blood, guts, protruding bones...PaulCL
Mar 14, 2003 8:33 AM
What a fun topic just as spring is this a 'bad karma' topic???


1. Scariest/Worst: Nailing a dog from behind while flying down a hill at 40mph. Dog condition??? Mine: 3rd AC sep/bruised kidney, damaged sciatic nerve, road rash, bent fork, splintered pedal,cracked crankarm, etc... No walking for three days. Off the bike for 6 weeks.

2. Funniest. First day back on bike after wreck above. Short 20 mile ride (in pain). Came home, road down hill into my backyard so as to enter my walkout basement. Problem was that the grass was wet, I slid down the hill, over the next hill into the woods. I scraped up my left leg pretty bad. But I was laughing as my family (who happened to watch) came running down to check me out. My wife then suggested another sport.....
Many minor ones, two serious in about 30 yearscory
Mar 14, 2003 8:39 AM
I don't think you can count every little mountain bike slip and trip over the bars...I've had dozens of those, and several of what a friend calls "Mensa falls," when you forget you're clipped in and just topple over. Of real CRASHES, though, only two. One as a teen-ager, with a couple of broken ribs, and one four or five years ago, when I hit a patch of sand on a bike path and slid straight on into the jagged, volleyball-size rocks lining the path (and what a good idea THEY were). Separated shoulder in that one. I'm getting way too old to crash, though, and I don't plan to do it anymore.
This is the Mother of All BAD MOJO posting!!!.nm.CaliforniaDreaming
Mar 14, 2003 8:47 AM
Mountain of road?ColnagoFE
Mar 14, 2003 8:49 AM
I crash all the time on my MTB. Anything from sudden dismounts to full on endos. Road bike crashes are much rarer for me. One was after being hit by a truck while riding, the other was going down in pea gravel after riding sideways into a patch of it--basically not paying attention. Then the 2-3 commuting wipeouts on ice. And usual wipeouts doing stupid stuff when I was a kid and learning to ride. That's about it. No crashes even while racing so far. And this is in 30+ years of riding.
Too numerous to countDale Brigham
Mar 14, 2003 9:08 AM
In 30+ years of racin' and ridin', I've racked up more crashes than I can remember. Fortunately, only scrapes, a few stitches, one broken wrist, and lots of scars have resulted from these mishaps. Following LFR's lead, I'll skip the innumerable off-road, cyclocross, commuting, and training pile-ups (none involving motor vehicles, thank goodness), and confine my choices to road racing incidents.

Worst: At the Tour de Los Alamos stage race, 1981, in the cat. III criterium, I was having a heyday with the primes, which were time bonuses and beer. I had picked up about a minute of time and a case of beer in primes (mostly by taking solo flyers) coming to the end of the crit. Going against my usual cowardly nature, I was dicing it up in the sprint for the line. I locked bars with a guy to my left and went down hard, sliding along the pavement for about 20 feet. Needless to say, I lost a lot of skin. The worst part was that I had to ride a time trial that afternoon and a road race the next day, which I did (and won the GC). Because of this crash, I have great sympathy for injured pros who are continuing to perservere in a stage race after crashing.

Funniest: That same year in Dallas, in the last race on the calendar in November, I found myself behind a strong guy who just looked scary. He, of course, promptly laid it down right in front of me in a turn. Somehow, I rode over him, somersaulted in the air, and found myself on my back in the grass with my legs up in the air and my bike on top of me (in the old Alfredo Binda toe strap and cleat days, your feet stayed on the pedals regardless of impact). I got myself and my bike upright, quickly checked for body and bike damage and found none, and chased back to my teammates, who eventually let me win the race, my sole career I-II-Pro race victory.

re: Friday Poll: How many crashes have you had? How long have you been riding?zooog
Mar 14, 2003 9:09 AM
Several crashes but only one real bad. T'd a dog when I was flying down a hill and the dumb bastard ran in front of me. Never saw the mutt until the last second. Fx clavical and fx thumb. Road rash all over. Next thing I knew I was being hauled away in the ambulance to the local ER. I was with it enough to be able to call for family at the ER. No one home.

Nothing funny like the guy who fell off the bike in front of the asian thats funny.
Funniest of my 30-plus years biking w/ my fair share of crashesvelocity
Mar 14, 2003 9:10 AM
The first time I rode a bike with hand brakes -- must've been eight or so -- I was cruising along at a brisk speed. Automatically pushed back on the pedal with my right foot to brake -- no go, uh-oh -- then bam! Crashed into a chain link fence. Still have a scar on my chin where the top of the fence cut me.
If you don't crash, you're not going fast enoughgreg n
Mar 14, 2003 9:15 AM
Actually that used to be a saying my buds and I had back in the mt. biking days. Doesn't apply real well to road racing.

Anyway, my worst crash was about seven years ago. Me vs. an old man in a Caddy. I was riding with a friend and we had just come off a M.U.T. and were cruising home on some barely-traveled side streets. We were probably doing about 16 or 17 mph on our mt. bikes and I was leading and my friend was about 20 feet behind me. This car was coming the opposite direction and as we were approaching it, the guy whipped in front of me to turn into a driveway. With about 10 meters between me and the car, my first reaction was to get as high up as I could to minimize the contact I physically would have with the car. I ended up T-boning the car between the front fender and passengers side door. I flew over the car and landed about 20 feet on the other side. My friend thought I was dead. To my surprise, I got up with not much more than a sore, bruised shoulder.

When the guy got out of his car. He was an old man who probably shouldn't have had a license to begin with. And what's the first thing he says? Most popular answer... "I didn't even see you coming."

Well, I was pissed, but thankful to be walking. The bike seemed o.k. at the time. I was able to ride home. Although after close inpection, I had tweaked the front wheel, bent the fork a little and cracked my headset. Luck for me I was on my mt. bike. My road bike probably would've folded in half.

I did put a couple nice dents in his car.

There were witnesses, but no one called the cops or parametics. I didn't think to do it at the time. I know better now. A day later, when I was able to go to the police station to file a report, the officer I spoke with was less than interested in doing anything about it even with the old guy's name, number and plate number.

Live and learn.
road: 1 in 3 years; mtn: countless in 5 years_rt_
Mar 14, 2003 9:36 AM
tie for worst mtn crash:
shattered my pelvis & broke my wrist in a mtb crash in Oct 98 (went skiing 10 weeks later & riding in Moab 11 weeks post crash)

broke my neck (compression fracture in C-6) crashing off a log stunt in Whistler in May '01 which kept me off the bike for 5 months. :(

in-shop crash trying to walk across a slippery floor in road shoes with spd cleats. for good measure i took out the helmet display on my way down.

re: Friday Poll: How many crashes have you had? How long have you been riding?ridingthegyro
Mar 14, 2003 9:53 AM
One serious and several minor in about 20 yrs of riding. I was going down a hill on a MUT during a time when construction was going on. I saw 2 women with 2 large leashed dogs surrounded by about 5 cyclist coming toward me and blocking the path. My bike suddenly sled to its side on some sand and uneven pavement. I rode the bike on its side all the way down the hill, scraping the hell out of my right knee and foot. I ended up in the emergency room w/street burns and shoulder injury. I stopped riding for a while after that. (This happened about 10 yrs ago on the infamous Mount Vernon Trail in VA; the trail is very congested w/many twists and turns; there were newspaper reports of nails and tacks scattered along the trail and lots of bad feelings between cyclists and walkers/joggers at that time.)
re: Friday Poll: How many crashes have you had? How long have you been riding?Continental
Mar 14, 2003 10:05 AM
Worst--run off country road by pickup truck and crashed into mailbox. Fortunately mailbox post was weak and snapped off when I hit it. Friendly man came out of house and made sure I was OK. He was not mad and said that the mailbox gets hit all the time.

Funniest--was riding on $%^&*! tubulars and the glue had become brittle. Rear tire rolled off during a hard corner. I went down so fast it was funny. 8 mile walk home, new rim and spokes, and road rash weren't so amusing.
Define crashlaffeaux
Mar 14, 2003 10:14 AM
The last time that I fit the pavement on a road bike was in the early '80s (I've been lucky), and it was pretty minor. I can't say as I've ever had "road rash" from a road bike.

If you're talking mountain bikes, the idea of a "crash" is harder to count. I've gone down hard three times in 10 years - only once requiring an emergency room visit. However, I've crashed many times. Most recently was two weekends ago while riding on pavement. After riding 15 miles off-road, I managed to have a front tire blow out on the pavement in the middle of a turn. I went down in a busy downtown area with many people watching. I only scraped myself up a bit, but my pride was severely injured.
Not many crashes - but a couple.Rich_Racer
Mar 14, 2003 11:03 AM
Scariest: Bounced off the front of a blue Cavalier as it pulled out on me. Ended up in the middle of the road and a huge 18-wheeler truck stopped right next to my head! Then I remembered that I actually heard the trucks brakes screech before I hit the car. The driver of the truck actually predicted the accident and saved my life. I never got a chance to thank him.

Stupidest: Being distracted by a cute girl and failing to brake for a junction, then choosing to crash into my cycling partner rather than the car doing 60mph across the junction. Obviously my buddy wasn't too pleased about this but we both , and our bikes, came off relatively unscathed.
Mar 14, 2003 11:35 AM
riding 14 yrs
2 crashes
hit by cars 5 times (4 red jeep cherokees driven by blonde women...what are the odds??) the truth is out there...

had a lovely near miss last saturday. hit a patch of gravel on a turn and was a millimeter from going down when i got traction and was able to get the bike back. nearly made a mess of my chamois...would have gotten run over by the bikes behind me. i was SOOOOOOOOO sure i was going down.

kinda felt like this:
Worst crash I never hadtorquer
Mar 14, 2003 11:44 AM
But the other guy didn't do so well...

Road race looping through the back country north of Lake Placid, NY. Big climb is over the back of Whiteface Mountain (site of alpine skiing events in Olympics), followed by about four miles straight downhill (approx. 8-10% grade). One lane downhill, yellow line rule.

Climb causes field to explode, riders come across top alone or in groups of 2 and three. I am 25 yards behind a threesome at the top, riding 3 abreast. As they start to accelerate on the downhill, each of the three wants the first position, but noboby backs off and they are soon rolling elbow to elbow at 40mph+.

I see the guy in the middle start to weave, just a bit at first, but increasing, like a swelling wave, until he bumps one of the outer riders, can't recover, and goes down right in the middle of the road.

Of course, I'm accelerating this whole time too (I counldn't believe one of those guys wouldn't back off before it was too late), and now have this guy and his bike sliding all over the pavement in front of me. I am amazed at how much roadway width a sprawled-out adult and a bicycle can take up!

I'm rapidly closing in on him, leaning left, he slides left, leaning right and its like he's anticipated me. So I figured I wasn't going to outguess the forces of physics involved here, I aim straight at him and bunny-hop over him. This works only because he is 1) still sliding downhill, so my relative speed is reduced, 2)he is across the road, so I only have the width of his middle to clear, and 3) his bike is off to the side (this was before clipless pedals, so he may have still been clipped in).

I somehow nailed the landing, recovered some ground on the leaders on rest of the descent and had enough left-over adrenaline to take the field sprint 10 miles later(although all the prize placings were gone).

Whenever I need to scare myself I think about that day; it was the clearest view I ever had of a developing crash. I had crashed before, and I would subsequently be involved in wrecks leading to ambulence rides, but the slow-motion, Cinemascope unfolding of this one makes it special.
Not many. Just one bad one.djg
Mar 14, 2003 1:16 PM
The worst: I was riding my first real road racing bike home from my part-time job in college. Nice bike. A Raleigh spec'd for the french market. Reynolds pipes. Mix of parts. And a set of wheels I'd bought used--fiamme ergal rims and Campag record high-flange hubs. Had good tubbies on 'em too. The whole thing was, for the day, very light and lively. I came around the corner and met up with some road work. Simple as that. They had excavated a donut-shaped section of roadway surrounding a manhole cover and tube. Nice new pavement all around, so there was very little contrast between the sides of the hole and the street surface itself. Very little contrast, that is, until you were right on top of it and able to see straight down to the bottom. There were no markers--no cones, no tape, no signs, no nothing. Basically, my whole lane was an unmarked pit. I rode right into it. At the last moment I was able to pull the front wheel up a bit, but the wheel hit the far end of the pit anyway and, as it turned out, broke clean through upon impact. I went down pretty hard. Nothing broken, somehow, but I had to be carted off in an ambulance and had mucho soft tissue damage. A couple of months off the bike.

The funniest, I guess: first day on clipless pedals: I practiced clipping in and out all of two or three times before taking off for my ride. All went well. At the end, I rode straight up to my apartment building. Straight up the shrub-lined sidewalk, right to the front steps. I braked. I pulled up on the toe clips that were there only in muscle memory, and nothing happened. I was able to stay upright for all of two or three seconds, in the world's most wobbly track stand, looking frantically left and right, before tipping over like a sleeping cow on its first date with a UVa frat boy. I don't know if the story is funny, but the scene seemed to be funny to the lone witness coming out of the building.
The human misslehumbert
Mar 14, 2003 1:58 PM
The scariest and worst and , much later, the funniest was in May 2001. I had been riding for about a year. I was descending a long, steep hill and came to a left bend that I overshot. I was going about 25mph and the bike hit a patch of fine gravel that had collected against a rounded pavement curb. I lost control, the front wheel hit the curb and I was launched over the bars. I unclipped without any resistance and flew through the air. When I landed, my face ( I was wearing glasses and a helmet) dug a ditch in the grass/ leaves that was a few feet in length. I had some how hit the grass on the other side of the curb and not the street.
I was scratched up and had a mouthfull of leaves but no real damage. I have since gone down that hill many times and think of that day every time I come to the left bend. Another of the nine lives gone but a wiser rider.
re: Friday Poll: How many crashes have you had? How long have you been riding?Fredrico
Mar 14, 2003 3:24 PM
Very entertaining thread.

First crash was rolling down a field on my Sears single speed. Tall grass concealed a cinder block, which pretty much totaled the bike, and broke a rib, discovered by an Army doctor 15 years later, in Vietnam.

But I got back into riding 18 years ago. Hit a lady crossing the street between parked cars downtown on 17th Street in DC. I went into a taxi fender. She pirouetted and plomped a big ass on my freewheel, pretzeling the wheel.

Descending Sugarloaf Mountain one fine Sunday, a bumble bee the size of a small rodent flew into my jersey and started buzzing around on my chest. Well, I took both hands off the bars to lift my jersey to let it out, going straight off into the grass, handlebars denting the top tube, fracturing my collar bone, road rash on hip and elbow, very painful bee sting on my chest, then riding 45 miles home. Endorphins really kicked in on those long hills.

The worst was commuting along the bike path near Lee Highway in Arlington, VA. A guy on a mountain bike hit me from a side path, throwing me into a brick wall, pretzeling the front wheel, bending the fork into an s-curve. I wasn't wearing a helmet, and woke up in a hospital 6 days later with a separated shoulder, not knowing what had happend nor where I was. That was the start of my second life. Since then I've never ridden not wearing a helmet, and accept the fact that riding a bike, one can never assume invincibility, no matter how good one feels.

The last, three years ago, was coming upon a little girl on a little bike with training wheels, on a residential side street. I came too close. She got scared and darted across my path just before my front wheel grabbed the strut on her training wheel. She went over on the pavement, and I went down on the curb, breaking my other collarbone.

I still ride the bike with the dent in the top tube, and the one with the straightened fork, have symmetrical bumps on both shoulders, and have so far not made the same mistakes twice.
9 crashes in 32 yearsChainstay
Mar 14, 2003 8:22 PM
None that were major but I remember them all. I have hit a car, a brick, and a steel pylon. I demolished a carbon frame when I hit a mountain biker coming around a blind corner on the wrong side of a bike path. He was fine - the bastard

I once double endoed my brothers dirt bike when I landed the front wheel into a gopher hole. That did some damage to the bike but I was fine until I brought the bike home.
re: Friday Poll: How many crashes have you had? How long have you been riding?teoteoteo
Mar 14, 2003 8:31 PM
A/B 40 mph + on a Sunday training ride by myself going downhill from bright sunlight into heavy shade. Lots of heavy machinery used the road and had created "stutter bumps". Hands off bars as chest slammed stem/bars, right foot unclips and gets ringed and it is dragged. I go down slamming into pavement and feeling flesh grind--no rolls or tumbles. Pull myself up bleeding semi-heavily from multiple spots but mainly hip and elbow. Man on the way to Church (was dressed in suit and tie) has to drive around my bike but fails to stop. He's in a new Lexus and is making eye contact but speeds away. I get bike functional and know I'll have to ride back home. Hit the pavement so hard I am numb, feeling comes back slowly and numb gives way to horrible pain. Blood saturated shorts that had white side panel have turned red. Stares from cars at stoplights are getting bad. All in all 16 abraisons and a lot of hibiclens. Scrubbing wounds for weeks. Hip takes nearly two months to heal.

C. First training race of the year called Tuesday Nighter in Austin. New pavement that has slight defect--young punk feathering his hoods hits defect and starts pinballing off people. Somehow I land on my feet in full stride and run out of it into a ditch. Everyone is torn to shreds and my Bianchi is underneath 3 bikes but I don't have a scratch. On the pavement are two red skid marks where the plastic from my look cleats has been deposited when I landed.
only one bad one in 30 some odd years...ukiahb
Mar 15, 2003 12:53 AM
lots of minor crashes, no serious ones even while working as a messenger in S.F, but long ago once flew a LONG ways after a jacket I foolishly tied to the handlebars dropped in to the spokes while descending Mt. Tam at a good clip on the road. The worst part was being airborne long enough to realize what was about to happen....lotsa road rash, sprained my wrist and couldn't ride, even passed out for a minute or two. But got lucky, someone pulled over, gave me a ride home, and even supplied some herbal anesthetic on the way there...
re: Friday Poll: How many crashes have you had? How long have you been riding?flyinbowlofmilk
Mar 16, 2003 6:24 PM
Well I have had only 2 crashes so far. One of the was at a Mtb races. That one would have to be my C. my funniest one of all. That because my Mtb bike started breaking apart I tried to finish the race. MyA. Scariest one happen to me at a cycling tour last year(2002). All I remeber from that crash was that my front wheel and someone else's back wheel touched. The next thing I remeber was getting up off the ground with minor scars. It taught me to never get close to another cyclist who is stopped at a intersection,where there is no light. Especially at a good speed.