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Don't be that guy!(22 posts)

Don't be that guy!filtersweep
Aug 22, 2003 5:07 AM
OK- after a few crashes during club rides I thought I would share the following.

"Bob" (not his real name, of course) is a guy I met riding early spring. The first hint that something was amiss occurred many months ago when just the two of us were out riding. We were on a long climb. He was starting to slow, so I passed him and took off up the hill. Near the top the climb bends, and I look over my shoulder, but he was nowhere in sight. A passing motorist gestured to be by pointing back down the hill. I turned around, and saw his scraped carcass hauling himself to the top. He apparently had some slow speed crash while taking a drink while standing. Hmmmm...

Several months later he was out west, and per his report, he had rented a mtn bike. He hit a rock and endo'd, hit his head, and was dazed. Looking at the rented bike he didn't know what to do... he knew it wasn't his bike... where was his bike? How did he get there? Later evidence was his cracked helmet.

Last Thursday, while on a club ride and in front of many people, as the group was rolling out, he thought he would bunny hop a small curb. Except he didn't really hop and he did a slow speed endo while entirely clipped in. I wish this could have been analyzed in slow motion, because the laws of physics seemingly made his feat impossible- the rear of the bike was so high in the air. I wanted to ride nowhere near him the entire ride.

"Crash" on the other hand, is a nick-name given to another club member following almost weekly debacles involving pavement. Foreshadowing was when he showed up on his fixie that he flip flopped for a single-speed for an insane hill ride. We were all amazed he was attempting this ride on this bike. He said he taco'd his wheel in a crit a few days earlier. Hmmmm....

A bunch of us are at a different crit and we see "Crash." One of my friends pointed out that he crashed during last weeks ride- one that I missed due to work. Apparently he rode off the shoulder. Everyone thought he'd make a recovery, but he couldn't hop the lip and he went down in the gravel. We all were speculating whether he could manage the crit. In the third or fourth lap he miscalculated a turn, hit the curb, and flew into a flower bed. He was officially dubbed "crash" at this point. This week he showed up at the weekly ride and went down on a wet corner and was quite banged up. We didn't see him last night.

"Crash" entirely freaks me out... he appears to have no issue with hitting the pavement- to him it is like having a flat tire- it simply is a frequent part of his rides.
MTB convert? nmJS Haiku Shop
Aug 22, 2003 5:18 AM
quite the oppositeGeardaddy
Aug 22, 2003 7:54 AM
It's the roadies that are "squirly" ones. My MTB riding has definitely increased my handling skills. One time on a group road ride our group came up upon some lumber on the road that had fallen off of a truck. I just bunny-hopped it, and those riding next to me were quite impressed :)
Totally agree...Dwayne Barry
Aug 22, 2003 8:30 AM
it's usually the pure newer roadies (or Freds) who get freaked out by the slightest bit of gravel or sand or... well actually anything other than glass-like asphalt.

For Christ sakes, look at Paris-Roubaix, you can ride a road bike over rough and/or slick stuff without stuffing it.

You can always pick the pure roadies out who are giving cyclocross a try for the first time by how they take loose corners. Roadies for the most part are not use to the sensation of the bike sliding about underneath them, and it freaks them out.
Off topic - please 'splain more about cx cornering....TNSquared
Aug 22, 2003 8:56 AM
as a roadie (and a fairly new one at that) who plans to do some first time cx racing this winter, I *know* I will freak out when the bike starts sliding around in corners. I'd like to practice handling this - any tips?

go fast. when something gets in your way, turn.JS Haiku Shop
Aug 22, 2003 9:02 AM
actually, turn, or dismount, carry bike, run, jump over sh!t, get back on, go fast some more.

riding loose-surfaced corners is a matter of technique, speed modulation, and learning the limits of traction/trusting your tires.

though last year's 'cross courses were pretty much non-technical fast short lap dirt crits, they got wily near the end and put in some *really* sharp off-camber triple s-turns that dumped into a sharp downhill, which was followed by a barriered soft grassy uphill with a steep pitch at the crown, then a sweeping flat followed by another 90*-curved downhill, and finally another barriered uphill (this one steeper, and devoid of vegetation) to the start/finish line. this last bit is where everybody liked to sit/stand and spectate/point and laugh.

though about half of the races were cold and dry, the other half were cold and wet, including mud. i love cross.
Aug 22, 2003 9:20 AM
this last bit is where everybody liked to sit/stand and spectate/point and laugh.

Can't wait to watch.

What bike ya gonna ride, TN2?
considering running entire course, carrying daughter's bike nmTNSquared
Aug 22, 2003 9:44 AM
watch, hell--bring your mtb and participate. nmJS Haiku Shop
Aug 22, 2003 9:45 AM
Well, of course...Dwayne Barry
Aug 22, 2003 9:32 AM
experience is the best teacher, and just getting used to the sensation without tensing up will go a long way.

You may also try consciously thinking about keeping your bike more vertical and leaning with your body to guide the bike through corners. That way the bike stays "under you" and is free to slide a bit, which you can compensate for by adjusting your weight around. If you lean the bike way over, in typical roadie fashion, and it gets loose, you're on the ground before you know what hit you.
best advice I got...Chicago_Steve
Aug 22, 2003 11:11 AM
The best advice I ever got for cornering on an MTB (and applies to the CX bike as well) is to point your belly button in the direction you want to go. The movement is bascally the same as what you describe. It feels ackward on the pavement but is really effective on the dirt.
Off topic - please 'splain more about cx roadie
Aug 22, 2003 11:51 AM
I get a lot of practice on slipery surfaces because I comute year round in Minnesotta, some of wich involves dirt riding if I take the shortest route. Yeah, I use studded tires in winter, but they still slip, and then there's the spring "mud season" when ANYTHING will slip.

Somehow I've got a rep in our club as a reckless rider, which is amusing because I've never had a road crash, while many others with "sfae" reps have. Maybe that is because I plow right through gravel and sand so often. I actually get somewhat frustrated in the few pacelines the group holds, because they never take corners at speed.
my experienceJS Haiku Shop
Aug 22, 2003 8:37 AM
comes from my own personal history--i went from wrecking into trees and falling over logs on the mtb to falling over at stoplights on the roadbike. :)
any MTBers worth his salt can bunny-hop a curb!BergMann
Aug 22, 2003 10:16 AM
I've raced both on and off road. Anyone who's ridden an MTB for more than a season with clipless pedals should be able to bunny-hop 6 inch obstacles without batting an eyelash.

One thing I've noticed a lot though: a lot of roadies and triatheletes show up to offroad events like Marathons, and then spend the better part of the race flinging themselves off the sides of the trail like lemmings.

Transitioning between MTN and road both require some adjustment, but the transition to the road is by far the easier of the two.
I had one on a MTB ridepitt83
Aug 22, 2003 5:25 AM
Showed up with a spray pained Packers helmet and, I swear< tried riding through the boulders, not around or over.
re: Don't be that guy!scary slow
Aug 22, 2003 6:01 AM
In my experience mtb converts typically have better handling skills than the guys that just ride the road...just my $.02!
re: Don't be that guy!filtersweep
Aug 22, 2003 6:03 AM
Road converts TO mtb are a different story ;)
mtn bike handing skills = great for avoidance on the roadbrian n
Aug 22, 2003 7:47 AM
i know this is the case for myself, i've avoided pileups in crits by bunnyhopping curbs at 25 mph into grass and then rolling back onto the road after the crash via the driveway of the house who's front yard i'd ridden through. i've avoided car impacts numerous times by locking the back wheel, sliding it ~30 degrees out and releasing the brake as a quick direction change (faster and a harder direction change than turning at speed). this stuff is much more instict after riding mtn bikes for 14 years.
one caveat...gf99
Aug 22, 2003 9:48 AM
When mountain biking you can usually focus on what's coming up and not really need to think about what's beside or behind you. When I started road riding it took a few near misses and getting yelled at a few times to remember not to slow down or pull out unexpectedly.
Crash = Tyler? (nm)DCP
Aug 22, 2003 6:22 AM
re: Don't be that guy!aliensporebomb
Aug 22, 2003 7:13 AM
Holy moly!

I've known some guys who have had hard luck on the bike but
"Bob" and "Crash" are scary people! Since you live in this
town I might have even seen one of them: I was riding my
mountain bike down on the Bloomington River Bottoms trail
and saw a white Trek mountain bike go flying down the trail
without a rider and I heard a guys voice go "Ow". Somehow
he managed to get on the bike, get riding, hit some sort of
obstacle, the bike somehow abandoned him and he fell into
some rocks and the bike went careening down the trail sans
rider. Weird.
Opposite Experiencepeter in NVA
Aug 22, 2003 3:35 PM
Road riding really increased my balance. I started as a *hard core mountain biker*. Switched to the road for several years and when I went off road again, my skills mysteriously increased. I think you learn a lot about focusing and balance keeping 23mm tires upright.
FWIW, I do mostly cyclo cross now since the roads in Northern Virigina have gotten so congested and seems to be the best of both worlds out here.