Getting back after a crash

Falconar Posts: 11
edited September 2010 in Road beginners
I hit the deck hard a month ago, coming downhill through a right-hander in the rain lost the rear wheel (mud, maybe, don't know how it happened) and went down hard on my right side - nothing broken, but lost most of the skin from my right wrist to elbow and a huge haematoma on my hip, plus assorted other cuts and bruises. Still have a lump the size of a tennis ball on my hip, although the rest has healed up ok. Bike's broken, cracked right fork and snapped left shifter, not sure how that happened either - crash was so quick that I was just on the ground before I knew it.

Anyway, went out on my other bike for the first time this weekend (30 miles Saturday, 35 Sunday) and bloody hated every minute. Part of the reason for going out again on Sunday was that Saturday was so crap, but just found no enjoyment in riding. Very nervous about turning - right's worse than left, unsurprisingly I guess - so lots of braking, no flow to the ride. Head's not really in the right place. Fitness was ok.

So just wondering how other people dealt with getting back after crashing? Just MTFU, get the miles in and deal with it? Or...?


  • I had a bad MTB crash 16 months ago that resulted in broken ribs, shoulder blade and plenty of cuts and grazes. Oh...and the toenail on my big toe fell off.

    When I was well enough to ride again the first thing I did was go and ride the exact spot where I came off. Then I did it again...and again.

    Like you I had no idea how the accident happened but I didn't spend hours thinking about it to be honest.

    So my recommendation is to just get out and ride.
  • Dess1e
    Dess1e Posts: 239
    Yep just get out and ride. I was taken out by a dog in August. A week to let the worst of the injuries heal and sort out my spare bike than back on training / commuting and racing (badly at first). Like you I still have a lump on the hip, but it is reducing. Don't dwell on the crash too much and enjoy your riding.
  • leech
    leech Posts: 77
    In March I got knocked off by a car on my first ride on a road bike. When I was fit enought to ride again I kept having visions of cars pulling out of junction on me, but it went away after a while. I had another fall 3 weeks ago and cracked a few ribs (my own fault..... It's been a tough first year!). I'm keen to go out again as soon as I can, but I think it's normal to be a bit apprehensive after a fall. After all, falling off hurts. I'm sure you'll feel better about it with a few more miles under your belt.

    Don't give up and think about how much you enjoyed riding before your fall.
  • straas
    straas Posts: 338
    I got hit a few weeks ago, similiar injuries to you - hip, elbow and knee. For the first couple of weeks my bpm went up every time I walked alongside a road or even thought about getting out on the bike.
    Then whilst sat there feeling sorry for myself, I forced myself to get out on the bike and had a great ride, then went and did 50 miles yesterday. I'm still nowhere near as confident as I was before the crash - but it's definitely getting better.

    Prior to that I'd had an accident that sounds just like yours, was taking a steep right turn in the wet at about 15-20 and bike whipped out from under me. I'm still pretty heavy on the brakes before turns now, but riding in a group is helping with that!
    FCN: 6
  • I had a badish off last year, resulting in loosing ALOT of skin from my back, shoulder and a bit from both my arms & legs.

    It happened on a wet day, bike slid out on a roundabout when I went over diesel. I went out a week later and it didnt take it past 30mph for a good few weeks!

    I still take it easier on roundabouts to this day as its always in the back of my mind. which is a shame as they were things I enjoyed sweeping around!
  • sungod
    sungod Posts: 16,880
    last year, in two weeks i had a two collisions with cars pulling out of side roads, really fortunate that i wasn't hurt

    after first time my head was ok, but the second time i felt nervous about riding again, the only way was to get back out there and teach brain/body that it's ok

    tbh i still am very wary of side roads, but i also love cycling

    everyone deals with things in their own way, you need to find what's best for you, but aside from get out and ride, my advice is: don't replay it in your head, if you catch yourself thinking about the crash, mentally 'change the subject' to something positive
    my bike - faster than god's and twice as shiny
  • benno68
    benno68 Posts: 1,689
    Everyone's different, keep at it and I'm sure that your confidence will return after you've put a few more miles in, as others have said the quicker the incident is pushed to the back of your mind the better.

    Just think about how much enjoyment you've had with cycling, remember the good times and forget the bad!

    By the way, today was the first time on my bike for a month after breaking my collarbone. Glad to be back on it even though it was only a 10 mile commute.

    Pinarello Dogma 2 (ex Team SKY) 2012
    Cube Agree GTC Ultegra 2012
    Giant Defy 105 2009
  • Get on and ride off. And yes I've had crashes. Only wimps fret and worry about it.
    Say... That's a nice bike..
    Trax T700 with Lew Racing Pro VT-1 ;-)
  • Pretre
    Pretre Posts: 355
    Only wimps fret and worry about it.

    No they don't - it's perfectly normal human behaviour to be concerned about doing something again which caused you a serious injury the last time you did it.

    I agree totally with the post above about going back to the place where you had the accident & doing the same thing again - it's a great moment when you realise that all your concern was for nothing.I've had several nasty accidents & always followed this - including going back to where I crashed into the back of a parked car at very high speed back in April this year (boring story as to how I did it - if you're that bothered about it search through my posts), fracturing my pelvis in 3 places, spending 9 days in hospital & 4 months on cruthches (came off them about 4 weeks ago :D )
  • That's why some people have it or they don't called "cajones" just look at superbike riders, even if they break a wrist, legs, ribs, they just get back on. Fretting or worrying about it just makes you weak. Be a man. beats chest... grrrrr.
    Say... That's a nice bike..
    Trax T700 with Lew Racing Pro VT-1 ;-)
  • I had a similar accident about a week ago. back wheel slid out in the wet in a corner. Waiting for my knee to recover (it took most of the force) and skin to re-grow. I'm itching to get back on the bike.

    I agree with other posts about going back to the place you had the crash. The funny thing is that I want it to rain for the first ride so that I can go back and take the corner I came off in, just so I can tick it off in my head.

    The best thing is not to analyze what happened and just to just put the miles in. You will definitely feel your confidence return the more miles you put in.

    Don't think, just ride.
    skinny as
  • paulorg
    paulorg Posts: 168
    Lots of good advice here but you could also try buying a really expensive bike that you have to ride to justify the expense . Whenever I'm starting to go off biking I buy a shiny piece of kit for between £50-£100 and have to justify it to the missus by saying it cost half that and then to myself by using it. Silly but it worked for me after I crashed.
    If you buy it, they will come...

    ...up to you and say, you didn't want to buy one of them!!!
  • I can relate to the reluctance to get back on after a crash.

    In may case I came down badly on my elbow and only now 2 weeks after can I bend the arm enough without pain to shave, eat etc. I'm now apprehensive about getting back on the bike and wondering how the arm will hold out the first time I get out of the saddle to climb.

    My first run out will be this sunday with my usual ride buddies so there will encouragement if required.

    Good luck with your recovery and getting back in the saddle.
  • Hi Falconar

    In June I was coming down a single track road and hit a car that came from nowhere. I broke my pelvis in two places, was battered and bruised and ended up being airlifted to hospital, having 4 weeks off work and 8 weeks on crutches.

    I got back on my bike as soon as I could - 5 weeks after the accident (a bit of pain, but it was worth it). What I found was that although I got and still get doubts and concerns, the more miles I have under my belt the better. The confidence does come back. I also got myself a new bike to add a bit of excitement. I still worry hugely when cycling along narrow roads, but take it steady - by doing this I feel in control.

    As has been said above, everyone is individual, but for me, more cycling = less doubts.

    Can't say the same for my wife though - she still get palpitations when I go out!
  • I fell off my bike (slipped on a drain in the wet) just under 4 weeks ago and broke my shoulder.

    I started riding again after a fortnight. I know what you mean about not enjoying it. I didn't for the first few rides but its better.

    I pay much more attention to drain covers now though and haven't ridden as quickly as I used to.
  • Havent had a fall yet since being back on bikes for the last 3 years but there's bound to be one just around the corner. Had plenty as a kid, one resulting me going over the handlebars, ripping my face to shreds and having to have plastic surgery. (Never carry a football in a plastic bag on the front handlebars :oops: )

    Anyhow, I try to avoid anything like that happening now. Use the road bike in the dry, if it looks damp or wet, I take the MTB and try to avoid drain and man hole covers. Obviously if you're out and it starts raining it cant be helped but I just slow down a bit and take it really easy around the corners.

    It hurts enough falling over clipped in let alone doing anything at speed :wink: