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First "off" has unsettled me a bit...

paulboxpaulbox Posts: 1,203
edited February 2011 in Road beginners
Was working at home yesterday morning before heading off for an afternoon/evening meeting so thought I'd take the opportunity for a cheeky lunchtime ride.

About 3.5m from home I was taking a 90 degree right hand bend, not very fast as it is a quite narrow and sharp corner when my front wheel just washed out, sending me sliding across the road. Luckily the one car nearby was far enough away to not be an issue but it still stung a bit ( :cry: ) and wrecked a pair of tights, new jacket and base layer. Badly scratched new pedals, brake levers and bent rear mech hanger. Hopefully that's all the damage as I haven't had time for a proper look after limping back home and getting washed up in time to get to my meeting.

I feel really strange about the whole thing. Obviously gutted about the damage etc. But I also feel disapointed that my confidence has taken a real knock. Is this normal?

I've been mtb'ing for years and obviously had "off's", but I can always account for why they happened, ie. need to lift front wheel over obstacle instead of trying to ride through it... But now I've had two incidents on the road (the other was on mtb when front tyre blew out and came off rim as I went round a corner...) for no real reason.

Tyres are about 100 miles old, not sure of make but they came on the bike and had no issues previously. Is it likely that I hit some diesel or something on the road? I couldn't see anything, but the road was generally a little damp.
XC: Giant Anthem X
Fun: Yeti SB66
Road: Litespeed C1, Cannondale Supersix Evo, Cervelo R5
Trainer: Bianchi via Nirone
Hack: GT hardtail with Schwalbe City Jets

Posts

  • Fear not my friend, for you have just experienced one of the more common "offs" :shock:

    Usually it's something like a drain cover, or even the white lines on the road that cause it - low friction = zero grip. Diesel on the road could be it as you suggest. Best advice is not to lean too heavily on the front brakes when it's a bit damp and you're turning in, particularly on a downhill slope. Use your rears, and take as smooth a line as you can.

    If it's any consolation, I did almost exactly the same thing last year but ended up with a torn AC joint that required surgery and a four-month layoff, so you've come off lightly :D

    Confidence is easily knocked for the simplest of reasons, but all you can do is get back on the bike and keep going.

    As some wags in here would tell you: "MTFU" - but not me - I know how it feels!!
    "Get a bicycle. You won't regret it if you live"
    Mark Twain
  • paulboxpaulbox Posts: 1,203
    As some wags in here would tell you: "MTFU" - but not me - I know how it feels!!
    :lol: That's a fair point, will do my best to do so... 8)

    I'm trying to remember exactly what happened (all happened very quickly and blurred in my memory), and I think the white line explanation might be it. I think I stayed on my side of the road, but there is a possibility that I touched the centre line as there was nothing coming the other way.

    Just having that explanation of why it happened has made me feel a whole lot better as it's something that I can manage.

    Cheers!
    XC: Giant Anthem X
    Fun: Yeti SB66
    Road: Litespeed C1, Cannondale Supersix Evo, Cervelo R5
    Trainer: Bianchi via Nirone
    Hack: GT hardtail with Schwalbe City Jets
  • NavrigNavrig Posts: 1,352
    I am just out surgery (lunchtime today) having done the same thing on Saturday. LH turn and front end went. Broke my thumb and it is now K-wired.

    Cause?

    It hasn't rained heavily for a while but it was damp so I reckon it was just a build up of grease and crud on the road.

    Minimal bike damage I think but frustratingly my new bike is in th post and I don't have the strength and dexterity to open the box never mind set it up!!!!!

    My advice is just get back on th bike and build up the confidence.

    Good luck.
  • It's generally a good idea to never be too confident on public roads. There are just too many things beyond our control going on with road conditions and traffic. That's not to suggest timidity is a good thing but there needs to be a realistic level of confidence that takes into account the existence of those undefinable hazards we face when we ride.

    Sorry to read of your biff PaulBox and the damage to your clothes and bike. Even the pros come off on wet tarmac sometimes.
  • kellkell Posts: 32
    I average at least 3 'offs' a year. My latest was yesterday on the way to work. Slipped on some ice going up hill, not too fast and was the tiniest patch. Luckily no more than a grazed knee and a few bruises, bike was fine! :-)
    Just keep going, confidence takes a while to build back up but you will get there. Try dropping your saddle a bit at first and take it more slowly, maybe do some hill training for a bit?
    Hope this helps
    X
  • pst88pst88 Posts: 621
    Just wondering if you were on the front brake during the turn? If that was the case then it's generally better to brake before the turn to the desired speed then go through the turn not touching the brakes.
    Bianchi Via Nirone Veloce/Centaur 2010
  • +1 for all that advice. I came off on black ice a few weeks ago on the road outside my house. Felt bloody silly at the time, especially as I cracked a rib and was told it would take six weeks to heal.

    Still, I helped a colleague move two tons of pottery clay a few days ago so won't be long before I'm pedalling again...yippee!
  • paulboxpaulbox Posts: 1,203
    Thanks for all the advice guys.

    Moving the cause from the position of having no idea to having some idea has definitely helped me. Bad news on the thumb Navrig, hope it heals quickly!

    Don't think I was on the front brake at the time, that's school boy stuff... :wink:

    Had another quick look at bike in the garage last night, couldn't see any more damage, will stick it on the work stand tonight if I get home at a decent time and see if I can straighten the mech hanger. Amazingly, (and touching wood big time!) I have never damaged a mech hanger on a mtb in about 17 years of riding, then I get a road bike and done it within two months... :roll:
    XC: Giant Anthem X
    Fun: Yeti SB66
    Road: Litespeed C1, Cannondale Supersix Evo, Cervelo R5
    Trainer: Bianchi via Nirone
    Hack: GT hardtail with Schwalbe City Jets
  • NavrigNavrig Posts: 1,352
    PaulBox wrote:
    Amazingly, (and touching wood big time!) I have never damaged a mech hanger on a mtb in about 17 years of riding, then I get a road bike and done it within two months... :roll:

    Me too. I didn't even know they existed as my original MTB was steel framed. The only one I ave ever replaced is on my road bike. As a result I always carry a spare hanger, just in case.

    Thumb will be ok eventually meantime I've got to get fitter for the Kinross Sportive in April. Gym and turbo trainer here I come.
  • paulboxpaulbox Posts: 1,203
    Navrig wrote:
    Me too. I didn't even know they existed as my original MTB was steel framed. The only one I ave ever replaced is on my road bike. As a result I always carry a spare hanger, just in case.
    I might do that, hopefully it will ensure that I never damage another one... ;)

    But I'd better get one for the mtb as well now... :evil:
    XC: Giant Anthem X
    Fun: Yeti SB66
    Road: Litespeed C1, Cannondale Supersix Evo, Cervelo R5
    Trainer: Bianchi via Nirone
    Hack: GT hardtail with Schwalbe City Jets
  • mrolimroli Posts: 3,622
    Same off last night - bottom of smitfield market, going round a 90 degree-er, probably going a bit faster than normal - whoosh, bump. Courteous cyclist behind me and VERY courteous cabbie behind that. Got up - bike brake levers a bit scratched, pedal took a bash, rear track nut scuffed. Me - big bruise on hip and grazed elbow.

    Gave the road a real accusatory look, but could see no white lines or drains. Only when I had a look at me and clothes when I got back I realised that I was covered in black censored . They are doing some road works there and a thin layer of muck is covering the road - pretty lethal coming through on road bike tyres at speed. Lesson learnt though.

    Last fall was a year ago (clips incident) and before that was 8 years ago (wet storm drain on a corner).

    Stings (pride as much as anything), but got to mtfu!
  • paulboxpaulbox Posts: 1,203
    mroli wrote:
    Only when I had a look at me and clothes when I got back I realised that I was covered in black censored .
    Me too!

    The sleeve of my jacket is covered with it, it even seems to be burnt in to my elbow (along with a little bit of "high-vis jacket which is embedded in the scab).
    XC: Giant Anthem X
    Fun: Yeti SB66
    Road: Litespeed C1, Cannondale Supersix Evo, Cervelo R5
    Trainer: Bianchi via Nirone
    Hack: GT hardtail with Schwalbe City Jets
  • giant_mangiant_man Posts: 6,878
    Just like you were a child and your grandad told you to get straight back on that bike (young man), or at least mine did, you'll be fine.
  • PigtailPigtail Posts: 424
    I cannot remember ever falling off a bike before. I got a road bike in October, got new clipless pedals and shoes after Christmas and have fallen off four times in about 150 miles.

    Fortunately I seem to have developed a technique of saving my bike by sacrificing my skin.

    Like you it helps me to try and analyse each event - in the hope I will be able to avoid repeating it.

    Last one was at a roundabout. I unclipped my left foot, set my right pedal and waited for a learner driver who was waiting to enter the roundabout at 90 degrees to my right. I was turning right. I waited and waited until the people behind me were getting impatient, then started to move just as the learner shot forward. I pulled on my backbrake and stopped very quickly, but as a lot of my weight was on my right foot my bike fell over to the right. Now strangely, having your left foot unclipped as your bike falls to the right doesn't help. Your left leg can waggle freely in the air, but it doesn't hold you up.

    One thought I have about it is gearing. What gear would you use for a standing start in traffic? I was in about the middle sprocket of 9 on the back and the big ring in the front (compact) I'm kind of thinking I should have changed down further before coming to a halt. Then I wouldn't have been putting quite so much weight on my pedal on setting off. On my MTB, which was mainly used for leisure cycling with my family, I probably spent over 90% of my time in two gears - the highest gear in the biggest front ring and the highest gear in the middle ring. On the road bike I have been changing much more, trying to maintain a steady rhythm, which seems to be working for pedalling smoothly in the country, but I probably still need to change more in town to help anticipate road conditions.

    James
  • "but as a lot of my weight was on my right foot my bike fell over to the right. Now strangely, having your left foot unclipped as your bike falls to the right doesn't help. Your left leg can waggle freely in the air, but it doesn't hold you up. "

    +1 - but mine was going uphill on a major A road with cars whizzing by at 70 mph and I had muffed my gears in a newbie fashion, ground to a halt and was re-starting when this clipless moment occurred - but I fell into the carriageway, right across it. Had a car been coming I would have been killed, but luck of lucks having waited for a gap before restarting it was a few hundred meters of empty space between zooming convoys and my bacon was saved.

    I absolutely cacked it, will never forget the sensation of falling, being aware I was falling into the carriageway, could do nothing but wait for the impact and was potentially toast in milliseconds ...

    Took ages to get the confidence back and altered my riding beahviour ever since, Falls denting confidence make us better riders.
  • paulboxpaulbox Posts: 1,203
    Sh!t that sounds scarey!
    XC: Giant Anthem X
    Fun: Yeti SB66
    Road: Litespeed C1, Cannondale Supersix Evo, Cervelo R5
    Trainer: Bianchi via Nirone
    Hack: GT hardtail with Schwalbe City Jets
  • springtide9springtide9 Posts: 1,731
    Sorry to hear about your fall.

    I still a bit wary of the amount of grip that the tires give, as the contact point is very small.

    Even though the rubber does seem to give amazing grip, I think all it takes is a little bit of grease, oil, grit, etc on the road to 'upset the apple cart'. And once traction is lost, it will be very hard to recover (and will happen very fast)
    Simon
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