First off - Loss of confidence

robbo8989 Posts: 42
edited March 2013 in Road beginners
I had my first real fall on the bike last week and I'm now really struggling to get my confidence back up again. It happened during a morning commute at a mini roundabout. I was turning right but could see there were no cars approaching so I slowed down a little rather than stopping completely. As I was leaning into the corner turning right, the bike just slid out from underneath me and I ended up landing quite heavily on my side and face, now resulting in what will be a very expensive trip to the dentist. I didn't feel I was going too fast and there had been no overnight rain as far as I'm aware. Aside from a scratched pedal, ripped bar tape and the right hood taking a whack and being knocked inwards, the bike seems okay.

Problem is I now have no faith in the bike whatsoever. I find myself slowing right down for even the smallest of bends and trying to keep the bike perpendicular to the road at all times. Would getting new tyres help? I'm currently running continental Ultra Sports. If so what do people recommend without breaking the bank?


  • nochekmate
    nochekmate Posts: 3,460
    Diesel on the road? If so, new tyres will have been of no use.
  • turnerjohn
    turnerjohn Posts: 1,069
    ouch hope your recoving ok ?!
    tbh we've all been there and done a similar thing...usually its me putting to much power down in the damp :shock: !
    you did say you were "leaning" into the corner which may have been the problem if you weren't going to quick....also depends on how hard your tyres are pumped up to ?
    could try running a wider tyre and lower pressure as this will give you more grip....tho as above if your cornering on diesel its pretty much game over !
    more you do the better control your gain which goes a long way in getting yourself out of trouble.
    getting out and riding is the best thing for you tho tbh....try it the weekend when your not under pressure to get to work and just take corners and roundabouts slower till you got the skills sorted incase it happens again .
  • fluff.
    fluff. Posts: 771
    (mini) roundabouts seem to attract diesel, had it too. One second everything's fine, the next you're picking the bike up wondering what happened. I wouldn't panic though, it is pretty rare to actually come off this way, some riding with no pressure on familiar roads sounds like a plan.
  • hipshot
    hipshot Posts: 371
    Hope you have a swift recovery.

    Just ride extra carefully for now and your confidence will slowly come back. Remember it wasn't your fault, oil/diesel is an invisible menace
  • Monty Dog
    Monty Dog Posts: 20,614
    If you touched the white paint on the roundabout, that'll be enough to cause a slide. Was the front or rear wheel that went first? If you're running skinner, 23mm tyres at higher pressures, then they won't help with grip - a 25mm tyre or bigger can be run safely at lower pressure which helps give better grip and handling.
    You've simply got to back on the road to help restore your confidence - riding with more experienced rider helps as you can follow their lines.
    Make mine an Italian, with Campagnolo on the side..
  • elderone
    elderone Posts: 1,410
    That sounds scary especially with no reason thats apparent.I can only advise on your confidence from experiance.
    I had a bad accident after only 7 weeks of cycling and it was weeks before i could ride again.Like you,I felt very tense on the road and didnt enjoy first few trips out,but just keep going and it does get better with time.I,m not 100% past my accident yet as sometimes it comes back to me in certain situations.Keep going and you will be fine.
    Good luck.
    Dulce et decorum est Pro patria mori
  • MichaelW
    MichaelW Posts: 2,164
    Figuring out the performance limits of your bike is a tricky affair. You should put your hard-won experience to work, look for signs of slipperyness and low traction:
    slipper paint
    metal covers
    wet leaves
    oil and diesel (rainbow colours)
    reverse camber (sideways slope down to the outside)

    You should also look at your falling over drills. It all happens very fast but you should hang onto the bars with your (gloved) hands, tuck your chin into your chest and try and land on your upper arm, rolling onto your back. You can try falling onto a mattress or at the swimming pool. You want to train out the temptation to stick your hand out.

    I have had a couple of offs during my decades of riding and everyone made me a better, safer rider.