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Falling off your bike

Having fallen off my bike just over a week ago and still with dressings on hip, elbow,knee and shin, combined with a swollen right ankle. I would like to know if there is a 'right way to fall off!!'

I'm feel lucky that I did not suffer any broken bones, nor did I get run over by a car, suffered no head injuries, and the bike survived with only a slight buckle to the front wheel. (I will take to bike shop to have a professional look at any possible structural damage.). But I am somewhat dissapointed that my body seems to have taken the worst of it!!

An unseen pothole bounced my hands of the handlebars, the front wheel swivled right, with the bike falling and me smashing onto my right hip, elbow, knee and shin. These body parts slowed me and the bike down whilst scraping against the road. Is there any technique, whilst crashing that you can use to minimise physical injury, such as your handle bars, cycle shoes, or your hands - asumming you have some good padded gloves?

Any suggestions welcolmed.



  • gaterz1981gaterz1981 Posts: 233
    You obviously did the right thing when you fell, hence nothing is broken. No way to prevent road rash.......other then wearing something a bit more protective then lycra i suppose.
  • ashthetashashthetash Posts: 164
    A colleague of mine cycles in occasionally. He always uses the towpath as he reckons falling in the canal hurts less than falling on tarmac. Not the sort of brick session I am going to try.[:D]
  • FastWestieFastWestie Posts: 26
    Try and let it go and slide, gravel rash, but less chance of breaking a collar bone.

    Always wear gloves

    And next time try and jump the pothole [;)]

  • learnerlearner Posts: 100
    gwaj, bad luck on your fall, but you know what they say, skin and bone heal carbon costs money. Sounds like you did everything right. as was mentioned earlier if you try and reach out you are more likely to break a collar bone or wrist, so just tuck in and go along for the ride. then pray that the nurse who digs out the gravel has had a good day.

    heal soon.

  • SamutriSamutri Posts: 143
    Gloves and a helmet are absolutes for me - came off a coupla seasons ago and hit my head on a pavement kerbstone. The helmet cracked, as did my chin! Had a touch of rash all down my left side.

    Guess the lesson I learned was that without a helmet I wouldn't be posting this today!

    It was an excuse to buy a new helmet though!
  • pacmanpacman Posts: 109
    I gave myself a nice sore last year ended up with deep road rash from shoulder to ankle on my right side completely my own fault - not a car in sight! I know there was a long and humerous thread about shaving - but in this case taking matted arm and leg hair out of the wounds was torture. I shave the pins every couple of weeks now!
  • TommiTriTommiTri Posts: 879
    In my opinion mate there is not really much more you can do! When you crash like that it all happens so fast you really cant consciously make a decision to do anything! You've just gotta hope your brain knows what to do by making you put your hands out so you fall on them and not your face! I used to ski competitively and have had some horrific bails at speeds of over 60mph, i would akin the first crash i had clipped in on the bike to being on skis, as there was a sudden fear of I CANT MOVE MY LEGS!! luckily i wasnt going too fast and just ended up in a crumpled heap in the hedge!
  • gwajgwaj Posts: 2
    thankyou for all your comments, much appreciated.

    hadn't thought about all the hairs stuck in my wounded shin at the moment, all that to look forward after I have got through the itchness of scabs!!

    still feel lucky that it could have been much worse, frustated that I can't do the Windsor Tri this sunday, but looking forward to Swanage Tri in August when hopefully will be all mended and might have some fitness back.

  • Gwaj, you have my sympathies.

    I had the bizarre experience of being slowly run over today. I was commuting in London and was stationary at a roundabout, covered in flourescent clothing. I was waiting for the traffic to pass, when the car behind me just ran slowly into me and kept going. My back wheel buckled and got sucked under the car and I ended up almost sitting on his bonnet. No injuries but v.startled. He apologised and said he was looking right to see the incoming traffic on the roundabout and just didn't see me. I'm pretty glad that I got away with it without injury. And also that it was my beat up mountain bike and not my road bike.... Not sure whether the whole bike is a right-off or not, but the back wheel is almost folded in two. Reminds me how mortal we all are, as did the other posts on this site - has anyone got away without having an accident yet?

  • BritspinBritspin Posts: 1,655
    So 'Didn't see the flouro guy in front of my bonnet as I ran him over in slo mo'...hmm do they give licences out on the back of cereal boxes now? S'funny how they notice you if you pass on the outside in a traffic jam, if (god forbid) you run a red light etc etc.
  • learnerlearner Posts: 100
    being very careful due to the date,

    my last spill was about 6 years ago when i first tried a set of clip on tri bars. feeling a bit shy i took off for a spin round some back lanes thinking there'd be no traffic, didn't bank on little old lady walking her dog. tried to swerve got it horribly wrong and ended up getting up close and personal with about twenty feet of tarmac.

    i do concur with the general thread that you just don't have time to think about it and instinct takes over as you hurtle towards the ground. arms out or tuck and roll, it's a lottery.

  • TommiTriTommiTri Posts: 879
    hehehe, sorry Tiring, I'm sure at the time it was less than funny but that story made me laugh a little. I just have this image of your bike gradually being sucked in. Did the guy pay for the repairs?

    Also this to to gwaj and any others, when you fell off did you stay clipped in as you fell? I have only fallen once, and it was at low speed, was just wondering if like skiing when you fall fast your likely to come out of the bindings or pedals should i say!
  • pacmanpacman Posts: 109
    Competitive skiing? - like it!. I once fell over my ski pole using my left eye socket as a fulcrum - biggest shiner I have ever had. But the bindings did come away. Like skiing once you hit the deck hard enough or with enough speed you clip out and the bike slids away from you.
  • Yes, he's paying for the damage. I took photos of the scene and also recorded our conversation where he apologises, admits it was his fault and gives insurance details - in a bizarre way (given that I was the one that nearly got crushed) he seemed more shaken than I was.

    In the accident itself, when he finally stopped, my back wheel was completely under his car and the rest of the bike, with me on it, was pointing up in the air a bit like a ship that's sinking and is just about to go under the waves. I got off the bike and it stayed there, back end under the car and front end poking up in the air - he had to reverse so that I could get it out. If I manage to work out the technology then I'll try to post a photo of it on this forum. Oddly, it didn't shake me up that much, probably because he was moving so slowly that there was no impact. It was almost a bit like the scene in Austin Powers where a steamroller takes 20 seconds to catch and run over a stationary baddie. At first I just thought that some wanker was nudging me deliberately as some sort of piss take -until it got a bit alarming when the bike started crumpling under the car.
  • TommiTriTommiTri Posts: 879
    Yeh, I love skiing, its the speed thing, I dont think there is anything else you can do where you have so much speed, with only a slight loss of control needed to send you into a complete whiteout! I gave up after I snapped my arm in a downhill race at Val, I was one of the 1st out, and it was still icy, tried to take a turn too tight, hit an ice patch and dont remember much from there!

    I think its where I picked up my love of super tight lycra!!!

    Glad to hear you clip out, that makes it sound a hell of alot safer!

    Tiring you have got to get a pic of that up! I can understand how he was shook up aswell, I nearly hit a young child once when I was driving after he ran out between some parked cars. Luckily I was driving nice and slow and was alert enough to stop. I nearly had a heart attack, I have never felt so shook up in all my life I had to get my passenger to drive me home!
  • TommiT

    I love skiing as well, ain't nothin quite like it!! and after my experience at Wimbleball i can definitely confirm 2 things.... you definitely clip out, which i was real happy about, cos like you i've always wondered and secondly if you are in the air long enough to make a concious decision on how to land then its really gonna hurt when you hit... mine was all over so fast i can just remember thinking "BUGGER"!!!

    and putting yer hands out is the most natural thing to do, my stigmata appearance is evidence of that!!
  • painispleasure - bad luck. It's bad enough to crash in practice and have to miss out on a race, but for it to happen in the race itself is extra gutting. I hope the recovery goes well. On the plus side, if you really meant what you wrote as your username, you should at least have gotten some enjoyment from the crash....

    Re: my earlier posts, the photo of the mashed up rear wheel on my MTB is (hopefully) attached.

  • TommiTriTommiTri Posts: 879
    hehe brilliant.

    incidentally what was the guy driving? was it a 4x4? how did the wheel actually manage to get underneath the front?

  • BarbsaramaBarbsarama Posts: 73
    I was cycling around a round about once and a lady pulled out and ran me over from the side - if that makes sense - like yours it was kinda slow motion as i was going pretty slowly... I was halfway around the roundabout and she pulled out and drove into the side of me, slowly. Bike was stuck under her car - and when she reversed to get her car off it, it just dragged on the ground under her car... Luckily it was an old thumper of a commuter and not my pretty carbon baby. I hit my head so hard my helmet broke too - was covered in lights and fluro clothing also. She was lovely, offered to buy me a cup of tea. Later on in the day she did come to my house with flowers and chocolates and money for a new helmet - i was new to the game then and just thought she was being nice, not realising that accepting that meant no insurance claim. It didn't matter though, she was so nice about it and the bike was an old clunker anyways so no big damage and she paid for a new helmet too.
  • BarbsaramaBarbsarama Posts: 73
    oh yeh - any pics of the bike wheel under the car for our viewing pleasure? Did you have your breaks on? They are pretty strong breaks to hold back a car!!!
  • sfullersfuller Posts: 628
    ohhh rookie error. Could have been a nice amount of cash on the insurance pay out....
  • LOL, fair point Tiring... and if pain IS pleasure I'm having an orgasm!! especially nice to peel myself from the sheets in the mornings!!! But hey, from reading this lot I'm only one of many who have suffered the gravel rash and yeah i was gutted at the time but just gotta move on... Trentham half and then Vitruvian for me... can bend my legs now and so am considering going to the gym and just spinning it out for an hour or so on on one of the bikes there!!!
  • bigAL99bigAL99 Posts: 13
    I fell off my bike this morning, got a bit carried away and couldn't get round the right hand bend at 23 mph +, I was wearing gloves which saved me from road rash in the main and my bike came through un scathed I did unfortunately dislocate my shoulder. Thankfully I had a great doctor who popped it back in and although it's sore I'm in good shape.

    I'm not upset about it, in fact I'm finding myself smiling about it. I think it's because 6 months ago I never could have imagined this happening to me. The thought that an unfit 43 year old could be tearing along the road at 20 mph + on the flat and feeling as great as I do would never crossed my mind and yet today I was doing and feeling that, I just got carried away and I think my injury is a small price and I can't wait to get back on the road so I can get going again, just slower round the bends [:)]
  • BarbsaramaBarbsarama Posts: 73
    Ouch - think of the salt from your sweat in your wounds...
  • TommiTriTommiTri Posts: 879
    BigAL you are a lucky man! I fell badly on my shoulder last year whilst playing football, it dislocated forward, luckily I was playing with a bunch of orthopaedic surgeons at the time who popped it back in, but I tore part of my rotator cuff and damaged the capsule! It kept on dislocating for about 6 months after especially every time I tried to swim! Hence no races last year!
  • bigAL99bigAL99 Posts: 13
    Thanks Tommi I wasn't being flippent with my post I do realise I was incredibly lucky and I intend to be more careful in the future.

    As I stated I have never been fit or experienced the thrill of exercise or being good at something I appologise for getting carried away.
  • TommiTriTommiTri Posts: 879
    hehe, no worries mate, I am thrilled by you enthusiasm! I am still so enthusiastic every time I train! I think its because even though I am not that new to the sport my last 2 seasons have been ruined by injury, so I am currently really happy I'm not injured!

    just remember to slow down round corners [;)]
  • Alas, no pics of the bike still stuck under the car - it was a pretty busy roundabout so we moved off to the side and I took photos there. I took those pics with my phone, but can't work out how to put them on this forum (they're too big and they are read only...?). Still, just for the bike crash porn, here's another photo which shows the true bendiness of the wheel. Re: the car - not a 4X4, just a bog standard Vauxhall Astra with a bumper that can't have been much higher than half way up the wheel. It must have just gripped on the treads and sucked the wheel under.

  • bennybenny Posts: 1,314
    To my great concern I notice that this bike actually isn't RED!!! Surely you must have known you were'nt nearly fast enough on another colour of bike to avoid that car-smash[8|].

    For your safety: BUY RED CARBON!!![:D][:D]
  • pacmanpacman Posts: 109
    Jaysus Benny, I'm cracking up here - let it go will ya!!
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