Author Topic: Should have learnt the easy way.. some advice guys  (Read 6288 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline Ddanny

Should have learnt the easy way.. some advice guys
« on: February 05, 2017, 01:31:45 am »
Hello, adventure cycling forum!

I just want to say it's great being here! and that maybe I should have just come here in the beginning!

In all honesty, I have never thought of wearing any protective clothing apart from a helmet for obvious reasons. Normally I go off road across the countryside trails with my friends and have next to no problems apart from the occasional bump.Well, a couple of days ago I was happily riding down the road on my daily trip down the shop and a car pulled out and basically T-boned me into the middle of the road. Luckily enough my head was fine and there was no traffic coming but my days, I landed on my elbow full force and the burns I have! in the most uncomfortable of places, what a day.

Anyway, not I have learned the hard way like normal in my day to day life I am going to be needing a little advice. What Kind of protective cycling clothing do you guys wear? I have seen the cycling shorts online where I get most of my clothing but i was also wanting to know if there is padding around the hip/top thigh area? In the link below Basically, any tips and advice that you guys could share would be great and equipment or clothing tips would be sweet also!
https://www.easyprices.com/f/Home/Result?searchWord=cycling+shorts
A little extreme but, looking safe haha. Speak to you all soon.



« Last Edit: February 08, 2017, 02:56:26 am by Ddanny »

Offline Pat Lamb

Re: Should have learnt the easy way.. some advice guys
« Reply #1 on: February 05, 2017, 11:22:45 am »
Danny, unfortunately, you're going to lose as a cyclist in any impact with a 2,000 pound (plus) motorized vehicle.  I doubt there is any protective gear that is going to change that fundamental truth.  If you add elbow pads, you'll face plant on your nose.  Wear a face shield, you'll land on your shoulder, etc., etc.  The initial finding that helmets protect your heat have never been replicated in any good scientific study (you note that your elbow took the impact in your crash).

So what to do?  First, learn to ride safely.  Read John Allen's Street Smarts http://www.bikexprt.com/streetsmarts/index.htm, John Forester's Effective Cycling https://www.amazon.com/Effective-Cycling-Press-John-Forester/dp/0262516942/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1486310645&sr=1-1&keywords=effective+cycling, Bicyclesafe.com, or sign up for a class.

Second, make sure you're visible.  It's hard in this age of distracted drivers, but brightly colored clothing is one good start (in addition to the proper road positioning you learned in step 1).  Bright green shows up better than black or dark gray, unless you're surrounded by new deciduous tree leaves in early spring.  In dark (overcast or night) conditions, or fog, lights are your friend.  Lights plus reflectors give you a chance at being at night; many of us find we get more space and respect at night with a good set of lights.

Finally, and most important, stay alert while riding.  You'll soon develop a feel for how most people drive.  Driver glances left (in the U.S.), stares right, and keeps inching forward?  She didn't see you and is about to pull out in front of you.  Pickup coming at you and is weaving a lot?  He's drunk or texting, get ready to dive for the ditch.  Use that developing feel for traffic to stay safe.

Offline DaveB

Re: Should have learnt the easy way.. some advice guys
« Reply #2 on: February 05, 2017, 01:12:05 pm »
The initial finding that helmets protect your heat  have never been replicated in any good scientific study
OK, I realize this is a contentious issue and the data in favor of helmet use is mostly anecdotal since it's impossible to replicate an accident with and without a helmet and compare the outcomes.  No one has done controlled, instrumented crash studies I'm aware of.  That said I can add two anecdotes to the evidence as I have destroyed two helmets in bike accidents. 

One was a slip on a slippery road at a walking speed.  The bike simply went out from under me and I landed on my right side.   I had a chipped shoulder blade and a mild concussion that wore off with no lingering effects later that night.  My helmet was cracked in three places from the impact.  I can only conclude the helmet prevented more serious damage. 

My second accident was the result of hitting a big pothole in a poorly maintained road shoulder when a passing truck got a bit close.  That one caused a Grade 3 shoulder separation and a concussion serious enough that I don't remember a thing from the accident time about 4:00 in the afternoon until I woke up in the hospital at 7:00 the next morning.  Fortunately, again there have been no lasting effects.    And also again, the helmet had several cracks and was a throwaway. 

You will never convince me that helmets  aren't beneficial.   Don't conclude I'm just accident prone as those were the only incidents in 31 years and 205,000 miles of riding.

Offline John Nelson

Re: Should have learnt the easy way.. some advice guys
« Reply #3 on: February 05, 2017, 09:15:58 pm »
stay alert while riding
This is clearly your best protection.

Offline Ddanny

Re: Should have learnt the easy way.. some advice guys
« Reply #4 on: February 06, 2017, 01:57:02 am »
Pat Lamb, I have this strange feeling you are right, it doesn't matter what I protect I will hit whatever is not protected! But I will 100% be having a look through them links to see what them guys have to say. It is quite surprising how many people disregard road safety when riding a bicycle.

Dave, They sound like some pretty bad accidents especially the second one! It kind of feel like you need eyes in the back of your head just to get from A-B on a bicycle. All I can say is Bless the helmet and never take it off! i will have a read through the link and see what i could do better and what other protective gear i could be wearing!

Thanks guys

Offline ian123running

Re: Should have learnt the easy way.. some advice guys
« Reply #5 on: February 06, 2017, 12:31:50 pm »
Hi Danny,

Some great advice so far.

I had almost the same accident as you about 35 years ago - pretty difficult to defend against.  I nearly had a repeat experience with a bus last month - more of that later...

...  in the intervening period I had intense road safety training that you need in the UK to get your full motorbike license.  Basically it was all about 'riding safe' - assuming EVERYTHING can go wrong (eg drivers not seeing you), double check and and defend yourself against all (well, almost all) eventualities.  I use this all the time for cycling and that training has made me much safer I believe.  Not completely foolproof - I worry about the really unpredictable such as animals crossing and that was partly why I sold the motorbike.

Anyway... back to the bus ....  it turned out the driver hadn't seen us (It was daylight with great visibility so maybe 1:1000 chance?) but I ALWAYS figure this might happen - and had already changed course assuming to brake / swerve and avoided it.  Could have been very nasty.  Wife on the tandem was pretty relieved.

A lot of my cycling is piloting a tandem - that certainly focusses the mind as I know any accident would be a mess, or worse...

Ride safe, defend against everything, always try to get eye contact (boy do I HATE black tinted windows) and generally wear a helmet and 'be seen' clothing.

Ian

Offline canalligators

Re: Should have learnt the easy way.. some advice guys
« Reply #6 on: February 06, 2017, 12:44:39 pm »
I'm always more cautious when I'm responsible for two lives.

Offline Old Guy New Hobby

Re: Should have learnt the easy way.. some advice guys
« Reply #7 on: February 06, 2017, 04:10:07 pm »
Quote
it turned out the driver hadn't seen us (It was daylight with great visibility so maybe 1:1000 chance?)

Actually, it happens all the time. Drivers have to ignore a lot of what they see. Their subconscious decides what's important to bring up to the conscious mind. Make yourself seen. Use the brightest flashing lights you can find.

Offline walks.in2.trees

Re: Should have learnt the easy way.. some advice guys
« Reply #8 on: February 06, 2017, 05:01:03 pm »
stay alert while riding
This is clearly your best protection.
Yes to helmets and using your brain at the very least

There's all sorts of things you can't possibly know, or control... The pot-hole filled with slush, or even just rain water... Black ice... I rolled into the parking lot at work all confident... The roads were fine, and as I crossed the center of the lot on my brand new bike, the bike disappeared out from under me...Fortunately I landed on my feet which slid and I went down easy... the next time a few weeks later though I wasn't that lucky and I went down hard, knocked the wind out of me but my helmet hit the pavement rather than my head, so that saved me.

Another time riding trails I hit a tree. another time riding the slushy shoulder of a busy road in the winter, I got too close to the gutter they built into the pavement, and with a car right behind me, my bike went out from under me... fortunately the driver was being cautious, and held back traffic while I caught my breath and got myself back up.

Another time returning home late at night at the end of a multi-day cycling trip, I turned into this gravel path that is part of a local bike route, not realizing that strips had been washed out since the previous time using it, I had made my turn at speed, hit the first wash-out, recovered, hit the second washout which aimed a different direction, and lost it when my bars were ripped from my hand... the bike flipped over me and landed on top of me. I lay there in the resulting silence while my brain sorted things out then slowly got up and set about trying to figure out if my bike was still road-worthy. after lining the bars back up to the forks, I was good to go with roadrash and torn pants and jacket.

ANOTHER time, I was on a busy divided 4-lane road, riding on a big wide shoulder, but had to make a left which meant crossing two lanes to get to the middle-most left turning lane. I stuck out my hand to signal and glanced over my shoulder to make certain it was clear (it was clear back to the previous light so I was good) and had the handle bar ripped out of my non-signalling hand as my wheel hit a broken portion of pavement that I didn't see because I was checking over my shoulder.  See, I had a mirror, but it wouldn't stay put, so right when I needed it, it was pointing at the ground instead of behind me and then it broke when my bike flipped over me.  Good thing it was clear... I had to shake myself out of the shock and pull my bike back to the shoulder before the cars over took me.

Note that all of these things were unexpected, and that my helmet did it's job in all of these situations.

I've had a few close calls too, involving cars:

Riding through a traffic circle the driver was watching and I thought he saw me, but he must not have because he pulled into the circle while I was trying to exit the circle... I was ready though, and managed to change trajectory in time and go another turn around the inside of the circle right beside his shocked face as he realized what had almost happened. 

There was a teen-girl in a convertible with three of her friends parked beside the road on the other side of the traffic light.  I'm not sure what was going on...It looked like she looked right at me, but as I approached after the light changed, I saw her reach for that door handle, and I shouted "don't you even dare!"
She didn't.

Just prior to getting my new bike, riding at night, a car approached from a side-street to make a left onto the street I was on. As usual I coasted with hand on brake, ready to stop if needed. He sat long enough that I thought he'd seen me. I started cranking, and then he released his brake and started rolling, I took evasive action and changed trajectory to pass behind him... then he DID notice me and stopped... now I'm aiming directly at his door, so I try to change up again and unclipped my foot just as my pedal tore a hole in his bumper which threw off my balance at that slow speed and I wobbled over to the corner and fell on the grass.  Afterward he asked if I was OK and I apologized for his bumper and we went our separate ways. I remember he asked "didn't you see me?" and my brain hadn't really processed what had happened, looking back I should have explained it the way I did here, but I could only say "Yeah, I just couldn't turn in time"

Sent from my SM-T817V using Tapatalk


Offline DarrenBnYYC

Re: Should have learnt the easy way.. some advice guys
« Reply #9 on: February 06, 2017, 05:54:43 pm »
I'll add the growing volume of advice here that gear that helps prevent injury is much better than gear that mitigates injury (such as body armour), as well as using behaviours that help prevent accidents, such as positioning yourself to be seen, anticipating collisions before they happen, etc.

The former is easy: bright lights (especially at night), high-vis clothing, and a loud horn (I don't think anyone mentioned those yet) are all helpful. And yes, my 120-decibel AirZound cycling horn has saved my bacon more than once.

The latter is important, also - if you aren't sure about best practice for safe urban cycling, definitely take a cycling course from someone like Cycling Savvy or the League of American Bicyclists (or Can-Bike up in Canada, etc.). There is a wealth of information on the internet, also, but I have found some of it to be very questionable, and if you are new to the information you might not be able to easily spot the good advice from bad advice.

Offline Ddanny

Re: Should have learnt the easy way.. some advice guys
« Reply #10 on: February 06, 2017, 10:24:10 pm »
Some really great replies here and some pretty bad, unfortunate accidents also. It seems that accidents are inevitable and whether it is a car or just damn bad luck, it's going to happen eventually. Keeping that in mind, I will be going out to buys some bright clothing, bright lights and a loud horn. This should be a good start to keeping me a little safer on the roads.

I will do a little research online now about these cycling courses and road safety to see where I can join, prices etc. Thanks for the advice and stories guys, I will be back soon,

Offline johnsondasw

Re: Should have learnt the easy way.. some advice guys
« Reply #11 on: February 07, 2017, 11:41:39 am »
[quote

 It kind of feel like you need eyes in the back of your head

[/quote]
A mirror gives you this, but you have to know how to use it.  I especially helps avoid the right hook problem, when the car passes you and then immediately turns right so you hit it.  My mirror has helped me avoid that situation and the situation when a passing car is not giving me room enough.
May the wind be at your back!

Offline Ddanny

Re: Should have learnt the easy way.. some advice guys
« Reply #12 on: February 07, 2017, 10:37:52 pm »
A mirror is not such a bad idea either. I don't think I have ever seen one on a bicycle before.

Offline johnsondasw

Re: Should have learnt the easy way.. some advice guys
« Reply #13 on: February 07, 2017, 11:18:52 pm »
I've been using one for 40 years.  There are many kinds.  I use a bar end one now. 
May the wind be at your back!

Offline canalligators

Re: Should have learnt the easy way.. some advice guys
« Reply #14 on: February 09, 2017, 03:19:30 pm »
https://www.crazyguyonabike.com/doc/?o=tS&doc_id=5276&v=22

Mirrors are especially good at watching for situations unfolding.  Like being at the pinch point, where oncoming and overtaking cars will meet where you will be.  For this reason, I prefer flat mirrors on the eyeglasses or helmet, as you can see farther back with them.  But buy one and use it, no matter what kind!