Nearly tasted some tar
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  1. #1
    Unsafe at Any Speed
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    Nearly tasted some tar

    I came down a slight downhill into town, heavily laden, meaning to turn across traffic into a side road. Road appears clear enough, traffic signal (arrow) is green.

    I spot some MTB'ers waiting the opposite direction at their red light, and decide to treat them to a view of a road bike in a proper high speed turn.

    As I enter the corner at some 22-25mph, the car 15-20 feet in front of me decides to slow down markedly from a speed already somewhat lower than mine. Hmm... road not all that clear after all.

    I hit both brakes carefully but quite firmly. The rear rim maybe had some chain oil on it, and promptly locked up. The rear broadsided and then 'caught' again, giving me quite a kick via the saddle as the bike abruptly tilted upright. In turn, my heavy backpack bounced on me and I must confess things did not feel all that stable right then.

    Fortunately my luck held and I continued without crashing or even a slight hitch and mainly, without appearing an a$$ directly and very close in front of MTB riders. I hope they saw the episode as an example of masterful bike handling
    Last edited by Pieter; 08-17-2011 at 03:20 AM.

  2. #2
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    That's a bit like most road rage incidents: people reacting because something almost happened. Also, if your rear rim had "chain oil on it", I would have thought it unlikely to lock up.

  3. #3
    RoadBikeReview Member
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    Like somebody once said
    "Unsafe at Any Speed".

  4. #4
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    there is an old saying

    that if you ride it's not if you will crash but when. I've been riding 35 years or so and about 2 weeks ago had my first crash. Hell I can't really even recount the incident - I was turning around and for some reason lost my balance point - down I went. Landed on my forearm first, then the left knee and finally my side. Nothing serious just some stiffness over the next week. Actually hurt my right shoulder, I'm thinking some rotator-cuff injury from trying to hold the damn bike up, like me pulling on that side is gonna help. Good thing is there was no one around. Bone head move on my part.

  5. #5
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    Sounds like you almost high sided.

  6. #6
    Unsafe at Any Speed
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    Quote :
    Like somebody once said
    "Unsafe at Any Speed".


    Yep, I forgot that one



    Quote :
    Also, if your rear rim had "chain oil on it", I would have thought it unlikely to lock up.

    All too often after a too hasty service, I have wet lube on the rim. After braking a couple of times it becomes a black, gummy deposit which gives a badly grabbing brake.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pieter View Post
    Quote :
    Like somebody once said
    "Unsafe at Any Speed".


    Yep, I forgot that one



    Quote :
    Also, if your rear rim had "chain oil on it", I would have thought it unlikely to lock up.

    All too often after a too hasty service, I have wet lube on the rim. After braking a couple of times it becomes a black, gummy deposit which gives a badly grabbing brake.
    With respect, what in God's name are you doing to your bike that you manage to get lube - wet or any other - anywhere near your rim? That's just asking for trouble!

  8. #8
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    Interesting story, but if the MTB'ers saw it happen, you likely did appear to be an a$$.

  9. #9
    RoadBikeReview Member
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    There are old cyclists and bold cyclists, but no old, bold cyclists.

    or

    "Son, your ego is writing checks your body can't cash."
    Hell is other posters

  10. #10
    Needs new heart and legs
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    Quote Originally Posted by El Literato Loco View Post

    "Son, your ego is writing checks your body can't cash."
    GOOD ONE!

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by 2wheelsnotfour View Post
    Sounds like you almost high sided.
    Yeah. the first words that came to my mind were "Joseba Beloki."

    I hit both brakes carefully but quite firmly. The rear rim maybe had some chain oil on it, and promptly locked up. The rear broadsided . . .
    A really skilled cyclist would rarely get in this predicament. First, he wouldn't hit both brakes so hard. In the panic-stop situation, the front does almost all the real work, so you brake hard with the front, barely at all with the rear. Second, if the rear wheel does begin to get loose, you do two things: you release the rear brake completely, so the wheel has a chance to roll, and second, you ease up on the front, to reduce the weight shift and get some weight back on the rear wheel, hopefully to get it back under control, rolling instead of skidding. If you do it right, and promptly, the rear wheel can't get very far out of line.

    In a true maximum-rate panic stop, the main reason to use the rear brake at all is to detect the beginning of wheel lift from braking too hard in front. In other words, you apply just a little brake in back so that it will begin to skid if it gets almost totally unweighted, which tells you you're at the tipover limit and you have to ease up the front brake. The rear brake contributes essentially zero effort to the deceleration.

    Easier described than executed, of course.

    BTW, Beloki was obviously a very skilled and experienced rider; he was tripped up by an unusual and very difficult road condition: melting asphalt.

    I think you should take two lessons from this: work on your hard-stop technique, and don't show off, at least in traffic. And I wouldn't describe a situation in which I'm 15-20 feet behind a car and closing on it as "clear enough" for a fancy high-speed turn, especially carrying a lot of extra weight.

  12. #12
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    Great story. I hope you behaved in front of the ATBers like "you meant to do that"!

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