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I really hope everyone is okay after this weekend's weather challenges.  Anyone out Friday night knows it was slippery!  Any falling/sliding suggestions or stories out there?

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I fell just like I did the one time last year...slid on ice and went down sideways, landing squarely on my hip. I have felt like my spine is a one-prong tuning fork that got tuned and jarred. Sore but thanks to luck and years of yoga I am okay. I suggest yoga to cyclists, for so many reasons...not just falling. Oh and WATCH THOSE TURNS-icy turns are never kind.
DON'T stick out your arm to catch yourself on the pavement. Arms don't like the full weight of the body coming down on them.
Whether riding or walking, I've slipped and fallen hard a few times (but not yet this year). I've got a technique that's a combo of what I learned in a long-ago martial arts class and fine tuning from experience.

If you feel yourself going down and there's no way to avoid it:

1. Try to relax your body. It's not your instinctive first response, but you can train yourself to do it. It really helps to minimize sprains and strains. It also seems to help your body distribute the impact when you land, to reduce bruises and scrapes.

2. If you're clipped in, get clipped out ASAP, preferably before you land. This can reduce injuries to knees, ankles and other body parts.

3. If you can rotate so that the most padded part of your butt can take most of the impact, do it. This is safer if you can land in a "sitting up" position rather than a "leaning back" position.

If you're leaning back, it's possible to break your tailbone from the fall. Been there, done that, both riding and walking. If it happens to you, the good news is that riding (except on a recumbent) is one of the most comfortable positions for that broken tailbone. The bad news is that it takes about 3 months to fully heal, and many sitting or lying positions are uncomfortable for most of that time.

4. If you are close to to an area with 3-4"+ of snow cover and you can possibly direct your fall there, do it! I've slipped on ice on a number of occasions where I was close enough to snow covered ground to throw my momentum there and land without even a bruise.

The summer equivalent is flopping over on a lawn. I've done that in a couple of situations that could have ended in ER visits, but ended up requiring minor first aid or just laundry pre-treatment for grass stains instead.

5. RELAX!

I've managed to have many more controlled than uncontrolled falls. The uncontrolled falls have resulted in a few minor fractures. The controlled falls have never caused anything more than a minor scrape or bruise.
My bike, which isn't really winterized in anyway, loves to skid out from under me when I brake hard on slippery wet roads. I've just adjusted by trying to make sure I don't have to make hard, abrupt stops.

I've become a bit more cautious and patient hen I approach intersections-I think we've all had moments where we think "That car will probably let me go...oh, hell to the no, it's not stopping." I'm going a bit slower in an unfamiliar situation where I'm not sure if I'm going to have to slam on the brakes (ex: riding near a cab that could swoop in to pick a fare up at any time).

Still, I'm probably going to eat shit at least once this winter. I was walking my bike along the ice-coated Montrose pier this afternoon with Whateverland (trying to get photos with Lake Michigan and the skyline in the background) and I totally fell on top of my bike at one point. I'm just happy we didn't both fall in the lake.
Thanks for the advice! Word!
I thought this was going to be about a new Dave Matthews single.


Tank-Ridin' Ryan said:
DON'T stick out your arm to catch yourself on the pavement. Arms don't like the full weight of the body coming down on them.
\
Neither do shoulders, from a few years ago for me.
True. I'm looking at it from a broken shoulder vs broken hand, wrist, arm, elbow, collarbone, or a combination of those point of view. Or I've just been listening to too much racing commentary.
Mike Zumwalt said:


Tank-Ridin' Ryan said:
DON'T stick out your arm to catch yourself on the pavement. Arms don't like the full weight of the body coming down on them.
\
Neither do shoulders, from a few years ago for me.
Somewhat nervously rode around yesterday, running errands. Made it back to my street without incident, then wiped out in front of my house. Unhurt, had to laugh though.
It is a hard thing to do, but try to just not let go of the handlebars, I went down hard during a race in July, I did not let go of the bars, my bicep and forearm hit the ground first as I slid. Other then road rash I sustained a wrist sprain because I eventually put my hand down at the end of my slide thinking I was done moving. Coming to a stop from almost 30 mph takes a while and during that time my body came off the bike and my head went back to hit the pavement (thankfully the helmet took the brunt of it) I put my hand back to try and prevent my head from hitting the ground. There was still enough force to do some damage to my wrist. I had to have x-rays to make sure nothing was broken. Looking back now at the garmin you can see http://connect.garmin.com/activity/39080429
I ususally need a fall early in the season for my body to remember how to ride in ice and snow. Luckally this happend Friday night. I was going slow, hit my brakes, and did a slow motion power slide on the ice. I find that I am more aware of my weight distribution when the roads are slippery than when they are not. I tend to ride and think of contingency plans when going over sketchy ground.
I would hope a crash wouldn't require arm replacement, but bars are quicker to repair or replace than your bones.
Cameron Puetz said:
Listen to this man, he speaks the truth. Let you’re handlebars hit first and take the blow. They are stronger and if necessary easier to replace than your arm.


Tank-Ridin' Ryan said:
DON'T stick out your arm to catch yourself on the pavement. Arms don't like the full weight of the body coming down on them.

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