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It was a glorious day for bicycling ... almost

by Bill Osler / October 31, 2004 10:50 AM PST

Both yesterday and today were splendid Fall days here. I thoroughly enjoyed some long rides around the countryside, looking at pretty farmland and Autumn leaves.

Today I managed a really long ride and I was feeling quite pleased with myself as I turned into my driveway. The only time I stopped for anything but a stop sign was when I got paged and I had to make a phone call. I'd gone just shy of 37 miles over moderate hills at almost 17 mph with essentially no breaks. Not too bad for a middle aged man.

Then I turned into the driveway, exhausted. I ran off the edge of the driveway into the grass and fell over. I couldn't get my shoes out of the cleats in time to stop the fall (I'm still learning about cleats) so I went right down on the grass with the bike. At least it was a soft landing and I wasn't going fast. One other blessing: AFAIK nobody saw me.

Next time maybe I'll remember how to get my shoes out of the cleats.

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Re: It was a glorious day for bicycling ... almost
by netsky / October 31, 2004 11:01 AM PST

A nice story with a cautionary ending.

I had a buddy- long dead now- who took a cleat-induced roll around on hard asphalt.

He was young and incredibly strong but the disgusting acccident put him off cleats forever after. He tossed them.

You just learned why, the soft and gentle landing way. And know it and share it so thank you for that.

And GLAD you are keeping that great name alive, too.

Had you by chance heard the GOK anecdote before?

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(NT) (NT) I'd never heard the anecdote before.
by Bill Osler / October 31, 2004 11:03 AM PST
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Re: It was a glorious day for bicycling ... almost
by Diane Harrison / October 31, 2004 11:47 AM PST

Ah, that was how I spent summer before last in a hospital bed for three months and why I am still suffering even now to some extent.

When I hit the asphalt at 14.4 mph with both feet firmly still locked in to the pedals and the bike doing a full end-over, it drove all 116 pounds of me into the ground at high velocity. Ended up with a multiple fractures: pelvis, all ribs on the left side of the rib cage, as well as compressing my lower vertebrae, causing very painful sciatica, and other supposed lifelong problems. I chose to hit on my left ribs rather than risk fracturing shards of my back ribs into my internal organs, intentionally flipping to the left just enough in that final split second.

I'm obviously back to riding, but it terrified my family, who saw it happen and figured me for dead (likely broken neck on impact). When I decided to go back and ride, I did some research. Apparently the clip-ons are safest, compared to the leather cages (which I had been unable to get out of). You're just lucky you hit the grass and at a low speed. Getting in and out of the clip-ons takes practice, but will come second nature after a while. Or so they tell me. Like Netskys' friend, I won't try them now, preferring to sacrifice time and energy to safety by not being locked onto the pedals. I also found out that the clip-ons only really make a difference when you are going in meets where there is a long course and every second counts. I still use one pedal with the latch, but not the second one, so I can at least put one foot down in a hurry. Given my druthers, both of those contraptions would be off the pedals.

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(NT) (NT) the living pain caution from you may save a life
by netsky / October 31, 2004 8:17 PM PST
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Leather cages?
by Bill Osler / November 1, 2004 8:21 AM PST

I'm not sure I follow. Are you referring to toe clips?

I used toe clips for the last 3 months but I changed to "speed play" clipless cleats/pedals based on recommendations from several riders. I'm not sure they yield much advantage over the toe clips, though.

Switching from plain pedals to toe clips made a huge difference for me, especially going up hills. I'm not sure it matters much on the flat because my hip flexors don't yet have the endurance to allow me to make full use of the cleats for long periods of time.

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Toe clip straps
by Diane Harrison / November 1, 2004 12:58 PM PST
In reply to: Leather cages?

is the proper term. Leather cages is the more accurate descriptive term. Whatever they are, they are deadly with my running shoes on that are wide in front and catch the leather straps so I can't release my foot no matter how hard I struggle. They become like those Chinese finger trap tubes made out of bamboo weave.

I sacrificed part of my left hand and left a portion of my left elbow and the side of my left knee on the roadway too in that sudden stop. Nothing quite like the good old hospital where they literally take out a stiff bristle scrub brush and scrub inside the wounds to take out the road debris!

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by Bill Osler / November 1, 2004 8:50 PM PST
In reply to: Toe clip straps

Wound debridement is always an ordeal. I hope the remaining pain fades away.

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by James Denison / November 1, 2004 10:36 PM PST
In reply to: Ouch!
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(humor) At least i never had to go through -that-
by netsky / November 1, 2004 10:40 PM PST
In reply to: Debridement


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(NT) (NT) Dehusbandment is sometimes nearly as bad ;-)
by Diane Harrison / November 1, 2004 10:46 PM PST
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(NT) (NT) you mean Degroomment?
by jonah jones / November 1, 2004 10:50 PM PST
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Re: (NT) you mean Degroomment?
by Diane Harrison / November 1, 2004 11:03 PM PST

Depends on who it would be worse for. Degroomment would be bad for the bride probably. But dehusbandment is reportedly VERY bad for the husband-to-be-ex and often a good thing for dewife. The whole country-western culture of "She got the Goldmine; I got the Shaft" kind of supports that Wink

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And this wasn't even near my ribs...
by James Denison / November 2, 2004 3:07 PM PST
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(NT) (NT) Groan!
by Bill Osler / November 2, 2004 2:12 AM PST
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I had never noticed a possible reinterpretation ...
by Bill Osler / November 2, 2004 5:59 AM PST

Shame on y'all!
FWIW, if anybody is unfamiliar with debridement, check on it here:
Merriam-Webster Online

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Re: I had never noticed a possible reinterpretation ...
by Diane Harrison / November 2, 2004 9:17 AM PST

I prefer my version: Legalized torture of captive patients, utilizing industrial cleaning products to inflict extreme pain in the name of cleansing the flesh Wink

Thank goodness scar tissue is so good about growing just about anyplace where skin is missing, and in copious amounts given time Happy

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Re: It was a glorious day for bicycling ... almost
by Ziks511 / October 31, 2004 11:01 AM PST

Did it myself at a stop light with all manner of stationary traffic around. Boy did I look a fool, and it bloody well hurt too. At least no one ran over me when the light changed.

Averaging 17 mph is damned good too. Woay to go

Rob Boyter

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Re: i believe it was pre-ordained
by jonah jones / October 31, 2004 8:29 PM PST

does it not say in the scriptures that "the ride cometh before the fall"?


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Re: i believe it was pre-ordained
by James Denison / October 31, 2004 11:02 PM PST

I think it's "the pride (lions) cometh to eat the fallen"


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Re: i believe it was pre-ordained
by Diane Harrison / October 31, 2004 11:58 PM PST

Okay. . .Yea, while I roll through the valley of shadows, I shall steer like Evil Knievel.

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(NT) (NT) Oh, the lions eating the Christians?
by Dragon / November 1, 2004 1:08 AM PST
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Re: the last game at the Coloseum
by jonah jones / November 1, 2004 1:40 AM PST

Lions 36, Christians 0



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Re: It was a glorious day for bicycling ... almost
by Dan McC / November 1, 2004 3:43 AM PST

What style of cleats are you using? With most cleats it takes a twist at the ankle to rotate the ball of the foot over the pedal and release the cleat. Most will also have a screw on the pedal to adjust the tension needed to release the pedal. On occasion I've made the mistake of trying to pull the cleat straight up out of the pedal, but it's designed exactly to resist that kind of force.

I conditioned myself not to scream when I fall. It keeps the level of attention down.



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I'm using Speed Play clips and pedals ...
by Bill Osler / November 1, 2004 8:31 AM PST

I wanted to make sure I had a lot of "float" because my ankles/knees have a good bit of rotation and I don't want to put any avoidable torsion stress on the knees.

It is actually fairly easy for me to get the cleats off the pedals. The trick is that I cannot usually do it merely by rotating the heel out. It helps to rotate out and pull the heel up at the same time.

Unfortunately, although detaching the shoe is easy, it is not yet fully automatic. I've only been using them for about 2 weeks so I've probably clipped the feet in and out a couple of dozen times at most. I don't usually take rest stops when I'm riding by myself and if the traffic isn't bad I can sometimes go an entire ride without having to take the shoes out of the cleats. I suppose I should have practiced more before using them on long rides, but practicing clipping in and out is so boring I didn't have the patience.

Yesterday afternoon I got caught by a stupid mistake at a time when I was, quite literally, exhausted. I really should have taken a rest stop halfway through the ride. My brief phone call 11 or 12 miles from home didn't quite cut it from the rest perspective.

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