Oh, the Pain. Oh, the Embarrassment

02.27.2007 | 6:56 am

There’s something strange about being an Extremely Popular A-List Blogger like myself: you (by which I mean I) are constantly on the hunt for things to write about. Because every time you (by which I mean I) finish an entry, you suspect that you have, in fact, just written the very last words you will ever have to say on the subject of biking.  

In short, almost anytime anything — good or bad — happens to me on the bike, I sigh a little sigh of relief: I know I’ll be able to use this event either as my main point or to illustrate a point when I write the next day.

Notice how I said “almost anything” in that last paragraph? That’s because sometimes something happens that’s just too embarrassing or painful or both to talk about the next day.

Sometimes, I have to wait a couple days before I – yes, even I, the Extremely Popular A-List Blogger — can write about an event without dying a little Death by Humiliation

Or, as in this case, about ten days.

A Nice Day for a Ride
I’m confident I have not mentioned this before (and certainly have not mentioned it over and over, whining like a spoiled baby), but it’s been a cold Winter. So, a couple weekends ago when we had both warm weather (no jacket required!) and dry roads, Rick Sunderlage (not his real name) and I took the opportunity to get out on our road bikes for a couple hours.

Rick was in the mood to climb and I was curious to see whether I could hang with Rick, so we started by climbing up the South side Suncrest — four miles of uphill, with about 1300 feet of altitude gain.

It turns out I can hang with Rick…unless Rick feels like going faster than me. About 2/3 of the way up, Rick saw another couple of cyclists way up yonder. “Let’s catch them!” Rick shouted, and took off, as if he thought that we weren’t already going maximum speed.

Eventually, I would catch Rick, but only because he waited for me at the top.

This, by the way, is not the part that took me ten days to feel like I could write about it. And I apologize if it seems like I am writing a shaggy dog, here. It’s just that I’m still not entirely comfortable with writing the punchline to today’s post. Gotta work up to it, you see.

Anyway, Rick and I dropped down the North side of Suncrest, then spun along in Draper. It was here that I used what I consider the best possible technique for reeling in a formidable cycling opponent / riding buddy: The Halfwheel-Conversation Ploy. It’s easy, really: you halfwheel-draft the guy while asking short open-ended questions that require long answers, like “So tell me all about your Leadville 100 plan: training, equipment, your planned split times, everything.” Then you shut up and let the other guy talk (thereby using his wind for something other than flogging you mercilessly on the bike) while you draft.

This worked for a while, and then it was time to climb back up Suncrest, this time on the steeper North side.

Once again, I had no problem at all staying with Rick, except for when he felt like riding ahead of me.

By the time we got to the top of Suncrest, I was beat. Rick lives at Suncrest, so he turned off toward home and I rolled down the South side back toward my home, fried.

I can always tell I’m really tired when I start verbally coaxing myself. “OK, Fatty (yes, I now sometimes call myself “Fatty”), once you turn onto Westfield, you’re just two miles from home. Only three more Stop signs and you’re there. Just keep turning the cranks.”

On and on like that, just trying to keep the bike upright. Head down, staring at my knees.

And that’s when it happened.

Fatty, Say “Hi” to the Pavement
The thing about staring at your knees is you’re not looking at other things. Things, for example, like what’s in front of you.

Have I mentioned that it’s been a cold Winter? And you know what a cold Winter does to roads?

It makes potholes in them. Big ones, sometimes.

Without trying to avoid the pothole at all — without seeing it at all — I rode straight into it at about 15mph.

My hands, until a moment ago lightly resting on the bars, bounced off, my chest went into the stem, and I went down hard, landing atop my bike.

It hurt. A lot.

My shoulder dislocated, I was scraped up, and one of my fingers felt like it was broken (it isn’t).

But that wasn’t what really hurt.

What really hurt was the very clear image in my mind of what I must have looked like to the cars now passing me (none of them stopping to ask if I was OK, by the way): A guy on his bike, all dressed up like he’s some fancy pro rider, rides straight into a pothole big enough to be seen from space. Of course he crashed. He must have wanted to crash.

What really hurt was the fact that I had just turfed it good and hard and had nobody and nothing to blame but me (though you can bet that I tried to find something or someone to blame).

But nope, there was nothing else. I’m just a dork, plain and simple.

My wheels were so bent I had to release the brakes to ride home. And the bike wouldn’t shift. I was so afraid of what I might find that I didn’t expect the bike for damage myself, instead taking it to Racer’s Cycle Service, cooking up a plausible story for why I crashed my bike (I hit ice as I was coming around a corner).

Evidently, I had totaled a shifter/lever, but the bike was otherwise OK.

Please, please tell me I’m not the only one who’s had completely avoidable, totally self-inflicted wrecks, preferably with strangers present to look at you like you’re an escapee from the Arkham Asylum.

Even if it’s not true, please tell me.

PS: Today’s weight: 163.4


  1. Comment by regina | 02.27.2007 | 7:10 am

    are you kidding of course it is true. I consider every time I have fallen at the slowest of slow motion while trying to become accustomed to clipless that kind of crash. And I must make great faces when I find myself in this slow motion no way to stop it from happening occurance because more than once I have looked right into the face of a pedestrian who then comes running toward me like I had a heart attack instead of just being a big dummy and tipping myself off of my bike.

  2. Comment by hades | 02.27.2007 | 7:18 am

    My worst crash ever, in fact, was a result of several acts of stupidity on my part which all came together in a perfect storm.

    It was a my GF’s (at the time) birthday, and I wanted to go for a quick ride. I grabbed a mountain bike to go ride on the road – faux pas 1. I left the tire pressure where I found it – faux pas 2. I also raised the seat a little higher for the road ride – faux pas 3.

    I then proceeded to ride through the university to the bike trail. On my way through the university I cruised down a flight of stairs because I could, and spotted some skaters taking pictures a little further on. I went for my ride down the paved bike trail on my mountain bike with under-inflated tires and came back through the university.

    This is when it happened. I saw the skaters again. I was riding through an area that has nice scalloped curbs, perfect for jumping. I liked to jump and there were people to show off for who might even appreciate my panache and style. I hit one curb, and hipped it… nice. I hit another and got a good BMX style hop and landing.

    It was the third curb that got me, it was like the others, but the landing was on cobbles. I was clipped in with brand new cleats and lifted a little too much with the pedals bringing the back up too high, I tried to move my weight back, but the seat was too high and in my way so the nose went into undisclosed nether regions, I landed on the font wheel and the tire immediately popped the bead and rolled off since I had failed to inflate the tire. Next thing I knew I was skidding across the cobbles, still clipped to the bike, on my side.

    After I came to a rest a cute little college student walked over and asked if was alright. I was not – I couldn’t stand up, I had dislocated my hip (one of the more painful things I have ever done) and I had a bunch of road rash and gravel from between the cobbles embedded in pockets of skin in my arm and leg. I borrowed her (the cute coed’s) cell and had my PO’ed GF take me to the emergency room.

    I spent two weeks not walking at all. I had about 50 witnesses. I felt oh-so-dumb.

  3. Comment by mark | 02.27.2007 | 7:31 am

    Well, the worst crashes are the ones where you ride to the front of the line at a busy, crowded four-way intersection and THEN remember you haven’t loosened your toe straps. You wind up with a sore elbow (at least), and you have to contend with the further ignominy of having to unstrap while lying in the intersection with a bicycle between your legs. Which isn’t easy.

    Had a friend in the Army a few years back who got drunk offbase, stole a bike to ride back to the barracks and then crashed while trying to ride it down some stairs, breaking all his front teeth. He got an Article 15 for “failure to repair” and got busted from sergeant to private.

    Heck, a pothole at high speed? That’s practically honorable.

  4. Comment by SKing | 02.27.2007 | 7:52 am

    Back in the single days, I was riding along the Provo Parkway trail (speaking of faux pas!). As I was going through the parking lot at the mouth of the canyon–after having stopped at the gas station for a call of nature–I wasn’t paying too much attention to my surroundings (an homage to Bruce Wayne, undoubtedly) and put my face square into the wide load rear view mirror of a parked pick up.

    My upper body, still being attached to my neck and head, stopped, while my lower body, still being attached to my bike, kept going, pivoting nicely into the air, resulting in me bouncing my head off the pavement and my bike and lower body, succumbing to the forces of gravitational pull, bouncing off my head.

    As I cleared my head, I noticed a TV station film crew setting up for a story on a local charity run filming the debacle…

    Okay, not true, but Fatty, you asked for it! ;o)

  5. Comment by Tim D | 02.27.2007 | 8:13 am

    Once in my youth I was riding along when I noticed that one of the front mudguard stays had come loose and was flapping about. It sounds dangerous doesn’t it. That stay could go into the spokes and lock up my front wheel. So I thought I’d better fix it. However, rather than stopping and reattaching it, I decided to just bend it out of the way with my toe, while still riding along. When I woke up a few minutes later I was bleeding fron several places, with my now broken toe jammed in the spokes.

  6. Comment by Chad | 02.27.2007 | 8:17 am

    Mine was simple. Hopefully everyone has done it. I had just bought new biking shoes with cleats. I joyfully rode home with my new gear. Unfortunately, I hadn’t taken the time to learn how to use them properly. The first intersection I came to (it was a major one right by our local university) I stopped, couldn’t get out of the cleats, and fell over. It hurt. Tons of people looking and laughing. I still couldn’t get out. Some nice girl came over and helped me out of the shoes. Highly embarassing.

  7. Comment by BotchedExperiment | 02.27.2007 | 8:18 am

    Coincidentally, last night driving home I hit a pothole that would eat your pothole for breakfast. Blew out the tire on my car and messed up the front end of the car. It won’t steer and makes some horrible, terrible grinding noises when the wheel rotates.

    Oh boy, it looks like we’re going to have to start completely over with our technical riding lessons. You know all those advanced techniques we tried last year, well forget all that stuff. Here, lets get started now. I’ll make a list for you:
    1) Look in the direction you are traveling
    2) Pay attention
    3) Scan for huge, bike eating obstacles directly in your path

    Ok, well, I hope this was helpful for you, but frankly I’m starting to have my doubts. . .

    Botched (slowly shaking his head from side to side)

  8. Comment by garrett | 02.27.2007 | 8:42 am

    It was gonna be my first cyclocross race, and I was at my car nervously trying to pin my racing number on just right, when I heard over the loud speaker that the C race was about to start. I threw on my helmet, jumped on the bike and hoofed it up to the staging area. As I approached it, I decided to try and duck underneath that orange plastic police tape they use to mark the course. This I failed. Before I knew it, the plastic tape had caught me at my throat and my attempt to disentangle from it while trying to stop the bike and unclip from the pedals was… wholly unsuccessful. Down I went, in front of all the other racers and spectators too. But I got myself up, lined up at the back of the pack, and finished the race 19th out of 19.

  9. Comment by barry1021 | 02.27.2007 | 8:48 am

    Chad-great story but “new to clips” stories can’t count here, sorry. We ALL have at least one of those. Here’s my non “new to clips” story.
    Three years ago, I had just purchased a house in North Scottsdale, and was anxious to go on a road bike ride. Went to the shop in Cave Creek, all was great riding for a couple hours. Somehow I take an unfamiliar turn and I don’t know where the hell i am. This is not Boston, everything is all spread out. So you are thinking “call someone, or ask for directions”. Of course I have my phone, but of course I am there alone and too embarassed to call the bike shop. Besides, I am having a senior moment AND I CANNOT REMEMBER THE ADDRESS OF MY NEW HOUSE (could I even make this up??). So I am riding along, looking around for a familiar sight or road name, and thinking how absolutely stupid I am, and the best way to get home with the least embarassment. Oh its about 95 degrees and the water is running low too. So naturally while looking around the front tire goes off the road, and there is about a three inch drop to the unpaved sand, the tire hits the edge and I go down straight left in the street (to this day, I have no idea where this happened). If a car had been coming it would have been over. Well the bike is OK but now I am bleeding from the left elbow and knee, and a piece of my clip has broken. Undaunted and still too stupid to call anyone, (“Can you tell me how to get home. Where’s home? Uhhhhh…”) I continue to ride around realizing how little of the area I had bothered to learn before heading out. I then see a road (StageCoach Pass, for those of you that know the North Scottsdale-Carefree area) and I believe I live somewhere at the top. By now I have been riding almost three hours, i am bleeding and a bit dehydrated, If it is the road that I think it is, it is a minor climb but in my condition it seem like Ventoux, if I get to the top and its wrong, i will break down in unmanly tears. Fortunately as I approached the top, I recognized the street and make it back, telling myself it was just a good long fun ride. Looking back, it’s especially comical, i was probably never more than 7 or 8 miles from my house, and there were shopping centers around, I just never saw them.

    So no Fatty, you are not the only one.


  10. Comment by TimK | 02.27.2007 | 8:50 am

    I did the same thing at mile 67 of my first century, only instead of a pothole it was my wife’s rear wheel. Thankfully she was still moving, so she didn’t crash with me.

    The majority of damage to my bike came when, in that angered post-crash state, I decided to kick the bike off me with my free foot. I have a nice little nick in the frame and I apologize to my bike now every time I take it down from the wall.

    I think we should try to save our crashes for the off road stuff.

    By the way, I hope you have given someone power of attorney to ship shirts to those of us who have ordered – you seem to be a bit clumsy lately!


  11. Comment by tigermouth | 02.27.2007 | 9:04 am

    My most embarassing self-induced crash happened while riding to play tennis. I had my racket bag slung over my shoulder with the handle sticking up to the right of my head. As I leaned aggressively into a turn onto Main Street, the racket handle snagged an a too-close-to-the-corner telephone pole. My bike went on a few feet without me before it fell on its side. Fortunately, no one stopped to see if I was okay.

  12. Comment by bikemike | 02.27.2007 | 9:20 am

    potholes are the black holes of our world. even if you had seen it, it would have drawn you in. there was really nothing you could do. trust me, i have potholes named after me in certain parts of our county.

  13. Comment by Argentius | 02.27.2007 | 9:27 am

    Stupid dumb crashes are far, far more common than “really really cool high speed wipeout” ones.

    My worst crash ever was like that. It was a really beautiful summer day, I was just getting back from a very relaxing 70-miler, and I was riding down a wide-open, well-paved road at like 18 miles an hour.

    I went to get a drink from a bottle, and BAM! I Joseba Beloki it. I’m on my right side with a TON of road rash, a destroyed jersey and gloves that I had never worn before, and I had to run out into the street to make sure my bike didn’t get run over.

    To this day, I have no idea what really caused this — I THINK it might have been the front wheel getting caught in a storm grate, as I went from riding to crashing REALLY fast — but I make sure EVERYONE knows that all the road rash came from hitting a patch of gravel on a really twisty descent.

  14. Comment by Taocat | 02.27.2007 | 9:53 am

    When I was 16 (I’m 37 now…) I rode my bike into a car – a parked car. I was on my way to work, looking at the rear derailluer and went right into the back of a parked car. I went over the bars, broke my two front teeth when I bounced off the trunk, rolled, landed on my feet and spit my teeth into my hand. A nice man gave me a ride home and told me I looked liked a stunt man – like I totally planned it. At least I got some style points! Completely pac-manned the front wheel AND broke my frame.

  15. Comment by sans auto | 02.27.2007 | 9:53 am

    So i’m riding home and I have to take a leak. Normally I go while riding, but it’s a small town and a busy road, so I opted for a side road. I stopped, out of sight of traffic to do my thing. Normally I go while riding (I said that again so that maybe you will think that sometimes I’m cool), so surely I didn’t need to unclip both peddles. I Unclipped the right peddle and the left remained clipped in.

    I used one hand to hold the spandex down and the other hand to aim. Normally this works well for me, but as I was going the handlebars and front wheel turned so they were perpendicular to the rest of the bike. The front wheel then rolled toward my right leg (the one on the ground). As the tire rolled, my weight shifted further and further to the left (that would be the side that was still clipped in). Of course I fell. Of course I was still going. On the way down I managed to pee on every inch of my handlebar, and most of my leg. There I lay, like a little fountain, stuck to my bike and flailing so as not to roll into the ever expanding puddle of urine. The only saving grace was the nobody saw me.

  16. Comment by Lurch | 02.27.2007 | 10:03 am

    Pitiful. Just Pitiful.
    You should either give up riding or give up peeing. Your choice.

  17. Comment by Lissee | 02.27.2007 | 10:17 am

    Hey Fatty,

    Fortunately, I have never fallen off my bike; my sister however has run into a trash can twice. The first time she knocked her two front teeth out, -the Dr’s were able to stuff them back in, they are little yellow but didn’t die-, the second time it was dark, and she hit one of those giant suburb residential city owned cans. She went over the top of it… didn’t break anything. Her excuse was that it was dark. Personally, I just think that she has a homing beacon built into her that searches them out.

    So has Google joined your ads for schwag program? Saw the ‘google pack’ button and wondered… So being an A-list blogger with everyone IM’ing you, will you still have time to write?

    Oh, and are you planning to import all the old comments off the old site? The comments section always gives me a laugh. (I clicked on an old How-to- story, and the comments were missing.)

    Sorry about the pothole.

  18. Comment by dpcowboy | 02.27.2007 | 10:19 am

    Sans Auto…that was priceless! I came close to that once, but pulled a groin muscle doing that “incredible core wrestling twist” that always hurts something. I stopped the stream, though, and just fell over.
    Fatty, how about this for embarrassing…I was riding a little circuit race in Ireland once, many moons ago, and it was raining. Feeling spunky, I blasted off the front for a lap prize (they call them primes here, but it Ireland and most Northern Europe, they call them lap prizes (loose translation) and just kept going. I was really feeling good, and had my head down, knowing a righthander was about 1000 meters away, but I kinda got lost there, distracted, and time went by faster than I thought, or something, and I was halfway through the intersection when this man in a raincoat with an umbrella got my attention by yelling, “This way, bye..(that’s ‘boy’ in Irish…)” I turned, or tried to turn, obviously missing the corner by A LOT, and went into a drainage ditch, where I endoed, pretzled both wheels and was covered in mud. I broke my left index finger, and was just rolling over and groaning when the field went by, looking at me like I was…an idiot. The man in the raincoat helped me up and asked me, “Why DID you do that?”

  19. Comment by FliesOnly | 02.27.2007 | 10:29 am

    I have two crash stories…one that didn’t hurt but was embarrassing and one that did hurt…and was also embarrassing.

    First, the first one:

    Not long after getting my new clipless pedals, I (and three other guys) go out for our daily lunch-time ride. We approach a stop light with a dude in a pickup truck sitting in the right turn lane. I’m first to arrive and pull up beside him. He looks at me, I look at him. He gets a funny look on his face at the exact some moment I get a very distressed look on my face. Next thing I know, I’m lying on my back…my bike is still firmly attached to both of my feet and I feel like a total boob. This guy leans out the window and says something along the lines of “Hey, are you suppose to do that?”…all the while with a big ol’ grin on his face. I forget my reply, but I’m sure it was some amazing witty retort (not).

    Now the second one:

    I was cruising along at a pretty good clip when it came time for a left hand turn. I look straight ahead and notice that a car is coming towards me, but since it’s still a ways off, my turning in front of them will cause neither of us any problems (or so I thought). I lean over and begin to make my turn, immediately hitting some gravel I had not noticed. The bike slides out from under me, I land petty hard on my left side and proceed to slide along the road. As it turns out, the car I had been watching makes a right turn, and now there I am lying in the middle of her lane…bloody and bruised. The vehicle comes to stop about 8-10 feet in front (or would that be behind?) me. Oh no…it’s one of those ‘soccer moms” in a minivan and she just stares down at me with one of those “Would you please get out of my way…I’m important and in a big hurry” looks. After what seems like minutes, I halfway get up and drag both myself and my bike to the side the road. She gives me one last death stare and drives off. No “are you ok?” No “can I do some thing for you?” No “can I help you out or call someone?” She just speeds off, with a look of total distain on her face. Gee, sorry I made you 30 seconds late.

  20. Comment by Chad | 02.27.2007 | 10:34 am

    Sans—That is just sick and wrong. I’m not near as embarrassed now. Thanks.

  21. Comment by Mike | 02.27.2007 | 10:40 am

    I’ve been lucky enough to not suffer any serious accidents since I took up riding again a couple years ago (knock on wood), but once as a kid I was out riding my bike, singing to myself, just sort of daydreaming like kids do… and that’s when I ran into the back end of a parked car.

    Now mind you, parked cars don’t just appear out of nowhere, and I hadn’t just turned a corner or anything like that.. it happened in the middle of a city block, just me, my bike, and the parked car. I got up, looked around to make sure no one saw me, and then headed home to lick my wounds.

    So don’t worry, you’re not the only one “who’s had completely avoidable, totally self-inflicted wrecks”, you’re just the only one in a full kit.

  22. Comment by Mrs. Coach | 02.27.2007 | 10:43 am

    One time I sneezed and fell off my bike.

    Ah, who am I kidding? I never ride my bike. It was actually the bench in church. And just about everyone in the congregation saw it.

  23. Comment by Luther Vandross | 02.27.2007 | 10:44 am

    Bike trip with GF in Germany. Rental bike – the only one in my size was a girl’s fixie. About 10 miles from the hotel, I stop for a train crossing. Somehow in stopping on the gravel the bike slips out from under me. In trying to untangle myself from it, I step on the right pedal, hard (I weigh about 220 lbs). The pedal snaps off from the frame – the screw connecting them sheared in half!). So here we are 10 miles from the hotel with a pedal and chain attached to nothing. And the last train back to where the hotel is is the reason for the accident (OK, it was probably my clumsiness). Luckily the last 3 miles were downhill and I could coast, but man that was a long 7 miles to walk. And my GF was none too pleased. Nor was the rental shop – but they didn’t make me pay for it. Who knew pedals could snap off?

  24. Comment by eclecticdeb | 02.27.2007 | 10:48 am

    Guys are lucky. Women have to complete bare their butt to relieve themselves. Try doing THAT on a ride. Take this as a hint: “Leaves of three, don’t squat to pee.”

    Anyway, back to the crashing story. A pothole is small. Try a parked car. I was “climbing” a hill (if you call moving just fast enough to keep from falling over as clibming) and was out of my saddle trying to use my considerable body weight to push the pedals. When out of nowhere a car decided to park itself in my lane. BAM!!! (and not in the Emeril way). Thankfully there was more damage to my pride than to my bike. My left brake handle was a little wonky (which made the decent interesting). And you can bet that I came up with a much better crash story to tell my bike mechanic.

  25. Comment by Zinguvok | 02.27.2007 | 11:01 am

    Two good ones, one on the bike, one not but I have to share it…

    Riding through a parking lot in clipless on my singlespeed, I think it was. Going behind a car that’s going EXTREMELY slow… like 2-3mph, but it was unsafe to pass. Car suddenly stops, and I like an idiot have to jink to the right, between the car and the parking stalls (she decided to back in)… lose rear wheel traction and totally eat it on a patch of gravel, while moving only maybe 3mph. Still have scars from that. I was late to class, too!

    The other one was simple. Walking along, talking to friends, I… ran into a fire hydrant. Yes. Smack, bang, OW. Caught one of the valve caps or whatever they are right below the patella. World of pain. In my opinion that’s even dumber than hitting a pothole…

  26. Comment by axel | 02.27.2007 | 11:11 am


    I think you are just following in the footsteps of your hero Jan. I remember one year (2005?) he was on a ride on the day before the start and it was reported that he had a little crash running into the back of his teamcar. A few days later photos of the teamcar were published that showed that Jan went headfirst through the rear window – definitely a high point in the category of stupid bicycle crashes.
    Be careful in going too far when emulating your heroes…

  27. Comment by Liz | 02.27.2007 | 11:15 am

    Two weeks ago I was taking a friend of mine out for her first time. Since she didn’t have a road bike I let her ride mine and I borrowed my brother’s. There is only one difference between my bike and my brother’s and that is the fact that mine has two sets of brakes. We had just left the driveway when it happened. I was tightening the straps on my toe clips (I’m too poor to afford clipless pedals/shoes…probably a good thing), when I looked up and saw that I was getting a little too close to a parked car. I reached for the breaks to slow myself down so I wouldn’t hit the car (I wasn’t going fast so applying the brakes really would have worked), but as I reached for the brakes I realized they weren’t there. I thought, “Oh crap, I forgot….this bike doesn’t have breaks there.” A moment of panic: one hand on the handle bars reaching for brakes that aren’t there and the other hand reaching down tightening the strap and I was heading right for the most beautiful (parked) BMW with my first time riding friend watching the whole thing from behind. With my feet nicely tightened in the straps I hit this parked BMW. Two small dents, one long scratch extending the length of both doors, and one less sideview mirror later, I tumble of the handle bars. Not caring what I looked like, I got up and looked at the bike to assess the damage (body parts heal better than bike parts). Then I looked at the car and thought, “I guess I better leave a note.” I pick up the sideview mirror, leave a note and limp back to my apartment carrying the bike on my shoulder. The owner of the car called me a few hours later and was really nice about the whole thing once she found out that I was just a cyclist with bad luck and not a bad driver of a car. The worst part was, the owner had just purchased the car the week before. I had ruined her brand new BMW. A few days later I asked my friend what the crash looked like from behind and she couldn’t explain it at all. I’m done with crashes for a while.

  28. Comment by Rick S. | 02.27.2007 | 11:27 am

    What Fatty didn’t tell you about our ride on Saturday was that near the top of the Suncrest climb (South side), we saw a member of the Discovery Cycling Team. I mean it had to have been- full team kit and on a trek bike. it was at that point, that I wanted to test my fitness and try and catch him. It’s not very often you get the chance to beat a Discovery rider to the top of a climb in your own backyard. It’s a story I plan to tell my kids and grandkids over the years.

    It must aslo be noted that when an Extremely Popular A-List Blogger invites you for a ride, it is critical that you do whatever it takes to, at a minimum, hang with him and if at all possible, beat him to the top of a climb.

    2 years ago I had a bad mtb crash. The bummer was I went down on the non-technical jeep road portion of a very technical ride. I ended up sitting in the ER with a neck brace on for 3 hours while my wife sat next to me giggling the entire time. I’m not a big fan of the neck brace. Other than my head being numb for 2 weeks, I came out okay.

    And then there was the time I was attacked and almost molested by a mountain goat…..

  29. Comment by GBob | 02.27.2007 | 11:32 am

    Yeah, but did you have protection on?

    View this image first:


    Then go to this URL:


    Not sure if this wouldn’t have helped.

    I’ve done a bike into a parked car when much younger and I had a fall all by myself while riding around a corner at 10kph on a slightly wet rode or there was the other time in the rain when I was a bike courier and dropped it in the middle of the city in peak hour.

  30. Comment by Andrew | 02.27.2007 | 11:33 am

    for my bachelor party, I decided that the place to hold it was at a ski resort that runs their lifts all summer, so mountain bikers can suck gravity all day long (and there was a ATB race too, the final day, so the racerheads could get their fix)… my brother & all my buddes flew in, instead of “adult entertainment” so common for bachelor parties, we pooled our money and rented a helmet cam, all set up for an incredible weekend…

    in an underground parking garage, about half the crew had arrived, we put our bikes together, and were spinning along in our shorts, & t-shirts, no helmets, chatting & waiting for everyone else to drive in…

    someone went fast, I followed, he ducked through a space between two cars, I followed, he noticed & weaved around the low concrete curb that the cars were parked up against, I was traveling much faster & didn’t see it…

    I think I flew a good 15 feet through the air doing a full superman before I contacted the grooved concrete…

    to this day, I still can’t explain how I managed to hit the ground that hard, spinning across a concrete human cheese grater, and walk away with nothing more than scrapes & a torn t-shirt… Fate is usually less kind to guys being stupid like that at bachelor parties..

    4 days of insane dowhill mountain biking, some drinking, and a psycho race later, that was by far and away the most dangerous moment…

  31. Comment by msk | 02.27.2007 | 11:36 am

    was my first century ride with a group
    rear wheel flatted early on and i rushed to change the inner tube in record time so i could get back to the pack
    so much of a rush in fact that i didn’t completely tighten up my rear wheel
    i realized this in retrospect – but at the time was oh so blissfully unaware of the ticking time bomb i was sitting on

    i hammered along a flat and regained the group but as we hit a hill and i came up out of the saddle…. bam (yep another bam, cannot think of a better word – sorry)
    the next thing i remember is disentangling myself from various bits of bike (fortunately just my own) and examining various areas of road rash, grazes, lacerations, lumps and bumps (again just my own)

    i did complete the century – albeit at a more pedestrian pace while my right shoe filled up with blood from a gash on my ankle

    as i sit here, close my eyes and fondly rub the scars i can still distinctly remember that odd squishy / sticky feeling of cycling with a blood filled shoe

  32. Comment by cyclechic | 02.27.2007 | 11:53 am

    I was on my road bike riding with a group of friends when we encountered a set of train tracks. I had never rode over train tracks and was going at a good clip of 18MPH. I remember thinking oh sh** how do I do this right before my bike came to a complete stop. The tires had gotten stuck in the tracks. Fortunately, I spent much of my college career trying to impress a guy who was into Martial Arts. Apparently, some of that Hapkido training became instinctual. I went over my handlebars into a controlled roll onto the road. As I’m rolling I think “Uh oh…the speed limit on this road is 50MPH” So I turned mid roll and stand up into a fighting stance and run off the road. My bike was still securely fastened to the train tracks. Fortunately, I was able to turn my embarrassing crash into something quite impressive that my friends still talk about.

  33. Comment by JET(not a nickname) | 02.27.2007 | 11:58 am

    FC- You just EXACTLY described what happened to me last fall that knocked me off the bike until last month. Cruising along…tired…staring down….pothole….jake meets pavement and curbed at about 20mph. Soft tissue damage and a partially torn labrum in the hip, tremendous pain, 4 months of rehab, more pain, and now I’m fine again. Needless to say the few times I have been back on my bike now (we had some nice weather lately here as well, although it just snowed about a foot a few days ago–typical MN weather for ya) I always look a few feet in advance before looking down, and I don’t look down for long!

  34. Comment by TimK | 02.27.2007 | 12:00 pm

    Please give Sans some kind of prize. That’s about the funniest thing I have read in a long time. I will never try that trick in my life.

    And just because you think no one saw you doesn’t mean no one did! I ran my commuter into some hedges by the barracks once when I realized the turn I was taking was covered with sand and apt to dump me on my side. I thought only a few folks that I didn’t know saw me.

    A few months later, after I had moved out into town, I was dropping a coworker off at the barracks right in front of where I had crashed. He starts laughing and says, “man, when I first got here I was coming out of the chow hall and looked over and saw some idiot ride his bike right into those bushes!” I should have ignored it, but I couldn’t. I had to admit to being “that idiot.”

  35. Comment by Debra | 02.27.2007 | 1:09 pm

    The senseless crash–Being a beginner to clipping in, I had new Shimano 105s put on my road bike. I was used to hitting the brakes, unclipping, and gliding to a stop (I never knew exactly when I was going to stop.) Anyway, on the day I got my new brakes, I went out to the veloway to ride. I always unclip to ride across the parking lot to the veloway because of the gravel. This day happened to be time trial day, so the area was full of real bike riders with their team kits, time trial bikes and snazzy helmets. Imagine my embarrassment when I hit the brakes planning to unclip and glide to a stop, and I stopped before I could unclip. It was truly an “oh sh@!#” moment. I fell in the parking lot in front of all the real bikers and felt like a turtle on its back. I was still clipped in on one side. On person yelled across the parking lot, asking if I was okay, I was, just totally embarrassed. So yes, it does happen.

  36. Comment by Jay | 02.27.2007 | 1:23 pm

    Ahhhh Rick,

    Let’s see someone outfitted in full Discovery Kit riding a Trek…..hey maybe it was Lance. LOL Actually heard a story where a guy saw that he thought was a Lance poser and it actually was Lance when he caught up. Anyway Fatty it’s happened to us all. Did you see Tony Cruz take down George Hincappie in the TOC? If it doesn’t happen you’re simply not riding enough.

  37. Comment by the weak link | 02.27.2007 | 1:53 pm

    This seems so pedestrian, so to speak, but the most irritating crash I ever had was when I was riding point on the spider patrol in the woods. I go through a web and see, dangling from my visor, a hairy beast the size of a freakin’ tarantula. I swatted at it, washed out my front, and did a face plant. The only good that came from it was that the spider was killed on impact. I didn’t feel all that well, either.

  38. Comment by xmasnvegas | 02.27.2007 | 1:57 pm

    I once managed to fall asleep on my bike while riding to a 7:30 class in college. I fell asleep going up a little hill, and when I woke up I was on the trunk of a car with a very cute girl asking me if I was ok. There was no damage to bike, car or body; just the ego. I didn’t get her number needless to say (even though I’ve just now said it.)

  39. Comment by Fodder | 02.27.2007 | 2:08 pm

    I was riding up the W&OD bike trail just outside Georgetown in Washington DC. The trails climbs up a few blocks and then cuts behind some noise barrier walls. There has always been a pole as a lane divider on the trail where you go from sidewalk to asphalt. Well I notice it’s not there anymore, just a patch of patched asphault where it was. I am just thinking they must have removed it when I slam straight into the pole where they moved it about 15 feet further up the trail. Totally not my fault at all.

  40. Comment by Chris | 02.27.2007 | 2:12 pm

    At 14 years old I was riding along with a buddy when he decided to squirt me with water from his bottle. So, I sped up to get in front of him and turned to squirt him. That is when I hit the huge pothole and endoed. I was a bit scraped up and my left shoulder was pretty sore. My front wheel was pretty bent, but by releasing the front brake, I could ride it. I rode the 3 or so miles home 1 handed with the front end wobbling all over the place. The next morning when my shoulder was still sore and really swollen, I went to the ER where they determined I had a busted collarbone. About 7 weeks later (1 week after having the brace removed) I was messing around in the yard with the same friend doing pretend kung fu moves. We both did flying summer-sault reverse-spin kicks at each other at the same time and whack – rebroke the collarbone. Another 7 weeks or so later I was riding my bike along with that same friend when I hit a small pothole. Too small to force a crash, that is, unless the bump causes my quick release to come loose and my front wheel to come off. The outcome? Rebroke my collarbone. This time I didn’t want to wear the brace for another 6 weeks so I didn’t tell anyone. I did everything with just my right hand and endured several weeks of high school (including PE) trying not to scream when anyone accidently bumped my left shoulder. It turns out I was right to not wear the brace the last time – they don’t prescribe those anymore for broken collarbones.

  41. Comment by Sarah | 02.27.2007 | 2:23 pm

    I’m pretty new to cycling and I had been trying to improve my cadence. So I bought an amazing (well amazing to me) computer to go with my nice shiny new road bike. I was busy engrossed in the vast array of computer functions, trying to see if it would tell me what flavour of ice cream was on special at the Knotty Shop, when about two inches in front of my wheel I noticed an object in the road. To late! After conducting a graceful arc over the handlebars I crashed to the pavement, giving myself a class 3 seperated shoulder and road rash which latter resulted in a massive infection in my other elbow and surgery.

    The object in the road? Oh, errr…. it was the leg of a gigantic, bright orange road sign warning of construction ahead. You could see it for miles in either direction. Now, as well as improving my cadence I’m practicing looking where I’m going!

  42. Comment by Joe G | 02.27.2007 | 2:28 pm

    I was riding up a gentle hill to be part of a panel for a job interview while talking on my cell phone to my girlfriend at the time… well the hill got a little steeper and I started to have difficulty turning over the pedals. My phone was in my right hand (near the rear shifter) and rather than switching hands with the phone my brain brilliantly instructed me to release my left hand from the bars to give me a down shift on the right side. I began to panic when I started to shank right and before I knew it I clipped a wing mirrior of a car with my shoulder, tearing the mirror off, sending me over the bars onto the hood and then the pavement. To make matters worse the owner of the car was right there! We settled up and I limped onto the interview with a oozing bloody knee in nice pressed khakis, and an inability to walk properly. I gave a good scare to my girlfriend too as my phone broke and all she heard was “Oh crap!” followed by some bad noises of me hitting the car and the ground.

  43. Comment by monkeywebb | 02.27.2007 | 2:50 pm

    My generous girth gives me one advantage on a bike: gravity likes me. This is great for speed on descents, less great when coming into contact with, well, anything.
    The setting: A brief desent of maybe 5% with a 30 degree left turn at the bottom and an intersecting road with yield sign at the apex of said turn.
    The “incident”: I was attempting to use my god-given gift to beat a friend down a hill at about 40 mph (he’s on a real team! he has matching armwarmers! I might beat him at something!) when I heard a car approaching on the intersecting road. I hit the brakes a wee bit too hard, sending my back wheel into a skid. I flipped into motorcycle class mode, straightened my handlebars and let off the brakes just a smidge, enough to regain control. It became apparent that if I re-entered the turn I’d hit a patch of gravel on the edge of the road so I made the sage decision to ride straight through the turn into the grass beyond. One problem: The barbed wire fence protecting the field. I miraculously flew througha three foot gap in the fence and thought, “Hey! I can pull this off!” That lasted a little less than .2 seconds. my front tire dissapeared into a hole formerly occupied by a fence post and I initiated a splendid double flip. On the first rotation I took a large rock to the back of the skull. on the second another to the forehead and one to the lower back. Somewhere near the end my bike finally went its own way.
    As I jumped to my feet I became aware of travis creaming at the top of his lungs. My first concern, however, was for my bike. Aluminum and carbon fiber don’t heal. Turns out I was fine (not so for the amazing hemet, however), the bike was nearly untouched (thanks again to my helmet for absorbing all contact with anything), and there was no car within three miles. Oooops.

  44. Comment by MTB W | 02.27.2007 | 3:07 pm

    Fatty, sorry about the shoulder. Hope you it doesn’t hurt too much (if so, maybe senior fuentes can help). BTW, your google talk, “Questions? Comments? Sarcastic Remarks?”, is exactly what an old high school teacher used to say after every lecture.

    Sans – too funny! that “fountain” imagery just cracks me up.

    I’ve had my share of crashes when I first got the clipless but nothing better than these hilarious stories. However, I do know about people catching you when you don’t think they are watching. When I was in college, I came out of my girlfriend’s dorm when there was lots of snow and ice out. That dorm was only about 75-100 feet from the dorm where I lived. Well, I took a few steps out of that dorm and slipped, falling on my butt and dropping my books. I immediately jumped right up and looked to my left, right and all around to see if anyone saw me. I saw no one, felt relieved my stupidity would go unnoticed, and continued back to my dorm room. When I got there, several guys were rolling on the floor laughing. Apparently, they happened to be looking out the window and saw the whole thing, particularly the way I hopped up and looked around, like an idiot, hoping to go unnoticed!

  45. Comment by BIg Mike In Oz | 02.27.2007 | 3:20 pm

    How about breaking your collarbone using only a handkerchief? Do I get points for that one? Completely avoidable, completely my fault and completely true.


  46. Comment by beakasaurus | 02.27.2007 | 3:23 pm

    I have one that I think is more humiliating, although I was not actually an adult at the time. Not that that matters. I was riding my buddy’s bike to check it out. A couple of blocks and back. It wasn’t shifting properly and I was looking at the cassette as I rode. As if I could somehow fix it by riding obliviously. I ran directly into a parked car, sprawled on the trunk. I had to drag the bike back to his house. His fork was ruined. He was furious and so was his dad.
    I have not told my story very often either. – Mike

  47. Comment by blee | 02.27.2007 | 3:34 pm

    Bail in a spectaular fashion in an embarrasing way? Who hasn’t. Here is just one of my “momemts.”

    I had just upgraded to the “new” Look pedals. The really cool black ones, just like Greg LeMond was using at the time. Going over to Look pedals was a labor of love at the time since few, if any, shoes had the three bolt hole pattern for the cleats. So quite some effort was spent modifying my Diadoras for the cleats. Once this was done, I was ready for the maiden voyage! First kid on the block to have these oh so cool clipless pedals – here I go!

    The first few miles were magic. Such a great, powerful, feeling to have no toe clips and straps. Hills were effortless, sprinting was faster than ever! After a while I decide to make my way into town and show off a bit. I get to a stop light just as it turns red. Oh, did I mention this is in front of the local college just as everyone is leaving for the day? no problem, I go into a track stand. This is going well until I feel myself start to un-balance a bit. Damn. So I go to put a foot down. With the new pedals I immediately felt trapped and could not unclip. Down I go, flopping around like a fish out of water, struggling to unclip. I finally get loose of the bike and get up only to realize that the show I put on was a beaut. Everyone was staring at me, shaking their heads, did you see the village idiot?

    It was some time before I marshalled the bravery to ride past that location again.

  48. Comment by Listless Crab | 02.27.2007 | 3:35 pm

    I almost saw the sibling to your crash on last years Seattle to Portland.

    STP is about 200 miles, and the last 25 are very tedious. There was a guy about 50 yards ahead of us. He was clearly baked. Riding head down, forcing his legs in circles. Up ahead was a truck, parked in the kerbside lane we were all riding in. I am guessing the guy was doing about 15 miles an hour (a fair speed to hit a non moving truck). As we all moved to the left to pass the parked truck it became clear that the guy just ahead of us was asleep at the wheel. We all yelled – he looked up – swore – and did a nose wheely as he locked up his brakes. He stayed upright and stopped about 6 inches short of the truck.

    In hindsight, it was one of the funniest things i have ever seen.

    Glad you are OK.

  49. Comment by Bob | 02.27.2007 | 3:49 pm

    OK, confession time. Once, I was riding my bike to work, not really paying attention like a should have been, when I noticed a guy on roller blades cruising on the sidewalk. “Hey Elden!” I said. The roller blader turned to look at me, veered slightly, and crashed into a light post. And that young rider’s name was Elden. Oh wait. I already said that. Anyway, that was very, very embarrassing.

  50. Comment by allan | 02.27.2007 | 3:59 pm

    Just a little over a week ago at the 12 Hours of razorback I reached up to adjust my glasses on one of the flat,fast parts when I went to grab the handlebar, I missed it completely and crashed nice and hard.

  51. Comment by Wideheavyload | 02.27.2007 | 4:15 pm

    My story happened when I was about 8 or 9. I would ride my bike about a block away to the convenience store and buy a can of root beer, some candy, and my WWF magazine. On this particular occasion I was done with my shopping. I put my plastic bag of goodies on the handlebar and tried to ride out of the parking lot. I guess the weight of the bag threw my balance out of whack, but whatever the cause, I went down right there in the road in front of the store.

    I looked up from my landing spot and saw that my mother was driving by on her way home from work. I could see that she was laughing! Did she stop to see if I was ok? Hell no! She was still laughing when i got to the house.

    My mom has a strange sense of humor. Oh, and my root beer busted open and soaked me, just for that little extra something.

  52. Comment by eugie | 02.27.2007 | 4:29 pm

    I was out running errand on my bike and I came across railroad tracks running diagonally across the road, but the tracks were in the ground. I didn’t notice them because I was looking behind me…I can’t remember why. I stuck my front wheel in tracks…my bike stopped but I didn’t. I crashed hard on my left elbow. My elbow looked like I had a melon baller scoop out 3 inched of my elbow. I still have a huge scar that looks like a fat worm…I call him fattyfatfat. Just like you I had no one to blame but myself.

  53. Comment by Jeff | 02.27.2007 | 4:35 pm

    Back when I was learning clipless pedals, I had them way too tight. I came to a 4 way stop intersection, and could not unclip. I fell down in traffic and even came out of one of my shoes! The shoe was still clipped into the pedal, swinging back and forth…

  54. Comment by Yukirin Boy | 02.27.2007 | 4:57 pm

    Just like many others there are several incidents where I couldn’t release the clips fast enough – a panic stricken face and frantic attempts to twist a foot out of the pedal just before I collapse in a heap in front of a group of students who find it all highly amusing.

    However, one of the most embarassing and also the biggest crash I have suffered so far was when I was 13, the day before starting high school I am barreling down a hill that had been recently resurfaced at about 30mph when for some inexplicable reason the front wheel snapped left and I went high flying straight on still holding the handlebars. I eventually slid to a halt in the gutter right in from tof two old ladies who, while I am trying to untangle my legs and arms from the bent frame and wheels and gather my senses, say “Are you alright?” – “Honestly, Do I look alright?”. Two miles from home I have to carry the bike back on my shoulder while dripping blood from hands, knees and elbows. Turning up at a new school the next day bruised and in pain with bloody bandages unable to hold a pent to write was not something I want to repeat either.

    Plus as a kid, riding “no-handed” to show off and then crashing into the kerb in front of your mates rates as pretty embarrasing too.

  55. Comment by BikeProf | 02.27.2007 | 5:12 pm

    February 14, 1989, Tunnel Road, Berkeley. I hit a pile of wet Eucalyptus leaves about the size and shape of a snoozing Labrador Retriever. I, too, was examining my knees for no reason when I hit. I broke a bone in my hand (still hurts sometimes) and got some hellacious road rash. No cars stopped for me, either.

    On another ride, I noticed that the bar end plug was coming out, so I smacked the end of the bar to push it back in. Did I mention that I was riding at the time? Do you know what happens to your steering when you smack the end of your handlebars like that? Would you be so stupid that you would do the EXACT SAME THING a couple of months later? No, of course you wouldn’t be that stupid.

  56. Comment by MBonkers | 02.27.2007 | 6:26 pm

    I think my worse crash happened when I was a kid, I came barreling down the hill by my house and made a tight turn over the curved curb and into the driveway. My inside pedal hit the ground, and I slammed onto my side and spun in 2 complete circles flat on the ground dragging my chin around the whole way. For some reason, I never let go of my handlebars.
    Had a hole in my chin about the size of a silver dollar. Had to go to elementary school with this giant chin bandage on my face. Jammed all the muscles in my face too so all I could eat for weeks was pudding and yogurt and liquids.
    Man, those were the days….

  57. Comment by idjiot | 02.27.2007 | 7:00 pm

    1. About 4 years old – tricycle snapped into two while I was blissfully cruising down the sidewalk.

    2. 1st date with new guy. We went on mtn. bike ride. In attempt to impress, I sped ahead onto a single track section I’d never been on (mistake #1) and instantly endoe’d causing mangled finger, bruised ego, smuged mascara and bad helmet hair.

    3. One week later, 2nd date with same guy. We tried mtn bike riding again. Did it again – Sped ahead on pavement road I’d never been on (duh!!!) and took off camber turn too fast, braked, rear end of bike flew up and around like bucking bronco, dumping me on face. Bloody, eye split open, a car stopped and driver exclaimed “are you all right? When I saw you I thought to myself, look at that GUY doing tricks on HIS bike!” I am not sure what is worse– being mistaken for a guy or that it looked like I was doing tricks in the middle of a descent where no sane person would do that. Ended up with my date at the hospital w/ stiches, really bad hair, fat lip & face and black eye.

    Silver lining – We continued to ride, I quit trying to “show off” and we got married.

  58. Comment by Co | 02.27.2007 | 7:18 pm

    I crashed (serious concussion) when I overestimated the height of a curb I could jump on a racing bike (FYI: racing bikes don’t jump very well). The embarrassing part, though, was when a dented mustang pulled up to the gathering crowd, 2 Starsky & Hutch looking dudes jumped out and said “Describe the car – we’re cops and we’ll chase it down!” and I had to admit . . . that there had been no car, I’d done it to myself. Oh well.

  59. Comment by Inigo Montoya | 02.27.2007 | 7:21 pm

    You keep saying, “Extremely Popular A-List Blogger.” I do not think this means what you think it means.

  60. Comment by Sarah | 02.27.2007 | 7:53 pm

    I was quite young… biking on a paved tennis/basketball court… turned to talk to my sister and ran right into the chain linked fence. I was going fast enough for my bike to be completely vertical to the ground before I got the breath knocked out of me (for the first time, I thought I was going to die!)

    Even funnier though was the time my friend Jacinta was riding an older model bike we had. She went to the top of our pretty steep hill and came flying down. I forgot to tell her the brakes didn’t work. Whoops. Parked cars are pretty good brakes.

  61. Comment by LanterneRouge | 02.27.2007 | 8:15 pm

    This one time. At band camp . . . Oops, wrong story.

    One of the great things about Chicago is riding along the lakefront bicycle path. It is 18 miles of paved, uninterrupted path that take you from the far south side through downtown almost to Loyola University in the North. I used to live about 5 miles south of the start of the bike path on the east side of Chicago a few blocks from Lake Michigan. Naturally, a trip to Loyola and back turned into one of my favorite and frequent routes. If you go out before 9am on the weekends the path is pretty clear and you can work on fast intervals, TTs and general speed work. Unfortunately on the day of “The Aquatic Incident” I got as late start. There were people everywhere so my training ride became a sight seeing trip. It was late July. It was hot. It was North Avenue beach. There were a lot of scantily clad women. No. I was under no illusions that anyone was looking me, but I was damn sure rubbernecking it myself. I found myself riding on the pier at North Avenue beach and taking in the sights, so to speak. You begin to see the problem, yes? The pier is a curly affair. This combined with some spectacular distractions resulted in an unscheduled swim/bike washing for me and the Trek 7500 that I had been riding at the time. It was about an 8 foot drop to the lake. I was able to turn my body enough to land sideways when I hit the water and didn’t get injured. There were a lot of people nearby and someone who was fishing threw me a life preserver attached to a line and dragged me to a ladder on the side of the pier. The city puts life preservers on all of the piers. I think the sign outside the the life preserver case says, “For use in case of idiot.” Somehow I ended up holding on to my bike. Once I realized I was okay, I couldn’t stop laughing. Everyone else had the same reaction.

  62. Comment by Jeff Y | 02.27.2007 | 9:35 pm

    Fatty – hope that shoulder isn’t too bad…Jeffy

  63. Comment by Dig A Hole And Plant Me In It | 02.27.2007 | 9:52 pm

    When I was younger so much younger than today…

    I rode my bike everywhere including down to the local golf course carrying full set of clubs. The road to the clubhouse ran along side the 18th fairway, so while pedalling at a decent clip I was watching to see who was playing. Unfortunately I failed to notice a small white van which had decided to stop and do the same. This resulted in a ‘oh my god’ moment when i turned back to look at the road and found myself 2 feet from the back fender and still going 15-20mph. Needless to say it wasnt pretty…I landed golf clubs and all on top of the van, the front fork on the bike decided to say hello to the rear fork on the bike. The poor guy sitting inside nearly died of a heart attack on the spot. Other than totally the bike – I did my shoulders in – but i didnt actually realize that until after the adrenalin wore off – round about the 5th tee….

  64. Comment by dad2bjm | 02.27.2007 | 10:05 pm

    Okay two bike crash stories….

    The first one; it’s 6th grade, I am riding my brand new 10 speed on our class outing to the neighboring town. On the way back to school, I start to totally show off, I am leaning down with my arms crossed on the handle bars when I loose control. This is the time in my life when I learn that barbed wire and people/10 speeds do not mix well. We (my 10 speed and I) got to enjoy the rest of the trip back to school in the back of a pick up truck.

    Second story, same bike, same small town in Northern Ut a couple of years later. My younger brother and I were cruising down to our dad’s company to play on the computers and drink the free soda’s. We are zipping along when the next thing I know I am lying on the ground looking up in to a crowd of people I do not know. Apparently, I eased off the paved road on to the gravel edge and tried to ease back up and it did not work. I dislocated my jaw, was unconscious and had hamburger face – all I could say when my dad showed up to take me home was, please do not take me to the hospital. (Side note here, if your kid repeatedly tells you over and over again to not take them to the hospital after they have been unconscious, chances are they should be checked out by a doctor). The truly most embarrassing part of the story is that this occurred the week before school started. Yes, you guessed it, I was starting high school with what appeared to be on my student body id card for the whole year – hamburger face. All year long anytime I had to show that stupid card, I had to relive the whole story.

  65. Comment by Weean | 02.28.2007 | 12:53 am

    Like quite a few posters, my embarressing crash happened at university. I was riding through one of the departmental (gravel) car parks at dusk, barely faster than walking pace. It was light enough to more-or-less see by, but dark enough that they’d put on the big security light that was shining right in my face.

    I could clearly see the two posts I wanted to ride between. The only trouble was, with that big light in my face, I couldn’t see the chain stretched betwen them, just below headtube height. Unsurprisingly I went right over the bars, and still have a rather interesting cruciform scar on my right elbow.

    Which brings me to another point- why, whenever I start to fall on my bike, do I always aim right? That’s the side with the expensive-to-replace drivetrain! Am I alone here?

  66. Comment by BIg Mike In Oz | 02.28.2007 | 4:40 am

    Weean – I’m guessing that your in North America and turning right means turning away from 2000 pound metal cyclist killers. I’m from Australia and in all the accidents where I’ve had a choice of directions to fall, it’s always been left. You can always buy a new rear derailleur, but only if you still have use of your arms and legs to be able to reach for your wallet.

  67. Comment by Weean | 02.28.2007 | 4:56 am

    Mike- unfortunately I don’t even have that sensible reason- I’m UK based. Perhaps my grandfather was a lemming.

  68. Comment by Lurch | 02.28.2007 | 5:31 am

    Rick S.,
    Amazing! So Disco trains out there too? I don’t see as many of them here in DC, but back when it was USPS, they used to train on the WO&D just about every Saturday. I think I passed the whole 25 man roster out there one nice day a couple of years back.
    I didn’t realized it until that day, but they are just regular guys (a couple were even women!). I once passed Lance in his yellow jersey and Richard Virenque in his climber’s jersey on the same ride.
    The thing I can’t figure out is why they look so much smaller on TV. I thought the TV was supposed to ADD 10 pounds. A couple of those guys have to be pushing 300 lbs!

  69. Comment by James | 02.28.2007 | 5:53 am

    My crash was not too dramatic but the cause lives with me on every ride. Whilst leaning into the corner on a round about (this is London) I went over a flattened coke can and lost all sideways grip. I use toe straps not clips so I was able to get my feet out and not go fully over – but that was a busy road.

  70. Comment by GenghisKhan | 02.28.2007 | 6:55 am

    Besides receiving a compression fracture of a lumbar vertebrae whilst mountain biking down Squaw Peak, my most memorable accident occurred when I was about eight years old and may be the first story submitted here involving a bicycle with a banana seat–fortunately, the accident did not involve said and aforementioned banana seat!

    I was cruising around my downtown SLC neighborhood on my yellow Schwinn Stingray (as I recall it) when I was set upon by a vicious “fitty-footer” of a lap dog. Being a kinder and gentler soul in those days, I was carefully watching the dog so as to not run over it since it seemed like it was practically “under wheel”, so to speak.

    Well, my attention being diverted from what was in my riding path, I was suddenly and violently de-seated by a pick-up truck rear-view mirror. Oh, the pain and misery, which was not assuaged by the older and much more sophisticated neighbor girl’s house in front of which my accident occurred (Was it perhaps her dad’s vehicle that was responsible for the dastardly deed?!) and who happened to be the first on the scene. I don’t recall how I was treated, medically speaking, but I had bitten my tongue nearly off (liquid diet for a while!) and had quite the goose egg on my jaw for many a week to follow.


    I wish I still had that bike and I wouldn’t mind a rematch with that pooch, either…

  71. Comment by TT London | 02.28.2007 | 9:07 am

    On my commute into cental London I pass through Greenwich park.
    These days I’m a good girl and use the designated cycle paths but when I first started out about 4 years ago I used to take a short cut down a lovely smooth wide path down one of the many slopes.
    One wet morning I got caught by the parks police in a patrol car and was stopped to get my obligatory telling off…at the end the officer said ‘as it’s wet and no walkers about you can carry on on your bike just this once’..I mount up and go 20 yrds at which point a huuuuge dog launches itself at me slathering and barking. I brake too hard swerve to miss it and go down …clipped in natch..the patrol car was still there watching. The dog owner charges in and berates me using choice anglo saxon while dog tries to bite me. The police car rolls forward and the officers are laughing…a lot… but eventually they get out and come to my aid.They tell the dog owner his dog is not under proper contol and to bugger off, then they helped me up, put my chain back on and asked me if I was OK… god bless the boys in blue…I was deeply shamed and to this day twich visibly when loose dogs hove into view.

  72. Comment by Kerri | 02.28.2007 | 9:42 am

    Newly back on the bike as an adult, my husband and I were riding on a bike path in a Wisconsin state park. I was taking a drink with my right hand when the path started to slope downward. I picked up speed and thought, “whoa, I’m going too fast.” Not having been on a bike in a while, I forgot that you are not supposed to haul on your front brake if you’re not also pulling your rear brake. I went over the handlebars, knocking the wind out of my lungs and cracking my brand new helmet. The bike was OK, for the most part, but I had landed next to a low patch of wet ground that was host to hundreds of mosquitoes. They had a field day chewing on me. So I wasn’t just sore from the fall, but also had mosquito bites the size of silver dollars all over me (bugs REALLY like me). Since then, I’ve tried to remember to reach for the water with my left hand.

  73. Comment by rz | 02.28.2007 | 9:42 am

    I have no idea what you people are even talking about.

    I’ve never crashed. Ever.

    (And if you believe that one, I have a piece of land in upstate NY to sell you, as well. It’s reeealllly nice.)

  74. Comment by PeteDMeat | 02.28.2007 | 12:02 pm

    Don’t worry Fatty, your story isn’t the worst.

    About a year and a half ago, I finally decided that I needed to pick up a road bike to have something to ride when it was too muddy on the local trails to break out the MtB. I found an old Cannondale on eBay and picked it up.

    After a couple rides, I had a spoke pop. No problem, take it in and get it fixed. A few rides later, it happened again. I decided to just get the entire wheelset rebuilt (126mm rear spacing). I dropped the wheels off at an excellent bike shop on the north side of Chicago (Johnny Sprockets) and a week later, I had my ‘brand new’ bombproof wheelset.

    With these new wheels, I’d decided that I would just start riding my bike around town to work, friends houses, and other errands. Why not, ya know? I had a trail commission meeting for the local trail building group that eve and what better way to show how much I rule than to ride to the bike meeting?

    After the meeting, we’d always travel down to the local pub to grab a burgers and beer (cycling food, right?). This eve, the meeting had run late and the sun had started to go down and alas, everyone happened to not have bike carriers on their cars. Oh well, may as well ride home and grab my car. I take off out of the parking lot with two of the guys right behind me in their car, sprinting off to show off. Glance down at the speedo and see a happy 25 mph showing. At this point, I look up and realize I’m screwed. I’d forgotten about the rail road tracks and their horrible post-winter condition. I skirted around the first one, but in going right instead of left, I’d managed to go straight for the biggest pothole. In a last ditch effort to save myself, I bunny hopped the bike, clearing the front wheel, but not clearing the rear. Bunny hopping a road bike is a weird thing; the geometry just isn’t built for pulling up. When I came down, the bars slipped down and I followed them over, flying through the air and doing a full flip, landing on my messenger bag and back.

    Did I mention that two of my friends were trailing me in their car? Did I mention I was laying on my back as my friends got out of their car, laughing at me and asking if I were ok? We took the wheels off and threw the bike into the trunk. I went to the bar, ordered a shot and a beer and went to the bathroom as they recounted the story to the rest of the bikers.

    Yep, I still hear about this every now and again.

    I ended up trashing my brand new wheelset (under 20 miles). Though the wheels were still surprisingly in true, the rimwalls both had severe dents. I ended up building a new frame a few months later and that Cannondale still hangs from the wall of the garage begging me to build it up as a fixie.

  75. Comment by regina | 02.28.2007 | 2:24 pm

    ok you have to feel better now, especially after the picture painted by the telling of Sans Autos story, that was just hilarious, if I have been on my bike and seen that I would have fallen of laughing.

  76. Comment by regina | 02.28.2007 | 2:24 pm

    no offense Sans.

  77. Comment by fat freediver | 02.28.2007 | 6:56 pm

    Wreck one:

    In this tale I’m about ten years old, and riding an old waterpipe bike that weighs a short ton. Every day we climp the big hill to my friends house, and every day the vicious german sheperd attacks us as we labor slowly uphill past his house.

    One day we’re flying down said hill, probably about thirty MPH, and the dog runs out to challenge us. I nail the rear brake (remember, old school tech) and the bike skids and the rear tire catches up to and passes the front tire, just in time to punch the dog in the ribs with the rear axle.

    I roll about ten yards, and get up, prepared to be devoured. The dog gets up, shakes his head and runs home. He never, never, ever bothered us again.

    Wreck two:

    I have been riding a masterpiece of MTB technology for the last ten years, a $90 USD state of the art 1990 Price Club 18 speed rigid frame. The brakes are what you would expect – mediocre on their best day. Pull the levers all the way to the bar if you need to stop in a hurry.

    But I have just acquired a new Trek Fuel 80, a magnificent $900 USD piece of full suspension technology. I’m just doing a little test play, no helmet, jeans, etc.

    In my excitement I decide on a quick jaunt around the corner to my girlfriend’s workplace. I go down the road and over the freeway overpass, hot on the tail of some little kid on some little bike.

    Said little kid hears his mom calling and without looking around whips an agile U-turn immediately in front of me. I’m going to run over him like a squirrel before he can even experience the joys of life.

    So I do as I am used to, and pull both brake levers to the bar. Going about thirty MPH my bike turns sideways and comes to a complete halt in about ten feet.

    Next I’m on the ground, and the bike is bouncing around someplace. Traffic slows to go around me and keeps moving. The little kid who’s life I spared ignores me and goes home to see what his mother wants. All it cost me was both hands, knees, and some impressive scars on the handlebars and seat.

  78. Comment by Steph | 02.28.2007 | 9:23 pm

    Ahhh memories. It was a 10 speed bike, me looking very cute, and riding into one of those big grates that they use to drain the streets. My tire got stuck, my body remained in motion.
    BIG HUGS, Steph

  79. Comment by Steph | 02.28.2007 | 9:25 pm

    Have you posted the recipe for your “Best ever Cake?” Would you email me a copy or direct me to where I can find it. Thanks! BIG HUGS, Steph

  80. Comment by alee | 02.28.2007 | 9:51 pm

    I actually managed to crash without falling off my bike, or having the bike hit the ground. I was pumping up a steep road in the Avenues in SLC, and ran right into the back of a truck because my head was down (I find that not looking up the hill lets me pretend I am almost at the top). It was a big construction flatbed truck, and the bottom of the back bumper was about 1 inch closer to the ground than the top of my tire, allowing me to wedge my tire in just about perfectly. Just another reason I am glad I am not famous, for if I was, this would have been caught on tape.

  81. Comment by Anonymous | 02.28.2007 | 9:59 pm

    That was you? I saw you fall as I drove by.
    I mentioned to a few fellow bikers about how I saw some goofball in team kit fall over for no reason, and after we finished laughing our butts off about it they said that it may be some guy named fat cylcer and that he was even silly enough to write about it. Sure nuff. I’ve never done that ;). And boy are you a gullibleblogger, kiddinya. -Jsun

  82. Comment by FliesOnly | 03.1.2007 | 9:02 am

    All of these stories about hitting parked cars reminds me of the time I did that very thing. Only in my case I saw the car…I new the car was there…and yet I still hit it. And there was a witness. A nice lady was driving by at the exact moment I impacted the front of the parked car…the one I saw..the one I knew was there. She skidded to a complete stop and asked if I was ok. Apparently it was a very spectacular crash that sent me first onto the parked car’s hood, then into the front windshield, then over the roof, and finally onto the ground at the rear of the car. Other than destroying the front end of my brother’s bike (the only redeeming aspect the crash) I was relatively unhurt.

  83. Comment by Steve | 03.1.2007 | 10:11 am

    I think my most embarassing experience resulting in me laying on the ground with my bike on top of me was riding up to a 4-way stop. It was one of those acts of God where a car simultaneously approached from the other 3 remaining directions as I pulled up on my bike after a long, hard ride. Cars, fortunately for them, have 4 wheels. Bikes, as we all know, have two (well, for the most part).

    As I rode up, I clearly expected someone to take the initiative and cut another car off and the intersection to clear out before I truly had to come to a full stop. So, I opted to coast in and do my best interpretation of a track stand. I was doing great. I probably held it for 15 seconds. NOBODY MOVED! They all stared at me as if they had seen the future and were waiting for it to come true. S-L-O-W-L-Y I started to lean, feet still clipped-in. It is at that momemt, when everyone is watching you that you realize how big of a dork you must look like in your head-to-two spandex holloween suit. And then your heart sinks. You pull against the pedals trying to get your feet out and WHAM! There’s the pavement.

    You end up rolling around like a turtle flipped over on it shell in front of four cars full of people.

  84. Comment by BklynNick | 03.1.2007 | 10:50 am

    When I was in high school I was tooling around the neighborhood, not looking ahead, and I plowed straight into a car.

    A PARKED car.

    Bent the forks straight back so that the tire was just brushing the downtube on the frame. I ended up having chrome forks instead of matching color for the rest of the time I had my (didn’t realize at the time, but it was a) cheapo MTB.

    Same bike, a bunch of years later, riding along past the student union in college: all of a sudden, the world turns screwy and I faceplant into the sidewalk. The reflector on the front wheel had turned sideways and hit the fork. FUN. AND WITH AN AUDIENCE OF PEOPLE I KNEW.

  85. Comment by Kristina | 03.1.2007 | 12:59 pm

    A friend and I were going for ride directly after work from downtown Seattle. We head to Myrtle Edwards Park. As we get to Magnolia and leave the trail heading up a slight hill to the main road, we encounter a fierce headwind. We pass a guy about in his 50s or so who looked like a long time bike commuter. As we passed. He bent his head down and was pushing hard against the wind. Then out of the corner of my eye I see him quickly swerve to the right with his head still looking down and bike straight into the back of a parked deliver truck. He kinda crumpled over the top of his bike and then fell over. He quickly got up. We stopped and asked if he was okay and needed any help with his flat tire. He quickly said no while not looking at us and it appeared that more than anything he wanted us to leave so we did. Did I mention were were a couple of 30 something women…

  86. Comment by Dan | 03.4.2007 | 3:40 am

    Back when they were new, I saw one of those new Bugs from VW coming towards me. As I watched it pass, I rolled into the ditch on the side of the country road and landed in a patch of poison ivy. Luckily, I was close to home and a quick shower kept me from breaking out.

  87. Comment by MichaleR | 03.6.2007 | 3:00 pm

    Two Stories

    I’m 12 years old riding my big three speed to swim team practice. Flip flops, swim trunks, t shirt and towel. It’s a great sunny, warm July morning, 7:30 or so. I feel wonderful. Exuberent. So great I decide to pop a full speed wheelie just cause I feel so good. The front wheel does not go along for the hop. The front forks bite the pavement hard and I do my first ever endo.

    Riding behind me was my little sister who saw the bike flip over me. Fortuantely it was a cheap bike and nothing bent or dented. I just hand tightened the axel nuts back on and rode to practice. The clorinated pool water stung the road rash.

    Story Two
    It’s spring and I’m tired. Three miles away is the finish of my first Populaire (100K Randonneuring event) The ride included the most climbing I’d ever done in a day. I was still at 240+ pounds and keeping up the rando pace was at my limit.

    Fortunately I’m on a bit of a descent. The next turn is a left and traffic is light so I’m able to move over to the left turn lane and … Whoo Hoo! the left turn signal is on! I enter the intersection, it’s good and clear and ….

    When I wake up I’m looking at the sky and see a collection of heads looking down at me and saying reassuring things. “The ambulance will be right here. Can you hear the siren?” I’d wiped out in front of backed up traffic on both streets waiting for the light to change.

    All the banged up bits are on the left side. I guess I over steered and the front wheel washed out. Maybe my tire lost traction on a bit of litter. Who knows?

    A dozen stitches to the face, two and a half teeth knocked out, lots of bruising and rash. No concussion.

    When they let me out of the hospital I started to drive toward home. There were no motels visible for the first 20 miles and by then I was sorta wakeful. So I kept driving until I finished the 180 mile drive home.

  88. Trackback by Bai | 07.8.2007 | 12:07 am


    If you stay away from the poor learning German guides and books

  89. Trackback by Free Granny Porn Hot Milf Hot Milf | 12.29.2007 | 9:04 am

    Free Granny Porn Hot Milf Hot Milf

    I can not agree with you in 100% regarding some thoughts, but you got good point of view

  90. Trackback by Viagra. | 10.28.2008 | 9:01 am




Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.