Falling Correctly

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Re: Falling Correctly

Postby thepj » Fri Sep 02, 2011 9:44 am

in my personal experience of writing off a motorbike on the bells line rd, at no point in the 5-10secs i had did it ever cross my mind to jump off/lay down/throw away the bike. i was 100% focused on going "OH F##K" and using every or any means possible to bring the bike to a stop or atleast stay upright and on it.
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by BNA » Fri Sep 02, 2011 10:11 am

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Re: Falling Correctly

Postby goneriding » Fri Sep 02, 2011 10:11 am

damhooligan wrote:True, but in judo you fall on a soft matt, wich is different then falling you would experience with cycling.And the main reason they teach falling is not to prevent injuries when you fall, because it is in a controlled enviroment and the conditions make it a low risk, but because it takes away the fear of falling, and without that fear it makes you a stronger 'warrior'..


Not so. The judo mats are tatami mats which have some give but not much. If you stuff up a fall you know all about it (ribs, fingers, shoulders, collar bones etc)! Yes the fear of falling is part of it but the technique is equally as valid on any surface. It's saved me from a couple of nasty injuries over the years.

The ability to control your impact allows you to minimise damage to yourself and maximise your ability to continue fighting.
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Re: Falling Correctly

Postby zero » Fri Sep 02, 2011 2:58 pm

human909 wrote:
Chris249 wrote:
human909 wrote:How do you figure that?


I was told that it was the accepted thing to do in a similar situation on a motorbike. Since the last thing I want to do is go head first into a car or the road, I was wondering whether it was a reasonable reaction.


In most if not all cases dumping a motorbike will make things worse. If you have time enough to dump a bike and live, you have time enough to stop completely and avoid collision.

Rolling rubber on the road will give AT LEAST twice the slowing power that sliding leather/skin/bike will give. I would prefer to spend the last few seconds bleeding off as much speed as possible rather than throwing myself under the wheels of a car. :shock:


I tend to agree. Most motorcyclists are vaulted by the final impact, so really depends on the profile/location on the vehicle they hit - ie you can hit a stationary sedan at 100km/hr from behind and not be *that* seriously injured because you cleared the cabin, ie its actually extremely difficult to predict 3 seconds away what will actually occur.

As far as braking performance is concerned. An antilock BMW 1200 cop edition bike produced over 0.9g deceleration 100-0 including brake setup. The bike I own (Yamaha R1), was tested to do 100-0 in 34.7m, which is more like 1g. Modern car tests have occasionally shown figures getting out to 1.1g, so not suprising to find lightweight motorcycles 10% behind that.

The usual assumptions that used for vehicle forensics, is that a bike on its side stops at 0.4g, and that a sliding rider stops at 0.65g wearing leathers, and stops a little faster in regular clothes - with associated greater friction injuries. There are broad assumptions that bicycles will stop at 0.5g, but its plainly evident one of my bicycles can exceed that - particularly if I have the saddle set for offroad and can get behind it.
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Re: Falling Correctly

Postby nayfen » Fri Sep 02, 2011 6:29 pm

You need a fair amount of momentum to be able put a bike on its side and then kick it away. A majority of the time there is not enough clear space to make this a better solution. alot of riders trying get pinned under the motorbike and draged further by the bikes larger mass and also burnt by the exhaust. Ride for the conditions and stay upright as long as possible
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Re: Falling Correctly

Postby human909 » Wed Sep 14, 2011 8:58 pm

Another reason why laying a bike down is not a sensible response to a possible collision.

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Re: Falling Correctly

Postby wombatK » Mon Nov 19, 2012 9:14 pm

Time to dig up this old thread...

November Ride-on magazine has a Crash Course in Falling which suggests there are correct and incorrect ways of falling. The authors suggest that practicising judo techniques can help minimize injuries in crash situations. Also other good tips many mountain bikers are familiar with on pedal positions and weight distribution, and some excellent advice on recovering from a crash situation (getting out of danger, back on your feet etc.,.) that's worth pre-thinking about.

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Re: Falling Correctly

Postby Ken Ho » Thu Nov 22, 2012 12:04 am

+1 on tuck and roll. There is never a time or place for face-planting. Putting your hand out is OK, if it gives way before the impact and doesn't stay stiff. A stiff arm is a broken arm.
I've been practising falling all my life, whether I like it or not. I'm made of in-destructo-bot.
I seem to have pretty good reflexes, and can always plan my landing whilst flying through the air. The only time I've not done that was losing the front end of a 916 riding it out of suspension travel and off the tyres, losing the front while burying it into the Carousel at Lakeside. Happened a bit too quick and I only fell a couple of feet, then wheeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee along the tarmac. The gimp suit protected me then.
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Re: Falling Correctly

Postby Baalzamon » Thu Nov 22, 2012 1:13 am

Last time I crashed, there was no hope of bracing myself or doing anything at all. One second upright, next I'm on the pavement in shock, lost traction on front wheel and it just spun and down I went
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Re: Falling Correctly

Postby Nobody » Thu Nov 22, 2012 5:33 am

Baalzamon wrote:Last time I crashed, there was no hope of bracing myself or doing anything at all. One second upright, next I'm on the pavement in shock, lost traction on front wheel and it just spun and down I went
Yeah, when you lose front wheel traction on a wet road on tighter turns it is often a case of having little time to react.
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Re: Falling Correctly

Postby wombatK » Thu Nov 22, 2012 5:58 am

Ken Ho wrote: A stiff arm is a broken arm.

Or worse, a broken collarbone. As shown in photos in the article, you need your hand and forearm to
make contact with the ground at a low angle (side-on) and a bent elbow.

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Re: Falling Correctly

Postby Nobody » Thu Nov 22, 2012 6:00 am

wombatK wrote:Time to dig up this old thread...

November Ride-on magazine has a Crash Course in Falling...
Thanks for posting this.

Although useful tips on braking and probably written for a general audience, I would say in reasonable road conditions that emergency braking is 100% front which is then modulated to suit the situation.

Like anything, emergency braking really needs to be practiced to do well. I like to practice at the end of every ride. It seems to save me as I haven't hit anyone yet. I was at the Southern side of SOP the week before last when I came around a blind corner to find two women riding side by side on MTBs coming the other way (I hate that :roll: ). Had the back wheel off the ground once and it was briefly looking pretty bad, but I managed to avoid hitting them. I think the main things that saved me were anticipation, covering the front brake and a well practiced technique.

Considering the fairly high crash rate per kilometre for people on bikes, you would think that good brakes and tyre grip would be higher priorities than it appears to be.
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Re: Falling Correctly

Postby human909 » Thu Nov 22, 2012 6:44 am

Nobody wrote:Thanks for posting this.

Although useful tips on braking and probably written for a general audience, I would say in reasonable road conditions that emergency braking is 100% front which is then modulated to suit the situation.

Like anything, emergency braking really needs to be practiced to do well. I like to practice at the end of every ride. It seems to save me as I haven't hit anyone yet. I was at the Southern side of SOP the week before last when I came around a blind corner to find two women riding side by side on MTBs coming the other way (I hate that :roll: ). Had the back wheel off the ground once and it was briefly looking pretty bad, but I managed to avoid hitting them. I think the main things that saved me were anticipation, covering the front brake and a well practiced technique.

Considering the fairly high crash rate per kilometre for people on bikes, you would think that good brakes and tyre grip would be higher priorities than it appears to be.


+10000

Unfortunately the majority of cyclist cannot brake anywhere near the potential of the bike. I too advocate front wheel brake only in reasonable road conditions, since I've started exclusively using the front (~6 years ago) brake my control has improved.
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Re: Falling Correctly

Postby Chris249 » Thu Nov 22, 2012 12:40 pm

In the interests of science and assisting my fellow cyclists, and in appreciation of earlier responses, I decided to test crash technique by throwing myself onto the road on Monday afternoon.

I haven't hit the deck on the road since 1999, but just as I was winding up for a bit of sprint practice (something I never normally do with moving cars in sight) one of my panniers decided to have a cuddle with a spoke and the rear wheel locked when I was probably somewhere north of 40 kmh...I don't know the real speed and I was still accelerating to my normal average Club B Grade sprint speed. So I got a free ride across the road with opposite lock on before low-siding it. Somehow I got away with minor scrapes (two Band Aids covered the worst graze) and a general shaking up.

It was interesting to note that I had plenty of time to appreciate that I did have room to drift across the road while washing off speed, as no cars were coming my way and therefore I didn't have to slam myself down to avoid anything. That just reinforced earlier experience and posts here that emphasised that if you are used to falling or crashing from other sports, then you can stay aware while you crash and help your chances of coming out of it OK.

It was actually good to have a prang on the road (all my other recent ones have involved hitting green stuff or dirt off road) and find that it's not all that bad all the time. And it was good to get a reminder that high speeds and sprint practice are not things that should be done anywhere near traffic - I'm going to go back to only working on such things on clear, straight roads with nowt in sight, and get my workouts up hills.

There wasn't a lot of sympathy from the wife, though, as she did point out that she was nursing 47 stitches from her MTB race crash the previous weekend :oops:
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Re: Falling Correctly

Postby crazyjose » Tue Nov 27, 2012 12:53 pm

no matter what I try, I always end up hurting something, as much as I try to think of a method of falling correctly there is always some part of my body getting hurt in a MTB stack. Although the last few years have been good to me, I had a shocker though last week and hit a tree stump at high speed with the pedal, and supermanned for a spell til landing on top of my bike and removing a bit of bark from my knees and driving the chainring into my ankle. If i could practise a stack I would but an inherant fear of hitting the ground puts me off of it...

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Re: Falling Correctly

Postby human909 » Tue Nov 27, 2012 1:22 pm

Chris249 wrote:It was interesting to note that I had plenty of time to appreciate that I did have room to drift across the road while washing off speed, as no cars were coming my way and therefore I didn't have to slam myself down to avoid anything. That just reinforced earlier experience and posts here that emphasised that if you are used to falling or crashing from other sports, then you can stay aware while you crash and help your chances of coming out of it OK.


Exactly. Many here try to say differently but the truth is that SOME people fall and break things and others fall and remain unhurt. It isn't just luck. In the past two years I've had two female friends who have badly injured their ankles on trips on stairs and rough ground. Both of these people are of uncoordinated and less sporting variety. Both engage in regulary exercise, it is just they both don't coordination developed from years of falling as a child. Due to my activities, haste and carelessness I still have numerous trips and stumbles in my life, but I have no problems landing safely.

Even when I've been in spills that have happened "almost instantly" I still find that my reflexes save me. My last one on a bike was a bit over a year ago, i was tipsy, helmetless and locked up the rear while cornering as I forgot that you don't stop pedalling on a fixie (not mine)! I went down HARD and everybody was concerned about me. It was my stupid fault, I was more concerned about the bike! The biggest injury was the bruise where my thigh was compressed against the top bar by the rising pedal.

I've had very few falls on public roads though as I'm alot more careful and I am not silly when I'm mixing it up with traffic!
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Re: Falling Correctly

Postby wombatK » Tue Nov 27, 2012 7:38 pm

human909 wrote: Both of these people are of uncoordinated and less sporting variety. Both engage in regularly exercise, it is just they both don't coordination developed from years of falling as a child. Due to my activities, haste and carelessness I still have numerous trips and stumbles in my life, but I have no problems landing safely.

This made me think - there's lots of people involved in contact sports, like Rugby (League and Union), where someone is tackled and falling every minute or so. By and large, they land safely, without serious injury. While judo is the obvious
sport where falling correctly can be learned, maybe these other sports can equip you with similar skill.
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Re: Falling Correctly

Postby Lazyweek » Tue Nov 27, 2012 9:33 pm

wombatK wrote:While judo is the obvious
sport where falling correctly can be learned, maybe these other sports can equip you with similar skill.


My guess would be yes. Also, being active probably gets your body used to taking a few knocks (by strengthening your musculoskeletal system).

I had my first fall on my road bike last night (at low speed) and besides a bruise on my hip I'm fine. Don't really know if I fell "correctly" but the outcome was good :)
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Re: Falling Correctly

Postby human909 » Tue Nov 27, 2012 11:49 pm

wombatK wrote:This made me think - there's lots of people involved in contact sports, like Rugby (League and Union), where someone is tackled and falling every minute or so. By and large, they land safely, without serious injury. While judo is the obvious
sport where falling correctly can be learned, maybe these other sports can equip you with similar skill.


I shall conjecture...

The instinctual behaviour when falling is to protect the head. Limbs splay and attempt to absorb impact and the neck stiffens. This is my experiences. The splaying of limbs can result in breakages, but this is a sacrifice necessary to protect the head. Judo and other such teachings incorporate superior falling techniques that are less instinctual and more a practised art.

After years of bashing myself about, I feel that I have the former instinctual falling instincts down well. I bound around like a mountain goat but every so often slip but with little consequence. Learning rolls and other techniques though I am not skilled in.
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Re: Falling Correctly

Postby Ken Ho » Wed Nov 28, 2012 1:59 am

I completely agree with human on this. I'm also adept at falling and not breaking. SAdly, a few days ago, my perfect record fell, though the force required was excessive.
Even then, the damage was relatively minor.
The only gripe I have is that I suffered a wrench to my neck because the tail of my helmet hit the ground, when my head would not have. I instinctively protect my head.
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Re: Falling Correctly

Postby high_tea » Wed Nov 28, 2012 7:01 am

human909 wrote:
wombatK wrote:This made me think - there's lots of people involved in contact sports, like Rugby (League and Union), where someone is tackled and falling every minute or so. By and large, they land safely, without serious injury. While judo is the obvious
sport where falling correctly can be learned, maybe these other sports can equip you with similar skill.


I shall conjecture...

The instinctual behaviour when falling is to protect the head. Limbs splay and attempt to absorb impact and the neck stiffens. This is my experiences. The splaying of limbs can result in breakages, but this is a sacrifice necessary to protect the head. Judo and other such teachings incorporate superior falling techniques that are less instinctual and more a practised art.

After years of bashing myself about, I feel that I have the former instinctual falling instincts down well. I bound around like a mountain goat but every so often slip but with little consequence. Learning rolls and other techniques though I am not skilled in.


Yup. I did judo for a while when I was a kid. I wasn't very good at it, but what it taught me about falling was invaluable. And yeah, there's technique (like bending arms when falling forward - backwards is another matter...) and a big thing is practicing, a lot, so that you don't really think about it.

This discussion is interesting because I'm casting about for something to teach my kids how to fall properly. Judo's in the frame, of course, but I'm curious what else is out there. As a kid "do something that involves falling over a lot; you'll get the hang of it" probably isn't a bad bet. As an adult, though, that's a ticket for big rehab bills...
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