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-   -   ? More 2018 50+ accidents with rider injuries? (https://www.bikeforums.net/showthread.php?t=1157004)

Wildwood 10-02-18 02:22 PM

? More 2018 50+ accidents with rider injuries?
 
It seems this year, more than in previous years, I have heard of accidents involving rider injuries. Both on BF but also via grapevine with former ski patrollers & forest service folks.

Since I mostly ride solo, or with 45+ yo cyclists the demographics of the older generation come to play.

Maybe my assumption (increased injuries) is false? A local (or regional) anomaly? You tell me.

Is it an illness?
Are there any prevention pills?

Think of the savings ó. in personal pain, reduced medical bills, no long PT periods, fewer debilitating life conditions imposed (and on family) ó if we reduce the cause of the problem. I do not know of a single incident due to mechanical bicycle failure, none due to rider health catastrophes (no stroke/heart emergencies). And thankfully, none that I know of, fatalities. Condolences to any who lost friends.

I theorize the problem is rider error. Is there a medically oriented human solution?


And Please, this is not a helmet thread - those I know were safety compliant.

No pics here. And none solicited from you.
Maybe iíve been too cautious this year?

edit: I also understand life is risky; and that cycling is a health and fitness activity which improves our physiology and psychology.



caloso 10-02-18 02:26 PM

I've had one crash this year, caused by a combination of road condition and rider error. Essentially, I caught my front wheel in a long parallel crack, which shredded my tire and took me down. I suffered road rash, torn kit, and a cracked helmet. A buddy of mine cracked his femur in a pile up on a group ride caused by a motorist who cut across the front of the group.

Wildwood 10-02-18 02:35 PM

What can be done?
Demand a medical study (of some sort).
.
.
.
.
and yes, a study for a medical solution to the problem of operating a car/truck/bus while distracted.


caloso 10-02-18 02:38 PM

A medical study is not necessary to determine that bike crashes can result in road rash and broken bones.

canklecat 10-03-18 02:28 AM

Maybe we break more easily now. I dunno, haven't really had enough accidents to determine a pattern. My most serious injury was a broken and dislocated shoulder from being hit by a car this spring. Wasn't a high speed impact, I just hit the shoulder in such a way that it went blooey. Took five months to even begin to make any progress in healing.

I'm not sure turning 60 suddenly made me more fragile. Probably just smacked the pavement the right/wrong way. Several cycling friends had broken clavicles and shoulder injuries the past couple of years and they're much younger than I.

I've fallen three times on my own since 2015, no assist from other cyclists or vehicles, no serious injuries. Scrapes and bruises twice, bruised ribs once that ached for a few weeks, but nothing like this more recent injury. And I fell many times in my teens and 20s including in a crit, no serious injuries.

My younger brother seemed to break stuff all the time when we were kids. We were involved in similar activities. Just seemed like his bones were more fragile and broke from fairly minor impacts. I've had only three bones broken: the recent shoulder thing from the car impact; a crushed fingertip about 20 years ago that splintered the last joint but it healed pretty well; and six cracked vertebrae when my car was T-boned. All but the C2 healed properly. The C2 is thickened and creaky.

Carbonfiberboy 10-04-18 09:17 PM

Locally, we have one female rider, 50+, who has broken 2 bones in the past year in crashes. Both rider error. My guess would be osteoporosis. Otherwise, no injuries in my group. I've broken a rib or two crashing at high speed while skiing in my youth, but no others including in bike crashes. I still Alpine ski and I fall.

02Giant 10-05-18 01:41 AM

In the last nine years since I resumed riding, I have been down once, three years ago. I was out early one morning following a couple week period of constant rain, I hit a wooden plank train trestle in a sprint and was down in an instant, hard on my right side, sliding along for 20' or so. No broken bones but extensive bruising on my right arm and leg.

I read here of people who have been down multiple times, it confuses me a bit.

Giacomo 1 10-05-18 06:21 AM

Older riders are pushing themselves harder these days than ever before.

The boomer generation is not content to putter around on a beach cruiser. There are plenty of senior riders out there in full kit, riding $5000 road bikes doing group rides where the average pace is pretty high. They're also many that still race competitively. Plenty are also Strava addicted and pushing their limits . Then there is cyclo-cross, mtb, hill riding etc. It all adds up to a more hazardous environment for riders.

I think its only going to get worse..

grncab97 10-13-18 06:35 PM

I collided with another rider a week ago and broke my collarbone. I've fallen lots of time on my shoulder with nothing more than road rash but this time I heard that snap. I also just turned 60.
While I'm posting, does anyone know how long I will not be able to ride a bike with this break?

Giacomo 1 10-14-18 02:46 AM


Originally Posted by grncab97 (Post 20614956)
I collided with another rider a week ago and broke my collarbone. I've fallen lots of time on my shoulder with nothing more than road rash but this time I heard that snap. I also just turned 60.
While I'm posting, does anyone know how long I will not be able to ride a bike with this break?

Pro riders have been known to come back in weeks and do quite well with no lasting effects, but they are pros after all and broken collarbones are almost a way of life for them. I believe 3 months is about average for mere mortals, but at 60 my guess is that it might take longer. I'd probably take the winter off and heal up.

OldTryGuy 10-14-18 05:42 AM

? More 2018 50+ accidents with rider injuries?
.......Is it an illness?..........

Life on the EDGE.

Maybe as one ages and comes closer to one's demise, it becomes a bit more important to accomplish things to prove one's plane of existence. Buy that 600+hp car and drive it like you were Mark Donahue or that $12,000 bike and Peter Sagan comes to mind. Perform on the EDGE or just remembering your youth and..... no problem, I can do that echos through the cranial cavity while experiencing a euphoric feeling of accomplishment, just before the crash.

Or maybe just a BRAIN FART

wphamilton 10-14-18 08:39 AM


Originally Posted by grncab97 (Post 20614956)
I collided with another rider a week ago and broke my collarbone. I've fallen lots of time on my shoulder with nothing more than road rash but this time I heard that snap. I also just turned 60.
While I'm posting, does anyone know how long I will not be able to ride a bike with this break?

Sorry to hear that.

With that break there is "not being able" and "able but really shouldn't". It was 3 or 4 days for me with a plate, a day or two longer without, but I wasn't healed of course. Six weeks up to 2-3 months is what I was told.

canklecat 10-14-18 09:27 PM


Originally Posted by grncab97 (Post 20614956)
I collided with another rider a week ago and broke my collarbone. I've fallen lots of time on my shoulder with nothing more than road rash but this time I heard that snap. I also just turned 60.
While I'm posting, does anyone know how long I will not be able to ride a bike with this break?

My shoulder was broken and dislocated in May (hit by a car). I was on the indoor trainer after 5 weeks, but the drop bar was pretty uncomfortable. I'd mostly lean on the good arm and sit upright fairly often.

After 6 weeks the pain was still pretty bad, keeping me from sleeping, and the ortho doc said the grade 4 separation and fracture weren't improving much. So I probably should have stayed off the bike completely a little longer. But I didn't.

After 8 weeks I tried the upright comfort hybrid for some easy rides around the neighborhood. Not bad so I gradually increased the distance up to 40 miles.

After two months I tried the road bike outdoors. My conditioning was still good, thanks to lots of indoor trainer workouts. But my shoulder and neck could handle only 15-20 miles, once or twice a week. By the end of June I did a couple of 40 mile rides on the hottest days of the summer and was pretty wiped out afterward.

By August I was riding outdoors more often but the pain was still pretty bad. I wasn't too happy with my first ortho clinic so I tried another. After an anti-inflammatory injection and an oral anti-inflammatory (diclofenac) I was feeling much better by mid-September.

And with help from a couple of friends (since I was still mostly one-handed), we converted my hybrid to be more versatile, replacing the original flat and riser bars with an albatross bar. I can't recommend that highly enough. The upright position back on the grips is very comfortable when the shoulder is aching. But the bar offers more hand positions and a more aero position leaning forward into the curved part of the bar. It worked well enough that I stayed off the road bike for almost 6 weeks (other than on the indoor trainer).

Switching bikes and handlebars seemed to relieve the stress that was interfering with healing. As of October I'm doing much better, regaining range of motion with less pain. I've done a couple of 25 mile rides on the drop bar road bike and felt pretty good.

That seems like a long time to recover but I had some complications. The collision re-injured an old neck and back injury (I was hit by a car in 2001 also, breaking six vertebrae). And an old thyroid problem suddenly worsened very rapidly, which aggravated the chronic pain. So my personal experience won't necessarily indicate how other 60something folks will do (I'm 60).

Most folks I know who've experienced shoulder and collarbone breaks recovered much more quickly but they're also much younger, in their 30s and 40s.

daoswald 10-14-18 10:02 PM

I had about 1700 road miles so far this year, starting in April. In August I was on a night ride and hit a rock someone had chucked out into the street. It sent me over the handlebars and down hard into the curb. I had pretty bad road rash on my knees and elbows, and probably chipped the bone in my elbow. I road 7 miles home with an irreparable flat and bent front rim that rubbed the brake on every revolution. Replaced the wheels a few days later, and was back on the road, bandages and all within a week. I'm 50. I'm loving the new wheelset (Fulcrum Racing Quattro LG).

Aside from that incident, I have had no real problems this year. Occasional knee pain, but not enough to stop me getting back out there. I did notice a couple months ago that I have some bruises under one of my toenails. It probably came from my Sidis... they're a little on the small side for me. Switching over to a larger pair of shoes I have no issues.

Really the bigger injuries this year have been to my ego as I get passed by better riders. :)

jppe 10-17-18 08:20 AM

Iím still perplexed on the severity of my crash in August. Iíve gone down before but but this one was a really hard blow. Speed was in the low 20s on flat ground so not super fast. But the bike and I literally went flying when I hit the gravel and my right side slammed down hard on the asphalt. The surgeon said it was an extremely hard blow and similar to what heíd expect in car crashes. The good news was the surgeon said my bones were really strong and didnít show signs of aging or calcium deficiency.

Iíve now thoroughly gone over the bike and found damage in really strange places. For instance, the cable stop on the right side down tube didnít break but had a huge gash, maybe from a rock. I had to drill out the hollow bolt that runs through the stop as the end was curled in. The cable stop is under the down tube and not very exposed. The left bar tape was shredded and the left shifters were pushed in although I landed on my right side. I donít recall the left side hitting the ground. The rear derailleur was scuffed and RD hanger was bent in so the right side shows signs of the hit.

Iíve ridden through and across gravel before without issues. The more I try to rationalize it the weirder it seems to get.

Celebrated Eight weeks into recovery with an eight mile walk. Walking more than anything else with the new hip. Riding an upright exercise bike indoors. Iíve been putting and chipping at the golf course a lot. Another 6 weeks before riding outdoors and full golf swings. Struggling with my weight but not fretting over it. Maybe it was just time to take some time off from all the healthy habits**********

CapCrunch 01-30-19 12:06 PM

I believe Giacomo 1 hit the nail on the head. With aging boomers getting back into biking, I've noticed a marked increase in the number of riders on the trails I frequent. Although some of the increase in accidents may be coming from seniors pushing the limits, there are other factors that come into play.

For the last ten years, I have been riding with a group of seniors who are non-competitive. We ride mostly on fairly flat trails but also do hilly routes and on occasion mountain bike trails. Most of the riders are now in their 70s, 80s and even two in their 90s. I've witnessed numerous accidents, at least 2-3 per year, and have some observations to share.

Some guys are just accident prone whereas others have never fallen. Those that tend to fall tend to have slower reflexes or exercise poor judgment. They can't think quickly enough to avoid potholes or negotiate ruts. A common problem for those who ride clipped in is difficulty in disengaging when they come to a stop. I've witnessed two broken hips this way.

As they have aged, some of the guys become unstable due to balance problems. This has resulted in several of them giving up on cycling altogether. One of them switched to a trike but then subsequently suffered a stroke. He still rides solo but can't keep up with the group.

As our biological clocks keep ticking, there are inevitabilities that need to be faced. The older riders who have never fallen appear to be more in control and seem to know their limits. Some of those who are more accident prone are just clueless. You have to give them an E for effort, but in situations where riders are bunched up, they can be a menace. I suspect that the highly competitive seniors will retain better reflexes and exercise better judgment longer than most, but at a certain point age happens.

One of our 90+ riders is still remarkably strong. He did a lot of touring in his younger days and I believe that is a factor in his biking longevity. I've seen him go down a number of times but he just gets up and climbs back on the bike with minimal fanfare. He's a joy to ride with.


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