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rookie mistakes made by old farts...

Road Cycling It is by riding a bicycle that you learn the contours of a country best, since you have to sweat up the hills and coast down them. Thus you remember them as they actually are, while in a motor car only a high hill impresses you, and you have no such accurate remembrance of country you have driven through as you gain by riding a bicycle. -- Ernest Hemingway

rookie mistakes made by old farts...

Old 11-05-06, 02:17 PM
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rookie mistakes made by old farts...

I didn't ride all week because I was out of town for a business trip. Today was my first ride since washing my winter bike, which I did last Sunday.

Just before leaving the house I double checked that the quick releases were clamped down hard enough - I took the wheels off when I washed the bike. All seemed fine. Not quite...

20 minutes into my Sunday group ride, just after I pulled off the front, I got out of the saddle and pedaled, only to have my rear wheel seize up on me. Not a pleasant feeling to roll on your front wheel at 33 kph with your rear wheel in the air. Somehow I managed not to do a face plant.

I rode another couple of hundred meters, not sure why my drivetrain had F'd up, got out of the saddle again, and once again things locked up. Fortunately I was going slower. So, off the bike for a quick look, and what do you know, my wheel had popped out of the dropouts.

Good thing it didn't happen when I was IN the paceline.

A word to the wise - make sure your wheel is clamped in there. Even us old timers need a reminder every now and then

Any other tales of dumb mistakes made by people who should have know better?

Last edited by botto; 11-05-06 at 02:50 PM.
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Old 11-05-06, 02:31 PM
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Originally Posted by botto
Any other tales of dumb mistakes made by people who should have know better?
Thinking I know better or should know better is always my dumb mistake. Anything can happen to anyone at any time. My last was similar to yours. I discovered my front brake in the released position while coming down a steep hill with a stoplight at the bottom. I managed to flip it back and to come to a stop in time but it was close. I'm not sure just having the back brake would have been enough.
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Old 11-05-06, 02:33 PM
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Wow. Glad to hear that the results of your mistake were not severe.

Last week I was out with a teammate and got a flat from a thorn. No big deal. I opened my saddle bag and got my spare tube and couldn't get it to fit around the rim. I had mistakenly grabbed one of my wife's 650c tubes. Luckily, my teammate had a spare so it was all good. But, I often ride by myself in the middle of the week during the day when it would be hard to get a ride from someone. So, a very plausible scenario would have seen me stranded in the countryside on a cold day. I was lucky that time.
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Old 11-05-06, 05:06 PM
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[QUOTE=sverrefehn]Wow. Glad to hear that the results of your mistake were not severe.

+1
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Old 11-05-06, 10:25 PM
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Blasted thru a very familiar corner, forgetting that it is always full of gravel. I was going around 22mph, leaned over pretty hard, when the front wheel broke loose and turned inward, then suddenly caught the pavement again, which brought me to a complete stop and slammed me down onto my side, landing on my hip and head. It hurt, it broke a lot of gear and ripped up my clothes, and left me with lots of road rash and deep cuts. It has also left me a bit lame in corners -- I go too slow and lean too little, always remembering my crash.
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Old 11-06-06, 12:23 AM
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Originally Posted by botto
...A word to the wise - make sure your wheel is clamped in there. Even us old timers need a reminder every now and then
Any other tales of dumb mistakes made by people who should have know better?
more of this goin on than anyone cares to admit...
my stoopid tail
err... embarrassing ak-Z-dents... ah yeah
1st ride on my Garage Queen Titan , last Oct, well remembered...

assembled the bike Fri. nite and put on some newish type wheels, kool stuff, flat blade spokes, quasi deep V rims, 9 spd cassette , woooooo... (fancy stuff for a guy accustomed to DT shifters...)
Sat AM Touring Club ride... I dress in my finest roadie kit, shine up the Queen and roll real easy to the cafe point. Everyone oogles the Purple Haze, and after the usual tire kicking we all assemble to get on the road. by position I'm first off, roll easy and at the driveway stand to check for cars. Then really lean on the pedal to put the cane to the Queen. Promptly the wheel slides in the drops and wedges against the chainstay. Over I go, still clipped in, landing in a Privot hedge next to the driveway.
Not embarrassed, mortified ;-/
Everyone has to stop, most gaffaw and clap. I need help cause I can't get up outta da bush... ;-)
Turns out the newish skewers aren't continous increasing pressure like the olde campys I'm accustomed to.
They ease up on pressure because on Modern vert dropouts, gorilla pressure isn;t necessary. The Queen, however, is '88 Vintage with std of the day semi horizontal drops - one still needs to clamp down in those things ;-|
C'est Le Guerre
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Old 11-06-06, 12:37 AM
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So the first rain of the season comes (last thursday). Ok I can handle this. I put the fenders on my main bike as the commuter is still being built and take off for work. Have my rain jacket on and everything. I can handle a little wetness. I approach the corner of the 4th turn on my commute and wave to the elementary school class waiting for the bus and start my turn. My mistake...forgetting you can't go as fast when it's wet as when it's dry. BAM! I hit the ground hard on my right side. Scratched up my shifters, wrecked the helmet, and mucked up my BRAND NEW Mountain Hardware gore-tex jacket! I have the soreness and small road rash on my knee to remind me of my rookie mistake. I even think I had a very, very, very mild concussion as well but how would I know without seeing a doctor. Now I'm paranoid and won't ride till I get another helmet. I don't even know what would have happened if I weren't wearing that thing.
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Old 11-06-06, 06:56 AM
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Got dressed yesterday morning to ride, got the bike down and realized it had a flat. Not a big deal, easier to fix now then on the road. Tire looks a little worn, so I decide to replace it since I'm fixing the flat anyways. Get everything put back together, get myself cleaned up, and realize I mounted the tire backwards.

Say a few bad words, and decide to not worry about it and just go riding.

Bob
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Old 11-06-06, 07:11 AM
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Not as severe but after unloading the bike from the truck, I've started a few group rides with the front brake caliper not closed. Easily fixed with campy.
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Old 11-06-06, 07:16 AM
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This goes for mounting front wheels on roof racks too--which I don't do anymore thanks to a bad experience.

You only need to hear the "buhbuhbuhbuhbuhbuhbuhbuhbuhbuhbuhbuhbuhbuhbuhbuhbuhFOOMP!" sound and watch your wheel bounce around a 6-lane highway once to learn that lesson...
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Old 11-06-06, 07:34 AM
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So nervous in my first race that I put the front wheel on the wrong way, then couldn't figure out why my computer wasn't working for the entire ride!
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Old 11-06-06, 07:35 AM
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How about forgetting you are on a bike and subject to all the physical laws therein. Too often I've been semi trackstanding (or should be), getting too casual, distracted, and presumably mistake myself for standing on two feet and over I go on to the pavement.

It's quite ridiculous, all of my accidents have been of the most humiliating low to no speed variety.

Last edited by EGreen; 11-06-06 at 03:40 PM.
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Old 11-06-06, 07:51 AM
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Did just about the same thing recently Botto. I took my dads old Bianchi (1986) from him to clean up and get back in operational condition. Upon my first ride I too didn't get the rear drop outs tight enough. Shortly into my ride I was going up this little hill and I couldn't beleive how hard it was. I kept pushing up the hill and then I started to wonder what's that burning rubber smell. My wheel had moved enough in the drops that the left side of my tire was rubbing on the inside of my left chain stay, hence the burning rubber smell. I was acutally releived that the wheel rubbing was the cause of why the hill was so darn tough.
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Old 11-06-06, 09:37 AM
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Originally Posted by Hipcycler
So nervous in my first race that I put the front wheel on the wrong way, then couldn't figure out why my computer wasn't working for the entire ride!
I didn't leave myself enough time to prep prior to my first century a few weeks ago, did the same thing, and had to stop 1/2 mile into the ride!
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Old 11-06-06, 09:39 AM
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I rode another couple of hundred meters, not sure why my drivetrain had F'd up
I think the moral of the story is to check it out the FIRST time your wheel locks up.
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Old 11-06-06, 09:42 AM
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Had a similar but not so fatal error on one of my Titan bikes a few weeks ago. I was nearing home at the end of a short Sunday ride when something about the front clamp lever caught my eye. Kept checking it out every few minutes & it finally registered that the lever had rotated & was slowly moving out from the carbon fork. Stopped, rotated tighter & reclamped it. Could have been a disaster if I had a hard bump along the way.
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Old 11-06-06, 11:10 AM
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I think we've all had an experience where we left the QR's just a little loose and cause one issue or another. My latest, like Botto's, was after a good cleaning of the bike where both wheels were off the frame. And additionally, I'd taken the wheels off and put them on another bike for photo op. The second bike's dropouts were much wider so I messed with the nut on the QR as well which I typically leave alone (old bike - no lawer tabs). Well about 2/3 the way through my ride last sunday, and after hammering a 5mi solo run to cap off my 2006mi goal for the year, I start hearing a noise I can't in down. Sounds like something's rubbing, but it sounds metalic like... check the brakes, check the front wheel's bearings, check that it's not my keys in my saddle bag, etc. I stop twice to try to figure this thing out, convinced my cleaning has somehow ruined my Ultegra bearings or something. Finally as I'm riding I glance down to see the tire in contact with the chain stay. And at last the light bulb goes off.
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Old 11-06-06, 01:33 PM
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Originally Posted by sverrefehn
Wow. Glad to hear that the results of your mistake were not severe.

Last week I was out with a teammate and got a flat from a thorn. No big deal. I opened my saddle bag and got my spare tube and couldn't get it to fit around the rim. I had mistakenly grabbed one of my wife's 650c tubes. Luckily, my teammate had a spare so it was all good. But, I often ride by myself in the middle of the week during the day when it would be hard to get a ride from someone. So, a very plausible scenario would have seen me stranded in the countryside on a cold day. I was lucky that time.
I did almost the same thing, was out for a couple of days tour, before I stared out I reached into the seat bag, made sure that I had patches, a tube, levers, multitool, etc. Had a flat the last day, (brutal hot and I was a bit dehydrated due to having dropped a waterbottle and having it run over by a semi). I popped the tire off, started putting the new tube in, thinking all the time "My, that tube seems really fat". Lets just say that a MTB tube wont work with a 700x28 tire. I had put the seatpack on mt MTB earlier that week and forgot to swap out tubes when I took it off. Luckly I had my patch kit, but that taugh me to actually LOOK, not just feel if there is anything there.

Steve W
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Old 11-06-06, 01:42 PM
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Very excited Saturday first chance to ride my new TT bike. Rack it on the car down to Griffith Park. Hit the bike way. Do two out and backs, 17 miles, then back to the car. 20 miles total. Racking up bike I realize no seatbag. I hadnt put the one on from my road bike so I did the whole ride with no tool. no lever, no spare tube, no inflator, no cylinder. Luckily I had no flat or it would have ruined my whole day.
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Old 11-06-06, 02:23 PM
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On a ride following some headset adjustments, I sat up and took my hands off the bar after a fast descent to have a drink. The stem and handlebars flopped over and hit the top tube while the fork stayed straight at about 20mph.

Up to that point in the ride, the only thing keeping the untightened threadless stem from spinning on the steerer had been me leaning on it, and thus providing just enough torque to hold it straight.

I tightened it up and pretended nothing had happened.
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Old 11-06-06, 02:42 PM
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Originally Posted by Hipcycler
So nervous in my first race that I put the front wheel on the wrong way, then couldn't figure out why my computer wasn't working for the entire ride!
I just did this yesterday, but it was a fun ride and not a race so I just stopped and flipped the wheel around.
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Old 11-06-06, 02:48 PM
  #22  
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I don't know if this is a rookie mistake or just a guy mistake, but the week before last we were on our last daylight evening ride of the year and I took one too many looks at a beautiful girl runner on the SART. When I took that second look, I ran right off of the trail and onto a dirt trail that criss-crosses the paved one, at that point I was still ok, but between me and my buddy laughing about what I had just done, I must have not been concentration enough because when I tried to bunny hop back onto the trail I didn't hop high enough, caught the edge of the pavement where some weeds were and went right over onto my left side and my helmet. I ended up destroying my Atmos and getting some painful road rash on my whole left side. The bike ended up with only a few scratches on the right brifter.

The worst thing is I’ll never be able to look at a girl on the trail again without getting grief over it from my friends.
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Old 11-06-06, 03:27 PM
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Originally Posted by 1955
I don't know if this is a rookie mistake or just a guy mistake, but the week before last we were on our last daylight evening ride of the year and I took one too many looks at a beautiful girl runner on the SART. When I took that second look, I ran right off of the trail and onto a dirt trail that criss-crosses the paved one, at that point I was still ok, but between me and my buddy laughing about what I had just done, I must have not been concentration enough because when I tried to bunny hop back onto the trail I didn't hop high enough, caught the edge of the pavement where some weeds were and went right over onto my left side and my helmet. I ended up destroying my Atmos and getting some painful road rash on my whole left side. The bike ended up with only a few scratches on the right brifter.

The worst thing is Ill never be able to look at a girl on the trail again without getting grief over it from my friends.
So did she witness your graceful dismount and rush right over to give you her number?
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Old 11-06-06, 03:33 PM
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That story about the loose stem is like a bad dream for me. Dang - thank God you didn't bite asphalt while you were taking a drink! Makes me cringe to think about it!
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Old 11-06-06, 03:55 PM
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Put on a new seat tube. Didn't tighten everything down properly. Didn't bring tools on ride. Rode home standing up with seat nose straight up in the air for 5 miles.
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