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So this morning on a small group ride, one of the guys had his water bottle (one of the long ones) dislodged from his cage as he hit a rut in the road at speed. The bottle hit the asphalt and, with the inertia it carried, continued to roll and bounce forward unpredictably. The rolling bottle came into my path.

Assume neither you nor I are good enough to execute successfully a bunny hop. The question is: do you brake to avoid the bottle (and possibly risk a rider behind you slamming into your rear wheel) or run over the bottle (and possibly lose control of your front wheel and hit the deck (and possibly risk taking guys down behind you)?

Discuss.
 

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Did you possibly consider swerving? The point is to not hit the object with your front wheel. Running over it with your rear wheel isn't as potentially dangerous.

If you absolutely cannot avoid it by swerving, you cannot avoid it by braking either. Get up out of the saddle and run over it. That way you use your body as a shock absorber. It beats getting thrown off the bike.
 

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Runaway water bottles suck. Like squirrels, no way in predicting what they'll do which makes bunny hopping them futile even if you're good at it.
Hold your line and hope for the best. If you can, avoid hitting them with your front wheel as its a good way to take you right down. Hitting them with your rear wheel usually isn't so bad.
One time while on a downhill corner, I hit a hole and lost my bottle. Ran over it with my rear wheel and it wrapped around the wheel like a taco, causing the wheel to start sliding out from under me. Luckily I managed to recover and not go down as there was a car right on my @ss.
 

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It depends on where I am in the pack and how close the other riders are.

If there is room to manoeuvre around it without endangering others, then I'll try and avoid it - This being done without any drastic steering.

If I'm boxed in the group, then it's a hang on and see what happens moment.

That said, bunny hopping has come in handy over the years. It isn't hard to learn.

It's also been handy to be able to ride close to a beer can and flick it off the road with the rear wheel so others behind don't have to deal with it.
 

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Runaway water bottles suck. Like squirrels, no way in predicting what they'll do which makes bunny hopping them futile even if you're good at it.
Hold your line and hope for the best. If you can, avoid hitting them with your front wheel as its a good way to take you right down. Hitting them with your rear wheel usually isn't so bad.
One time while on a downhill corner, I hit a hole and lost my bottle. Ran over it with my rear wheel and it wrapped around the wheel like a taco, causing the wheel to start sliding out from under me. Luckily I managed to recover and not go down as there was a car right on my @ss.
The main difference between water bottles and squirrels is that squirrels deserve to be run over
 

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The main difference between water bottles and squirrels is that squirrels deserve to be run over
A tip I learned years ago that has served me flawlessly:

Squirrels can't see for ****. They really can't see us coming, we just confuse them a lot of the times, we're quiet. Squirrels can hear quite well, and they react very well to loud sounds.

So when I see a squirrel, every time, I make my "squirrel horn" noise, which isn't a horn noise at all but more like a repetitive higher pitched tongue slapping.

If you see a squirrel, speak up, make some noise at it. High pitched repetitive nonsense sounds work flawlessly in my opinion.

You'll never have a problem with a squirrel again as long as you can see them. It even works well when you see them last second.
 

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A tip I learned years ago that has served me flawlessly:

Squirrels can't see for ****. They really can't see us coming, we just confuse them a lot of the times, we're quiet. Squirrels can hear quite well, and they react very well to loud sounds.

So when I see a squirrel, every time, I make my "squirrel horn" noise, which isn't a horn noise at all but more like a repetitive higher pitched tongue slapping.

If you see a squirrel, speak up, make some noise at it. High pitched repetitive nonsense sounds work flawlessly in my opinion.

You'll never have a problem with a squirrel again as long as you can see them. It even works well when you see them last second.
Works for deer too, they're just as dumb as squirrels.
I making a loud hissing noise... PSSSSSSSSS.
 

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A tip I learned years ago that has served me flawlessly:

Squirrels can't see for ****. They really can't see us coming, we just confuse them a lot of the times, we're quiet. Squirrels can hear quite well, and they react very well to loud sounds.

So when I see a squirrel, every time, I make my "squirrel horn" noise, which isn't a horn noise at all but more like a repetitive higher pitched tongue slapping.

If you see a squirrel, speak up, make some noise at it. High pitched repetitive nonsense sounds work flawlessly in my opinion.

You'll never have a problem with a squirrel again as long as you can see them. It even works well when you see them last second.
I've tried talking to squirrels and have tried to explain to them that their erratic behavior is a danger to themselves and others but they either don't respond or pretend not to understand

Anyway, I do something similar when I see a squirrel. I dont make any special sound effect, I just yell and that seems to work OK
 

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Given the two choices, I brake.

Just like with cars, it's the responsibility of the following vehicle to maintain a safe distance in an attempt to anticipate the unexpected.

When that bottle drops, it's self-preservation time. Let's hope your bike handling skills are up to par with mine.

I had a friend who hit a plastic bottle with his front wheel last August. Long story short; he broke his collarbone, hand, and ribs, not to mention road rash.

P.S. His bike survived pretty much unscathed. :thumbsup:
 

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Given the two choices, I brake.

Just like with cars, it's the responsibility of the following vehicle to maintain a safe distance in an attempt to anticipate the unexpected.

When that bottle drops, it's self-preservation time. Let's hope your bike handling skills are up to par with mine.

I had a friend who hit a plastic bottle with his front wheel last August. Long story short; he broke his collarbone, hand, and ribs, not to mention road rash.

P.S. His bike survived pretty much unscathed. :thumbsup:
You ever ridden in paceline?

Swerving makes way more sense if you don't know how to bunnyhop. even psudo-wheelie, pull up on the bars and keep as much weight on the back tire would likely work as well. Its obvious that if your are in a paceline and you were to brake hard enough to stop short of the bottle it would create a wreck.
 

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Do NOT suddenly brake. That one's not up for debate. So then what?
Swerve as little as you can, as much as you have to
If that's not an option...
Bunnyhop
If you're unable...
Lift, or at least, unweight the front wheel
If you're unable...
Grimace, let out a little girly squeal and think "tuck and roll, tuck and roll, tuck and roll..."

As stated, bunnyhopping is very easy. It's useful (vital?) for road riding in lots of situations - steel plates (getting on them... not clearing them), train tracks (clearing them... serious - use the approach mound as a ramp... land on the downside... your friends will oooh and ahhh), potholes, debris... and errant water bottles.

BUT - bunnyhopping in a paceline or group can *#[email protected] the rider(s) behind you - as the hopped obstacle magically appears right in front of them. So, use the 'hop as a last resort.

Performing a "manual" (lifting front wheel without pedaling) is also a very useful skill. And, you don't have to fully execute it to gain the benefit. If you take 50% of the weight off the wheel, that will often be enough to bump over that which would've taken you down or cause a pinch flat.

However, the trick is to very quickly go loose on the rear - so the rear doesn't take the full, or even full + that missing 50% from the front tire. As the front is clearing the obstacle, shift your weight up and forward. That motion will let the rear bump up as it hits the obstacle.

These are NOT Danny MacAskill-level skills. Ten minutes in a parking lot and you should have it down.
 

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Bunny hop generally isn't a wise (or possible) option because the water bottle will be traveling at close to the same rate of speed and general direction as you. I'm assuming no one is asking about getting around a stationary object here.

I, um, try to avoid hitting it by turning. And if that ain't going to happen, the weighting that OldZasker described.
 

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I've tried talking to squirrels and have tried to explain to them that their erratic behavior is a danger to themselves and others but they either don't respond or pretend not to understand
I put signs up in my yard too saying "No Squirrels". Then I realized squirrels can't read. :D
 

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This is an interesting discussion. I've always been taught that you just prepare yourself to run over the bottle. I swerved once to miss a deep pothole that wasn't called out. I was chastised by several Cat 1 racers. They said that swerving can cause a crash just as easily as braking or bunny hoping. During races, I've heard guys get yelled at for swerving. So, the best answer (based on what I've been taught) is to unweight the front tire then the rear and hope for the best.

I do think that if you have time to consider braking or running over the bottle, you certainly have time to consider bunny hoping or swerving too. I've done both before, but it was in a smaller groups that were not close together at the time.
 
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