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I've been riding for several years now and after thousands of group rides today in a pace line the guy behind me clip my back tire and went down. Luckily, we weren't going very fast and the a car on the back road we were on were able to stop to avoid him in the road. Scared all of us to death. He just has some bad road rash and a sore shoulder.

I've never even seen a wheel get clipped let alone having mine. Can't believe I didn't go down. Seems I didn't do anything wrong, he said he just lost concentration and it was a stupid mistake.

Wondering if this happens a lot??? I have to say I was nervous, for the first time, riding with people on my rear wheel for the remainder of the ride. I guess that happens to everyone after a crash?
 

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mseanschmidt said:
I've been riding for several years now and after thousands of group rides today in a pace line the guy behind me clip my back tire and went down. Luckily, we weren't going very fast and the a car on the back road we were on were able to stop to avoid him in the road. Scared all of us to death. He just has some bad road rash and a sore shoulder.

I've never even seen a wheel get clipped let alone having mine. Can't believe I didn't go down. Seems I didn't do anything wrong, he said he just lost concentration and it was a stupid mistake.

Wondering if this happens a lot??? I have to say I was nervous, for the first time, riding with people on my rear wheel for the remainder of the ride. I guess that happens to everyone after a crash?
The rule is--if you touch someone else rear wheel-you´ll get a nice close look at the pavé....and the front person rides away.
 

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Over the years, I've become pretty good at touching wheels and not going down. The reason you crash is because the natural impulse is to turn your bars away from the point of contact. You've got to do the opposite. If, for example, you are on the riders left, and he comes over on you and makes contact with your front wheel, you must turn your bars to the right a little. You may have to really turn your bars with a lot of effort to force the other rider's back wheel out of your way. This will not cause him to crash (unless he is a total knucklehead). One way to perfect this skill is to practice slow speed wheel touching on a grassy field.
 

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You did nothing wrong. First rule of riding in pacelines is to protect your front wheel at all times. If the guy behind you lost focus, overlapped wheels and went down, that's on him. You didn't go down because there's a lot more weight on the rear wheel than the front.

This is probably the biggest cause of crashes on group rides. I've done it, in fact I got to practice today, when my friend that was riding in front of me broke a spoke and came to a sudden stop.

If you're the guy in back whose front wheel is in danger, you're best bet to stay upright is to lean into other bike, not freak and jerk away from it. Take a bike, go to a park, ride around on the grass and practice this. Sounds dumb, but it's better than road rash, and slow speed crashes on grass don't really hurt.

Sorry for the dual post Mr Grumpy snuck his post in before me
 

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Andrea138 said:
Yep- I clipped a friend's rear wheel last winter because I overlapped wheels with him while I spaced out watching cows in the pasture we were riding by. He said he had no idea I'd even hit him until he heard me hit the ground :rolleyes:
That's hot. Wait..no it's not. I never want to crash.
 

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Andrea138 said:
Yep- I clipped a friend's rear wheel last winter because I overlapped wheels with him while I spaced out watching cows in the pasture we were riding by. He said he had no idea I'd even hit him until he heard me hit the ground :rolleyes:

"Watching cows", hmmm?


That is one codeword I haven't seen before :blush2:
 

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It happens....

Yesterday at the State TTT's here in Oregon two teams had guys go down by clipping wheels in front of them...I know at least one of the groups was "Very" experienced and took out one of the top racers in the state....though I think he's OK (road rash). With their team it actually happened at the finish line when they fanned out for the fastest time possible (which they did get at 56:30 for 27.3 miles!)...one fanned out too quickly and clipped the wheel of a guy behind him and several riders went down hard at 30+ mph!

Another group on the same stretch had riders go down while in the pace-line. One rider clipped the front wheel, went down and the others were so close it took them down as well.

I do know one of the riders that went down had 5 broken ribs and a punctured lung and another had a broken collar bone!

It's always good to pay attention while in a pace line...whether on a TT bike or a regular bike. In mass start racing it's usually the most common cause of a pack crash.
 

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MR_GRUMPY said:
Over the years, I've become pretty good at touching wheels and not going down. The reason you crash is because the natural impulse is to turn your bars away from the point of contact. You've got to do the opposite. If, for example, you are on the riders left, and he comes over on you and makes contact with your front wheel, you must turn your bars to the right a little. You may have to really turn your bars with a lot of effort to force the other rider's back wheel out of your way. This will not cause him to crash (unless he is a total knucklehead). One way to perfect this skill is to practice slow speed wheel touching on a grassy field.
+100!!!

my club does a skill clinc at least 1x a year, this is an excersize not to be missed. You can say it, hear it till the cows come home but until you teach yourself to react oppsite of what first inclination is you will go down. DO THIS SIMULATION!

also, for the OP, you didn't clip his wheel unless you moved into him. Some movement by you is expected, If the rider behind is going to overlap he'd better darn well know how to kiss wheels and stay up. 'clipping' is more a term used when someone really comes into your wheel that you weren't sitting on. Like an idiot chopping the inside corner when it's being taken several wide and moving off his man.
 

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Tipsy?

Andrea138 said:
...I spaced out watching cows in the pasture we were riding by...
Were you picking out which cow to tip?

Andrea138 said:
Luckily, it was a little cold and I had knee warmers on. It still left me with a kneecap scar, though :( I always have to learn things the hard way.
Good way to explain away that rug burn.
 

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I haven't done it in years, but when something has been hard wired into your brain, you don't forget it. It's the same with crashing. Some people get hurt every time they crash, some don't.
We would go out on a soccer field in February and do these drills. We would chop other riders front wheels, have "slow" races, play "waterbottle polo", and just try to crash other riders (all at 5-10 mph)
 

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Wookiebiker said:
With their team it actually happened at the finish line when they fanned out for the fastest time possible (which they did get at 56:30 for 27.3 miles!)...one fanned out too quickly and clipped the wheel of a guy behind him and several riders went down hard at 30+ mph!
This is an interesting (and new) description of that crash. Especially considering the severity of Zimbleman's injuries, I wouldn't say anything negative towards those guys, but they are lucky they weren't DQ'd. At the line, my cat 3 team was finishing our 2nd lap passing a masters team that was just finishing. The ZTeam guys then overtook us right at the line so there were 3 teams taking up a very small space. The centerline rule was in effect even at the finish - even if they weren't fanning out, they were over the yellow line when they crashed... if they were fanning out... they'd be taking up the whole other lane. Yikes.
 

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I had a guy overlap my rear wheel last year and he stayed there for 5-6 of my pedal revolutions. I was thinking "What's going on back there?" and when I looked back he was shooting across the lane in recovery mode but he never crashed.
 

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gray8110 said:
This is an interesting (and new) description of that crash. Especially considering the severity of Zimbleman's injuries, I wouldn't say anything negative towards those guys, but they are lucky they weren't DQ'd. At the line, my cat 3 team was finishing our 2nd lap passing a masters team that was just finishing. The ZTeam guys then overtook us right at the line so there were 3 teams taking up a very small space. The centerline rule was in effect even at the finish - even if they weren't fanning out, they were over the yellow line when they crashed... if they were fanning out... they'd be taking up the whole other lane. Yikes.
It's just what I had heard about the crash (day of)...from the postings on OBRA's site it sounds like he locked handlebars with a teammate, as they passed another team at the finish, instead of clipping wheels...which again indicates they likely fanned out.

Either way, it was nasty and from the sound of it they should have been much more cautious.
 

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I've hit the wheel in front of me three times and crashed once. The first two were on the same day and I crashed on the second attempt at sleeping propped against the wheel in front of me. Hard to train your reactions for situations when you are unconscious.
 

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fleck said:
+100!!!

my club does a skill clinc at least 1x a year, this is an excersize not to be missed. You can say it, hear it till the cows come home but until you teach yourself to react oppsite of what first inclination is you will go down. DO THIS SIMULATION!

also, for the OP, you didn't clip his wheel unless you moved into him. Some movement by you is expected, If the rider behind is going to overlap he'd better darn well know how to kiss wheels and stay up. 'clipping' is more a term used when someone really comes into your wheel that you weren't sitting on. Like an idiot chopping the inside corner when it's being taken several wide and moving off his man.
Go take a group of your friends onto a grassy field and practice. Go slow, and try to make your friends come out of their pedals to dab. Make it a game -- last one clipped in pedals and upright wins. You'll get used to contact, and you'll get practice at using your body to protect your bike.

I once had a team-mate who perfected the skill of riding into a rear wheel as he was coming into a final sprint at speed. He'd hit the wheel of the rider leading him into the sprint, and then start his jump when the leading rider, who was not expecting the contact, froze for a split second. He won lots of Crits. I always igured that the ends of criteriums were dicey enough so that there was need for me to take added risks.
 

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skills

The other trick to avoiding the contact at all is somewhat related to this, which is to throw your shoulders toward the rider coming at you to get your bike to lean away from them. Try it by yourself on a white line, throw your shoulders right and your bike leans left. I've used this to keep a few rear skewers out of my front spokes. I prefer it when there is the chance to avoid contact altogether and the countersteer technique would cause contact.
 
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