I crashed. I was going too fast and there were acorns and lots of leaves on the ground. I hit hard.
I went Mt biking with some buddies today. I slowed down at an intersection to make sure everyone was together and 2 of the guys passed me – suddenly I was playing catch-up. I went into a berm with more speed than usual, ended up high on the berm, I overshot the exit and the front wheel landed on leaves. The front wheel immediately folded out from under me and next thing I knew, I was rolling off the trail so that I wouldn’t get run over by the guy behind me. It happened that fast.
If you have not crashed, your not going fast enough…. or something like that.
I went down on my left side and had pain in my left knee. The guys stopped and waited as I figured out whether or not it was serious. I finally got up gingerly and slowly got back on the bike, and continued the ride. The knee was sore, but I pushed on…. I was riding the Jamis SS so I had to mash and stand often. My knee wasn’t very Happy, but I was enjoying the ride. After we finished an easier loop we moved onto another trail.
After transferring over to this other section my knee felt like it had hot-spots. I pulled down my knee warmer, which revealed a purple knee cap and being October, I don’t exactly have a tan. I could see where the skin had taken some abrasion. I was now figuring that I needed to take it easier than I was and attempt to spin my way out of the woods if possible.
I solo hiked & biked my way back to the parking lot and threw down some advil. Once home, I elevated and put a bag of frozen broccoli on the knee cap. Hours later and there was serious swelling and I could barely bend my knee past a 90 degree angle. This was probably my fault.
Things I did wrong
I should have realized how hard the impact was that my knee was going to swell and be sore. More riding was not going to ‘loosen it up’. In fact, all it probably did was aggravate it even more. Being on a Single Speed wasn’t helping either.
Things I did correctly
Once I realized that it was worse that I initially thought, I attempted to get back quickly and not make things any worse, and then took take advil in hopes of suppressing any swelling.
Elevate the leg and start 15 minute periods of icing the knee.
After a couple days of the knee starting to feel better, I checked to see what was restricting my range of motion. Well, where I was feeling the pressure was not in the joint itself, but coming from the muscle.
I started massaging the muscles around the knee and found some tight spots that were fairly tender. SO, I pulled out my good old foam roller and started to roll out my inside knee. I did some searching for those main spots that were so tender, and put some slight pressure on them until they slowly released.
Almost immediately, I noticed improvement in range of motion and less pain.
After a week of doing this, the knee joint itself feels good – no pain through full range of motion.
The inside and just above the knee muscle seems to be quite swollen – I’m continuing to take Advil, apply ice and elevate.
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A situation that has been addressed around the Atlanta area is cyclists ‘blowing through’ stop signs. I think what the motorists don’t realize is that the front cyclists slow down and check traffic and that the group goes through the stop sign as a whole. Although it is not legal, it is to most motorists advantage to get this group of cyclists out of their way faster.
I was out on a metro-Atlanta road and came upon a construction area that was single file. Before moving into the next lane, I looked over my shoulder and saw that over 100 feet back there was a car approaching. So I went from a leisure training ride into putting in a solid effort to rush through this construction zone.
After getting through it the car behind would not pass, and now I noticed that there were 4 cars that had backed up behind this 1 motorists. So, again, I pedaled in earnest up to the stop sign, slowed nearly to a stop, checked both directions and made my right hand turn.
Then about 200 yards up this road, a pickup truck pulls up next to me and starts yelling ‘if you want to be taken seriously as traffic, then obey the stop signs’, and of course sped off before I could reply.
Here I was trying to stay out of the way, not get hit and help the flow of traffic, and I got yelled at anyway.
What I don’t think most motorists realize is that cyclists do not want a car following behind them just as much as most motorists don’t want to have to drive behind a cyclist.
Another thing that motorists don’t realize is that historically those stop signs are there to regulate speed, not right of way;
Now, since only elite cyclists average over 22 mph – whose speed are they trying to regulate?
Here is a great video that explains the reasons why most cyclists do not stop at stop signs.
I agree with what the video says, cyclists are ‘usually’ more cautious around other motorists because we realize how distracted motorists are these days. Also, in an accident between an automobile & a bicycle, a cyclist realizes he has the most to loose.
What I would add that cyclists yielding to stop signs allows for better flow of traffic for everyone on the roads.
Something that I try to keep in mind is that motorists hate anyone else using the roadways, especially if it slows them down.
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If you think about it, it’s not really you, (well, most of you anyway – ride 3 abreast with a car-back & it IS you!) motorists are mostly just angry with anyone else (traffic) on the road. And if you are on the road also, well that just makes you an easier target of their annoyance. They can honk, yell, scream, intimidate & just press the gas pedal for a quick get-a-way.
Odd thing is that most cyclists hate cars driving behind them as much as anyone else!
Here is a timeless eye opening video:
Did you notice the names given?! Mr. ‘Walker’ – Mr. ‘Wheeler’ I would have said Mr. ‘Motorist’.
I think the trick to this is, don’t escalate things & don’t allow them to bother you emotionally. And remember, it’s not just cyclists that motorists are angry with – it’s anyone that is ‘in their way‘ or ‘slows them down‘, so try not to take it personally.
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