Elephant in the Room

dak1010

New Member
Hello All,

Been Lurking here for the last year and a half or so. First heard about ebikes in a ad...then decided to explore more which led me to this site of helpful folks.

So let me tell you about me.

Male
49 YO 5'9 165 lbs. (75 kg). Have been up to 180 lbs. (82 kg) on occasion but now at 165 lbs. (75 kg). as of last night. I feel like I'm in good shape but full disclosure - I have heart condition. My knees are also tender from other sports activities.

My family and I live in the NY Northern Hudson Valley region, which as it sounds- is extremely hilly. So the bike I would need would have to be quite powerful.

Well anyway, while saving my coins for my dream bike...hello new sonders elite!- I keep in shape by - kick scootering around -almost daily. My Strava app says I consistently hit a top speed of 12 MPH (19 kph) on the flats where I skate. I wear a Bell Adrenaline bike helmet when i'm out there.

So where am I going with this post? Yes you guessed it... 2 weeks or so I biffed! Took a turn to hard and to fast and fell. I'm FINE! Thanks for being worried :) but seriously - I'm fine but...left me a nice bruise on the knee....ribs...yes tender - and oh yeah the elbow - full range of motion but still tender...ok so maybe less then fine....

While I gingerly recover, I read more and more forum posts and while I may not feel old, I have to face facts - I'm approaching a different phase of life. And I'm drawn to the experiences of older riders - I recently read about a 70 year old member having trouble lifting on to the rack ETC. ETC.

So I wanted to ask what experiences have you had with spills, and what gear and what tips members are using for body protection. Feel free to share some funny stories about some falls you have taken and how it has changed your riding style over the years.

Thanks for reading - your thoughts are appreciated.
 

Dallant

Well-Known Member
First off, good luck getting your first ebike! It’s been a great addition to my life!
I confess that I ride my Allant+7 faster around corners at the bottom of hills than I should but as a former dirt motorcyclist, I just have that in my nature. If I take a spill at speed, I’m probably really going to regret it!
As to protection, I am just wearing a helmet and sometimes biking gloves. I do have concerns about some hills I go down at 30+ mph but to be honest, I have little interest in adding other protection. Knee and elbow protection could happen in colder weather but in the humid dog days of summer, not so much.
 

TMH

Well-Known Member
I think that for street riding you need to have 'standard' minimum protection (helmet (MIPS type preferred), gloves, eye protection), and then you need to concentrate on accident prevention.

Some folks ride on the street with knee and/or elbow protection, and this makes some sense. But I reserve this extra protection level for off road (and include hip pads as well).

Figure that if you go down on the street the hands will probably be the first thing to make contact with the pavement so good quality and coverage gloves are a must. And you always have to protect the noggin as best you can.

When I got back into e-bike conditioning riding earlier this year, I had my first (and so far only) off during the end of a hard ride where I was tired. Things happen fast at 20+mph. I looked over my shoulder for cars before moving over for a left turn. Unfortunately my bike headed a little right while I was looking over my left shoulder, and I ended up contacting the curb and being dumped onto the 'soft' shoulder. Initial point of impact was my shoulder (which ended up popping back into place when I got home and took off my jersey, and it still hurts some months later).

I have never ridden since without a rear view mirror - accident prevention as mentioned above. Along with continually looking up and, from off road motorcycle riding, looking out as far as I can on the roadway to see what hazards may be coming up. As well as the old trick of looking where you want your bike to go (instead of staring at that big rock in the bike path you want to avoid, but somehow still hit ;)).

Yup, we just don't heal up like we used to, so therefore we have to prevent mishaps however possible, ride within the limits of both the rider and the bike, and to all practical extents dress for the fall, not for the ride.

i think that it will be very fortunate for you that almost any e-bike will have much better on road manners and stability as compared to a kick scooter just due to the larger tire and wheel sizes.
 

Sierratim

Well-Known Member
I always wear a helmet. If they made one my size I'd wear one that meets the new Euro ebike helmet standard. Until they do I wear a MIPS design. I've cracked 3 helmets over the last 10 years or so in collisions with other cyclists that weren't paying attention. I walked away from each one, not so much for the other rider that wasn't wearing a helmet.

I also wear padded cycling gloves; short or long finger depending on temps. This is mostly for comfort, but can also be scrape protection; see "staying in the cockpit" below.

I usually wear polarized sun glasses for vision correction (they're bifocals...🤣) and eye protection. Those bugs come at you fast! I also have a helmet mounted mirror as a minimum with handlebar mounted mirrors on the ebike. I'm still getting accustomed to these but I'm liking them more and more.

I always ride with closed toed sandals or leather cycling shoes. The sandals are for warm weather errands and shorter rides. I prefer the shoes as they will clip in. Using clipless (confusing terminology) pedals for me is as much about safety as it is riding position. When my sons raced cross country MTB in school falls were normal for every race. They were coached to "stay in the cockpit"; clipped in, hands on the grips, knees and elbows tucked in. The bike took most of the damage. The riders would get back up and race on. It worked so well that I adopted this approach. This has worked well for me for many years now and in a number of crashes.

Oh, don't forget the bell and flashing lights! Helps prevent crashes.

Be safe. Ride On!
 

Dallant

Well-Known Member
I think that for street riding you need to have 'standard' minimum protection (helmet (MIPS type preferred), gloves, eye protection), and then you need to concentrate on accident prevention.

Some folks ride on the street with knee and/or elbow protection, and this makes some sense. But I reserve this extra protection level for off road (and include hip pads as well).

Figure that if you go down on the street the hands will probably be the first thing to make contact with the pavement so good quality and coverage gloves are a must. And you always have to protect the noggin as best you can.

When I got back into e-bike conditioning riding earlier this year, I had my first (and so far only) off during the end of a hard ride where I was tired. Things happen fast at 20+mph. I looked over my shoulder for cars before moving over for a left turn. Unfortunately my bike headed a little right while I was looking over my left shoulder, and I ended up contacting the curb and being dumped onto the 'soft' shoulder. Initial point of impact was my shoulder (which ended up popping back into place when I got home and took off my jersey, and it still hurts some months later).

I have never ridden since without a rear view mirror - accident prevention as mentioned above. Along with continually looking up and, from off road motorcycle riding, looking out as far as I can on the roadway to see what hazards may be coming up. As well as the old trick of looking where you want your bike to go (instead of staring at that big rock in the bike path you want to avoid, but somehow still hit ;)).

Yup, we just don't heal up like we used to, so therefore we have to prevent mishaps however possible, ride within the limits of both the rider and the bike, and to all practical extents dress for the fall, not for the ride.

i think that it will be very fortunate for you that almost any e-bike will have much better on road manners and stability as compared to a kick scooter just due to the larger tire and wheel sizes.
I didn’t mention (but should have) that a rear view mirror on the street is a safety requirement! A true standard these days is the Mirrycle bike mirror. I have one on every bike I own!
 

ruffruff

Well-Known Member
I'm a 60 year old born again mountain biker. My kid(26) rides all the time and it has been great to participate with him! I love every ride!
Arthritis in shoulders, knees torn up, rupture discs... BUT I always feel better after a ride!

I've OTB'ed(over the bars) twice. Hit a tree BAD on one of my first rides, and a trail we ride has a log bridge at the bottom of steep hill at a 90degree switchback.
EVERY TIME I get to it I'm on a bad line, start wobbling to figure out the best line, ultimately freak, lock up the brakes and do a slow fade into the bushes!
My kid laughs every time!

My tip, always wear a helmet, don't ride trails above your ability, it's just a flesh wound!
IMG_4748.JPG
IMG_4727.JPG
 

RandallS

Well-Known Member
OTB today, bandaid on pinky (fingerless gloves) and helmet looks a little rough but overall just fine. Helmet is 10 years old and not MIPS. Time to rectify that!

I like the looks of the Smith helmets.
 

Dallant

Well-Known Member
I'm a 60 year old born again mountain biker. My kid(26) rides all the time and it has been great to participate with him! I love every ride!
Arthritis in shoulders, knees torn up, rupture discs... BUT I always feel better after a ride!

I've OTB'ed(over the bars) twice. Hit a tree BAD on one of my first rides, and a trail we ride has a log bridge at the bottom of steep hill at a 90degree switchback.
EVERY TIME I get to it I'm on a bad line, start wobbling to figure out the best line, ultimately freak, lock up the brakes and do a slow fade into the bushes!
My kid laughs every time!

My tip, always wear a helmet, don't ride trails above your ability, it's just a flesh wound!
View attachment 60187View attachment 60186
Damn!
 

TMH

Well-Known Member
OTB today, bandaid on pinky (fingerless gloves) and helmet looks a little rough but overall just fine. Helmet is 10 years old and not MIPS. Time to rectify that!

I like the looks of the Smith helmets.
Maybe I have just drunk the helmet manufacturer Kool Aid but I go by their recommendations to replace my MC and bike helmets every 5 (or so) years.

All that sweat and UV exposure does bad things to the materials helmets are made of which are there to protect us.

I also retire any helmet which has hit the ground with my head in it, no matter how light a hit. Helmets interiors are made to squash on impact, spreading the load through the inner foam material thus absorbing impact instead of transferring it to your skull. The helmet may look fine inside and out, but part of the impact squash zone may have been used up, so it will never protect as well again.

They say that (especially with MC helmets) you should also retire and replace it if it ever slips out of your hand and hits the ground, but I will admit that I'm not so good about following this rule...
 

Buckdubay

Active Member
I agree with all the safety equipment mentioned in the other post. But maybe consider the bike it self. Most people ride on road or gravel bike paths. That being the case riding on a bike with wider tires feel a lot safer as apposed to the super thin road tires I road for years on my old analog bike. My current ebike is a Giant Toughroad (a Gravel bike) . The wide tires still roll well on the tarmac but allows a little more terrain option when you need to get off the road. More than once they have saved my bacon from an idiot driver or from myself when I space out for a minute while riding.
 

Dallant

Well-Known Member
I agree with all the safety equipment mentioned in the other post. But maybe consider the bike it self. Most people ride on road or gravel bike paths. That being the case riding on a bike with wider tires feel a lot safer as apposed to the super thin road tires I road for years on my old analog bike. My current ebike is a Giant Toughroad (a Gravel bike) . The wide tires still roll well on the tarmac but allows a little more terrain option when you need to get off the road. More than once they have saved my bacon from an idiot driver or from myself when I space out for a minute while riding.
I agree. My Allant+7 came with SCHWALBE G-One AllAround (27.5x2.25) and I feel very secure on every surface I’ve been on so far.
 

Art Deco

Well-Known Member
Dropping a bike is no fun. Younger me got a motorcycle, a ticket, and a broken leg to prove it all within a few months of each other. Macadam isn't smooth at 20mph and we don't heal
like we did at 20 years old ... but a 50 pound ebike at 20 mph beats a 300 pound motorcycle at 40mph. Attempting to link to chart ...
crash-death-speed-chart-1.png
 

Dallant

Well-Known Member
Maybe I have just drunk the helmet manufacturer Kool Aid but I go by their recommendations to replace my MC and bike helmets every 5 (or so) years.

All that sweat and UV exposure does bad things to the materials helmets are made of which are there to protect us.

I also retire any helmet which has hit the ground with my head in it, no matter how light a hit. Helmets interiors are made to squash on impact, spreading the load through the inner foam material thus absorbing impact instead of transferring it to your skull. The helmet may look fine inside and out, but part of the impact squash zone may have been used up, so it will never protect as well again.

They say that (especially with MC helmets) you should also retire and replace it if it ever slips out of your hand and hits the ground, but I will admit that I'm not so good about following this rule...
Geez, just reading this thread has prompted me to order a new Bell MIPS Sixer helmet!
 

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Lightning P38

Active Member
Hello All,

Been Lurking here for the last year and a half or so. First heard about ebikes in a ad...then decided to explore more which led me to this site of helpful folks.

So let me tell you about me.

Male
49 YO 5'9 165 lbs. (75 kg). Have been up to 180 lbs. (82 kg) on occasion but now at 165 lbs. (75 kg). as of last night. I feel like I'm in good shape but full disclosure - I have heart condition. My knees are also tender from other sports activities.

My family and I live in the NY Northern Hudson Valley region, which as it sounds- is extremely hilly. So the bike I would need would have to be quite powerful.

Well anyway, while saving my coins for my dream bike...hello new sonders elite!- I keep in shape by - kick scootering around -almost daily. My Strava app says I consistently hit a top speed of 12 MPH (19 kph) on the flats where I skate. I wear a Bell Adrenaline bike helmet when i'm out there.

So where am I going with this post? Yes you guessed it... 2 weeks or so I biffed! Took a turn to hard and to fast and fell. I'm FINE! Thanks for being worried :) but seriously - I'm fine but...left me a nice bruise on the knee....ribs...yes tender - and oh yeah the elbow - full range of motion but still tender...ok so maybe less then fine....

While I gingerly recover, I read more and more forum posts and while I may not feel old, I have to face facts - I'm approaching a different phase of life. And I'm drawn to the experiences of older riders - I recently read about a 70 year old member having trouble lifting on to the rack ETC. ETC.

So I wanted to ask what experiences have you had with spills, and what gear and what tips members are using for body protection. Feel free to share some funny stories about some falls you have taken and how it has changed your riding style over the years.

Thanks for reading - your thoughts are appreciated.

I ride a recumbent bike, so it is not as far to fall to the ground! But you still get the hurt when gravity kisses your butt, hands, and arms.

I added a e-kit to my bent, as I did not want to change bikes.

So I am just riding along the trail this spring under 10 mph, and all of sudden I am off the edge of the paved trail, and laying down on my left side on the paved trail. I was not paying attention....

So I survey the damage....ripped left hand glove, no hand injury. This is the second left hand glove with damage, the dog chewed on the other one. So I have two good right hand gloves, and two not so good left hand gloves!
Ripped arm warmer, a bit of a scrape on my forearm. Was wearing my newer set of arm warmers too.
Helmet did not hit the pavement.

Then I check the bike. The aluminum seat frame has some paint and metal scraped off...it took the brunt of the fall. The seat cords got cut by the frame, so the seat was sagging. Ok, tie it back together.
The bar con shifter plastic got scraped a bit. No other damage.

Good to go...finish the rest of the ride and then headed home.

I tell you...after a helmet, gloves are essential protection. I wear unpadded gloves, since I am on a bent. But I always ride with a helmet, with a mirror attached, and gloves.

I also have a flashing headlight for the daytime. I had one oncoming car honk at me, a loooong honk, to express his feelings towards my flashing light. It is super bright, and I know it is doing its job to alert drivers!

Bent Rider
 
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Dewey

Well-Known Member
I’m 46, two years ago after a wet fall weekend on my commute home from work my ebike slipped on the wooden planks of an NPS Mt Vernon trail timber bridge a few feet above the Potomac River, a day after heavy rain had strewn wet leaves on top of a layer of slime/algae, a stretch so notorious local riders have named it ‘trollheim’. Coming downhill I needed to brake for two Bikeshare riders who stopped in the middle of the trail, my rear wheel slid from under me and down I went, the rider behind me then also fell over and slid into me. I broke my leg, causing me to have to take 3 months FMLA leave from work and max out my health insurance out of pocket annual limit $3,000 ouch! The bridge is slated to be resurfaced in...2024

NPS know the problems, a recent report from the excellent US DOT Volpe Center said there were 225 accidents reported on the trail during a 4 year period 2006-2010. Reportedly “Several crashes took place on or near trail bridges, including bridges 1,3,4,12, 15, 18, and 24. This includes five reported crashes on bridge 12, and three on bridge 24. Crashes on trail bridges are generally related to wet and slippery conditions, with bicyclists falling and/or colliding with other bicyclists. These incidents are often severe in nature, including flipping over handlebars and falling over the side of the bridge. Injuries included head lacerations requiring an ambulance and bones protruding through the skin... Only incidents serious enough to prompt a call to an emergency response unit are reported. Therefore, crashes resulting in minor injuries or property damage typically go unreported.” I did not have to call an ambulance so my fall wouldn't have been counted if it had happened during the study period, there are likely dozens more unreported falls each year. Trail maintenance may be unsexy but this is where NPS funding ought to be targeted.
 
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Tern 1

New Member
The most important safety device is CAUTION. With pedestrians, inexperienced riders (Bikeshare and recent COVID-19 bike purchases - including me) and unseen obstacles, slow down and enjoy the ride/scenery - it is not a competition.

Dewey thanks for the pointer to NPS study, the planks on the bridges are hazardous along with the raised asphalt from the tree roots!
 

Dallant

Well-Known Member
Ok, we HAD to start talking about injuries, DAMMIT! So I’m out for a short morning ride on the flattest, most boring paved trail around and BAM, I catch the edge of the pavement and go down hard. Only doing about 10-15 mph but land on my left side and helmet. Scraped my left knee/elbow and landed hard on my ribs so it knocked the wind outta me big time. I had to convince the witnesses not to call an ambulance! They were very nice and after I caught my breath, sat up with only what feels like a possible cracked rib. Feelin pretty stupid that I caught the edge, tho it is about a 3“ drop off. Thank goodness I was wearing a helmet and have a brand new one already on the way! Fortunately, the bike only took some scraping to the pedal.🤓
 

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TMH

Well-Known Member
Things sure happen fast at e-bike speeds. All it takes is a momentary lapse of concentration - that's how I went down as well.

Heal quick!
 

Art Deco

Well-Known Member
Ok, we HAD to start talking about injuries, DAMMIT! So I’m out for a short morning ride on the flattest, most boring paved trail around and BAM, I catch the edge of the pavement and go down hard. Only doing about 10-15 mph but land on my left side and helmet. Scraped my left knee/elbow and landed hard on my ribs so it knocked the wind outta me big time. I had to convince the witnesses not to call an ambulance! They were very nice and after I caught my breath, sat up with only what feels like a possible cracked rib. Feelin pretty stupid that I caught the edge, tho it is about a 3“ drop off. Thank goodness I was wearing a helmet and have a brand new one already on the way! Fortunately, the bike only took some scraping to the pedal.🤓
One danger that I personally overlooked (twice!) Is riding from bright sunlight into the gloom of a covered bridge or tunnel without a headlight on. Can't See S..t for a minute or two, plenty of time to drop a bike. All it takes is one unexpected rut or pothole...
 

Dallant

Well-Known Member
Things sure happen fast at e-bike speeds. All it takes is a momentary lapse of concentration - that's how I went down as well.

Heal quick!
Like I said, it was only about 10-15 mph and it was on a flat section. I’d have been going that fast no matter what bike I was on. You’re totally right about lapse of concentration!