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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Jackson Hole, Wyo.
    Posts
    189

    Red face Our very own humiliation/embarassment thread

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    Reading this on bikeforums was so much fun, I decided we needed our own version.

    My FIRST TIME as an adult on singletrack, I was swooping through the rollers, waaay in front of my boyfriend (now hubby) and I decided to bunny-hop the side of the deep singletrack to pull over and wait for him. At WAY too fast (15mph?) I tried, didn't make it, slammed sideways, put out my foot to "save" myself, planted the foot, destroyed the knee and somersaulted twice. ACL/MCL/meniscus surgery, $20,000 and six weeks later, I was back on the bike, albeit on the roads. I'm still not afraid to bomb downhill (now I go clipless) but my confidence has suffered mightily on the ski slopes.

    Once I went to Starbucks (yes, I know, the evil empire) and biked the next block to work holding my latte in my left hand. I unclipped my right foot, planning to step off to the right, and ... you know what comes next ... slooowwwly tipped over to the left and crashed. But I didn't spill my latte! I'm very good at falling NOW.

    I get dropped all the time, and it doesn't make it feel any better if it's a guy, a girl, or Lance Armstrong. By a mountain bike when I'm on the road does sting a little bit.

    Two years ago, I got a new backpack. I was quite excited about it, but as soon as I climbed to the top of a divide and began heading down the steep singletrack on the other side, I realized the pack was banging against the back of the helmet when I rose off the seat into downhill position. So I tried to adjust it WITHOUT STOPPING my brisk descent. The next thing I knew, endo, me, on ground, face full of dirt (it even got in my sunglasses), bike on top of me.

    During the Pole Pedal Paddle (similar to Bay to Breakers in costumes) race two years ago, we went as the PPP-Passion (based on Mel Gibson's movie). We had three Jesuses and a Mel Gibson (complete with director's clapboard). I created a foam cross and covered it with wood-grain contac paper, and we all took a turn wearing it during each leg of the race. I biked the 20-mile leg with a gi-normous cross on my back. Talk about the weight of my sins ... my neck was killing me by the time I got to the transition place and hopped in the raft for the final leg of the race.

    Biking about 3,000 miles last summer, I gained a phenomenon I like to call "chicken butt." The hairs in my nether region (near the sit bones) all rubbed off due to friction, leaving the skin in that area with the texture of a freshly plucked chicken. In the off-season, it did go away.

    I always keep waving at roadies during my commute to work (either on road bike or MTB) and they just kind of stare at me, like, "whaddya doing waving?" Now, the tourers loaded down with panniers ALWAYS wave. Wassup with that?

    Your turns! ha ha!
    Last edited by CyclaSutra; 03-09-2006 at 02:11 PM.

    “You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself any direction you choose ...” -- Dr. Seuss

    Life's an adventure! http://www.lovenewsjh.blogspot.com

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Location
    IL/FL
    Posts
    3,863
    My first organized road ride, I'm all decked out in my spandex with a nice light bike with a computer...I get dropped by an old man in work pants and button front shirt on a single speed bike.

    Electra Townie 7D

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    Location
    Bendemonium
    Posts
    9,684
    I know I've had plenty but I seem to have conveniently forgotten them. Now, hubby's humiliating moments I can tell in excruciating detail.

    I'll have to ponder, but then I'll start having nightmares about them.
    Frends know gud humors when dey is hear it. ~ Da Crockydiles of ZZE.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Location
    Portland, OR
    Posts
    1,253
    I guess I just don't find getting passed/dropped to be an embarrassment (because I'm really used to it! ).

    However, probably the most embarrassing moment I can recall was when I was in 7th grade. I used to do a 10 mile loop every day after school on my Pink Peugeot (with pink helmet, and pink jersey). At some point, I developed a crush on a boy whose house happened to be along that route.

    Yep, you all can see this coming can't you? He's standing out in his front yard. Me... riding along... slowing down to casually make eye contact with him and say hi. Right as I say "Hi" I just dropped flat over on one side from lack of momentum.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Location
    Tustin, CA
    Posts
    1,308
    Cyclesutra - very funny!

    I like most have way too many stories and embarassing moments. Probably my worst: About 20 years ago the RAAM ride was starting from Huntington Beach, CA. I rode my bike over to watch the start. There were thousands of folks lining Main Street waiting for the start. I was riding down Main Street when I heard my name... I turned to see who was calling... also turned my handlbars and yes you know the rest, WHOOP! over the bars, splat onto the ground in front of thousands and TV cameras to boot. My friend slowly turn and walked into the crowd to embarass to help me. Nice huh?

    Sad thing I was really hurt but I had to get up, laugh it off, get back on the bike and ride away, face flaming red. Niiiiiiiiicccceeeee!

    PS: My entire left side was black and blue for weeks. Thankfully I didn't break anything... that's an whole other story to tell!!!!
    BCIpam - Nature Girl

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Northern California
    Posts
    44
    Okay, so I've got this thing about undeniable access to my feet. My hubby says I'll get more power from being clipped in. Sounds great, I'm all for creating some speed. So he puts one of his rat-traps on one pedal, with the theory being that I'll get used to one, then add two, then go clipless. After about two weeks, I asked him to add the second. He's not thrilled about the idea, but once I get a bee in my bonnet..... So we set out for a ride together. Me with two cages. In my own driveway, gravel no less,... one foot in.... two feet in.... one cyclist on the ground laughing. Yep, I bit it in my own driveway. Didn't get five whole feet. Lesson- momentum is required prior to entering both cages. Needless to say, hubby removed said offending appendages as I attended to the road rash. Okay, not so much road as rash. Apparently I hit my head in the process (new helmet) and skinned both knees. Will try clips again when I feel braver and have health insurance.
    That which does not kill us makes us stronger.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Location
    WA, Australia
    Posts
    3,292
    When I first got my bike I had no idea that people didnt go clipless straight away. So off I go (much to the horror of my husband) clipped in with really not much of an idea about changing gears (hmm husband tried telling me but I was like yeh yeh how hard can it be).

    Well I head down the street and decide it might be easier to go right instead of left at the corner and proceed up a pretty steep hill. Im sure you all know what happened from here. Bike starts to slow I change down a gear except its not down but up and the bike comes to a complete stop. I start to topple and only that my husband set my pedals for easy release am I not getting up close and personel with the road.

    Im horrifed at this stage and hope no one has seen and then I hear it "are you ok dear" I turn and there is an older lady in her garden. I say yes thankyou and try to make some sort of dignified exit from this hill.

    Two weeks later we get invited to a fourth of July party up the street and Im chatting to a neighbour about how I have started cycling when I hear this voice " so been up the hill lately" . OMG its the lady from the hill she apparently knows all my neighbours and explains how she saw me fall the other day while she was gardening and knew I must be new as I didnt really seem to know what I was doing.

    I decided from that days things could only get better - but I still hate that hill.
    The most effective way to do it, is to do it.
    Amelia Earhart

    2005 Trek 5000 road/Avocet 02 40W
    2006 Colnago C50 road/SSM Atola
    2005 SC Juliana SL mtb/WTB Laser V

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    Pacific Northwest
    Posts
    3,473
    On bikeforums it was called "the humbling thread" and it was incredibly funny. I learned some interesting things about my husband's embarrassing bike moments...

    When I first started riding I had a very heavy bike. I was stopped at a stoplight with both feet on the ground, lost a firm grip on the bike, it fell to one side, and knocked me down. Thus, I fell over in front of many cars while at a dead stop. My, my--Dork City.

    I fell three times in one ride trying to learn how to stop with one foot still clipped in (I can do it now--but I have a few knee scars I didn't have before). The last time I bent the derailleur and couldn't get it unbent, so limped into a nearby business, called a cab, and got a pinch flat on the way home because the cabbie bungeed my bike in his trunk and squashed a tire in the process.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Location
    North Central Florida
    Posts
    3,387
    My first 5k race (running): I had never been a runner my whole life, and just took it up because my BF at the time was really into tri's. So I sign up for my first race, maybe a month after I started running, and I think my time was something like 50 minutes!!! _And_ the only runners I managed to beat were an 80 year old guy with a brand new hip replacement, and an 11 year old fat kid...

    (Now, as Dianyla says, I am so used to being passed/dropped/last, I could care less any more. Whatever! I'm having fun!)

    First date with current BF, or I should say first athletic date, we go MTBing on some pretty tame trails. First, I fall for no reason in the grass parking lot, then proceed to fall two more times while riding! I bet he was _really_ impressed!

    Nanci
    ***********
    "...I'm like the cycling version of the guy in Flowers for Algernon." Mike Magnuson

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    San Diego
    Posts
    1,516
    I'm glad you started this thread!

    OK... when I was really new my now ex-husband explained about watching for grooves in the road... and not to get your front tire in one... I didn't equate that with trolley tracks tho... we were out and I dropped the front tire into the trolley track because I didn't quite cross over it... and I stopped when I hit the curb on the other side... endo onto the sidewalk at the stoplight, bike on top of me... traffic ALL screeched to a stop... apparently they all needed to see the dumb newbie crashing...

    I did Tour de Poway this year with friends... on my race bike in my full gear... there was some dude on a rusty old mtn bike in flip flops and board shorts... that dropped us like a rock and didn't even appear to be sweating...

    I got a speed wobble at 47mph when I came out from behind the hill onto the overpass that is part of that downhill... how I kept the bike upright I'll never know... I don't race that downhill stretch anymore...

    and Xmas Eve, for the first time ever I crossed my front tire into the back tire of the person I was drafting... the bike reacted much like a slingshot... sending me straight out into the oncoming traffic lane at 18mph, weaving like a drunk, one foot unclipped and water bottle flying across the road... I did not crash and fortunately there was no traffic. I woulda cried if I wrecked my bike...
    There is a fine line between "hobby" and "mental illness".

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    Vancouver, BC
    Posts
    3,936
    Quote Originally Posted by bikerchick68
    I did Tour de Poway this year with friends... on my race bike in my full gear... there was some dude on a rusty old mtn bike in flip flops and board shorts... that dropped us like a rock and didn't even appear to be sweating...
    There's a cyclist who's pretty well known in Quebec, I can't remember his name but he was Lynn Bessette's (one of our female pro-racer and olympian in both road and mountain) coach at some point, probably an ex-elite racer himself. He was always biking around on an old clunker, dressed exactly as you describe, plus usually a buttonned-down shirt, with his small dog in a basket attached to his handlebars. He would do the whole Grand Tour (a 7-8 day supported ride with a couple days of major hills usually) this way, too.

    Rumor has it that on the first day of training he would meet Bessette at the Gilles-Villeneuve Course (where they have the Grand Prix in Montreal, a favorite spot for cyclists because of the smooth 5,5 km loop of top-notch pavement with one lane closed to cars). He would make her do her first workouts on some old rusty bike. Not sure how she was dressed, but in any case she certainly passed every Colnago and Cervélo around that morning, "humbling" a couple of guys. Of course they didn't know who she was.

    So the take-home message is: I think more than a few elite racers have an old clunker they like to use to have fun on the bike and enjoy their sport instead of focusing on speed and performance. So next time you're passed by one of these, you can always think that to yourself, and not be embarassed.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Location
    Portland, OR
    Posts
    1,253
    bikerchick68's trolley tracks experiment reminded me of another incident. Here in Portland we have these highly illustrative signs for bicyclists near most train tracks:


    Every time I see one of these I wince at the memory. I think they used me as the model for this drawing, and I've still got a lovely road tattoo on my elbow from this. Though, I think I was in too much pain to feel embarrassed.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Posts
    293
    My most memorable oopsie was when I went out for a ride with Super-Amazing-Cyclist Woman. At the end of the ride, on the way back to our cars, she dropped me bad and ended up waiting for me by my car. As I come cruising into the parking lot, I realized that my cleat must be frozen to the pedal (this was New Year's Eve, and it was cold and started snowing shortly after the ride). Whatever it was, I could NOT unclip! So, I could either run into Super-Amazing-Cyclist Woman, or I could hit my own car. I choose the car. I jerked hard on the handlebar, bonked into my back bumper, and fell over. Finally, mid-fall, the cleat unclipped. She didn't laugh, but I'm sure she was laughing on the inside...I must have looked mighty funny.
    Once I got home I realized that the handlebar jerk had broken my computer wire.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    Southwest Idaho
    Posts
    518
    I had finally gotten a sleek new road bike with clipless pedals after years of riding mountain bikes with and without rat-traps. I had practiced clipping in and out from the comfort of my own living room before daring to take the show on the road. I even rode across the yard a couple times clipping in and out, just in case I fell, the grass would cushion the blow. Finally, I decide to head out...down the hill to the signal, slowed down, unclipped one side, negotiated the red light just fine. Half mile down the road, a stop sign appears and suddenly, I forget that I am clipped to my pedals! I think the crash happened in slow motion, because I felt myself ever-so-slowly tipping to the left, then down on my rump. I wasn't hurt, more importantly, the bike was unharmed, but as I was untangling myself from the bike, a car pulled up beside me. Down rolls the passenger side window, 'Are you okay?' a woman asks. As my cheeks flame, I nod and say yes. I am sure she drove off thinking I was some sort of clod!

  15. #15
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Location
    Tustin, CA
    Posts
    1,308
    OK this didn't happen while riding but did happen on a bike ride.

    About 10 years ago I did a Backroads ride through coastal Oregon. The ride was tough plus, well, the Backroads food was not suiting my delicate tastes. On the second to last day, they served Oatmeal for breakfast. I hate Oatmeal and to make it worse, there was no sugar or milk. Ugh, "dry" Oatmeal!

    This was a camping trip so I got my Oatmeal and was *****ing all the way to the picnic table. 3 people were seated on one side. 2 on the other. I sat between the two. As soon as I sat, the 3 on the other side got up. No one realized the table was on an angle, pointing down on my side. The table started to flip. The two on either end where able to bail, but since I was in the middle, I got stuck. The table flipped over, I landed on my back - legs straight up. The bowl of oatmeal flipped into the air and came straight down on my crotch. I am not making this up! Of course, it was the fuinniest thing anyone had ever seen before. Most got sick from laughing. I just remember having to sit under a faucet trying to clean the crotch of my shorts (my only other pair had been washed the night before and were wet).

    To finish out my beautiful day, I got a flat and found out I had the wrong tube (Shrader v presta) and later that day, trying to catch the group, I hit some rail road tracks wrong, flipped over the bike, landed on my head and shoulder and was unconcious a few moments. I got to spend my last day in Oregon in the hospital. Will never forget that trip that's for sure! And t this day, I won't eat Oatmeal!
    BCIpam - Nature Girl

 

 

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