First and foremost, when crashing a bike remember that safety comes first. Protect your head moreso than anything else. Bones
can mend and heal but if you hit your head too hard you can suffer all kinds of brain injury leading to memory loss, shift in personality, or death. Wear a helmet and make sure it's a good one.
Perhaps you're asking, "Of course safety comes first, what else is there to think about when crashing a bicycle
?" Excitment and curiosity come to mind.
Here is a brief list of things to consider when crashing a bicycle:
1. If you are prepared to ride somewhere, you must be prepared to crash there
. Don't just assume you'll make it. Bicyles can go very fast and when you're competing with automobiles you cannot ever win. The best you can hope for is survival. Think ahead of time and do not leave without a helmet and appropriate
pads. You decide what "prepared" means. If you're prepared to break a few bones, that's fine. I think you're kind of an idiot, but that's all right.
If you're prepared to die, don't even bother with the helmet
. If you aren't ready to die, you'd do best to either don the cranial protector or avoid high speeds.
2. Don't stop thinking
. Accidents often happen fast but that doesn't mean you have to stop thinking. While you're flying over the handlebars or skidding into traffic is NO TIME TO STOP THINKING. Many people tend to lose control and just give up or go limp. Sometimes no amount of control will help you, but if you're biking in traffic or around other bikers there is not only a certain ettiquite to crashing, there is a larger safety issue to consider and it is not time to just sit back and let things happen to you. Do not stop thinking
. This means that you can't just be a baby when you get hurt. If you legitemately need medical assistance, then there is nothing you can do but wait, so just sit and wait for it to come, but otherwise, grab your bike and get out of other people's way. This requires that you keep thinking the whole time. Observe where you are going to fall and be prepared to get up. Observe where your bike is going to be and be prepared to get it out of the way. Don't Panic
. The first sign of an impending accident is not always the last chance to alter it. There is often a brief period where you see a crash coming and though you may not be able to stop it, with a little effort you can make it safer for everyone involved.
3. If you can, choose what body parts you are going to land on
. If you have enough time, do your best to ready yourself. There's no way to get into the exact position you want, but you'll want to land on as much muscle as possible. Unless you are, as previously discussed, at peace with the eternal, you will want to do everything possible to protect your head and neck. This is almost totally impossible to explain with words, but don't worry, you'll probably react properly without even thinking. Just know that bones break whereas muscle only bruises. If you're going to do anything physical like this I recommend practicing falling. Many martial arts
emphasize learning how to fall and they really have the right idea. Practice. Get good at landing without hurting yourself. It helps. If you have access to some practice mats, that would be ideal.
. Don't forget to enjoy yourself. Crashing is a unique experience. Just like every tragedy it is full of oppurtunity. I can't describe the feeling I get when I hurt myself biking, get up and just know that I can survive something like that. Knowing your abilities is very useful, not to mention interesting. One day you know that you can program a VCR
, tie your shoes
, play guitar
, write the great american novel
, but today you know you can do all of those things and crash a bike.