Monday, January 10, 2011

As easy as falling down

Showering after my morning run, I noticed a nicely colored bruise on my left shin. I couldn't remember banging it on anything, and was ready to just assume from its position that I had just caught a pedal on the backspin at some point, a common enough occurrence that I don't remember each time it happens.

Then I remembered that I fell off my bike last week. It was a real minor spill, but I probably bumped that shin at some point during the tumble.

click through

Falling is Gloria's Valid Concern. An inevitability, really. Especially if you choose to bike through the winter. There are things one can do to minimize the chance of it happening like installing grippy, knobby tires. Maybe letting a few pounds of air out of them to increase surface area. Lowering your seat/center of gravity.

But it'll still happen from time to time. Now, I'd be interested in studying more closely what to do while you're falling. I think falling should be included in bicycle safety courses. Not in Biking 101, necessarily. After all, you don't want to scare any newbies. But maybe in the masters course, invite somebody from the local Clown College to give a guest lecture on how to tumble effectively and safely.

Principles of cushioning. Tuck and roll technique. Clearing the bike frame. That kind of stuff. I feel like there should be 3 - 5 little tips to keep in mind that can prevent you from nursing a banged knee for weeks after a spill.


Cletus said...

remember to exhale...haha, as much as you can remember. more like make a noise when you fall. Its the same principal used in martial arts. when you exhale, your body tends not to tense up as much, hence, you "go with the fall" much easier.

Yokota Fritz said...

My wife's fearful of falling too, but she recently started learning martial arts where they fall down on purpose, if you can imagine that. She's getting pretty good at it too.

Sarah said...

I find that falls happen so fast that everything I do during one is pure instinct. I fell the other day biking in the snow and afterwards I couldn't remember what happened *during* the fall at all (I can remember starting to fall, including the cause, and getting back up afterwards, but I don't remember what I did with my arms and legs during it. And I certainly was not thinking about what to do with them as I fell). Later in the day my left foot was hurting and I didn't immediately connect it with the fall because I didn't recall banging it on anything, but I suspect that must be the cause.

So it seems to me that training in how to fall will only help if you practice it so much that it becomes instinctual. Because you don't have time to think.