Lucky escape!

Discussion in 'CycleChat Cafe' started by Jacomus-rides-Gen, 6 Dec 2007.

  1. Jacomus-rides-Gen

    Jacomus-rides-Gen New Member

    Guildford / London
    I was out earlier today on Gen, my sexylicious roadbike, descending a very pleasingly resurfaced hill at 60kph, when all of a sudden the bars locked up :sad: I thought that I had suffered a blowout, but quickly checking my front tyre was still fine . Gen started to veer underneath me, and I could only steer with my hips/bodyweight. It was a defnite brown moment because the veering got worse, and out of my control when I ever so lightly touched the brakes. So I let go again, and regained what limited directional control I had. A glance at the speedo showed that I had actually speeded up by 2kph. Oh bugger.

    I screamed at the top of my lungs as I shot, totally out of control, towards the RAB at the bottom of the hill. Luckily the driver about to enter the RAB was a Police car, and so more aware then you bog standard road user. They very kindly didn't splatter me and let me run off the speed on the other side of the RAB where I failed to take the corner and bunnyhopped up the curb before losing control and wiping out on a grass area. I ended up being stopped rather abruptly by a conifer hedge, which are not as soft as they look. Luckily I managed to not hit either of the trees, the sculpture or the flowerbed :smile:

    The Police were very kind and wrapped me up in a blanket and chatted away to me about how impressive it had looked as I jumped up the curb, as they were expecing a full on crash. My housemate arrived to pick me up, I was still shaking like a leaf, covered in mud and bits of foliage.

    When I picked Gen out of the back of the car at home, I realised that the bars turned nice and freely :blush::wacko: So I got on and rode around a little bit, and it was all good until at about 15km/h the steering locks up, but drop below it and you get control back!!! She is going into the bike shop tomorrow, for a full service and they have said they will give her a test ride etc find out wtf is going on.

    I am fine, my kit is in the washingmachine, and Gen is brooding downstairs. I have one little cut on my side where I got rudely jabbed in the ribs by a confider brach, but am otherwise unscathed. *phew*
  2. blimey... it's like Speed. but without a bus. or Sandra. or anything else.

    glad you're ok.
  3. fossyant

    fossyant Ride It Like You Stole It!

    South Manchester
    That was lucky - you need to investigate that fault - make sure the LBS tells you the issue.
  4. Crackle

    Crackle Squatter

    Wow! Quick reactions saved the day eh! Glad you are OK. Interested to know what the fault is.
  5. OP

    Jacomus-rides-Gen New Member

    Guildford / London
    Yeah, they are a superb bunch of guys, so I do trust they will check her over properly. I don't know what to do if they can't find anything wrong, because that means this could happen again, which is NOT something I would like to repeat. Especially as getting away with this must have used up my supply of luck for 2008.
  6. Cathryn

    Cathryn California Correspondant

    Fantastic story but seriously glad you're okay!!! What a weird thing to happen.
  7. OP

    Jacomus-rides-Gen New Member

    Guildford / London
    I think the phrase 'hanging on for dear life' is more appropriate than quick reactions!
  8. twentysix by twentyfive

    twentysix by twentyfive Clinging on tightly

    Over the Hill
    Glad you aren't too badly damaged by that :sad:. Crikey - the laundry will need some extra strong soap powder :smile:.

    I've never heard of a steering column behaving as you describe :blush:. Let us know what the LBS finds out. Don't want others finding out all over again for themselves..........
  9. OP

    Jacomus-rides-Gen New Member

    Guildford / London
    It's just so weird. Loads of things have been running through my mind

    - Have my ridiculously expensive (and thus irreplaceable now I am a stuuudunt again) carbon forks steerer cracked?
    - Is there a prob with the headset (most likely I think as I was suffering odd steering a couple of weeks ago thanks to the morons at Evans not putting any grease in my h/set, but I thought I fixed that)
    - Is something the matter with the frame
    - Will I be able to ride Gen again :smile::sad::blush:
  10. trio25

    trio25 Über Member

    Oh dear that is one of those things you can't imagine happening. Glad you are ok and hope Gen is too.
  11. Pete

    Pete Guest

    Glad you're OK: shows how good a cyclist can be at planning and taking an 'escape route' when things go pear-shaped - you obviously discovered the softest landing-site! Head lock-up? Never heard of such a thing, still if it happens at 15Kph, hardly a breakneck speed, you should be able to test it for yourself and still come to a safe stop. That's assuming the bike shop doesn't find the problem first. Maybe just new bearings needed?
  12. bonj2

    bonj2 Guest

    :blush: :sad: :smile:


    would guess at it being the headset but sounds a weird one.
  13. Melvil

    Melvil Standard nerd

    Also glad you're safe - I hate that moment where you're about to crash and you know anything can happen - it's that awful stomach churning moment of fear - the crash is almost nice after that!

    Wierd about Gen, too, hope she gets her beauty treatment done and comes through it with only 'mental' scars.
  14. alecstilleyedye

    alecstilleyedye nothing in moderation Moderator

    good crash story, glad gen and you are both ok-ish.
  15. OP

    Jacomus-rides-Gen New Member

    Guildford / London
    Thanks guys - I do feel very lucky.

    My back is pretty sore today, I did go down with quite a bump - hard enough to wind me, after my exam I will pop into the surgery on campus and see a doctor. I have enough trouble with my back when its fine, so I want to get checked over. I have also definitely strained my left ankle, probably not unclipping or something.

    The worst moment by far was when I touched the brakes and totally lost control, that was the real frightner, also speeding at the RAB knowing I couldn't stop was pretty terrible. I considered locking the rear wheel and trying to slither to the ground, but bottled it as I didn't know whether I would manage to flick the bike hard enough to slither, or whether there would be a slip'n'grip moment to catapult me into the air.
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