As connoisseurs say: “a cyclist who has not fallen yet, is going to fall. ” Riding a bike and suffering a fall at some point in your life is almost inevitable. What is avoidable is the severity of the consequences, and how can you lessen the thorns of the fall? Well, practicing responsible cycling.
This is: respect the traffic rules; pedaling at a moderate speed –between 17 and 25 km / h-; do not make abrupt and much less reckless maneuvers, and try to be alert throughout your journey: because you never know when an imperfection in the pavement; oil stain; a pothole; hole; strainer; dog, or distracted pedestrian, will get in our way and make us fall.
Having said the above and before continuing, I want to tell you that one of the first mistakes we make during our fall is holding on to the handlebars of the bike and, many times, the bike hurts us more than the fall itself.
If you let go of it the moment you fall, the chances are that your body – unless yes, you are very out of shape – will protect itself, that is, the body has memory and will remember to put your hands and / or instinctively roll into a ball, which will surely prevent you from digging your head into the ground as if it were a free fall, and last but not least, your bike will also fall on you.
Having clarified the above, now, I want to share some tips so that once the misfortune has happened, you can check that you and your beloved bicycle are fine.
When the inevitable happens, first of all, you have to check and make sure that you do not have any injury that involves broken bones or profuse bleeding in any part of your body.
If all your members are united and intact, and you are not seeing three bicycles where there is only one; You did not lose consciousness, not even for a few seconds and you are generally fine, although somewhat sore and sorry from the dive you just threw, then you are ready to start assessing the possible damage.
Take it easy
The best thing you can do for yourself after an accidental fall is to take your time getting up and moving.
Once you have unfortunately fallen, it is not necessary to jump on the bike as fast as possible and return to pedaling as soon as possible. Take it easy and start assessing the possible damage: walk around to check that everything is still in place – bones, joints, and so on.
Although in the first recognition, you think you are fine, keep in mind that when you are pedaling for a few kilometers, the endorphins get to work, and also when the adrenaline falls, it will skyrocket, so you will almost certainly say: “not here nothing happened and let’s go ”. But try not to, take the time necessary for all your levels to settle and you can really see how you are feeling.
If you can move your arms in all directions? Can you turn your head and look up, down, left and right without any pain? It means that you have managed to free it -for this occasion-, take your bike and stand to the side of the road to verify that the mechanics of the bicycle are working correctly.
First aid (the basics)
If you have bled or are seriously injured, don’t risk moving around too much, instead, ask for help from passersby and seek medical attention over the phone, and even, if necessary, yell for help.
1. Make sure you don’t have a concussion
If you didn’t let go of the bike; your arms did not support your weight and unfortunately you have hit your head, first check that you are not disoriented; If you bring a helmet, check that there are no cracks or folds in the polystyrene, but if it does present cracks, it is best to see a doctor immediately and change your helmet for a new one before using the bicycle again – also , If you can remember this text, you will most likely be well
Now, in the event that you have a concussion, it can momentarily affect the way your brain works. It can lead to headaches, changes in alertness or loss of consciousness and you are likely to feel disoriented and confused; if you don’t know where you are; you have problems with balance, or you hear a buzz in the hatred, most likely you have an injury and no matter how small it is or you think the blow was not strong enough, it is necessary to see a doctor without wasting time.
2. Ruling out a neck injury
Check your neck carefully. Although cervical sprains are generally not serious, in some cases they can cause severe pain and greater complications if not treated in time. See a doctor, but symptoms usually include difficulties and pain when moving or turning the head or neck.
Checking the bike
If your body is fine, just bruised, lightly beaten and your pride somewhat beaten, now you can proceed to the evaluation of your bike.
3. Inspect the wheels
Typically, the wheels bear the brunt of the accident, and incur the easiest problems to diagnose. Regardless of how you crashed, check that the tires have air, that there are no broken or bent spokes, that the rims are not crooked and that the caliper, disc brakes, etc., are not stuck.
4. Check that the components are working properly
Always check that the position of the brake levers and gear levers is correct after an accident.
If they have suffered breakdowns, it is usually easy to snap them back into place without a tool, but if more minute adjustments are required, you’d better walk the bike to a workshop.
He then examines the drive chain, makes sure that it is not jammed, that there are no broken links, and that it is still in one piece. Lastly, do a quick check on your seat to make sure it is still straight and firmly attached to the seat tube (seat post).
5. Discarding damage to the frame
Inspect carefully for scratches, fissures (cracks), dents, and even desoldering. This becomes more important on a carbon fiber frame, as a crack can quickly become a serious problem while pedaling back on the trail, while bruises and cracks on aluminum or steel frames tend to be more resistant.
To be prepared
As already mentioned, falls occur and it is difficult to predict when, so it will be good that when you go out pedaling someone knows that you are riding a bike and preferably where carry identification and the number of a person to whom to notify in an accident case.
What I do is that on my cell phone – it is very difficult for me to go out without it, but yes, without the wallet and identifications – in the directory, I have opened contact with the name of “accident”, as it appears at the beginning of the contacts and in it I have put the number of the person I want to notify that I have had an accident.
As a last piece of advice, it would not be a bad idea for you to have good insurance for medical expenses that covers the accident, hire an insured sum of at least 300 thousand pesos, this would be about 3 thousand two hundred pesos a year of premium that you would have to pay, but that sum is enough for a broken clavicle and its operation.
Forget about those insurances that they offer for 500 pesos that will not cover more than one consultation and a couple of aspirins.
Ride with caution and enjoy the ride.