First coker crash

I had my first coker crash today.

Here’s the story:

I have recently learnt to freemount and had freemounted but landed with my foot in an uncomfortable position. I have learned to move my foot by wriggling it on the pedal pins. However, it seems that if the edge of my foot is at the edge of the pedal then either due to the pattern on the shoe or the pins being bigger on the edge, I find it difficult to move my foot from this position. And I find it really annoying.

Anyway, there I was riding along with my foot at the edge of the pedal and feeling uncomfortable because I wanted to move my foot outwards a bit. I tried to ignore the feeling and then I tried to move my foot. I fiddled around for a while then one moment I was fiddling with my foot and the next minute I was on the floor. No warning. No feeling of falling off and so having time to ‘land’ in some way. No. One minute I was riding, the next minute I was on the floor.

Luckily I had just ridden round the corner from some little girls who had admiringly asked how I did it and I had told them that you practice. Luckily too no one had seen me because there is nothing I hate more than being asked if I’m OK when I’ve hurt myself. My sense of shame is stronger than my sense of self-preservation so I would probably say that I was OK even if my arm was hanging off.

Even luckier still, I hadn’t really hurt myself. I banged and scraped my elbow but it wasn’t enough to make me shorten my ride and I even went the long way home because it was such a nice day.

My elbow is just sore enough to make me think about wearing elbow pads when riding, especially if I was only in a t shirt. But perhaps not. Anyway it was not the slow decent that I always thought that falling off the coker would be.

as long as you didnt get hurt.

well with any luck it wont be the first of many.

what pedals are you using?

ya that’s happened to me. I was trying to get my foot into place and (call me stupid) I was hopping while doing this and my foot hit the back part of the pedal and it came back and put some rakeage into my shins. I ended up having to pull the pedal out of my shin.

A few weeks back I has a very similar fall on the 29-er.

Just riding, not doing anything tricky, my left (non-mounting) foot felt slightly off- I recall adjusting it, then the next thing I’m slammed into the ground- it made a hell of a ‘slapping’ sound and pretty much the whole pedestrianised bit I was on turned to look :slight_smile:

Normally, the very few UPDs I have are easy to walk out of, the even fewer that I had up on the ground are usually decent landings.

I think with this, one of my feet somehow got tangled in the cranks- possibly the uni was going backwards at this time and this lead to the ‘slamming’ effect.

Although the injury was slight (skinned elbow) I felt that it could have been a lot worse ie broken elbow if I’d been less lucky.

I’ve not ridden the 29-er since and have stuck to the 24x3- i will doubtless go back to the 29-er, but only when I’ve developed a stategy to mitigate against that kind of rare, but random, UPD.

It did occur to me to start wearing elbow pads, but, though I’m totally happy to use helmet and wrist guards, I find elbow pads for just (non trick) riding to be undesirable in terms of both comfort and looks.

I have become very much more aware when making foot adjustments on the pedals- I’ve had other strange UPDs when doing this. I feel it’s more of a danger when it’s my non-mounting foot as, due to the fact that, as it goes on first it’s generally well-placed and rarley need adjustment whereas my right foot gets more practice as it often needs adjustment immediately after mounting.

As a circus skills/arts/crafts tutor, I’m always very wary of things that can damage wrists/elbows, so I did take this particular fall very seriously.

By all means wear the elbow pads! Very few things are more painful that an elbow injury and it’s so easily prevented. I always wear wrist and elbow protection with my Coker. When it’s cold out and I’m wearing workout pants the kneepads just won’t stay put. So if I’m wearing shorts I also have on the kneepads. You never think about them until until the exposed nerve endings are screaming “Why! Why! WHY!” and you can only say “I dunno?” :roll_eyes:

I long ago came to the realisation that if I UPD’d on the coker that I was going to hurt myself - otherwise I would never have ridden any faster than very slowly. I’m resistant to wearing elbow pads because I neither like the restricted feeling that they give nor do I like the time taken to get ready for a ride. It takes enough time already to get the cycle shorts on, the camelpak ready, sort out my wrist guards (which I landed on - probably would have had a broken wrist otherwise - I always wear wrist guards), my helmet, mp3 player and mobile phone. Since I have only had this kind of UPD on the coker once in the 6 months that I’ve had it and that my ears are the most important part of my job, elbows don’t come into it, I’m willing to risk it elbow padless unless it happens again.

I was happy that I wasn’t too afraid to get back on - freemounting as well, although I wasn’t very enthusiastic about moving my foot on the pedal on the way home.

That sounds VERY PAINFUL.

It absolutely does. Much more painful than a banged elbow.

i had to do that once too, remove the pedal off the shin… the day i had just fitted my brand new wellgo pedals, went with my trial biker friends and we found a nice drop, about 0.8m or sommit (i didnt have a trials uni at the time), and i jumped, and fell and the wheel came right back into my shins (at the time no 661s) and straight into the back of my leg… damn the back of legs are soft, the pins went through and i ahd to physicslaly remove them… i still haev the marks of the pins in the back of my leg… 4 of them went into my shin…

funnily enough on the moment it wasnt that bad, but afterwards it was pissing pretty baddly and started being quite painfull…

anyways sorry to hear your coker fall, doesnt sound nice… if i ever get enough money to get a distance uni, i think i’d go for the 29"… 36" looks kinda scary. lol

Ow! Sorry to hear about your unfortunate fall Cathy, happens to everyone at some point… Glad to hear you’re ok tho, and it hasn’t shaken you too badly. I wear wrist, knee and head protection when cokering, but then I’ve still got many miles to cover before I can consider myself as competent on mine.


Since building my 29er, I’ve been really surprised when I fall too. You mentioned that the fall was completely sudden, no moment of realization, no time to react, and this has been my experience too.

I was riding to class, and right in the middle of the plaza (luckily I was late to class, so there weren’t many people out) I was riding at like 11mph, and all of a sudden I was skidding on the ground. I usually wear wrist protection, but I hadn’t that day, cause I was just going to class. I got big bruises on my wrists, and a bunch of "are you ok?"s.

I figure now what causes these most of the time (I don’t know what causes my falls right after they happen) is I’m used to road biking, where my feet are clipped in, so I tend to want to “pull up” on the pedals. This doesn’t work on pinned pedals, though, so sometimes if I’m pedaling fast enough, my foot lifts off the pedal breifly, and the pedal spins under my foot. My foot then misses, and I upd.

Welcome to the club Cathy!

I got my new nimbus framed coker (almost exactly like yours I believe) about two weeks ago and had my first big wipeout in months while riding it back from work last Friday night.

Riding in the dark on a poorly lit, bumpy cycle path with only LED lights, after a couple of pints in the pub is more difficult than it sounds :roll_eyes: Luckily I managed to roll as I hit the ground and only got a few scuffs on my wrist guards and a slightly grazed knee.

I always wear wrist guards and helmet on the Coker but find knee and elbow pads uncomfortable for road riding. I know I’ll get a grazed knee every now and then but it’s not so often that it worries me.

Having said that I was very glad to be wearing pads at the end of the Unicon marathon as I dismounted in spectacular fashion at the finish and ended up sliding on my knees while the Coker almost took out a couple of spectators :astonished:


delighted to hear you got straight back on, and are ok. If you’d gone back home it could’ve been a huge dent in your confidence.

Hey Cathy, glad you survived relatively unscathed, but judging by the number of times I fall off (perhaps not a fair comparison :wink: ) you have done exceptionally well to last this long without a coker-tumble or several. I usually know when I am about to fall and manage to either run out or adopt the rag-doll fall all over the road position if travelling too fast to run out. Only occasionally do I fall flat on my ar5e without realising it was about to happen, but all one can do is laugh it off - “Pick yourself up, Dust yourself off, And start all over again …” (luckily you can’t hear my dreadful singing voice in this medium :wink: )

Richard (Loose), that was a great vid clip; “Here they come - Ooooohhh !”

Blue skies

I had a similar speed-of-light crash once on my 29er, but have also crashed pretty bad on my 36er. Like you, both of these, my two worst crashes, are from foot/pedal loss of contact or foot shifting attempts. For that matter, 9 out 10 of my crashes are foot-coming-off-the-pedal issues.

Glad you’re OK.

Well I have had UPDs before but have landed on my feet so I haven’t counted them as crashing. One particularly memorable one was when it was really windy (I hadn’t realised how windy until I reached an exposed part of the road). There was a cross wind and a gust blew the unicyle sideways right from underneath me. I ended up standing on the pavement and the coker was blown into the adgacent field.

That time I felt it probably wasn’t a good idea to continue, so I went home.

Isn’t it amazing how learning to unicycle teaches how to teleport that way? :sunglasses: I’ve done it a time or two, also.

I hope you got the Coker out of the field first. :wink: :roll_eyes:

Reminds me of that scene with the cyclist in one of the National Lampoons films :slight_smile:

Glad you weren’t injured much.

I haven’t fallen off my coker yet… still too chicken to ride faster than about 15mph. I have visions of being mown down by the heavy steam-rollering wheel as I skid along the gravel on my face :astonished:
It’s nice to be able to cruise easily at muni sprint speeds though (12 or 13mph ish).

I nearly always wear elbow pads because of the pointy rocks around here - I’ve got boney elbows and really don’t fancy an injury like what happened to Dogbowl. They aren’t very comfortable though, especially on a hot day. If I’m racing I often won’t wear them because of the heat (certainly if it’s not a stoney course). I think I’m a bit paranoid on a unicycle though and tend to pad-up more than most people - although I quite happily ride my bike to work at 50mph wearing no safety kit at all apart from a helmet (and I’ve only just got into the habit of wearing that on the road - never used to).

Keep safe - but don’t worry too much :slight_smile:


Glad you’re OK.

But Coker crashes can be interesting… I certainly have experience of the sudden unexpected dismounts where you’re on the floor in a heartbeat…

I’ve found that that this don’t happen so much these days. I think with lots of riding it’s possible to sense sudden UPDs earlier (and sometimes avoid them). Last time one happened to me on the Coker, I was going very fast (maybe 16 or 17 mph, not really sure) on a slight downhill slope. I had enough time to decide that there was no way I’d be able to run out, but wasn’t really quick thinking enough to roll. It hurt and I scraped up my arm badly - shame I didn’t have elbow pads…

The coker generally feels quite safe and stable these days, but it’s worth bearing in mind what can happen and leaving lots of margin for error!

Well, I’m still anticipating the arrival of my new Nimbus 36 (should be tomorrow or the next day) and this thread is very though provoking. I’m not looking forward to my first crash though I know it’s inevitable. I was on a nice long ride on my 29er last night and got to thinking about just how comfortable I’ve become on it and how long it’s been since I’ve really injured myself in a UPD. It’s been a full year since I had a crash that required medical attention (badly sprained ankle) and I’ve gotten quite good at anticipating any falls. I feel a bit cocky and have that attitude that I can step-off/run-out of anything. In a way that’s good. Confidence is a wonderful thing and being too timid can be detrimental to ones riding but one of these days the unicycling gods are going to come along and slap me back down to earth. I’m very glad to hear, Cathy, that you weren’t seriously injured :slight_smile: .