I don’t fall often, but when I do, it’s spectacular. I was attempting
to catch the leader of a relay race last summer in Toronto and pedaled
too fast. I discovered how little time there is between the point of
losing control and impact. I was leaning right and thought I could roll
out of it. Instead I stopped cold on my shoulder.
Surgery was required to reattach my collar bone. My favorite therapy
was the many ping-pong matches with my 13-year-old son Casey. I have
about 95% use of my shoulder now and I’ve become a much better ping-pong
player, but I can’t beat Casey anymore
In retrospect, I wish I’d taken the fall on my stomach, and slid. This
item, which I’ll likely wear at the races this year, would have
prevented road burn:
From: firstname.lastname@example.org ["]mailto:email@example.com] On
Behalf Of David Straitjacket
Sent: Wednesday, February 20, 2002 2:52 PM
Subject: Shoulder protection
After a recent injury, which is proving to be quite severe. I now have
lifetime lump on my shoulder from a permanently shifted collar bone, as
as maybe 3 months of recovery to do. So I wonder if anyone here uses or
given thought to shoulder protection.
When I work on stilts I always wear knee protection. This is because the
knees are very easily shattered in a stilt fall, and people falling off
stilts very often fall on their knees. I am thinking that there might be
similar phenomenon in uni falls, with people mainly falling onto their
My experience, limited though it is, of Muni and trials, but in
most off road stuff, is that a great deal of falls happen when
speed, and the wheel gets stuck or slowed suddenly for any reason, I.e.
unseen rock or shallow depression, and the resulting upd is similar to a
Bicycle crash involving hitting the front brake to hard at speed and
pitched over the front handlebars (Did this not happen to everyone, at
as a kid?) the crash causes you to be pitched off forwards and down.
anyone will tuck their head out of instinct and usually roll to one side
another. Often this results in a nice natural breakfall, but if gravity
too fast then the person lands hard on the upper body, usually a
This is exactly what happened to me, I am pretty good at breakfalls and
usually roll out of most anything safety but on this occasion simply
not act fast enough and landed fully on the top of the shoulder.
Is this a fairly normal scenario? Or just my own dumb luck. If it is
then I would suggest that shoulder protection might be at least as
as any other, with the possible exception of helmets. And that some
into suitable armour might be useful.
I would be very happy to test any armour anyone suggests and give my
I will certainly be looking into it myself for when I am healed up
enough to get back on the saddle.
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