Yesterday's Bike Fall

Yesterday, at about noon, I crashed. Literally. Let me tell you about it...

Much like today, it was warm out, but rainy. Ice certainly wasn't a concern, as we were nowhere near the freezing mark. It was just another rainy ride.

There's a little loop near the Port Credit Yacht Club I decided to ride. Part of it is pavement, where coincidentally I fell last January before snapping this picture. Then, the pavement ends and a wooden boardwalk completes the loop. Here's a photo of this spot, taken earlier today.

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Less than a half second after the rubber of my front tire hit the wood, I was down. It was far more slippery than any ice I can remember. There was no traction at all, it was pure slick, and I crashed down on my left side before I knew what was happening.

Yes, my head slammed into the wood. Yes, I was wearing a helmet, because I won't ride without one. I was bruised, but otherwise fine, so I got up and continued my ride.

What makes this part of the Waterfront Trail so slippery? Again, there's no chance of ice, as it was an unseasonably warm day. It was just wet wood, but it's so dangerous to ride or walk on, I'm surprised there's no signage or that this surface even exists.

Not only do I now have a helmet to replace but it was my first crash on my new bike. It seems fine, but nothing messes up a finely tuned bike faster than a crash.

Here's the part of the Waterfront Trail you should avoid in wet conditions. I'm thinking of putting up a sign myself.


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Comments (9 - click here to join in!)

Douglas

I have had one somewhat major crash/fall on the Waterfront Trail. I made the decision to bail/fall/slide rather than go into a few wires ("fence"). Moderately bent forks, a front rim requiring truing, and some gravel rash that caused some unsightly bleeding was the damage. Fortunately, I was not going very quickly, but it was a part of the trail that had turned to small gravel on light dirt. I was not going to make the turn on skinny tires.

I contacted the Waterfront Trail Trust about my incident that day, as well as about the very poor signage in parts of Durham Region. They take constructive input, especially about safety-related issues, very seriously and do whatever they can with the resources they have. Those resources are always limited, of course, and any cash you can send their way is obviously most welcome. Donations are tax-deductible (what kind of a Financial Advisor would I be if I didn't mention that).

Check out the website at http://www.waterfronttrail.org/ for contact information and more.

I'm glad that neither you nor your bike were not seriously hurt, Mike.

December 22, 2015 @ 2:27 PM

Toronto Mike Verified as the defacto Toronto Mike

@Douglas

I just finished another 31 km and both the body and bike seemed fine.

Because the boardwalk was so slippery, when I went down on my left side, I slid for a bit which likely absorbed some of the thud.

My hip is nice and bruised, though.

December 22, 2015 @ 2:36 PM

Rick C in Oakville

The wood has probably been worn smooth, almost like glass, plus with all the rain would make it pretty slippery. Glad you survived to ride another day.

December 22, 2015 @ 4:51 PM

Broni

@ Mike
It's amazing how quickly you can bail when it's slippery like that. Do you use toe straps or clip-in pedals?
And, unrelated...where is the street with the inflatable Santas?

December 22, 2015 @ 5:56 PM

Toronto Mike Verified as the defacto Toronto Mike

@Broni

No toe clips or clipless pedals yet... just the standard pedals.

The Santa Street is 9th Street south of Lake Shore.

December 22, 2015 @ 6:08 PM

Broni

@ Mike

I have toe clips but don't use them very much any more for fear of being locked in when taking a spill like you described, which has happened more than once. But I like using them, because I notice a significant difference in my pedaling power due to being able to pedal up as well as pushing down. Seriously considering getting clipless pedals. Saw some at MEC that are regular pedals for when you're just riding with the kids but clip-in for when it's more serious.


December 22, 2015 @ 7:50 PM

Toronto Mike Verified as the defacto Toronto Mike

@Broni

I use toe clips on my other bike, too. I've had those toe clips since 1990!

At some point, I'll get the clipless pedal hybrids from MEC....

December 22, 2015 @ 9:48 PM

James Edgar

Glad you're Ok Mike ,seasoned wood and water are definitely a recipe for slippery! I Think that once the wood hits saturation point the water just sits on top.

December 23, 2015 @ 12:12 PM

this guest

Did you have a head/neck XRay?

December 24, 2015 @ 12:47 PM

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