Crit crash video

I’d like to get some race analysis of this crash I was involved in a few weeks ago. I have thoughts on what I could have done to avoid it. I am also interested in thoughts on how he actually brought himself down. I know Pete Morris says you can always lean/push a little more. I don’t know. I sometimes hear that tearing/velcro sound that Pete talks about, from my tyres on high speed corners.
@Nate @Jonathan @chad
Thanks!

He’s leaning hard with the bike instead of keeping centered. You can lean the bike, but you have to keep your weight center instead of leaning with the bike. I would have also approached the turn a bit wider as well. Pressure on the outside foot, pressure on the inside bar. He’s just going with the bike.

From your perspective - I think you could’ve been on a tighter line than that rider and stayed inside of him but that’s a bit of 20/20 hindsight.

When the guy in front of you just washes out in a turn like that there isn’t much you can do other than be lucky

From his perspective - oh boy, just not a great turn. He had a huge exit available to him, hard to explain why he was taking that bike angle at all

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Recognizing the camber of the pavement is huge too. If you look at the :10 second mark in the video, its very clear that the pavement gradient goes down from the apex of the turn to the outside. Thats going to amplify his lean, especially with coming off the downhill. It levels out after the apex, but he was probably too far gone at that point.

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Along with items mentioned above, I see rough pavement in the apex of the turn. Possibly lower pressure in tires would have helped to maintain traction.

How fast were you going at the time? I have watched the video over and over and over you get the point and I cant figure out how he washed out because it doesn’t look like he is drilling it. Did he flat? I know what was mentioned above but still cant see how it really happened unless you are going much faster than it seems by the video?

The first thing I thought of watching the video was why is this guy going from one side of the road to the other and back for no apparent reason would have made me not be on his wheel to start with. I avoid a lot of riders based on what I see during races and this would have been a rider I got away from based on the short clip.

How many laps in were you? Did you pre ride the course?

At the end of the day I don’t think with what happened you could have done much more than you did other than try to duck inside of him but that would really depend on the speed at the time.

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Solved it!

image

Don’t draft behind someone where you can literally see the sky between their jersey and their number

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I think the guy just attempted to take the worst line possible through the corner.

As far as what you could have done…it looked like you had the freedom to take whatever line you wanted behind the guy. IMO good line choice would more than make up for get out in the wind for a few seconds. I would have swept out wide before the turn (the guy in front drifted into the middle of the road before the turn), then cut the apex (the initial crasher looked like he was a good 5’ off of it). Not only would you have saved a lot of momentum with the better line choice, you would have likely avoided the crash by choosing a better (and more importantly, DIFFERENT) line.

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@DaveQB It looked like you set up for the corner much better than he did, and if he would have just slid a little more you might have made it through. Most people never hear that velcro/tearing sound, so I think you must be cornering correctly and at your limit. Every once in awhile you just get caught up in something unavoidable. Next time attack him into the corner :smiling_imp:

I agree with everyone else, he didn’t have enough weight on his outside foot and did too much turning all at once. There’s so much room there he could have gone wider both entry and exit. I see that little seam in the road, which may have had something to do with it but it’s really hard to know.

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Pete made me notice something. If you watch the video closely, it looks like you kind of bail on your turn and actually straighten out in the middle of the corner when you see the guy go down iin front of you.Now…I can almost guarantee this is probably EXACTLY what I would have done, but it does look like if you held your line and continued on, you might have cut inside of him. It appears straightening out in the turn took you into him.

Pay attention to the lean angle of the camera as the guy starts to crash. Again not to nitpick…it’s sort of an unavoidable reflexive action IMO, but one you might want to try and be aware of.

I saw that too. It’s the old adage of where you eyes go, your bike goes…hard to not move your eyes to the guy that just crashed though.

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I am still trying to wrap my head around the velcro/tearing sound you discussed in the recent podcast. Thanks for sharing!

Hi @DaveQB. First off, I hope you’re healing well. Hang in there, it happens to us all. As far as my feedback on what caused the crash, a few things stood out:

1 - Your lean was too severe for your speed. With another 5-10 mph, maybe your tires would have stuck, maybe. Reason I wonder…

2 - The texture of the pavement shifted to something far more coarse and therefore less grippy, something worth picking up on when you’re constantly scanning forward and back (and/or in previous laps) as you ride and especially as you corner.

3 - Your bike and body moved as a unit and this was a good case for a bit of separation where your body stayed more vertical while you leaned the bike (see point 1). I’m also a big fan of the control offered when counter-steering and feel any rider who’s never played around with this particular skill is doing him/herself a tremendous disservice and could corner faster by simply driving that outside foot/inside hand downward.

4 - I think your line was fine for your speed, but if you’d wanted to carry more speed into that sketchy pavement, a far wider entry (and exit, which looked wide open) would have helped you stay upright without touching the brakes or leaning too hard.

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As racers, when we have such a small gap behind, we are often focused foremost on fixing that problem. You are staying in his draft and trying to save energy. When the guy you’re trailing sets up for the corner so late, probably due to the same reason of trying to “fix” the small gap, he ends up choosing a mediocre line and one that left plenty of room to the inside for you. You can afford, being in his draft, to set up with ample time. When we starts to really lose it, it’s apparent that you stopped looking through the turn and instead looked at him, came up off your line, and headed right for him. The better move, when you heard him losing it, would have been to look instead to the inside, tighten your line, and worry about whether or not you’ve cleared him after the turn is done. There is a chance you’d hit his bike and lose it anyway, even if you did this, depending on where it ricocheted after he hit the deck, but that’s a lower percentage risk, as body and bike are both more likely to head to the outside of the turn than to the inside of it.
That said, hindsight is 20/20. Also, I say all the above without knowing if you were racing to win or just behind this guy for team reasons. If you were instead prepared to bunny hop him or to hit your brakes and go to the outside of the turn, stopping if necessary, because you really didn’t care about results or you were just hanging on to him for strategic reasons, well then maybe focusing on him was intentional. These would be dumb race moves if the intention was to ride to win, but maybe OK if you were just marking. Almost nobody plans to crash, but risk is part of racing. In those scenarios, possibly you considered a 25% chance of crashing worthwhile in order to keep marking him while making zero output while exiting the turn in front of him was considered a waste rather than valuable.

As Chad said, it looks like the guy in front washed out at the transition of road surfaces.

When someone in front of you washes out on a corner, it is often best to try and tighten up on the corner, rather than try to brake (which stands the bike up straightens your line out).

When the person in front washes out, they carry on on a tangential line from the curve. If you can turn in harder, or even just continue on your same line, it quickly puts distance between you and them.

Only changes I would make is to ensure your front wheel is on the inside of their rear wheel through the corner. He took a pretty bad line, so you had plenty of space to apex the corner properly and be well inside his rear wheel. Other than that, try to keep in mind to not brake & straighten up - keep your turn going!

This is what he said (someone I know, know’s him I found out later).
I have been leaning the bike more and keeping my body over the top of the saddle more. I think this is what you are saying.

Yes, this was a thought I had after the incident.

My thoughts during the crash, were:
“I didn’t know you can lean a bike that far. Ohhh s%$t you can’t. Can I avoid this? No. If I try and go left and right, I will likely clip him and go off side ways, so let’s aim for him and hit it perpendicular and have some control over where I land or even avoid him.”

Brilliant. I didn’t notice, nor think about that. Starting this post has been valuable already. Thanks. That might explain why I have never felt comfortable going my normal speed through that corner.

I found out later that he was running 28mm front and back at like 75psi.
I too thought narrow, over inflated tyres, but no.

Looks like 43km/h looking at the great Trainer Road analysis tools.

No

It was the Prim lap. I had taken off some 500m before and he tagged along. We just came up a small rise when he came through, on this corner. I wished he waited until after the corner now :smiley:
Very familiar with the course.

:laughing:

Great point. Haven’t thought of it like that. I will take that on-board. Thanks!

Oh I feel good hearing that from The Pete Morris. :smiley: (love your analysis videos, learning a lot).

Haha. Well I had just done a long attack to get away from the bunch as it was a prim lap. I was at 185bpm and had not much left at this point.

Right right. I didn’t pick this all up during the race. I wish I did and I would have seen this happening before it did and perhaps avoided it (like you’ve mentioned in videos many times).
I am new to cycling after playing American Football for 25 years. All learning experiences right now. Thanks Pete!

Yes I did.
I’ll paste my thoughts here:

“I didn’t know you can lean a bike that far. Ohhh s%$t you can’t. Can I avoid this? No. If I try and go left and right, I will likely clip him and go off side ways, so let’s aim for him and hit it perpendicular and have some control over where I land.”

In hindsight, maybe I answered “no” too quickly.

I do tend make exit strategies quickly when things get shaky. In this instance, I was never worried or panicked. Even as I was flying through the air, I felt comfortable (years of football I think) and remember thinking “I hope my bike lands safety.” And then rolled out of it. Hardly any damage to me at all. A slightly bruised back and a few scratches on my right knee.

Thanks @chad !
Came out of it fairly unscathed.

Even though I didn’t crash on my own, only brought down by the rider in front or you have he and I mixed up? I’ll take it as the latter. I too thought he was going over the magical 45 degrees lean, at the time.

Thanks. I have never considered that. If anything, I would have thought a little coarse would have grips for tyres with tread for the tread to “grab” onto. But I think I am wrong with that.

Right. I do try and do this. It can take me a number of corners through a few laps to get myself back-into-it.

I have heard this mentioned on the show and I do drive the outside foot down but I don’t think I do the inside hand down part. But maybe I do without realising it.

A few others have said this. Good point raised.

I did. I wanted a little bit of control over my crash rather than totally caught off guard as I went down. This might be from my lifetime of American Football and knowing when to quit fighting on a play, to live to fight the next play :man_shrugging:

This point was raised earlier and also something I thought of on the way home. Maybe this will be in my head for next time. Let’s hope so.

And I think this is why I start planning my fall well early, so I can fall with some control rather than going down suddenly. Just my instinct atm.

This was my thought on the drive home. I think now, with so many people stating this (including others not on this forum and me thinking it), it should be in my mind the next time this happens.

Nice tip. Thanks.

I don’t think I actually broke at any point. I more straightened up with the intentions to either fall on him as he is softer than the ground, or gain more control to take more evasive actions.

Thanks everyone. Lots of good info here.

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Cheers to you for responding to everyone!!

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Not to belabor the tightening the line to the inside thing…but remember that when somebody is washing out, it is because they are turning left (in this case…) so sharply that their tires can no longer support the centripetal force required to counteract the desire of the mass to continue in a straight line (ie…NOT left).

As soon as a guy in front of you loses traction, they no longer are turning, but are going completely straight. Their turn just ended. If you can just hold your line, you should be able to clear it as they veer off, in this case, to the right (relative to your line, that is) pretty dramatically.

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Thanks Nate (I couldn’t leave you out).

Yes. This is the conclusion I came up with while driving home (only about an hour late).

I hope this pops in my head next time this happens. I like the idea someone here said to have your front wheel a little inside theirs to help ensure you can clear them if they go down.

So glad I started this tread; lots of good information here.

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