Don’t look!

Cycling is a harsh sport and crashing is just part and parcel of it. Ride enough and you will hit the deck eventually.

Sometimes it’s not even through a fault of your own! I remember racing in Australia early in my career and to say I was excited would be a scant understatement. So we get underway on a chilly (to me at least!) morning and once the neutral flag is dropped, the pace goes warp speed. 5km in and a rider moving up the bunch decides to slot in in-front of me. Normally this isn’t an issue and you gradually move over, smoothly entering the string of riders. This day, big issue. In his haste to get out of the wind he chops my front wheel and I go down instantly, grinding down the heavy sandpaper that are Victorian roads. Thats bike racing.

Other times you do something silly or just plain lose control and you do the same to others. When i was a junior I did a race in Thailand and also on the first stage came to grief. Hit a cateye, which threw my hands off the bars and sent me top-tube surfing eventually into the ground. My bad.

Hopefully you will see more crashes than you’re a part of. There have been more and more groups of cyclists tearing up the road here and that also unfortunately increases the probability of crashes happening. Now, my advice to all of you out there: don’t look. Don’t get me wrong, it’s not that i’m uncompassionate. I just see too many secondary crashes and close calls because of people gawking at crashes. For those of you who drive or ride motorcycles, same thing applies when you’re sans lycra. Just the other week i saw a car go over a traffic island, all passengers safe but car perched like a see-saw. Then on the other side of the road whilst all the other drivers slow down and stare intently, another car rear ends the car in front. Unnecessary. For us on bikes, the risks are even greater. When we crash, we bleed red, sometimes see thousands of dollars in a heap of metal, rubber and carbon. Is it really worth the 5 seconds of curiosity?

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