This week’s post is a bit late I’m afraid. I was waiting on an interview but it hasn’t materialised. Instead I’ve gone with the important topic of what to do if you’re involved in a minor bicycle accident.
Here’s a few tips:
Assess yourself first
If you are in significant pain and you’re lying on the ground then take your time to get up, and accept the help of others who have first aid training. If you are in a dangerous situation, like the middle of a road then ask others for assistance to alert traffic until you are able to move. Once you’re on your feet make your own assessment of your physical condition. If you feel that you are unable to get back on your bike then call for assistance from a friend or family member who can pick you up in a car. Obviously if you can’t get up, because you are badly injured, you or someone with you, should call an ambulance.
Assess your bike second
If you feel physically able to ride onwards, make sure you check your bike before leaping back on and heading away. You should check both wheels to make sure they are still ‘true’ or rolling correctly and that your tyres are inflated. You should check that the brakes and gears are functioning properly. It is easy to damage the rear derailleur of your bike if you land on the drive side of the bike. That’s the one with all the running gear of the bike. If you’re in doubt then ask for assistance and don’t keep riding. I had a friend who assumed his bike was okay after a minor accident and kept riding. His rear derailleur ended up in his spokes of his back wheel which snapped his integrated derailleur hanger and destroyed his expensive carbon frame.
Get the details of others
If you collided with another person, a car or even a dog, obtain their details. Make note of where the accident occurred and get phone numbers, registrations numbers, and any other relevant information because you may need it later for insurance claims or similar.
Get back on and ride as soon as possible
If you’ve assessed that you’re ok and that your bike is rideable then the best thing to do is to actually get back on your bike and continue your ride. It’s a bit like getting back on the horse after it bucks you off. You don’t want to be spooked. It will only be harder a few days later.
Know when to rest
It’s okay to have a rest after you’ve had any kind of accident so make sure you give yourself time to heal. I didn’t ride for another four days after a minor accident last year which gave me time to get over that initial bruised feeling.
And if like me you see a physio or osteopath on a semi-regular basis, book yourself in for a check-up before your body compensates for any injuries you may have.
These tips apply only to a minor accident. Any major accident should be treated differently to the advice provided above.
Please share your experiences of being involved in a minor bicycle accident via comments or the Women Who Cycle Facebook page.
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