Racing crashes can happen for no reason at all and are often just bad luck. But this fixed-gear-night-Crit, as reported, photographed and posted by You Got Dropped! was pretty much a sure thing. Promoters could have listed a "Crash" on the program. Below is the video version, from the other side of the course.
Road season is in full-swing. I can tell it is when I get a call on a sunny weekend afternoon informing that my friend so-so crashed at the Tour de Saginaw, Tour de Hudsonville, Tour de Lamont, or Tour de-something-or-other and broke their______________.
d) Finger or Thumb
f) Carbon bike or wheels
i) Hotel Room Card Key
j) Newt team kit
k) The ratchet on new white Sidi's
Tough Guy Mike Krywanski chats up what he thinks about crashing.
Not too long ago I got the bad news that Mike Krywanski, (shown above in an amazing celebrity look-a-like photo) suffered a very damaging crash in mile 97 of the Tour de Middle of Michigan (or something like that), in the Cat 1-2's. Mike's a tough racer and like many experienced "Masters" has the mad bike skillz to "Land on His Wallet" and save his more valuable hide to race again another day. This time Mike wasn't so fortunate and it looks like he may be out for the rest of the season. Our thoughts are with him, but we are sure he will be back racing again soon. Get well Mike!
TWO WAY TRAFFIC CRIT = CRASH CARNAGE AND VIRAL VIDEO
While there are any number of reasons for crashes, like blowouts, crappy riding, or fried chicken grease all over the road, sometimes you can chalk it up to course design and traffic control. You need to watch this whole video. It just keeps getting worse and worse. Bunny-hopping a downed soccer mom and getting a concrete facial is no way to race.
ANATOMY OF A BIKE RACING CRASH SERVED FRANKENMUTH FAMILY FRIED CHICKEN STYLE
Matt Norton, Free Wheeler team, hidden by a scrum consisting of members of his team and medics in front of a greasy chicken factory, crashed just after the finishing sprint of the Tour de Frankenmuth.
Examination of this crash, in the video (below), tells us that a race is never over, even when it's over. You'll notice there was a lot of Oakley destruction, new kit shredding and carbon bike and wheel cracking. Thankfully Matt fully recovered from the crash and will once again be out there destroying equipment, kit, and those expensive Oakley's.
If you don't have time to go through the video, examining it frame by frame to discover the source of the crash, let me make it easy for you. I recorded a series of shots that show you exactly where it all when pear-shaped. Follow along and learn.
1. Here's where it starts to go all wrong. Too many in the group and every single of one of them thinks they can win it. A formula for disaster. See the guy up the hill, in the back, that looks dropped? That's the way you do it. First or way-back last are the two safest place to be.
2. I can smell the rubber burning and hear the carbon snapping before it even happens, looking at this. Guys spread all over the road, out of gas, but still trying way to hard even though this thing is as done as a bucket of chicken bones. Essentially this is the "Crashed Guys Still Riding," picture. Again, the guy back up the road is doing it right in my book. I believe he's shaking his fist, celebrating his teammate's win, as if he led him out. Chances are they aren't on the same team and he's never seen the guy who won in his life. Well done dude!
3. Here the race is as over as my racing career is right now. At this point in the race just keep pedaling in a straight line and start thinking about where you want that post-race fried chicken. But while you think the race is over, some doofus has decided to put his head down and sprint for 26th, or has hit that chicken fat slick ... or something else that you, or somebody like Matt, never saw coming ...
4. Batman! This happened so fast you can't even see it on the video because Batman popped in between frames. Luckily I caught it on my super-speed atomic race camera. It appears that Batman jumped out of his Frankenmuth Chicken suit and punched somebody, probably Matt, right in his carbon wheel, or maybe even right in his Oakley's! You bastard Batman!
5. Here's a close-up I caught of Matt just before Batman connected with him after crossing the finish line. Matt can't remember what happened after the crash. Maybe this photo will bring it all back.
6. Where the hell are my Oakley's? Matt's down and waiting for help while other racers are looking for pieces of their expensive designer eye-wear.
Here they are buddy ... lets see how good that a Oakley warranty rocks.
IF YOU DON'T RACE AND HAVE LITTLE CHANCE TO LEARN HOW TO CRASH HERE'S A NICE HOW-TO INSTRUCTIONAL VIDEO
TIME TRIAL CRASHING CAN COME RIGHT OUT OF THIN AIR
Just because you aren't touching wheels in a high-speed crit or road race sprint, or getting smacked in the face by Batman, you can still go down. Even on a perfectly good time trial bike. Here's a somebody that one pound too many in his tires.