Riding buddies are great. Can’t live without them in fact. They keep you company on long rides, join you on adventures, share your post ride coffee, assist you in stealing other people’s QOMs and of course, they never let you forget those moments. What I’m referring to is those, “Oops, remember that time” moments, which happen to the best of us. But it is these moments that shape us not only as cyclists but as humans, and we laugh about years later.
I promise this is true. No matter how long you have been riding or how experienced you are, these moments happen. Sometimes, repeatedly.
Thankfully, I don’t often just fall off my bike for no reason. However, I’m often reminded of the time that I flopped off my bike on top of the famous Madonna del Ghisallo climb in Italy. On the same day, only an hour later, in front of a supermarket where we were stopping for a panini, I did it again! All I can say is that I was so exhausted, my feet weren’t talking to my head.
Both times, I swear that my head told my feet to unclip and when I went to put my foot down, I ended up on the ground too. I was not injured, just a bruised ego. Falling off in front of fellow cyclists, then a supermarket full of people, isn’t easily forgotten. In this scenario, my advice is to just pick yourself up, dust yourself off and keep rolling — with the hope that you never see them again.
Reminiscing on all my cycling mishaps got me thinking!
What was that ah ha moment you just had to laugh or really didn’t know you were doing wrong. Help us all remember that moment in history.
Always be careful on tram tracks.
I’ve also had multiple tram track encounters too. If you live in an area that is serviced by trams, you will know exactly what I’m talking about. Especially in winter when the roads are slippery, tram tracks can suck you into their vortex and spit you out in one foul motion. My advice is to be extremely wary when riding near them, and try to avoid crossing them. If necessary, cross on enough of an angle that your wheel isn’t going to get caught.
I fell on tram tracks in front of a group of friends… twice! Make sure you know how to unclip and be wary of tracks of any kind! — Nicole Justice
Chamois cream can be more hazardous than you think.
While it can be our friend on long days in the saddle, like everything in life, moderation is the key. Also, make sure you don’t mix up your embrocation/warming cream with your chamois cream — that can be hooootttt!
I had a rather embarrassing chamois cream incident. I got a little overzealous in my application and didn’t realize until a friend informed me that it was oozing out the seams of my shorts! Lesson: A little goes a long way. — Jennifer Hannon
Sometimes you just don’t know any better, but won’t make the mistake twice.
There is nothing wrong with making a mistake on the bike, as long as you learn from it with humility and move on. So if you see someone with their helmet on backwards… Let them know! If you are in a position to pass on your learnings to someone else before they make the same error, save them the embarrassment and share your knowledge.
There’s too many to count, but riding the wrong way up the exit ramp at the T-Town velodrome is definitely up there! FYI: Those officials are no joke and will shame you right back to where you came from! — Ginger Boyd
What lesson would you pass along?
Remember that time you tripped, couldn’t unclip, got dropped, ripped your shorts… it happens to the best of us and you hardly ever forget. Share your story in the comments below or tag @StravaCycling and @MachinesforFreedom on Instagram with a photo and the hashtag #FreedomStories. We’ll be reposting our favorites and sending those athletes a Machines for Freedom Signature Cycling Cap.