7 Things You Need to Do After You Have a Bike Crash

Crashes happen. At Acute Trauma  I addresses what to do for serious crashes. But some SEEM MINOR and except for a few bruises and scrapes you feel like you can just get up and get back on your bike. However, there are some things you should do to check your body and bike before rolling again.1

First check and make sure you don't have any major injuries-before you even get off the ground. If all seems intact and you have no blurry vision, neck pain and are not seeing three bikes where there's only one, move quickly to a safe spot off the road or out of the way of other riders and start assessing.2

Post-Crash Checklist

1. Slow Down
      All kinds of crashes happen. Some cyclists insist that they were fine, only to crumple back to the ground when they tried to stand. The best thing you can do for yourself after a crash is to take your time getting up and moving around. You don't need to jump back on your bike as fast as possible-slow down and assess the damage to yourself and your bike before pedaling off. Before you start riding, can you walk around? Can you move your arms in all directions? Can you look up, down, left and right without any pain? Take a minute and assess, then decide whether you can pedal off- or need to wait for help.

2. Basic First Aid
      Before anything else-even before you get up-check your body. Can you feel all of your limbs, are all bones still under your skin, and is there a lot of blood? Don't risk moving too much if you feel seriously injured: instead, call for help and seek medical attention. If you can lift your bike without major pain, your upper body is fine, and if you can walk, you can probably pedal out of the woods. All joints should move and be able to bear weight.

3. Concussion
      Checking to see if you bent or cracked your helmet is a quick way to assess whether you hit your head on a ride. If you can remember this article, you're probably OK! If you have a concussion (see Concussion and Traumatic Brain Injury  by Tony Marchand), you'll probably be disoriented and confused; if you don't know where you are or have a temporary loss of memory, it's likely you've got one. When you're riding along, you have all these endorphins and feel really good, so take the time to settle down to check how you're really feeling. If there are any signs of POSSIBLE CONCUSSION OR DAMAGED HELMET as noted above, DO NOT CONTINUE TO RIDE.3 If your body is OK-just bruised or slightly banged up-you can move on to assessing your bike. When Scott Kelly, head mechanic for Scott-3Rox Racing, is working the pit at a race and a rider comes running in with a banged-up bike, he looks for a few key things.

4. Wheels
      When a rider brings in a crashed bike, Kelly checks the wheels first. Typically, the wheels take the brunt of the crash, and incur the easiest problems to diagnose. Regardless of how you crashed, Kelly recommends checking that the tires hold air, that the wheels are true, that there are no broken spokes sticking out, and that the brakes-cantilever or disc-haven't jammed up. Once that's done, you can give components an once-over.

5. Components
      Kelly always checks the position of the brake levers and shifters on any bike after a crash. He says it's usually easy to push them back into place, but you don't want to ride away only to realize your lever is so tilted that it's hard to grab. He also checks for a bent derailleur hanger before he shifts gears, since it could snap as soon he clicks the shifter. Then, examine the chain: Is it jammed, are there any frozen links, and is it still in one piece? Finally, just do a quick check on your saddle to make sure it's still firmly attached to your seatpost.3

6. Frame
      The last thing Kelly checks is the bike frame, inspecting carefully for cracks or deep scratches. This becomes more important on a carbon frame, since a crack can quickly turn into a serious problem as you pedal away, whereas bends and cracks in aluminum or steel frames tend to be more forgiving.4, 5

7. Be Prepared
      It's important to have everything you'll need in case of a crash-especially when you're planning an adventure to the middle of nowhere. Always carry basic bike tools-a multitool, chain link, spare tube, and mini-pump or CO2 cartridge, at least-plus a few basic first aid supplies,  like a large bandage and some Ace wrapping, so you can create a splint or secure gauze (or a wadded up base layer) to cover a wound. Consider having an app like FindMyFriends  or even a helmet with an ICEdot tracker  if riding alone so you can also help prevent you being stranded far from help. Always wear identification such as a Road ID . Mitigate your risks so that when you do crash, it's not a cause for blind panic.

References:
  1. 5 Things You Need to Do After a Crash  By Molly Hurford, Bicycle Magazine 2015
  2. Emergency 101  By Tony Marchand, M.D
  3. 7 Things You Should Do When You Crash Your Bike  By Chris Carmichael CEO/Head Coach of CTS, from trainright.com
  4. How to Check Your Bike After a Crash  From FSA, Aug. 2015
  5. Care of Carbon Fiber: Tips that might save your bike and you!  By Tony Marchand

If You Crash


Anthony Marchand bicycle repair and maintenance information and tips.
Created by Tony Marchand

Secure Web Site

www.tony10speed.com

Anthony Marchand Bicycle Repair And Maintenance information And Tips