Anatomy of a crash

Les Amis racer, Jake Strasser, was on hand at the POA Cycling Team Fall Extravaganza last Saturday just in time to get some pictures of the final turn of the race in the Masters 35+ race.  In this sequence of shots you will see my teammate, Reece Jackson, going down.  He demonstrates for us how it happens.

Reece is on third wheel going into the final turn... a little too hot.

Reece is on third wheel going into the final turn... a little too hot.

After the race I talked with Reece and he told me what happened.  He felt he was in a very good position – the third rider back.  This is a good place to be because you are not on the front exploding, but not too far back to make up ground.

He was wanting to accelerate out of the turn to maintain momentum.  Throughout the race he had been able to pedal through this corner.  However, at those times he probably was not quite as aggressive in his lean.  This time his pedal hit the ground.

Its a pedal in the asphalt that lifts the rear wheel for the slide.

Its a pedal in the asphalt that lifts the rear wheel for the slide.

When that happens, you lose grip on your rear tire.  Consider that cyclists basically have a total of three square inches in contact with the tarmac.  That ain’t a lot and it doesn’t take much to make it even less.  When that happens you’re going for a ride!

Down he goes with Bill and Rodney taking evasive action.

Down he goes with Bill and Rodney taking evasive action.

Thankfully, you can see Reece’s momentum was forward.  So his slide continued primarily in that direction rather than out toward the outside of the turn.  In the above picture you can see Bill Short barely avoiding him on the outside while Rodney Dender is having to take an aggressive inside line to avoid the fallen rider.

Ouch, Reece was easily over 20 mph when he went down.

Ouch, Reece was easily over 20 mph when he went down.

Yep, it could have been a lot worse.  Mostly Reece is hating that he didn’t get to see where that third wheel position would take him.  Going down is bad, but knowing you had a good finish in you and not seeing it happen is even worse.

No cyclists or bicycles were permanently damaged in the taking of these photos.  Reece will be up to ride again!  Thanks, Jake, for letting me post the photos here.  Keep up the good work behind the lens and on the bike.