My First Wipe Out

A rainy day in New York City (and a day off from work at JackRabbit Sports) calls for baking and napping.


I made a loaf of Paleo chocolate chip banana bread and enjoyed a brief siesta this afternoon.  After a late night JRab shoe biomechanics class and an early morning brick workout, I needed a nap.

So switching gears a bit, remember way back when I blogged about my Chinese horoscope?  Remember the injury projection and how I predicted a bike wipe out?


Well, it happened yesterday morning.

Our bike session in Central Park started off great.  My coach led one pace line and told me to take the front spot on the other—progress!  Anyway, as we made our way through the park, he told me to try moving into aero.  Riding this way makes me nervous, and honestly, I haven’t been able to hold this position on the road yet.


Being in aero while my bike’s hooked up to an indoor trainer is fine.  On the road, though, I can place only one arm on the aerobars; when I try to shift the other, things feel unstable, and I always chicken out.  But he’s my coach, and I trust him, so I gave it a shot, slowing moving my right hand and arm from the handlebars to the aerobars.

When I made the adjustment on the left, my bike drifted that way, and I panicked and overcompensated:  I steered too far to the right, which caused my bike and my coach’s bike to collide.  He’s an experienced cyclist, so he rode through it, but I went down and took another teammate with me.

Thankfully, everyone is fine.  I’m a little cut up on my knee (I’ll spare you pictures), but nothing serious.  The actual wipe out didn’t hurt, but I felt really bad:  My rookieness caused practice to stop and created an unsafe environment.

Even though I felt so frustrated and defeated, I got back in the saddle and finished the ride.  I wasn’t in a great place mentality, and my coach definitely noticed and gave me a pep talk.  My teammates were great too, checking in throughout the day and making sure I was feeling OK.

On the bright side, I couldn’t have asked for a better (?) first wipe out.  After all, I was riding with my coach and teammates, so I wasn’t alone, and we were in a familiar location.  Plus, no one was seriously injured.  And it’s the nature of the sport too.  As my Twitter buddy Chris so eloquently says:


How do you pick yourself up after you’ve been knocked down?

38 responses to “My First Wipe Out

  1. That banana bread looks awesome. I just checked the recipe to make it and I don’t have eggs. Do you think I could swap in flax + water? Also, I thought eggs weren’t part of the paleo diet. Looks delicious nonetheless!

    • carriestevens

      I’ve made it using both eggs and egg whites, and both work. Hmmm, the flax egg should be OK since that’s a standard substitution. You’ll have to let me know how it turns out! And people who eat Paleo can have eggs, but not dairy products like milk and cheese.

  2. Oh no! were you busy thinking of the magical banana bread? Shoot, I’d be terrified to hold that pose on a bike, hence why I only run!

    • carriestevens

      I can’t swim for a few days because of the scrape, so on the bright side I’ll be doing lots of running. 🙂

  3. I have wiped out a few times mis-managing my gear shifting on hills and I have been alone every time. Sorta glad no one was there to see the fall, but willing to share in hind sight. Is a little scary knowing that there were few people around if I had a serious injury. Way to get back on the bike and finish.

    • carriestevens

      That’s what I was most concerned about–having my mistakes affect my teammates and putting them in danger. Falling is normal, though; have the take the good and the bad.

  4. You know, after I tweeted you that, I got my new clip-less pedals and shoes installed and bike fitting done. Guess who’s going down next?

    • carriestevens

      Ha! If that happens (*knock on wood it doesn’t*), then I know you’ll be in good company. Just think of clipless pedals as an opportunity to get a badge of honor. 😉

      • Oh I’m going down for sure. And I’m putting money it’s during my race in two weeks, coming into T2. Vegas going out of T1 as the long odds… 😛

        Ladies dig road rash, right?

  5. Ouch! Glad everyone is OK. You’ve gotten that fall out of the way…now you’ll stay upright!

    • carriestevens

      Is it bad that getting it out of the way is somewhat of a relief? It was only a matter of time really, and now I know not all wipe outs are painful. Fingers crossed it’s my one for the year–or the next two or three or four. 😉

  6. Oh my goodness, so glad you’re alright! It’s really good that you were with your team. I’ve never wiped out while running, but if I did, I’d want to be with people who could help me hobble to some first aid.

    • carriestevens

      Yep, I’d rather be with others during falls or crashes. It might be embarrassing at first, but I’d probably feel safer and less frazzled.

  7. I’m trying to decide if I want to comment about how good that bread looks or oh my stars wiping out. It seems to me that it comes with the biking territory…but really what do I know about that? I’m glad you are okay though 🙂

    • carriestevens

      Yep, it definitely comes with the territory. Honestly, I’m surprised I made it almost one year without wiping out. It means I’m a true cyclist now! 😉

  8. oh girl I bet that was hard. I still remember so many traumatic falls on my bike trip I did. the worst luckily didn’t happen to me. as we were going down this crazy steep hill we had just climbed in the alps – a girl misjudged a turn and her body and bike (alone with 50 pounds of weight on the back) slammed into the rock wall.

  9. Hey at least the first one’s out of the way right? And you always learn from an experience like this, you know exactly what you did wrong and that’s all that matters. Knowing you, it won’t happen again I’m sure. So great that your teammates and couch were so supportive! And way to go picking yourself back up and finishing out the ride. Awesome job!

    • carriestevens

      In a strange way, it’s almost a relief to have the first one out of the way. It comes with the sport, so it was really only a matter of time, and I’m really glad people were there too. Looking forward to riding tomorrow! 🙂

  10. I think like others have said, there is a first for everything! Eventually it would happen – and I mean that in the most sincere and nicest of ways! It is a learning curve and to gain the confidence we need to power through a challenge, I feel like we need to experience the pain/hurt of the bottom (a fall/running injury etc) I have no doubt that you’ll be in aero in no time! Super proud that you got up and finished the ride – glad everyone was okay and you are infinitely more brave than I. I am terrified to go around a corner on a regular bike at walking speed!

    • carriestevens

      Yep, you’re right, Beka–it was really only a matter of time. I’m actually surprised it took me almost one year to have my first wipe out. As a newbie, I thought it would’ve happened last summer when I first got my bike. But now crashing it’s an unknown, so there’s nothing to be scared or worried about.

  11. I’m not a cyclist (aside from pretending like I am in spin class) but I get so nervous about falling off my bike!! Kudos to you for turning this into a positive situation! Everyone falls, it’s how you get back up that counts!

    • carriestevens

      Thanks, Brittany. Yep, you’re right–falling is part of the sport, and I’m glad I got my first one out of the way. Hopefully that means I’m good for the next year or two. 😉

  12. I’m so sorry, Carrie! I know that’s tough, and it’s easy to get down on yourself. The important thing is to get back up which is exactly what you did. So glad everyone is ok!

    • carriestevens

      It was a frustrating situation, but what can you do? I’m excited to ride tomorrow morning, though!

  13. 🙁 🙁 🙁

    I’m so sorry to hear about this! When I first started riding my bike (as an urban commuter) my friends warned me that EVERY cyclist gets into an accident at least once (truth; I have been in 2) and that it is simply part of the game.

    I know you feel bad about interrupting practice and colliding with a teammate, but I KNOW they all understood and were more worried about whether you were okay. Likely, they have all been there, as well.

    When I get knocked down, I try to identify the causes and how they can be prevented in the future. Then, get yourself back on that horse!

    • carriestevens

      Yep, you’re right, Alex–it’s the nature of the sport. And as bad as it sounds, I *knew* a wipe out was inevitable; just a matter of “when,” not “if.” And since it had to happen, I really couldn’t have asked for a better situation. That being said, though, I hope this means I’m met my crash quota for the next year or so. 😉

  14. Glad you are OK. I’ve had a few “unplanned dismounts” over the years (“crash” is such an ugly word). So far they only thing I’ve hurt has been my pride.

    • carriestevens

      I’m a fan of “unplanned dismounts”–that’s a good way to put it. And yeah, it was definitely more embarrassing than painful, which is a good thing I guess.

  15. Ouch….I’m glad you had a good (???) first wipe out. Yeah, that felt weird typing it. Anyways, I can totally see how moving into the position would freak you out. All your weight is up front and what happens when all your weight it up front? You topple over. At least now you have your first wipeout out of your system so now you can attack that position fearlessly. Well kind of fearlessly. Now I’m off to check out your paleo bread recipe. Looks delish!

    • carriestevens

      I get what you mean! 😉 Wiping out is never good, but it was a really good and relatively safe situation.

  16. Ouch! At least your first wipe out was pretty tame, even if you took others down too. It might serve as a good learning experience for shifting into aero? Either way, I’m glad you’re okay 🙂

    • carriestevens

      Yep, tame is a good way to describe it. Honestly, it could’ve been so much worse. I’m ready to ride tomorrow! 🙂

  17. Hey accidents happen, I’m just glad you are all ok!

    I fell A LOT the first day I tried clipping in and I was a afraid to try again, but I did and now it doesn’t take much effort at all.

    • carriestevens

      Yep, falling is the nature of the sport. Clipping in and out is tough, but like you wrote, once you get the hang of it, then it’s easy.

  18. LOL, polecat, always has the perfect comeback. Seriously.

    I’ve had only two wipe outs, nothing serious. Nobody taken down!

    Two of my friends just got tri bikes and they’re VERY nervous on them and call them, “twitchy” – I think it takes time to adjust. I’m keeping my eye on you because I’m considering aero-ing my roadie. 🙂

    Good luck, no more wipeouts, fingers crossed!

    • carriestevens

      Polecat = quick wit. One of my teammates just upgraded to a tri bike, and she says the same thing–very twitchy and tough to get a hold of, especially when it’s windy. And I really need to practice riding in aero more. Getting comfortable and confident is definitely a process, so I just need to put in the time and miles.

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