i learnt a serious lesson today.

i love riding fixed and brakeless. i believed that my skills are up to a point i am comfortable in heavy traffic and travelling at speed. at most times i’m confident enough to ride without a helmet.

but today’s events hit me like a ton of bricks.

i was riding fixed, brakeless and helmetless today. i approached an intersection, intending to turn left, one that i have travelled a few hundred times before.

a car approached and stopped at the same intersection, coming from the direction i wished to turn. i was in a safe position at this point with ample time to slow down and turn, avoiding the car.

i began to slow down and turn left.

while i turned left and was putting resistance on my pedals, my right shoe unclipped from my right SPD, causing my right foot to hit the ground like a pole vault and thrusting my body head-first toward the car.

i managed to duck my head in that split second mid-flight and slammed into the car with my shoulder.

the car had a massive dent on the rear quarter panel and i was taken to hospital with a broken collarbone.

the moral here is that as confident as i was, i could have never foreseen the way my shoe unclipped from my pedal. if i had a brake i would’ve used it to collarbone-saving effect.

i didn’t need the doctor to tell me that it was very lucky i didn’t sustain any head injuries.

never again will i ride brakeless and helmetless.

peace brother - hope u get better so u can ride on safely…

good to see you’re still alive and not in a coma. :slight_smile:

But you should sue Shimano. SPD’s…

Given that SPD’s aren’t designed for braking in this way I’m not sure you’d have much luck…however it might be an idea for fixed specific pedal design…or you could just use a pedal/cleat design that is the same in both directions like crankbrothers or time.

one for the great pedal debate score +1 for eggbeaters and time and -1 for SPD

Glad to hear you are generally okay!
A lesson for us all I imagine…

get well soon.

Get well, and how is the bike?

one for the great pedal debate score +1 for eggbeaters and time and -1 for SPD

And -1 for riding helmetless

Yet another great example for the WEAR A HELMET argument.

Glad to hear there’s no permanent damage though.

And yeah, SPDs are not a good choice for brakeless riding. You gotta research this shit before you wade out into traffic using inappropriate equipment and no brakes!

Recover quick!

Congratulations you have just won first prize. What is the prize you ask? The firsthand knowledge of why one should ride with brakes AND a helmet.

No comment.

But I’m glad your still with us!

Glad to hear you are relatively okay.

I’m gunna be the first to sound like a prick here but riding without a helmet is really fuckin stupid dude.

The dude in the car was sweating like a peodo! Kinda funny.

I’m glad you’re OK.

Or city riding skills, or pedals that aren’t shit.

Glad to hear youre ok mate.

I know riding without a helmet and no front brake looks cool but looking 10% more hardcore isnt worth brain injuries or death.

Riding without a helmet on the roads is silly whatever the situation, but riding without a front brake seems to be an “optional accessory” on these forums. It isn’t.

Having a front brake on your fixed doesn’t mean you have to use it constantly. Its there for emergencies. There is no way anyone can tell me they can brake at speed as quickly using a bunnyhop skid than they can with a front brake.

As the late Sheldon Brown states:

"ome fixed-gear riders ride on the road without brakes. This is a bad idea. I know, I’ve tried it. If you do it, and have any sense of self-preservation at all, it will cause you to go much slower than you otherwise could, everytime you go through an intersection, or pass a driveway. The need for constant extra vigilance takes a great deal of the fun out of cycling.

You really should have a front brake. A front brake, all by itself, will stop a bicycle as fast as it is possible to stop. This is true because when you are applying the front brake to the maximum, there is no weight on the rear wheel, so it has no traction.

One of the wonderful things about fixed-gear riding is that the direct feel you get for rear-wheel traction teaches you exactly how hard you can apply the front brake without quite lifting the wheel off of the ground.

This is a very valuable lesson for any cyclist who likes to go fast; it could save your life."

Thats my rant. Cheers