Whether you’re a newbie or an athlete competing in the Tour de France, all bicycle riders have one thing in common: you will fall. More than once. Pretty often, actually.
One of the most important things to practice while learning to ride a bike is how to fall without the risk of serious injury. If you’re a recreational e-cyclist, you can significantly reduce the chances of broken bones or major injury if you learn to fall correctly. This is a skill that takes practice and a lot of forethought.
Read on for a short guide on how to fall off your e-bike without getting seriously hurt:
You should always make sure that you and your bike are perfectly safe before you set off for the road. Whether you’re going in the city or up a mountain, it’s best to check your bike for any malfunctions or aberrations. Of course, it goes without saying that you should always wear a helmet.
Never, Ever Use Your Hands
One of the most important and difficult things about learning how to fall off a bike is to curb the innate instinct of using your hands to brace your fall. If you brace a fall with your hands, you are much more likely to get broken bones in your hand, wrist, elbow, and all the way up to your clavicles.
Your entire body weight, plus the momentum of your fall, will do severe damage to your hands. The best way to fall is to spread the force of the impact across a larger surface area, such as your back or your side. If you can get your feet free from your pedals, your legs and feet can absorb the impact much better than your hands.
How to Fall
If you’re about to come off your electric bike, your first action should be to protect your head. Tuck your chin into your chest, and use your arms to cover your face and head. If you hit your head on any hard surface, you need to be checked for a concussion.
If you fall sideways, you can turn your body to land on your back or side (shoulder, hip, butt). If you fall over the handlebars, tuck your body into a ball and try to roll over your shoulders.
Before the impact, try not to tense up. Again, that likely goes against all of your instincts, but the tension in your body makes fractures much more likely. A limp and relaxed body can take more abuse and will make the fall much less painful.
Eyes on the Road
If you’re about to wipe off your bike, try your best to pick a safe landing spot. A grassy shoulder is much kinder than a concrete road. Using your best judgment, try to aim your body toward an area that’s relatively softer, and of course, as far away from traffic as you can.
Push the Bike Away
When you’re about to crash, your electric bike is one of the biggest safety hazards around. Having a bike land on top of you or landing on top of a bike will be painful at best and dangerous at worst. This is why you should immediately push the bike away from your body as you fall.
The truth is that if you ride your bike with any regularity, you will eventually fall off of it. That’s the nature of the beast, and all you can do is learn and practice how to do it properly. These simple tips will help minimize serious injuries when you fall off your bike.
And remember: the most important part of falling off your bike is getting back on again.
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