Summer cycling tyres and winter roads = Ouch



It happened so quick I barely registered. One minute I'm in the middle of a sub-FTP rep, trying to get my average Watts back up in the right range after having to slow for a bunch (team?!) of horses (always slow for horses, even if the riders are grumpy gits...), then the next second I'm sliding along the road on my side, disconnected from my bike as it sails ahead onto the other side of the road.


Too much speed, too much torque, not enough grip. Simple physics, really.


It started earlier in the day. Knowing that I had a training session to do that involved three 10-minute sub-FTP efforts, my ego took over. "It's January," it said. "All those 'fastest times of the year' are up for grabs on Strava" it teased. "It's not raining; the roads are pretty dry," it persisted. "Go on, take the aero bike out, you haven't ridden it for a while!".


I gave in. The Giant Propel was removed from it's hook in the shed; the chain was checked for sufficient lube and the Di2 batter for charge. And the tyres were inflated to about 60psi (my normal pressure for 25c tubeless tyres).


And so, for about 40 minutes, I had a nice quick ride. I rode my local 'test circuit' one way and then thought to myself "hey, I haven't ridden the reverse of this route yet this year, let's do it".


So I did. And, horses aside, it was going great until I reached a tight, shaded left-hand corner. I'd had no problem coming through the other way. But this side of the road was tighter, wetter and had leaves on it. "Take a wider line" I said to myself.


But in an instant it became obvious I was carry too much speed, was stomping on the pedals too hard and those Vittoria Corsa tyres were really not suited to the road conditions. The moment I tilted into the corner, the bike went from under me.


Hitting the deck hurt (Garmin file shows I was doing 33.5kph at the time), but not as bad as other offs I've had. The left brake lever was twisted on the bar, but I could straighten it. My left glove was torn and my left overshoe now had a gaping hole in it where the boa dial on my S-Works 7 Sagan shoes was showing through (minus most of its black finish!).

I was pretty sore. I did get back on the bike after a minute or so and did finish the session (needless to say I was taking the corners somewhat less enthusiastically after that), but the numbers were down. Maybe the surge of adrenalin caused by the crash wasn't all that helpful.


Lesson learned: put the ego firmly away in winter training and use the right equipment for the prevailing conditions.


Thankfully my Komraid winter shorts and jacket stood up to the abuse well; no holes at all in the shorts and only a small one in the pocket of the jacket (just as well since neither are in production anymore).


Twenty-four hours later and I'm pretty sore. A gash on my pinkie finger on the left hand and a pretty stiff hand in general. A small cut on the lower left leg and a bit of road rash on my left hip. My shoulder is also a bit tender from hitting the tarmac. But all in all, I guess I would say I can't complain. Nothing broken.


I feel bad for the Giant Propel. Although it's now five years old, I still love it and it doesn't deserve to be thrown across the road like that. As my parents used to say, I really need to take better care of my toys.