Avatar for Kiern


Member since May 2017 • Last active Feb 2018
  • 2 conversations

I'm an on / off cycle commuter; 42km a day on a steel 2005 fuji track which is stock apart from a brooks saddle and upgraded wheels.

Most recent activity

  • in National Standard Cycle Training
    Avatar for Kiern

    Thanks clockwise. Those are good points. The new bike will soon be with me. I think I need to bring more to the table with the specific areas I think I need to focus on so I can get the most out if it.

  • in National Standard Cycle Training
    Avatar for Kiern

    Hi Diable - yes, RosPA is the type of thing I was thinking of. When I was on the motorbike my neighbour was doing her RoSPA which gave really useful information. I just find it strange that there is nothing similar in the bike world. I suppose cycling is lower risk and cyclists have traded on experience and luck.

    I suppose the things I am most worried about are wiping out as safely as possible. I think in that regard mountain biking does have decent instruction drills and relatively safe practice mechanisms.

  • in National Standard Cycle Training
    Avatar for Kiern

    I should have clarified - I haven't done 'Bikeability'. From what I can see of the syllabus, it is geared towards riding in traffic. I feel I have enough roadcraft experience and motor bike CBT and full licence training in London gave me another perspective with good coaching on filtering and how to be safe as a more vulnerable road user.

    28mph is my max realistically. Average speed you still might class as too fast but then tends to be about 19-22mph. For my commute I tend to stay with the flow of traffic more often than not which I find more comfortable than being at a pace where I am passed frequently. I try to be predictable and visible.

    I meant to imply that I am not asking about skills riding with traffic. I don't intend to sound boastful but I think my skills are good on riding and being in traffic based on experience on London roads but also driving in countries where standards are more challenging. I took motorbike instruction in 2008 which was a valuable addition despite having a decade of car driving. I am not claiming there is no room for improvement but I would class reading the road, working in traffic and anticipating problems as a strength and not something I need to focus on right now.

    It is the skills part that I feel I need to develop. I know for sure my slow speed control is not as good as it was 10 years ago because I don't practice it but that is something I can address on soft ground.

    In terms of other skills, I am not exactly sure what problem I am trying to solve. I was kind of hoping people would throw ideas at me and some might stick

    So for example the following have happened to me:

    1. Front wheel skid on roundabout exit.
      It was dark, road was wet, front wheel hit something slippery (diesel?)
      Being fixed gear, momentum was still going through the back wheel and the front lifted, threw the bike off balance slightly and I was able to recover and ride on. It was more luck than skill that kept me upright.

    I think that with a freewheel (next bike purchase) there is more potential to lose the back wheel also in a slippery encounter. Hopefully never but if people have some wisdom on what to do, it's welcome.

    If things can't be avoided, maybe even practical advice on how to fall (assume you can't avoid the fall but can decide on some way to influence it).

    1. hazard avoidance at speed. A bit like mod1 of the bike test. This is probably something I can practice on grass building gradually.

    Skills recommendations so far from other sources have been:

    • mountain biking (I would need to hire a bike)
    • grasstrack / cyclocross (I would also need to hire a bike)
    • club introductory session, to learn group riding and other related skills

  • in National Standard Cycle Training
    Avatar for Kiern

    Are there any tips or wisdom that can offered to an intermediate cyclist who is looking to improve cycling skill as a bid to reduce risk?

    For example, driving a car or a motorbike both offer advanced course as options. I have struggled to find anything similar for cycling. I have spoken with a few cyclists who race at competitive level but they all learnt everything the know through experience doing the task. While I agree, the best way to train for something is for the training to be as specific as possible, it would be nice to get words of wisdom passed down from cycling mentor.

    In terms of my skill level, I can drive a car and a motorbike and have 20 years experience on London roads. I have also driven HGVs on private roads. I think my road craft, hazard awareness etc is good and although always open to improvement, I am not specifically seeking that here.

    I would like to know if there are any nuggets of advice or practice that can be done to make me a better rider?

    For example, I can see the benefit of practicing slow speed control drills like slalom, figure of 8 for filtering through traffic. Do the experienced think that is also beneficial for high speed? If not, are there drills that might be useful for high speed without needing to try something for the first time at 25mph?

    On the motorbike test, one task was an emergency stop. Beyond that was hazard avoidance combined with an emergency stop. This was harder because you would swerve the bike first and need to straighten up before braking on the front wheel or else you risk dropping.

    I have been riding fixed for the last 12 years on and off and intend to get a geared road bike. The fixed limited me to a max speed of about 28mph. With gears I will be able to go faster and would like to skill up to reduce risk (even if risk is small).

    I intend to emulate the motor bike test objectives regarding bike control on grass when i buy the geared bike but welcome for other suggestions - thanks

  • in Rider Down
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    ** Update **

    7 weeks later and I feel normal again and can function at work.
    I still have some residual brain bruising that shows up on an MRI but doesn't seem to impact by daily life. Dr advised keeping the driving / cycling ban for 6 months but I am allowed to run which will keep me happy and the belly at bay.

    While I had this problem I was asking for help anywhere I could get it. I found about 1 in 30 have been through similar, be that in forums, social / active clubs, work etc so I if it happens to you or someone you know, I recommend talking to people. I don't think anyone really gets it unless they have been through it but lots of people have.

    My injury was mild, as I was unconscious for less than 30 minutes and amnesia of the event did not exceed 24 hours. Below is a table I found with a common list of symptoms following a head injury (you can google what they mean).

    The list is taken from the following paper:

    In addition to the list below, headaches can be expected. I had daily headaches for about 4 weeks before they became less frequent and finally they seem to be gone.

    Not being able to filter (sensory gating) out background sounds, activity. For me this was the worst. The overstimulation / processing would raise my anxiety levels and put my in a fight / flight state. Thankfully that has also passed.

    My recovery didn't seem to be progressive. Rather, there would be no change for a few days, then a big improvement.

    Being able to describe the symptoms you are having can be of use in getting help.

    **Neurobehavioral problems 		% patients reporting those problems** 
    Inattention/reduced alertness 	33.3 
    Somatic concern 				73.3 
    Disorientation 				6.7 
    Anxiety 						50.0 
    Expressive deficit 1			6.7 
    Emotional withdrawal 			13.3 
    Conceptual disorganization 		0.0 
    Disinhibition 					16.7 
    Guilt feeling 					30.0 
    Memory deficit 				46.7 
    Agitation 					16.7 
    Inaccurate insight & self-appraisal 16.7 
    Depressive mood 				63.3 
    Hostility/uncooperativeness 	16.7 
    Decreased initiative/motivation 	43.3 
    Suspiciousness 				20.0 
    Fatigability 					43.3 
    Hallucinatory behavior 			6.7 
    Motor retardation 				16.7 
    Unusual thought content 		3.3 
    Blunted affect 				3.3 
    Excitement 					3.3 
    Poor planning 				3.3 
    Labile mood 					3.3 
    Tension 						53.3 
    Comprehension deficit 			16.7 
    Speech articulation defect 		3.3 
  • in Rider Down
    Avatar for Kiern


    I think I got off lightly when reading your account übé®_grübé.

    Luckily work has been really good and not pressurising me to do anything strenuous.

    I just read the neurologists referal request to my GP and my 6 month driving ban might be extended to 12 months if this weeks scans pick up any further bruising on my brain so perhaps a year to recover is expected?

    I can cope with not driving as I don't drive a car any more due to house move. If cycling is still off the cards I will ask about spin class or something or maybe look at getting a cheap geared bike and indoor trainer. Or if I can run, I will just do that.

    Good recommendations on omega3. I have been snacking on mixed nuts and taking a fish oil supplement and generally trying to eat better than I was post accident. My sleep requirements are reducing but I'm still needing 10 -12 hours where before I was a 7 person.

    A couple of things I have found help sound quite simple:

    1. Going to a supermarket to buy a couple of items. (there is a lot going on in a supermarket, bright lights, chaotic people traffic, remembering and navigating for your shopping etc)

    2. Using a map to navigate outdoors without a guided GPS route. Actually having to look at street names has been a help and a skill I had lost. Ideally I like to walk through parks where possible.

    3. Brain training apps. I just paid for 3 moths of neuronation but you can try it for free. Initially I discounted these believing using the app only makes you good at using the app. To be honest, I still think that is true but the neurologist told be they have some value so I do about 15 / 20 minutes a day on the train. I figure it can't hurt.

    4. Social media reduction. Hard to believe as I am new poster here but I have cut down (not out) my browsing time on social media, Facebook, having multiple tabs open etc. That kind of goes hand in hand with #1 & #2

    5. Trying to eat better. This is mainly for 2 reasons, the first being vegetables are doubt better for my brain heath than New York cheesecake. The second is that I have gone from cycling 26 miles most days on a 69GI (42x16 cog) fixed gear bicycle to just some walking and having just struggled to loose 10kg, I really don't want to put it back on.

    6. Hanging around with friends who have children. I'm not in a fit state to be the primary adult but just being around children stimulates more of my brain than any adult could - fear when they run close to the road, to concealed anger when they treat my flat like a bouncy castle, to explaining things to them, laugher and genuine fun. Certainly under 5s really do exhaust me so brain must being going into overdrive firing neurons.

    7. Generally, the above things have shown me that the most useful things (for me at least) are variety and doing the things I should probably have always been doing.

  • in Rider Down
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    übé®_grübé® How long ago was that and have you recovered fully now?

    I've been quite amazed at the lack of awareness on post concussion effects from my experience. I would hope it is getting better but your experience implies it is widespread as feared.

    I think the danger is that if you are up and walking around, especially a few days after the accident, people think you are OK.

    I tried to cover up my symptoms at first (badly) because I was part ashamed and also didn't want to be a bother. Once I started telling people, some people were able to offer advice. I am also on another (running) forum and a few people there told me their experience and it was such a relief for me to hear they recovered.