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A new Cycling First today! Today for the first time, while riding in Los Altos Hills, I executed a perfect Front Half-Flip.  (Also known as "pitched over the handlebars onto the ground", but Front Half-Flip just sounds more... Olympian.)

This means I've officially eaten dirt three times in the last six weeks. But the way cycling normally works, you're really only supposed to interact with the pavement indirectly, so I'm wondering if there's something deeply wrong with me.
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Todd Derr's profile photoJeff DelPapa's profile photoKevin Bourrillion's profile photoSalvador Diaz's profile photo
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You're just more of a hands-on type of person, nothing wrong with that.  You prefer to cut out those middlemen and put your shoulder to the wheel as it were.  Or nose to the grindstone, whatever.
 
Overachieve!  I once went over the handlebars, the bike went over me and then I landed on the bike.  It's like Olympic Figure Skating -- the more spins, twists and half-flips the better.  (In my case the judge was quite impressed.)
 
Hah wow! The only time I've done that was many years ago running into a pile of silt in a creek side 101 underpass in Santa Clara to avoid some oncoming pedestrians spread across the entire path.

I got up and rode off right away. I think they were a bit surprised.
 
I was coming out of this dirt path here: http://goo.gl/maps/hcy3h

But in the narrow part I have to go through, that's not roped off, there is now a mysterious giant mound of soft dirt, followed big dip that's, wouldn't you know it, just about exactly wheel-sized. Coming out, I can see the mound, but not the dip. I take the mound really slow, thankfully, then the wheel plants itself in the dip.

Who the f*** put that there and why I will never know.

It is strange that although I couldn't have been going much more than 2 mph, it throws your ass to the ground pretty violently anyway, and I took all the impact on my ribcage, right side.  Now I've got some bruised ribs that make it total agony whenever I have to cough!
 
Ok, Kevin - I totally completely empathize.  No the same impact, but I know what it's like to feel agony from coughing or sneezing.  I hope you rapidly heal from this. 
 
Going over the handlebars was literally the very first thing I did when I took my previous bike out for its first outing. I got about 10m from my front door, then panicked and braked too quickly; I kept going, and the bike somehow managed to land in such a way that it bent the derailleur right through the spokes on the back wheel. You think you've got talent?
 
Next up, get clipless pedals, and you will do a "horizontal track stand".  (otherwise known as coming to a stop, failing to unclip and falling over sideways)

There is an advanced (and less painful) version of your front half flip - only available to riders of short wheelbase recumbents - they put the front wheel behind the cranks, so if you start the flip, your feet actually hit the ground first.  If you are incredibly lucky, you can wind up standing up in front of the bike....

I have seen many grenaded derailers in 25 years as a volunteer mechanic on charity bike rides.  My favorite - someone had a friend adjust their rear derailer, as it wasn't going into his lowest gear.  Well the next morning he hit the first big hill, and shifted into one gear lower than he actually had.  He managed to pull a spoke and eyelet (the metal reinforcement in the rim) thru the rim.  Looked like the top of a cinder cone volcano, and bent his derailer hanger (the part of the frame the derailer attaches to) almost at a right angle.  Luckily it was a steel frame, so I could bend the hanger back, and he was able to continue.
 
That sucks - yeah, it's a kind of a long fall regardless of your speed, but at least the dirt is a little softer than pavement.  Hope your ribs feel better soon.  3 times in 6 weeks - let's call that "bad luck".
 
+Jeff DelPapa Believe it or not I actually did that (standing dismount over the bars) on an upright bike once.

It was kind of funny, a friend of mine was harping on me because for using the rear brake too much.  So I rode down the street, turned back towards him, and with my right hand in the air to demonstrate I wasn't using the back brake, I grabbed the front WAY too hard.  I was very surprised to end up on my feet.  I wish I could call it pure skill but I was way too afraid to ever try it again.  If you're so inclined, my theory is that the harder you squeeze the better - the bars need to be out of the way before your feet get there or it's likely going to be a lot more painful.
 
+Todd Derr Its a lot easier on a recumbent, especially one with under street steering, as your legs are already above all the parts of the bike.
 
+Jeff DelPapa Heh. Everyone said I would fall over one time once I started clipping in.  I almost proved them all wrong, until the day I passed a "Beware of Dog" sign, rounded a bend and immediately a big angry dog leaped out into the road in front of me barking its head off at me.  I was so completely shocked that I braked to a complete stop, hovered for an instant and over I went. Thankfully that dog was all bark.
 
+Kevin Bourrillion +Jeff DelPapa The first time I rode with clippable pedals, after a 50km ride without any incident, I unclipped my right foot to stop at home but somehow I tried to put the left one down first so I finished my ride with a nice "horizontal track stand". Boy did I feel dumb :)
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