A Cautionary Tale

When you have bicycle damage, be sure to have an inspection for possible unseen problems.

The Tour de France sees numerous crash outs every year. Some observers say that the carbon fiber fabrication era has led to a tendency for wheels and frames to break or shatter, versus the bending that formerly occurred with metal components (NY Times TDF story).

Here is one cautionary note:

At the start of July 2014, two friends (& Princeton Freewheeler members) were road-riding together when the front fork on one of their bikes collapsed. The rider landed on his face and crushed the orbital bones around his eye. He also went into cardiac arrest. The resulting loss of oxygen caused severe brain damage, and he was taken off life support after a week, passing away.

People close to the situation had never heard of a fork collapsing like that, and don't know why it happened. One clue: apparently, the accident victim had fallen while on the same bike a couple of weeks earlier. He didn't get hurt at the time, but perhaps, unbeknownst to him, damage was done to the fork. The cause may never be known, but this should be a reminder to everyone to thoroughly check your bike after an accident, no matter how minor.

Related: See the CPSC bicycle recalls for any defective parts issues here.

Jersey Shore Touring Society is a 501(c)(7) non-profit organization.  P.O. Box 8581, Red Bank, NJ 07701

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