We all know that it’s a good idea to avoid riding over fallen tree branches on the road – and, for that matter, on the trail – but what about apparently insignificant twigs?
A few days after a particularly intense windstorm i n Ontario i n early May, the country roads north of Newmarket, Ont., were strewn with tree debris. On a ride, I was aware of a small twig in my path – around 5" long and less than an inch thick. I eased my front wheel to the left to avoid riding over it. In an instant, I was on the ground bleeding from my face and, as determined later in the ER, had a broken collar bone, wrist and finger. Season over.
My 18-year-old custom steel (Columbus Foco) frame fared no better with bent and cracked top and down tubes, but with no damage to the front wheel and spokes. So the question is – what caused the sudden braking and the resulting bone breaks?
I can only conclude that somehow the twig flipped upward and followed the tire to the top of the fork, and then jammed the wheel.
Lesson learned – and passed on for the benefit of all cyclists – avoid woody debris no matter how small and insignificant it may appear.
Andrew Darke Newmarket, Ont.