I didn’t imagine that I would be comparing myself to Mark Cavendish any time soon, but it seems we’ve got plenty in common after we both managed to hit the tarmac this week.

Cav reckons his crash at the end of the fourth stage of the Tour of Switzerland was the worst of his career and I can make similar claims after my mishap on last Tuesday’s CW lunchtime ride.

In some 37 years of bike riding I have never suffered much more than road rash. I’m the cautious sort who doesn’t tend to crash a lot. Well, I’ve certainly made up for that now, injuring pretty much most of my left side.

There’s a fair bit of skin missing and bruising but the main problems are my wrecked hamstring and the tendons in my shoulder which have kept me housebound for a week.

It’s certainly not good, but amazingly nothing is broken so I shouldn’t be complaining too much.

Instead I’m directing my displeasure at the bike. In a lifetime of cycling I’ve exceeded 100,000 miles in the saddle and have ridden hundreds of different bikes without experiencing the extreme speed wobble that caused my crash.

Fortunately it’s a pretty rare occurrence but I’m sure I’m not the only one, so if anyone has similar experiences, please get in touch.

Robert Garbutt is editor of Cycling Weekly

  • Heide

    I am sorry to read about it, that people got injured. I aggree with Alan that usally this accidents are caused by someone acting stupid. I saw the stage of the race when Cavendish caused the accident and send so many riders to the ground. I thought that his behaviour was very selfish because he saw that he could not win the sprint and stopped the others from taking it. My believe was that sport is a game with fairplay and not getting the big ego the better of oneself. I also was disappointed that Cavendish was not banned from riding the next day and also the tour of france.
    But my main reason why I am writing here is that I was even more disappointed with the artical in Cycling weekly (issue from June 24,2010 page 12) that will only give information about the injuries from Cavendish. As you could imagine many people are reading your magazine and not just in uk. When the report will have given a information on how many riders went down and got injured I’ ll be ok reading this.
    But the report will tell as that we should feel so sorry for Cavendish and this is what I can’t understand. The example given to young riders is go out there and get them. Don’t look out what price is to pay. I can only repeat myself about fairness in sports that should be the first goal. I appologise when my english is not perfect. I am a german woman living in Ireland and still working on the language.

  • david crawford

    rob, sorry to hear of your crash; i survived a 50mph speed wobble earlier this year and have yet to regain my confidence. I asked around club mates/bike shop mechanics; no one seems to know the cause or the solution either during the event or to prevent recurrence. Is this something the magazine should research? Would your frame manufactured be prepared to comment? Would others? Is it the frame the fork, the headset, the wheel set, the speed, the wind, the weight of the rider, rider position. What would you do again in same position? Please don’t say “sell on the frame “like one reader above; what about the next rider?

  • Ken Evans

    I bet you don’t have a video of your crash
    that is as good as that of Cav’s !

  • Podge

    Hey Rob
    Experienced something similar myself a few years back. Splashed out on a Cervelo Soloist Carbon with Zipp wheels, super bike. Took it up as fast as i could only to experience what I can say is the scariest thing that’s ever happened to me on a bike…the dreaded speed woobles. The bars became completely uncontrollable. Happened every time i took it over 50kph so in the end had to sell the bike. Broke my heart…but better than breaking some bones I suppose!
    Get well soon

  • Alan Stobart

    I know how you and Cav feel, mate. I had a bit of a tumble too a couple of weeks ago. You know how most accidents are caused by someone doing something REALLY stupid? Well I was in the act of throwing a banana skin over a hedge and realised at the last moment that the hedge was really high so gave it a bit extra welly, experienced some of that high speed wobble of which you speak, lost control of the bike & went down on rough tarmac. MAN, but that was sore – lost quite a bit of skin myself on my left hip & shoiulder but luckily the bike didn’t sustain any damage that couldn’t be repaired.

    And I know – I have been told that I shouldn’t have been chucking banana skins over hedges. I can safely say that I won’t be doing that again anyway.

  • Simon

    Terribly sorry to hear you went down! ‘Speed wobble’? What caused that, how fast were you going? Any other factors involved? Sounds like you were going at some speed and that you were indeed extremely lucky not to have suffered worse injury. I fell off this morning too. Sore hip and bruised pride!

  • Austin

    Sorry to hear about your accident Robert, get well soon. Just out of interest, what bike were you riding?