It is a natural reaction to stop and retrieve an ejected item… a light, a bottle, a speedo. Sometimes because you need the drink, bike comps are not inexpensive, you want to remain visible… all valid reasons. But it’s easy to be hypoxic, or distracted enough as you’re turning around to forget that you’re still traffic.
Sadly that seems to have happened to 23 year old Carla Swart today while doing intervals. RIP, and the best to her family, friends, and teammates.
I’d notice this “suspension of attention” a while back and made it a rule for myself that I’d get off my bike, and walk back to retrieve whatever fell. It’s enough of a break to help prevent this failure. Even having the rule is a help, because at times I have turned around and ridden back, but not without having to think “Hey, you’re supposed to walk it back…” which reminds me why I have the rule in the first place and helps keep me safe.
I hope it’ll help you too.
[As an aside, my road bike position seems to offer up gobs of toe overlap, so “hangin’ that u’ey” is ripe with opportunity to flop over. Yet another reason to think twice before I attempt that little wonder…]