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Nations Brick-Nic: My Experience as a Crash Test Dummy
CREATED: 08/30/09 by rah2774 REPLIES: 6
rah2774's ravatar rah2774    JOINED: 2/28/09    POSTS: 247
Nations Brick-Nic: My Experience as a Crash Test Dummy
POSTED: 8/30/09 6:54 PM

***disclaimer, I am not writing for sympathy... rather to let folks know crazy stuff happens all the time and to be alert of all your surroundings during any ride. And I'm also writing to thank the tremendous folks in the club who helped me and stayed with me... I can't think of better circumstances to eat dirt and pavement in.***

The day started out rough for me... in addition to feeling a bit wobbly from a 20 mile run yesterday morning, when I got on my bike to get started I noticed the chain had dropped, so at the start I was delayed. Finally got er going and I noticed my bike computer wasn't registering. Grr... that happened to me last week and I adjusted the placement, I guess it's just super sensitive and taking it in and out of my car moves it. So, maybe 5 minutes in I stop to fix it, it worked for about 5 minutes. Whatever... I let it go remembering I had my Garmin on.

So, after my technical difficulties I'm finally rolling along with Paula by my side. We catch up to a group and were riding with some pretty good folks at a comfortable pace. Gorgeous day. Sunny skies. low humidity, not too hot. Absolutely perfect for a day out... All was well and I was having some fun.

A woman in pink and I were leap frogging for a bit. Either she was passing me and I was staying right or I was just too busy watching her as I was approaching not wanting to bump her wheel... not sure, it happened fast but the next thing I knew I hit a BIG bump, had a momentary panic, and then I was on the ground. I have absolutely no idea what happened - it was that fast. Immediately after the bump I freaked, I knew something bad was going on but I didn't even have time to consider it... I was laid out before I knew it.

Apparently there was a grate covered storm drain type thing along the curb, it didn't lie flush with the road but was down... and I rolled over it, my guess is going 25-6 mph. That's my guess because Dave, who was behind me riding with Paula, said he was going about 24.5 when he road by me and saw me down. Anyway, I was in aero when I hit it, so I couldn't control the bike. I wasn't expecting it at all and even if I was I don't know if I could have controlled the bike at all let alone from aero. From what I'm told, I flew over the bars with arms and legs flailing. I don't know when or how I hit the ground. It really happened fast. All I know is I hurt and when I tried to sit up I decided that was a bad idea and I laid back down for a minute before trying to sit up again. I immediately felt the left side of my forehead throbbing and my lip felt like it was the size of a baseball.

I sat up and was surrounded by good samaritans - tri clubbers and random strangers alike. Paula (a physical therapist) checked my eyes, my head, made me follow her finger... all that stuff... then she rode off to get her car. I started feeling better quickly although I was still shaken and visibly shaking. Eric, who was close behind me during the crach said he saw it all and it was a "spectacular" crash. All I could do was say "thanks" and everyone laughed. Then the guys (Eric, Dave, Brian, and Mike) went to inspect the crash site - the drain, the skid marks, the divet in the dirt where I had first impact -- all the while commenting on how far I flew and skidded on my face. Which, based on where the divet in the dirt was compared to where my bike was, I was pretty impressed, who knew humans could fly.

Paula rode back to inform me she got the park police, who were on the way. They showed up, telling me they'd called an ambulance. Ugh. I did not want to deal with an ambulance. I was fairly certain I didn't have a concussion. Just serious road rash and bruises (including to the ego). Seriously, by then I was standing and felt fine. If my bike was ridable (it wasn't, the handle bars were at about a 45 degree angle from the front wheel) I probably would have tried to ride back -- but I am very confident no one in that group would have let me. I'm glad for that.

Once the cops came (2 cars, 4 officers) everyone left to finish the ride while I waited for the ambulance. Oh, the ambulance was accopmpanied by a fire truck. Sirens blaring. I felt like such a flippin idiot! So, in the back of the ambulance the med tech checked me out, cleaned me up, took my blood pressure, checked my eyes... and let me go.

One cop car had my bike in the back, the other had me in the back and I had a 2 car escort back to the parking area. Getting out of the car, tri clubbers (Mark and Tuan) flanked me to take my bike, Travis brought me ice... and lots of folks were there to make sure I was alive and well. It was really nice. Thanks to Mark for straightening out my bars and doing a quick check over. Other than a busted skewer he thinks the bike is okay. Me on the other hand, not so much. I don't look so good. But some may say the road rash on my face is an improvement.

I joined the picnic, told my tale (a few times)... had some food and a quarter of a bottle of beer (thanks to whoever had it in the pink cooler) and decided I felt a bit beat up... and I wanted to go home. Which I did.

My take away from this and my words of wisdom to all: always, always, always wear a helmet and gloves - and be sure the helmet is properly fitted and fastened. If you're not riding in a pack, be sure to have a phone and a road ID!

Admittedly, I'm still a bit shaken up and freaked out. But, in the grand scheme of things, I am very lucky. I walked away. No broken nose or jaw or face, no missing teeth, no fractured collar bone or shoulder... just a bruised ego, some road rash, swelling, and probably a tear in my shoulder (good thing I know a physical therapist to get me back into racing shape).

Again, I am so thankful for all the well wishes and support I had today... folks waiting on me at the picnic... this really is a great club!

Be safe out there!

vatriathlete    JOINED: 2/28/09    POSTS: 682
RE: Nations Brick-Nic:
POSTED: 8/30/09 8:19 PM

best wishes for a speedy recovery .

rdejonck's ravatar rdejonck    JOINED: 2/28/09    POSTS: 84
RE: Nations Brick-Nic: My Experience as a Crash Test Dummy
POSTED: 8/31/09 10:53 AM

I am sorry to hear about your crash. I'm glad you are okay. That is the most important thing. And I hope your recovery goes quickly.

As a recent crash victim myself, I realized and learned a few things.
Learned:
- If you think your bike has significant damage, it may be covered under your Home Owner's or Rental Insurance. I was pleasantly surprised this morning to learn that.
- Always follow traffic laws (not really applicable to your situation) (yes, that includes slowing down and... gasp! ... stopping at stop signs.) They are as much to protect you and keep you safe as they are to keep traffic flowing.

Realized:
- You are exactly right about having a road ID and phone with you, even in group rides. If you have any known conditions like medicine allergies (like me), be sure to have that on your road ID as well. Chances are, even in a group ride, the people around you won't know things like that.
- Inspect your helmet carefully (you probably already know this). They are single use items. Once they've done their job and protected your head, they are significantly weaker. Best to replace.

Ryan

rah2774's ravatar rah2774    JOINED: 2/28/09    POSTS: 247
RE: Nations Brick-Nic: My Experience as a Crash Test Dummy
POSTED: 8/31/09 11:11 AM

Thanks! Another take away: always pay attention to your surroundings. The people AND the pavement!
As for me, at the doc's now waiting to have my shoulder and jaw x-rayed. New helmet was ordered last night!

vatriathlete    JOINED: 2/28/09    POSTS: 682
RE: Nations Brick-Nic: My Experience as a Crash Test Dummy
POSTED: 8/31/09 11:36 AM

and always have advil or painkillers in your car.

smakane's ravatar smakane    JOINED: 2/28/09    POSTS: 50
RE: Nations Brick-Nic: My Experience as a Crash Test Dummy
POSTED: 8/31/09 11:37 AM

Feel better... hope the x-rays are negative! =)

siehndel's ravatar siehndel    JOINED: 11/25/05    POSTS: 1061
RE: Nations Brick-Nic: My Experience as a Crash Test Dummy
POSTED: 8/31/09 2:18 PM

I'm just glad you're okay. You never know how you might land in that situation and going head first is never a good.

I hope you're resting up today and taking it easy!

Travis

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