Thursday, July 06, 2006


You got it. I went for a ride yesterday, and got caught in what the weatherman last night said was "tropical activity". It's what us northeasterners call "popcorn storms", they just pop up quickly from the heat and humidity. This all is of no consequence usually, but not so yesterday. I'm not entirely sure how it happened, but as I was coming to an intersection at about 35mph, I decided to go right. This was because I was well and truly lost. As in, I might want to stop and ask directions type of lost and my phone is home. Good thing it stayed there, I might add.

I knew the road would be slippery, it just looked it. I mean, I've been doing this long enough to see how grippy wet or dry pavement is. So I slowed down, and I knew it was going to be dicey, but I'm considered a rain rider. People look to me and follow my wheel in the rain on descents, corners, etc. As I rounded the corner it felt ok, but then next thing I know, I'm on the deck with the wind knocked out of me. I really have no idea why. My best guess is that I either lost concentration and tapped the brakes, which is a big no-no, or I tried to pedal through the turn too soon and my left toe hit the front wheel. Either way, I went down. HARD.

In about a second I was getting up and wheeled my bike over to the sidewalk. Then I did the damage assessment. First the bike. Priorities, you know. I had to straighten both brake levers, lost an end cap from my bars (where in the hell could that have gone?) put both bottles back in the cages, looked everything else over, and then the pain hit.

When I went down I was wearing one of my older race uniforms, and had the jersey totally unzipped. Somehow I landed mostly on my right thigh and front of my right shoulder, with my right shin and ankle playing follow the leader. I started brushing off all the grime that was now embedded in my skin and noticed my chest hurt, too. You guessed it, road rash on my right side of my torso and chest. How pleasant. Then I noticed my leg was covered in blood as it was running from all the sweat and rain water.

I should say that when I crashed a woman in a Lexus SUV stopped and asked me if I was ok, and then drove up on the median and parked to make sure. After I got my breath back, I told her I'd ride home, or at try to. She said she'd follow me for a few blocks to make sure I could ride. So I set off, and after a few blocks waved I was ok, and we parted ways. Don't know who she was, but I'd like to thank her for her concern.

It was a long ride home. I bent my rear wheel a bit so I had to open my brake some, I couldn't shift into my lowest gear because the rear derailleur would go into the spokes, and I was pissed I went down. But I got home and cleaned up and suffered through the night. Now it's time to fix my bike and ride today again. I must be insane...


bdogg_mcgee said...


Glad you're okay!

Capybaras United said...

Sorry about your crash. Can't believe you're riding the next day!

Mike said...

Well, I ended up deciding to fix my bike, which ended up becoming a near total overhaul. Haven't ridden yet, but tomorrow I will with Lost.

Jill said...

Ouch ... that sounds like a bad one. Glad you're still well enough to ride.

Caloi-Rider said...

I'll say you're crazy. Get healed up first. That's the full extent of my advice.
Heck, you might even want to check for a broken rib if you went down hard. But of course, you'd know it because it would hurt like mad when you breathe.
Oops, more advice, my bad.

TourPro said...

An excellent description of your crash and subsequent "recovery". It really is funny how cyclist look at their bikes first.

Sounds like you lost traction fast, front-wheel washout? I'm knocking on wood here! My last incident was snaking my way through the trees near the Saranac River when I hit a tree with my shoulder. Never came off, but that one centimeter brush really killed. Pine is brutal.