Monday, February 21, 2011

Crash on the trace 2011

I really don’t want to sound like those people who witness a tornado and thank their lucky stars that NOT EVERYONE was killed.  However, I can’t help but think that I was lucky yesterday.

Let me rewind, I had a full weekend.  The weather was perfect.  Friday at lunch I went for a short run.  I wanted to run 5 miles and try to improve my Burpee Challenge results.  My hamstring was unwilling to participate for both.  I turned around at 1.5 miles on the run and called it a day.  My leg was tight and hurting.  I may have miss diagnosed the the ITB.  I think it is just my hamstring which is an injury that popped up a couple of years ago.  I can actually trace it back to here (the day after Halloween 2008).

ex-running buddies

I had wanted to ride the trainer on Saturday but I never got around to the task.  I ran the timing on a new local 5k race put on by Roots and Shoots at the university.  The weather was a little warm and the turnout was low but the race was conducted with a great group of volunteers.  I got home after the race and ate some lunch. 

Next I headed over to Charles’.  A couple of us were going down to the Top of the Hops beer festival.  Todays post was going to be more about the festival but in retrospect I should have partook more so that I did not feel like riding the next day.

On Sunday the weather was beautiful.  I mentally tossed a coin between riding a hard 1 hour trainer session or jumping on the group ride.  I picked the group ride.  I lubed the chain on the road bike and headed out the door.  Bibs and  short sleeved jersey in February.  You can’t beat that.  I met up with Raland at Jackson Station.  We chewed the fat and were taunted by the mountain bikers for a few minutes and then headed towards the trail head.  Raland had ridden 100+ of hard roads the day before.  You couldn’t tell. 

I enjoyed the group ride.  If you think I talk a lot while running you should see me on the bike.  I made my rounds catching up with all of the cyclist.  I talked about last weeks marathon and solicited advise from some of the legends.

As we moved out of town I noticed a few new bikes and faces.  The pace picked up a little bit but I was feeling strong.  My heart rate was never in question.  It was spirited but physically it was fine.  We were in the pace line and the group broke into a couple of groups.  I was in the front group probably third from the front.  And I made a mistake.

There are dangers when cycling.  There are more dangers when cycling with people you don’t know.  Don’t get me wrong, I am not placing blame on anyone or anything.  I was following closely in a pace line behind someone that I do not know.  Someone that I have no idea of their skill level.  This is a mistake.

Once again, anyone can go down in a crash.  Anyone.  I have gone down in a crash BY MYSELF before.

rash from 2008 – all rash and a cracked helmet.

So I was sitting in the pace line.  It was at a good clip but comfortable.  The next thing that I know is the bike in front of me collapses.  Before my eyes the bike actually became a ramp.  The back wheel was sloped down and the front wheel was turned sideways.  In that split second, for better or worse, I tried to jump the bike.  I was told that I cleared most of the bike but something caught. 

I was now travelling through the air and into the asphalt head first.  I remember thinking about the impact BEFORE the impact occurred.  How funny is that.  I next felt a solid hit on the top on my head.  I was in the ditch.  I took my helmet off with my right hand.  My left shoulder hurt bad.  I fully expected my collar bone to be broken. 

There was a group of friend and riders surrounding me immediately asking if I was okay.  I was shaken up but I was fine.  I ran my fingers through my hair and checked for blood – NONE.  I ran my right hand over my left shoulder checking for protrusions – just a bump forming.  I was very sore.

I asked Raland where we were.  I was not really confused but I did not know where to schedule the evac.  Fortunately we were only about a half mile to Eply Station.  I tried to stand up and my shoulder, arm and lower back protested.  I sat back down.  Raland extended an arm and on the second attempt I was able to stand.  People helped me gather some of the stuff that flew off of my bike and handed me my helmet.  They told me that it was rather spectacular.  They also pointed out the new crack in the helmet.  Raland checked out my bike and it looked completely unscathed.  I took the brunt of the fall.  There was some dirt on my seat.  The chain was off the sprocket..  I struggled to lift the bike and spin the crank to right the drivetrain.  I had zero strength in my shoulder.

I rode my bike the half mile to Eply.  The bike was fine.  The wheels were true, the spokes were intact, the handlebars were straight.  I was hurting.

At Eply I continued to be checked out by the cyclist.  One pointed out the palm sized red lump forming on my forehead / top of my head.  The helmet had spread the impact over a large portion of my skull – just as designed.  I was shaken up but I do not believe that I was unconscious at anytime.  I was not overly confused.  I did not even have a splitting headache.  I mentioned that I already had a new helmet sitting on a shelf at home.  It was my back and shoulder that was killing me.

Jodie arrived quickly in my truck to whisk me away.  She studied the internet and the webMD sites to check me for concussions and the such.  She practically gave me a field sobriety test. 

In retrospect, well, no one wants to crash, but I feel pretty lucky considering the circumstances.  I mean, the helmet to the blow of the fall (and not my face).  My shoulder is killing me and my deltoid is swollen and bruised but the collar bone an inch to the left is intact.  Well, the back is sore and moving at all is killing me but there was NO IMPACT to any joint.  My neck is fine.  My wrists are fine.  My elbows are fine.  My knees are fine.  I don’t even have any rash this time.

ice pack on the shoulder

I would like to say thanks to everyone who was concerned about me.  At the crash and immediately following it people were taking care of me.  After I got home I received a ton of texts and phone calls.  You are all appreciated.  Thank you very much.

Tomorrow I will tell you how I treated the injuries.


Katie said...

Ohhh man you triathletes and your crashes in the past few days. I'm glad you are okay.

I think you one the burpee contest anyway :) Thanks for joining in :D

Matty O said...

Wow. Jeff at Dangle the Carrot took a spill too.

What is going on?

So Happy you both are ok. My biggest issue with triathlon is riding the bike haha. Scares the crap out of me when cruising at anything over 20+mph. Pavement is unforgiving.

You should probably get checked out to be safe and make sure that you didn't tear anything or strain anything.

One of two things is going on. Either someone is trying to tell you to back off already! Or you are just getting hit from every angle here.

Heal up. Take the proper time off too.

Glad you are ok.

Tri-James said...

There are more crashes in good weather than bad-

Oh, and I am a glass is half full kind of guy. This is probably what my legs needed. They did not get hurt and I will have to stay off of them for about a week. I'll come back bigger, better, faster, stronger!

Donna said...

Wow! I never ceased to be amazed at you guys. Athletes like you make everything else in life look easy - dull, but easy. Hope you heal quickly!

Jon said...

Oh man! Glad that it wasn't worse than it could have been. Your helmet did its job! I guess its a bonus that your bike came out unscathed. You getting any X-Rays done on your shoulder?

Rest up! Hope the next day entire body soreness isn't too bad!

Jill said...

I'm new here, but wow o'wow, that LOOKS bad. Hoping for a very speedy recovery - your bike is waiting for you, it wants you back on it, no other reason for it to not have been injured!

Andrew Opala said...

spooky ... that's why I never perform any sports activities without a ambulance and a full paramedic team riding along side me

Francine said...

Uncle James, Daniel says he hopes your head feels better and he's glad you didn't get a concussion like he did last week. Take care of yourself and feel better soon.

Caratunk Girl said...

OMG James!! Holy crap. I am so glad that it didn't turn out worse for you and that you are OK. That sounds so scary. I always ride alone more because no one around here rides (which probably means I am not the best handler I guess?), but am always a little freaked when I get in a pace line situation. It happens very rarely for me, but I am never comfortable with it. Take care of yourself.

RunningWhit said...

I'm always overly cautious around other riders I don't know well. There are even some regulars in my group that I avoid because they'll randomly drop off the pace in a pace line. Glad you made it through your crash and hope you have a speedy recovery.

Kristin Bradfield said...

Wow, so glad you are ok. This is awful. I started riding in pacelines last season and definitely fear this happening. Recover well and hopefully this is your bad luck quota for the season.

Lindsay said...

Yikes dude!! Glad you are OK. I'm terrified of a potential bike crash; I've gotten plenty of road rash just from running-falls...