Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Bike Crash – What’s in your medicine cabinet? – REPOST FEB 2011

I have two friends that have crashed in the last couple of weeks.  I wrote this post last year when I took a spill out on the trace.

No one likes to talk about crashing on the bike.  It happens.  You need to be prepared.  When you are hurt and limping around you don’t want to have to go to the store and find the stuff you need.
I have been wanting to write about what to have on hand but you just don’t do that without being prompted.  Someone, somewhere would crash and I would be blamed for the bad mojo.
First, if you are hurt beyond superficial cuts, scraps, bumps or bruises please seek medical attention.  Play it smart.
You have that horrible sound of metal and carbon hitting the pavement stuck in your head.  You just had a tumble on the bike and you have some bumps and bruises and probably some road rash.
Okay, lets take a look in the medicine cabinet:

1. Road Rash – Abrasion (How to treat) - The first thing that you need to do is print out this pdf.  Next read it.  Put it in you medicine cabinet.  Do it right now, I’ll wait.  There, you are already more prepared than before.  I feel better.
2. Acetaminophen / Ibuprofen (Tylenol, Advil) - You probably have this on hand.  It is a pain reliever / fever reducer.  You do not want to use aspirin in this case because of the blood thinning qualities.  Take only the recommended doses.

generic acetaminophen
3. Pain-relief cream (aspercreme) – You rub this into the bumps and bruises.  It will take away the pain.  Even better if you know a PT and can get the acetaminophen pain relief cream (prescription).  DO NOT RUB THIS INTO ROAD RASH!
generic aspercreme
4. Topical Antibiotics (Neosporin) – After cleaning the wounds and abrading rash you want to goop up the area liberally with the antibiotic cream.  And I do mean liberally.
topical antibiotic ointment
5. 2nd Skin type breathable Gauze (Adaptic, duoderm, tegaderm) – This is a breathable gauze to drape over your road rash.  Buy this stuff online.  It is much cheaper online and you don’t want to be wandering around a CVS late on a Sunday night.  It can be very difficult to find locally.  I got lucky a while back and found several boxes of the following on clearance.
2nd Skin type breathable gauze.
6. Ice packs – This will help with the swelling.  You can use anything that you want – frozen peas, plastic ice bags, etc.  I found the following a few years back.  I bought 4 sheets.  That way I can have two in the freezer while I have two on my body.  They thaw pretty quick so I rotate often.  These ice sheets will conform to just about any body part.
ice sheets
ice sheets – close up
Me with ice sheet on shoulder
7. New helmet – Even if the helmet looks brand new, YOU MUST REPLACE IT.  They are designed to take one impact, that’s it, nothing more.  My most recent crash sent me head first into the pavement.  I had a palm sized red area on my forehead and the top of my head.  The helmet spread the impact over a wide area and saved my noggin.  I have no doubt that I would have received some form of brain trauma if I had not been wearing a helmet (and wearing said helmet correctly but that is for another post). 
I am an opportunist.  I buy things when they are on sale and don’t necessary wait until I need them.  I found this helmet a couple of months ago for a very good deal (with coupon and free shipping).  I have kept the new helmet in a dark closet since I got it – they do have a shelf life.  However, I am glad I have the helmet on hand.  I will not ride my bike without one.  I have cracked two helmets in the past 4 years.  Better to crack a helmet than my head. 
helmet new in box ready to go
Bike crashes happen.  Be prepared.  Stock the medicine cabinet today.