Friday, July 30, 2010

I crashed my bike and now I'm a whimp!

Last Saturday I met my friend Nicole for an early a.m. ride. It had rained the night before and the roads were still wet. Now the major irony about this is that when I was a flatlander in Madison, Wi I wouldn't ride in the rain/wet, but now that I'm in the Connecticut Alps why the hell not. Windy curvy roads w/ some wet on them... bring it on.

This is when it first happened.

We rode the course that we normally ride, but rode it backwards. There are some climbs and descents on this course. Namely ONE (usual climb) that is short and windy, but STEEP required out of the saddle the whole time. Well going down this descent on wet roads apparently requires a lot more caution. I hit the pavement going about 30 miles an hour. Not good!

The good news is 1. I didn't hit either of the two trees I was headed straight for, 2. I didn't break anything, 3. my bike still works. It sucked, but it really could have been much much worse.

Basically I was going down the hill went around the first curve of an S curve and when I came around and saw the second part I knew I was going to fast to make the turn. I hit the breaks... too hard and locked up my wheel. I realized this was happening as my back end started to become my front end. I was able to let up on the breaks and correct this, but I was headed straight for two trees and knew I was going too fast to make the bend. I tried pumping the breaks, but it was too late. I held on far enough to clear the trees then just laid her down. No choice really. I'm sitting there at the base of the tree in a daze and my friend came up and asked if I was alright. I told her I needed a minute. My head was spinning a bit and I was a bit dazed. I did a mental scan of the body and all seemed okay. Nicole said, "Uh, you are sitting in a big ant hill." Indeed I was... right at the base of that tree I NEARLY hit. I got up and was moving okay. Brushed all the ants off myself and pulled all the dead leaves and dirt out of my rear break. I looked over my arm and looked at my leg, but opted not to lift my shorts up. I knew I had road rash, but didn't think looking at it would help. We rode for a bit then I stopped again feeling the need to check my leg out to make sure it was at least free of dirt. I opened up my shorts... YUCK. Poured some water down my leg (OUCH), assessed the bike one more time, and contemplated calling for a ride. I decided I didn't want to be a total pansy.. I wasn't broken, the bike wasn't broken. It was time to ride. We rode the 12 miles home.

OMG the shower was almost the most painful part of this whole experience! Water on exposed nerve endings HURTS! I showered, slapped some second skin and guaze on it and hopped in the car to head to Lake Placid to volunteer at Ironman. It was sore, but not too bad.

I had to change the second skin daily and had to tape quaze on the outside to catch all the oozy stuff coming out. I ran on it on Sunday and it was okay ... I was definitely aware of it, but more like a big bad bruise.

The time it hurt the most was the night I tried to 'dry it out'.. I took all the bandages off and let the air hit it.. OMG... exposed nerve endings. It hurt SO bad. I was relieved when I was told to put bacitracin and a bandage on it during the day.

This is after 'drying it out'

Well I'm not quite a week out and I'll be damned if it's not almost healed. I barely have a scab. There are scabs on the areas that were obviously deeper than others. I'm amazed! It's still sensitive and very bruised... though it doesn't look bruised. There are two huge knots under the two main scrapes.

This is yesterday and it looks even better today

So to all the nurses and people I got advice from.. thanks it worked!

Yesterday Nicole and I went out for another ride. We were planning to ride 40 miles, but it started to rain and I bailed at 23 miles or so. There I was looking down a hill and curve very similar to the one I had crashed on ... slick and covered in rain. I couldn't do it. I had to go home. I was a total nancy on every hill on the way home. Breaking and tensing up. I had to keep telling myself to relax. I was so disappointed. I DO NOT want to be a pansy ass, but I knew that if I crashed again yesterday I would have a big mental challenge to get back on the bike. When I came home I asked if Tom had had the same problem when he got back on the bike after a crash he, of course, said no. Which made me feel even more like a pansy. I'm guessing he was in his 20s when this happened so I'm going with that "nothing's gonna get me" attitude of youth.

I was fine on the down hills as long as there were no bends... when it was dry. When it was wet all bets were off. I didn't trust myself or the bike to be able to keep from locking up.

DAMN DAMN DAMN!! Hopefully I'll be back to good as new soon, but I suspect I'll be nervous in the rain for a while.


  1. Good thing that you weren't hurt too badly. I've been through similar "experiences" recently and the only bit of advice that I have is to have your bike/fork checked out and your helmet replaced if you haven't already.

    Feel better.

  2. It's called RATIONAL fear and I'm pretty sure its one of the things that keeps the human race alive. If it makes you feel better I'm a total pansy on the hills and I've never had a fall like yours. In fact, you should see me on a mountain bike. They could hire me to do slow-motion videos, I brake that hard on the downhills.

    In other news, do you even know how long its been since I've been on my bike. A. VERY. LONG. TIME. I kinda miss having biking buddies and country roads!

    Glad your healing up fast. Miss ya!

  3. SUCKY! I am so glad you are OK! Hop back on the horse ASAP, but I bet you will be tentative for a while - I know I would! Good reminder to watch it on the wet roads I guess.

  4. Here's to quick healing and getting back on the bike. Thanks for sharing the experience - for a cornering/conditions reminder, and the way you got things mended (though I'd rather you not have crashed at all!)
    No, I'm pretty sure you're not a pansy for being tentative to get back on after the crash!

    "I opened up my shorts..." was an interesting line :)