12 June 2011

Hitting The Pavement...Literally!

It does not matter how careful any of us are. If you ride, sooner or later, you are going down. I have been really fortunate that in the five years I have spent riding road bikes, that I only went down twice. Both times were borderline catastrophic. The first time I went down was three years ago. I was getting my road bike out for the first ride of the season. I was psyched. I put on my tights, my new Louis Garneau fall jacket, and my helmet. I then put my shades on and was moving my bike out of our garage with one clip in when I hit my son's Razor scooter and was catapulted to the floor. In my attempt to make sure I did not scratch my brand new Trek Madone, I threw out my arm and dislocated my shoulder. On the way to the hospital in an ambulance, the EMT's asked me to describe my pain on a scale from 1 to 10. I felt like breaking out with my Spinal Tap reference and saying... "but my pain is an eleven." Then I remembered that anytime  I complain about pain, my wife is there to modestly remind me that she birthed five children. So, after a couple of seconds of thought, I literally said to the EMT's "Well, the pain is not as bad as childbirth."

There was a moment of silence. Then, the woman in the ambulance said "Yeah, we're going to go ahead and give you something for the pain."  They probably thought I was delusional. The other really funny thing I remember about that day was when they came to take my pulse inside my house. The woman taking my pulse said, "Wow, your heart rate is really low. Are you a runner?"  I looked at my wife and said "...well, I run, I mean someti...." My wife interrupted "Yes!  He runs... You run! My gosh Mark, how difficult a question is  that?" Ah, wifey!  I can see it now. Me on my deathbed slowly answering questions about if I ate my jell-o that day, to which my wife responds "My goodness, yes!  You had your jell-o you old fool. Remember?  You took your teeth out?"

Yesterday, I bit it hard. Real hard. I am here to tell you that I am lucky that I did not break a single bone, let alone die yesterday. I am not trying to sound overly-dramatic (although I have often been told that I have a real flair for Dynasty-like melodramatic stories.

I really can not say I know how it all went down, except for the fact that I went down. Hard. I was riding down a road that I am really familiar with. I was about five miles from my house. I had ridden on this road more times than I can count. I was on my Kestrel in the aero position and working a nice little steady clip back home... maybe 21, 22 m.p.h. All of a sudden, I was on the road sliding on my body. Within seconds there were a couple of cars pulled up beside me asking me if I were alright.

I sat there for a second and assessed the damage. It is amazing were your brain goes in stress. I looked down and said "Yup, I can move my legs, that's a good sign." All of a sudden I felt severe burns all over my body; my wrists, my knee, my elbow. I sat there in shock for a couple of seconds—maybe a minute. Oh, I completely shattered the glass on my second Garmin 310XT. The ironic part is that my HR monitor has been acting... "funny" and I just contacted Garmin. They are sending me a replacement 310XT. Of course, I will have to notify them that their watch probably withstood more impact than my wrist took. Miraculously, it still works!

I guess all things considered, my spill yesterday could have been much, much worse. I mean, I could have hit my head, or broke some bones. What the hell is going on with my season? First my knee, then this!

AND, I ripped my Trakkers kit. I am almost scared to ask, "Could it get any worse?" Don't answer this semi-rhetorical question.

Seriously, after emerging relatively unscathed by my impact with the pavement, I felt pretty badass, but I am no hurry to meet that fate again.

Friends, be careful out there! What I learned from yesterday is just because you have ridden a route a hundred times, that does not mean you can take a second off from focusing on everything ahead of you.

Be safe out there.

18 comments:

RockStarTri said...

Feel better. Tegaderm helps with the road rash. I recommend to have someone check out your bike for microfractures in the carbon, especiallu the fork - you really don't want it to fail on another ride. Have fun helmet shopping!

Aimee said...

Ouch! Those wounds look like they really hurt! I'm glad you were o-kay for the most part!

BTW..I was totally cracking up about your saying your pain level wasn't as bad as childbirth..ha ha! They probably did think you were delusional!

Christi said...

Bummer,I am so sorry. I am glad that you were not hurt worse. I hope you heal quickly.

Kim said...

Rough day? Glad you are still vertical and functioning. You will be happy to know that I started a cycling group for women, called the Lady Cyclers of Greece. Seriously, glad you didn't get hurt too badly - the scars will give you character!

Heather said...

I am glad you weren't hurt worse.

I am also glad my husband is not the only drama pain guy. I just sat on his foot and thought I was going to have to call the ambulance!!

Heal up quickly!!

Chris said...

OUCH, glad you're (relatively) OK! And the obvious question, how's the bike?

Mark said...

Chris, the bike is fine. I had it checked out today. It could have been a lot worse all things considered.

Colleen said...

Ouch! Glad that you are alright, besides a little road rash!

Hope the replacement Garmin is still yours, even with the cracked screen on the old one. Why tell them??? :)

Caratunk Girl said...

Oh man Mark, that is so scary!! I am glad that you are OK, and like you said, it could be so much worse!

So I am sorry about your trakkers kit, but is your bike OK? :)

Hollywood said...

Yeah man; I've crashed plenty. I'm with Mandy though; the wheels ok? That was the first thing I checked when I crashed last season...right before I fell back over realizing that I couldn't see straight and had landed hard enough on my head to crack my helmet. Kinda ironic the PSA about paying attention to a well known route. 5mile loop I've logged far too many miles on, and today I hit a manhole cover I know is there at 30 in aero... Did you know TT bikes have wings?

TriMadness! (Joel) said...

Wow. Glad you're generally OK. Road rash sucks, but as you know, it could have been so much worse. In my last crash (several years ago, knock on wood) I broke my left collarbone and my right thumb - and needed surgery on both!

I'm with some of the others - thoroughly check out the bike and helmet to make sure they are OK!

Mark said...

Hey Gang — thanks for all your comments. I have gotten some advice from Sir RockstarTri himself and others about how to treat the constant burning.

The bike is OKAY! There is a little bit of cosmetic damage on the handlebars, but no fractures in the frame at all. The wheels are also alright.

Time to get right back out there in hit the pavement again (this time in a good way!)

Molly said...

yikes, it does sound like it could be so much worse, glad you're okay.

I like how Wifey keeps you in check : )

TEX said...

Isn't that Razr Scooter the same one that Alayna recently injured (like stitches - injury ;-)herself on ? Maybe there is a recall on that scooter b/c of Parental Injuries. Just a thought!
/Squirrel.

Big Daddy Diesel said...

I am glad your alright

Krista said...

Scary! I'm glad you are okay! I hope you have a speedy recovery!

KC (my 140 point 6 mile journey) said...

oh man! Glad you are ok ...as in no broken bones. Like you said, if you ride enough, it's going to happen. And you know that I know this all too well. Knock on wood, 2011 has been good to me. Those boo-boo's will heal fast and the scars will give you stories to tell your kids for years to come. How's that for a positive spin on things? Glad to see you are back on the bike (based on your most recent post).

fncec said...

Unfortunately welcome to the club buddy! Heal quickly, you still have races waiting for you!!!