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Old 05-25-08, 10:26 AM   #1
aicabsolut
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First DNF

It was bound to happen.

I raced BikeJam yesterday in Baltimore, MD. Women's 3/4.

Fast, wide course. Only one really sketchy sharp left turn. Kinda crappy pavement, but not terrible.

My problems happened in turn 1 about half way through the race. It is just after a slight uphill, so the field has slowed down. The turn is wide and easy to the right. Beginning of a very wide S curve. A racer 2 "lanes" over to my left decides the turn a lot more sharply than anyone else and slams into the girl on my left. I react to get away from her, and lightly bump the person on my right. That bounces me back left a tad, because to stop the wobble, I stopped turning. That plus the force the rider to my left felt caused us to slam together anyway. Lots of further bumping bars, shoulders, hips, everything. Bump, straighten (but impossible to straighten up on the same line), bump again. The 2 to our sides had fallen back behind us some. Finally, it got to the point where front wheels were going to collide or I had to try to turn hard. I got upright, turned, and thought, "yes! I'm going to keep this upright!" as I finally wound up in the same line as the girl to my left. Then the person to my right/rear screamed. Then the "oh *****" moment as my tires started skidding out. Turns out the screamer hit me again as I was turning hard. I thought I went underneath the person on my left, but only the screamer and I wound up on the pavement (she was ok and got back in the race). I don't know it all happened exactly, but that's all I could piece together from my recollection and spectator comments. I landed smack on my helmet over my right ear and heard the crack. I sat up, saw that I was turned around backwards on the course, my bike in front of me. My head hurt like mad. I was really dizzy. I managed to get up and walk back to the start line, where the officials tried to convince me to take a free lap. Hell no. I took off my helmet and showed it to them. Yep, broken. The EMTs gave me 2 alcohol wipes and told me to try to get some ice from the vendors. I managed to find a sandwich bag full of ice from the VIP tent. Great.

The rest of me is doing ok. Somehow I wound up with a perfect greasy chain imprint on the outside of my left calf. Road rash on hip, but it's pretty mild. Very light scrape on ankle and elbow and shoulder/upper back. Swelling on hip and ankle. Today, my neck and shoulder muscles hurt like hell. At least that headache is gone. It lasted allll day yesterday.

Bike damage is pretty cosmetic. Bar tape shredded on right and bars scratched. Levers collected more scratches, some sharp. Pedal also has deep scratches. I don't remember looking at the RD. The weird thing is that the front rim is scraped badly on the left side, and the rear side of the fork just above the dropout has some deep scratches. I think it's just cosmetic, but it's definitely down to the carbon. So maybe I did go part way under the other bike. Headset is also crazy loose, but I've been having some issues with that with this frame (got it in March). I've already had to re-tighten it twice. It's at the shop to get the rim sanded and to get a general inspection.

I was going to race today, but oh well.

What kind of pisses me off the wost is that I didn't get a good look at the person who started the whole mess. I guess I'm glad that I was able to survive several bumps in a turn and keep things under control. It sucks that I ultimately couldn't keep the rubber side down.

Could've been worse. Helmets rock.
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Old 05-25-08, 10:58 AM   #2
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Could've been worse. Helmets rock.
True. Hope things work out better next time.
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Old 05-25-08, 11:35 AM   #3
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Glad you weren't seriously hurt. Sucks to get out of a race like that though.
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Old 05-25-08, 11:46 AM   #4
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Glad you weren't seriously hurt. Sucks to get out of a race like that though.
+1 on both counts!

Glad you weren't hurt too bad. I hate when people just don't hold their line and cause a chain reaction.
I almost went down in my first race when a guy sprinted straight into me. I managed to bump him and stay up, but down he went.
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Old 05-25-08, 12:18 PM   #5
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sorry to read that you crashed. bikejam is always a crash fest and the W3/4 race always seems to have the worst crashes, year after year. glad to read that you didnt require an ambulance ride. get a new helmet, let yourself heal, take a few days off, ice and advil + the tegaderm stuff for the RR.
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Old 05-27-08, 09:58 AM   #6
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It was definitely one of the scariest races I've done, considering how wide and seemingly uncomplicated the course was. Lots of near disastrous chain reactions. I unfortunately was caught in the middle of one that went very wrong.

I'm doing pretty well now, except the last thing I want to think about is getting in some miles before Murad this weekend. My head is still too bruised to want to wear a (new) helmet, and of course I'm not riding without one. That race is going to have to be a last minute decision I guess.

I wasn't sure whether I should post this in the suffering thread or here, but here's a nice photo of the aftermath. I cropped a photo taken by Jim Wilson *edit* http://images.jamesrwilson.com/p990251232/


Last edited by aicabsolut; 05-27-08 at 12:28 PM.
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Old 05-27-08, 10:06 AM   #7
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ouch. sorry to hear.

seems that ' seemingly uncomplicated' courses sometimes make thing sketchier than normal. makes me think of that race in austin, earlier in the season the WR was at, where there were several crashes on a wide, straight sprint.
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Old 05-27-08, 10:13 AM   #8
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Well at least you got a good photo out of it.

Get back on the horse soon
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Old 05-27-08, 11:22 AM   #9
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the road gets really skinny after the start/finish as you setup for the S-curve. of course it doesn't help that people tend to be pretty gassed after coming up that uphill bit that precedes it. i've been pushed into the barriers there before and fought to stay up... sorry you were hurt.

a buddy of mine crashed on the back straight section on the last lap last year. that was the last race he did and he won't race again.
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Old 05-27-08, 11:23 AM   #10
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Ouch.. But a nice pic though.

Quote:
Originally Posted by aicabsolut
What kind of pisses me off the wost is that I didn't get a good look at the person who started the whole mess.
Planning on roughing her up? .
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Old 05-27-08, 11:42 AM   #11
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Nah, but it's always nice to know who to stay far away from in the future.

I think I know what team it was (an unfamiliar kit, but there were lots of them here--maybe a PA team). It was the same team as the other woman who went down. I had yelled at one of them earlier in another corner to watch their line as something similar to this event almost happened in front of me. But then, I thought the girl I was bumping on my left (who was hit by the primary offender) was a friend of mine, but it turns out she just had a similar kit and bike color. I could've sworn it was she, but she said she was well behind me and watched it all unfold. I was preoccupied with trying to keep my bike under control, and there were too many people around, plus the event was kind of fuzzy until impact.

I remember the moment of that photo more clearly. I sat up, felt really really dizzy, lowered head, and thought (for the second time), OMG my head!
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Old 05-27-08, 12:01 PM   #12
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That photo is incredible.

What an awesome keepsake from an unfortunate event.
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Old 05-27-08, 12:12 PM   #13
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Wow. Could have been so much worse. I'm glad it wasn't.

I was also in a crashfest on Saturday. I was told there were 6 separate crashes in my race. One happened right in front of me and I felt like Lightning McQueen in the first scene of Cars. (If you have a 4-year old boy, you'll have this movie memorized.) By the end of the race, my nerves were shot.
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Old 05-27-08, 12:15 PM   #14
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Yes. Nice pic. Bad source. Sorry to hear about your crash
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Old 05-27-08, 12:28 PM   #15
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link to the album fixed
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Old 05-27-08, 01:14 PM   #16
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Sorry to hear about your bad luck at Bike Jam. I had bad luck too, but nothing like what you had. Glad your OK. One of our teammates got to go to the E-room from his crash in the 30/40 race and we had another one go down in a multi rider smack up at the end of the Cat 4 race. I was already pulled by then.
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Old 05-27-08, 01:20 PM   #17
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Sorry to hear about your bad luck at Bike Jam. I had bad luck too, but nothing like what you had. Glad your OK. One of our teammates got to go to the E-room from his crash in the 30/40 race and we had another one go down in a multi rider smack up at the end of the Cat 4 race. I was already pulled by then.
is it my imagination or are there way more crashes this year than past years?
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Old 05-27-08, 01:33 PM   #18
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is it my imagination or are there way more crashes this year than past years?
Seriously. I don't know if I even want to race again!

If I can knock myself out on a ride, why give others the chance to do it...

(*grumble grumble*)
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Old 05-27-08, 05:59 PM   #19
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It was definitely one of the scariest races I've done, considering how wide and seemingly uncomplicated the course was. Lots of near disastrous chain reactions.
The problem with those types of courses is no one respects 'em.
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Old 05-27-08, 06:35 PM   #20
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Keep the photo and frame it with the one of you crossing the line or on the podium. Both are part and parcel of this sick little sport. And yeah, having broken one in 6 pieces, helmets do rock.

Glad you're more OK than not.
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