I did the Wells Ave C race today. I was nervous because during my last race I had someone cross my front wheel, and it was only through some miracle of circumstance that I didn't go down. I did wreck my rear wheel, and that made enough of an impression to make me cautious today.
I felt pretty good for most of the race. I was aware that I was being cautious, and I missed a couple of opportunities as a result, but towards the end of the race I felt that I still had matches to burn, and I moved towards the front of the pack.
Going into the last corner, there was a rider ahead of me to my left. At the very apex of the corner, either I drifted outwards or he drifted inwards, or both. My front wheel crossed his rear, and I went down *hard*. I remember the crash and the aftermath only in hazy fragments.
I skidded/tumbled to a stop, and sat up. Nothing felt broken, though I had blood everywhere. I vaguely remember talking to a spectator and another rider, but I can't recall what we spoke about. They must have walked me back to the line, because the next thing I remember I was sitting down behind the officials' table, and the traffic officer was asking if I was OK. I felt as though I had suddenly woken up from a nightmare, and could barely remember any of it. That feeling repeated a number of times, as whatever I had just been doing was suddenly unfamiliar.
I vaguely remember someone showing me a crack in my helmet, though I could easily have fabricated that - I honestly do not remember, my head was so muddled.
I do remember dialing 911, and having paramedics arrive and put me on a back-board with a collar. I didn't have any head or neck pain, but I was in no condition to protest. I was able to carry on a coherent (I think) conversation with the paramedic on the way to the E.R. At this point I was feeling better - my short-term memory seemed to be OK again, and my abrasions had not yet begun to sting.
I saw nothing but hospital ceilings for the next half hour or so, while they examined me for brokenness. Finding none, they gradually freed me from the back-board and collar. I tallied up the wounds as they cleaned and dressed them:
- Large abrasion on my left wrist and palm, and smaller ones on the fingers.
- Deep abrasions on both knees.
- Abrasions on the heel of my right hand, and on the thumb and a few fingers.
- (the worst of them) A deep abrasion on my right forearm near the elbow, continuing on to my upper arm most of the way up.
- A very broad, but not-very-deep abrasion on my right hip.
- Minor abrasions on my chin, right ankle, chest, and left shoulder.
All bandaged up, I looked like a mummy ready for Halloween. They discharged me soon afterward, and now I'm home resting, and dreading having to change my dressings later tonight.
As for my bike, I vaguely remember seeing that the right brifter was knocked way out of place and deeply scratched. I don't know what other damage was done, because both the bike and helmet were taken by the Newton police, and I have yet to go retrieve them. My bike shorts have a huge tear at the right hip, and are going in the trash. The lenses of my sunglasses are scratched beyond hope, and presumably the helmet is also a loss.
I do have my speedometer, which was knocked clear by the impact and retrieved by somebody, though I cannot remember who. I found it in my jersey pocket at the hospital, and it records the speed with which I hit the pavement: 29 mph.
Psychologically, I'm not sure how OK I am. I was so numbed by the impact that I didn't really think about what had happened until I was safely home. Since then, I've had a number of flashbacks of the crash, and it's a real possibility that my two recent wrecks will spook me out of racing for quite some time. I'll just have to see how I feel in a couple of weeks. I do commute to work by bike, so at least I'll have those exposures to hopefully build up my confidence again.