Well, I got my first crash out of the way. Fourth of July at the Northfield Crit here in MN.
Mixed Cat 4/5 race, and I was actually doing very well, hanging with the lead pack after we lapped some stragglers early on.
Going through a left turn after a short (one city block) descent. The wheel I'm following skid out sideways, rider goes one way, the bike goes the other way through the turn. I did brake a little, but locked up, so I had to eat it and went right into him which made me hit pavement on my left side. Left hand still on the handlebars and my bar tape took the brunt of the fall with some small road rash on the hip and elbow, but I was able to get up and head back to the pit to claim my free lap. Upon inspection, the official pulled me as my knuckles were gushing blood. Game over, head to get cleaned up.
I must have had some adrenaline going, as I didn't feel any pain as we scrubbed the dirt/gravel out of my knuckles, but the only pain I felt was a sharp pain in my back as my jersey shifted. Turns out, my fall made one of the safety pins on my number unhook and stab into my back right below my shoulder blade. The medic pulled it out and said it was embedded about a half inch into my skin.
I think I have the art of pinning mastered enough to pass the test for upgrade to the 4's, but is there a different technique (aside from not crashing) to avoid the pins from planting into your skin?