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Old 05-02-14, 09:01 AM   #51
merlinextraligh
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Originally Posted by grolby View Post
Honestly this is part of why I think the advice to not put a hand out is misguided. I think it's a myth that you're going to avoid breaking a collarbone this way (I landed on the back of my shoulder - crunch), and if your hand, elbow, wrist, shoulder absorb or deflect some force that might otherwise end up at your head, that seems like a reasonable sacrifice to me. For my part, though, I can't say I recall being able to get an arm out in the most of the crashes I've had, anyway, and I've yet to really hit my head.
I'm not sure there's a good way to fall. And if you had enough control to manage exactly how you fell, you wouldn't fall in the first place.

That said, my instinct has always been to keep hands on the bars and try to tuck and roll.

Totally anecdotal, but no broken bones yet, knock on wood.
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Old 05-02-14, 09:08 AM   #52
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I have no instincts either way. My crashes happened faster than my reaction time.
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Old 05-02-14, 09:27 AM   #53
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I have no instincts either way. My crashes happened faster than my reaction time.
It's just my default, not a conscious decision at the time, to keep hands on bars. It may be I don't react fast enough to put my hand out. Just from experience I know I tend to keep my hands on the bars.
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Old 05-02-14, 09:44 AM   #54
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In about 10 years they'll perfect the wearable airbag vests for cycling. Even if it did prevent 90% of injuries people wouldn't wear it; people don't crash enough to justify the hassle, fashion faux pas, or various performance penalties (aero, weight, heat); its the same logic people avoided seat belts and helmets.

Everytime I've went down my only thought is protect the neck and head. Past that there's not much time to think about anything else.

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Old 05-02-14, 11:31 AM   #55
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Oh no, what happened?
nothing special really. went down on a team training ride and fractured my collar bone.
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Old 05-02-14, 11:41 AM   #56
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Mine detonated.

That said, we need a crash thread merge…I can't keep track of what is in which thread any longer :/
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I'm not sure there's a good way to fall. And if you had enough control to manage exactly how you fell, you wouldn't fall in the first place.

That said, my instinct has always been to keep hands on the bars and try to tuck and roll.

Totally anecdotal, but no broken bones yet, knock on wood.
Yeah, someone in the 41 linked a few months ago to an article from Bicycling called "How to Crash Like a Pro" or something, which mentioned Geraint Thomas' crash in the 2011 TdF, and gave step-by-step instructions on how to do all these things that he supposedly did really well to come out of it uninjured. It was pretty laughable - so many random variables came together to make it a crash that he was able to limit the impact of: he was more-or-less solo, the speed wasn't terribly high, he regained some measure of traction enough that he didn't immediately hit the deck, and so on. Made all the more ridiculous by the fact this link got posted here in the fall, AFTER the 2013 TdF, where Thomas was in a high-speed pile-up where he ended up with a cracked hip. I guess he forgot about all those clever moves he had at his disposal two years earlier.

It's definitely true that some people seem to fall harder than others, but I'm not sure it has to do with the specifics of how they manage the fall, maybe the kind of crashes they tend to have. In my case, I've crashed eight times in road races, never broke a bone or had any serious injury until I fell off my cross bike last fall. Go figure.
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Old 05-02-14, 03:57 PM   #57
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all the crashes I've had, it was about a split second where things got super sketchy and I'm either going to recover or hit the deck. Thankfully, most of the time I've been able to recover it, but a handful of times it was deck kissing time. This last crash, I fumbled it for a split second and then next thing I know I was making contact with the ground.

Not much time to think about it.

This isn't like you're doing a Robbie Knievel jump over dirt and you know you're going to land wrong so you brace yourself or do something fancy. idk, maybe wiser people have some input.
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Old 05-02-14, 11:05 PM   #58
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Ouch - heal well robabeetle, then figure out the part about getting back to racing. And as soon as you can lift your arms, cook your girlfriend a nice dinner (consider getting a recipe from mollusk .
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Old 05-03-14, 05:44 AM   #59
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And if that recipe calls for hot peppers, PM me.
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Old 05-03-14, 07:12 AM   #60
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Massage, dinner, any other suggestions?
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Old 05-03-14, 08:15 AM   #61
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robabeatle - I'm late to the party, but wanted to say I'm bummed about your crash (though obviously not as much as you are). Heal quickly and well!

Re: landing in a crash. When I crashed about a month ago, I don't recall how I landed. Post-crash evidence seems to indicate that I kept my hands on the bars. There's a hole in the top of my right glove, the right shoulder of my jersey got shredded, and the right side of my helmet cracked. The most painful injury has been on the top of my right index finger, on the knuckle right next to the nail, where I ground through multiple layers of skin. It's just been a few days since I could forego wearing a bandage over it. The broken collarbone has been pretty much pain free.
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Old 05-03-14, 02:10 PM   #62
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Let's not forget landing directly on your shoulder, which is at least as common a way to break it as landing on a hand or elbow. Whatever the case, there's some real force involved in breaking a collarbone, and more muscle doesn't seem likely to help much.
it takes shockingly little pressure to snap a collarbone from a direct-blow, mid-shaft. i want to say it is on the order of 15-16# of force. this is why it is taught as a common target for martial arts/self-defense. i'm guessing an indirect blow (landing on the hand, elbow, end of the shoulder) increases the required force, but it's still a weak point.

i'd recently broken my collarbone when i went down in a race last weekend. i was told by my doc that i should not take another fall on that bone while it was healing. (not that there is ever a good time, but he felt like 3 months is about when most healing will be done; i asked.)

prior to the race, i told myself that if i were to go down i should hold onto the bars at all costs. as well all know, crashes happen so fast, but i feel like i did hold onto the bars longer than normal. i still had some road rash on my palm and forearm (fairly minor). i was laying in the road and first checked my collarbone -- it was OK.

in some way, i wonder if that mindset caused me to take the full brunt of the fall on my hip, which lead to breaking my femur. it takes a huge amount of force to break an otherwise healthy femur. i'll never know for sure.
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Old 05-03-14, 11:46 PM   #63
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Take a moment and think about all the things you ask and expect (easily) of both your arms. My girlfriend and I reached new levels of intimacy.
Understand and empathize deeply, man.

Clipped by a car and crashed out into a guardrail. One clavicle, and multiple hand, wrist, and forearm fractures left me double-casted like you.

Taking an emergency dump and crying in a Qdoba womens bathroom so my girlfriend could wipe my ace was my magnum opus. I am normally a collected and tough cookie. But if someone told me to HTFU on that day I would've blown up their home.

Couldn't have made it without the girl. That's how my girlfriend became my wife. Hope your story has an equally happy ending...
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Old 05-04-14, 12:30 AM   #64
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I too wish for your fast and complete recovery.

This is nothing compared to your situation, but I fractured my left wrist at the beginning of February while riding. I had my right arm free, but being a lefty, I had trouble doing a lot of everyday things. (I have to thank my wife for putting up with me!) Now you lost both arms for a while... man, that must have been really tough.

Hang in there. Once you've recovered enough to be able to ride, all the pain and agony you've gone through will have paid off. Good luck!
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Old 05-04-14, 06:48 AM   #65
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Understand and empathize deeply, man.

Clipped by a car and crashed out into a guardrail. One clavicle, and multiple hand, wrist, and forearm fractures left me double-casted like you.

Taking an emergency dump and crying in a Qdoba womens bathroom so my girlfriend could wipe my ace was my magnum opus. I am normally a collected and tough cookie. But if someone told me to HTFU on that day I would've blown up their home.

Couldn't have made it without the girl. That's how my girlfriend became my wife. Hope your story has an equally happy ending...
Exactly! I have both hands free now, left arm in a brace, but it is still hard to put on socks and wash myself. Glad you're healed up.

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I too wish for your fast and complete recovery.

This is nothing compared to your situation, but I fractured my left wrist at the beginning of February while riding. I had my right arm free, but being a lefty, I had trouble doing a lot of everyday things. (I have to thank my wife for putting up with me!) Now you lost both arms for a while... man, that must have been really tough.

Hang in there. Once you've recovered enough to be able to ride, all the pain and agony you've gone through will have paid off. Good luck!
Thanks, I am so lookingvforward to that day!
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Old 07-11-14, 06:12 AM   #66
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3 month, 2 week Update

Update

Overall:

Pretty darn good. I have been riding the bike since May 28 including a big(ish) base block during the month of June while I had the privilege of residing in the PNW. My first week out was spent on the 29er on the road. The suspension of the tubeless helped a lot. I then migrated to the road bike and eventually got onto the trails for some non technical mtn rides.

It is hard to believe where I was just three months ago, seems like a dream (nightmare). I can do everything I need to do in everyday life.

Specific Injuries:

1. Right radius: hardly noticeable at all. Slightly stiff, range of motion is ~95%.

2. Left clavicle: essentially full range of motion, acute sharp pains once every few days that lasts a few seconds.

3. Left elbow: close to being able to fully extend, feels sore after lifting. Oh yeah, I am able to get into the gym and lift now as part of my PT.

4. Left radius (wrist): this is the slowest part of my body to heal, even though it superficially looked like the fracture to my right radius. The surgeon stated that this was likely due to the massive trauma to the left side of my body. Upon waking, I can't make a tight fist until I warm up. Range of motion is getting better, I am specifically working on rotations in the sense of a waiter holding a platter. I can get my hand horizontal (with my left elbow braced to my side) but I should be able to get a bit past horizontal. I wouldn't be able to perform pushups as well as I can't bend this hand back far enough yet. I do believe that I will be able to do this eventually. I still have a little swelling right along the scar on my wrist.

-Left arm overall is still weak. Just last week was the first time I could hammer up a sustained climb standing and not feel it in my arm.

The surgeon stated that my recovery is looking excellent and I should continue to get improved range of motion over the next 6 months. I have one more visit in 6 weeks.

Fitness:

The big base block really helped to start to bring my fitness back though of course it is not where it was previously. I have begun to drop excess weight. Frankly, I did not care that I gained. I figured that a caloric surplus helped speed recovery and that was my priority. I plan to continue with a traditional base for two more blocks. Last fall, I did not go through a traditional base period to see how my body responded and I believe that one of my strengths was limited due to this. I'll continue the experiment.

Mental:

Well, mentally, I have been all over the place during this recovery. I am still not sure how things will pan out. What I do know: I absolutely love the local group ride in my hometown (Shootout) and I will be out there. This begs the question: If this is basically an unsanctioned road race, why not do a RR? I just can't see myself going back to riding alone or just with a few friends. When I sit and simply think of some race that I was there contesting the sprint, my heart rate goes up. Same for watching most of the race videos posted here. I absolutely enjoy that feeling. I have thought throughout my life that my biochemistry is such that I need some outlet such as this or else I get bored, depressed, etc. and you do not want to be around me as my tongue grows a whip. (Thankfully I have an understanding GF) I have always sought out adventure/adrenaline rushes and the like. I'm sure some of you can relate.

With that said, I can not miss three weeks of work for injuries each year. Very unlikely of course. Luckily, my job is essentially all mental except for typing on the computer and writing on a whiteboard. Still that has me thinking about next year...I have plans to pin up this fall in the TT Hill climbs. I realize that I am not a climber per say but I want some motivation and I do love to climb. That would be at the end of September. So I am planning to climb a lot and continue to slowly drop weight. I will wait a while before I attempt a group ride as I want the soft tissue injuries to be close to 100% healed.

Final thoughts:

I sustained a pretty bad set of injuries and three months later, I am riding and near 100%. Bike racing is dangerous. (Did you see stage 5??) But the body heals, and it is more fun to live than to worry.

Several of you are dealing with injuries as well: I send my best out to you.

</random thoughts>
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Old 07-11-14, 07:30 AM   #67
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Thanks for the update. Tough progress, but it's progress. Regarding road racing, do what you want to do. Your internal risk regulator is in tune. Don't race just because it's logical, but rather go for it when you really can't wait to hop on BikeReg and toe the line. You'll get there -- I had more fun in a pack finish last night than should be legal.

Pushups: I've got some chronic wrist issues, and I started doing my pushups on fists because it was just too much stress to do them on my palms. It's a really screwed up exercise with respect to the wrist torque.
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Old 07-11-14, 08:25 AM   #68
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Glad to see you are progressing well and haven't lost the motivation to race.
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Old 07-11-14, 09:05 AM   #69
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Pushups: I've got some chronic wrist issues, and I started doing my pushups on fists because it was just too much stress to do them on my palms. It's a really screwed up exercise with respect to the wrist torque.
Thanks, and good idea.
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Old 07-11-14, 09:05 AM   #70
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Glad to see you are progressing well and haven't lost the motivation to race.
Cheers mate.
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Old 07-11-14, 09:14 AM   #71
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Glad to hear you're back on the bike. One step at a time. If you decide to take a break from racing there's no shame in that.
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Old 07-11-14, 09:27 AM   #72
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Glad to hear you're back on the bike. One step at a time. If you decide to take a break from racing there's no shame in that.
Absolutely, thanks shovel.
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Old 07-11-14, 10:01 AM   #73
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Welcome back, glad to hear you're healing well.
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Old 07-11-14, 11:31 AM   #74
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+1 I'm enjoying the healing story as a newly-injured guy!
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Old 07-11-14, 04:24 PM   #75
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Welcome back, glad to hear you're healing well.
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+1 I'm enjoying the healing story as a newly-injured guy!
Thanks guys. Heal up mattm!
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