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Old 11-20-04, 04:33 PM   #1
Mars
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High speed wreck

How many times have I ridden over train tracks? 10,000 times maybe. I don't even really think about it. A quick twitch of the handlebars to hit them as close to a right angle as possible, lift butt off seat, and back to riding.

This time, though, was different. I was setting a pace of 23 mph on the last 4 miles of my weekend training ride when I came to some RR tracks. I did my usual, but this time the front wheel deflected and I was going down.

I played rugby for several years and the old instincts kicked in. Rolled shoulder, right arm across my face, chin down. Leg hits (ouch!!), hear metal on pavement. Now shoulder...Impact!!! My body twists and rolls. I see my bike fly skyward as I tumble across the asphalt. Then, stillness. I taste dust in my mouth as I lay on my side. I hear someone say to someone else, "Do you have a cellphone?" I hear hurrying feet as I start to lift myself up. I say,"Was that a great looking wreck or what?"

That was about an hour ago. I'm home now. Took 4 aspirins and a hot bath. My cognac is all gone so I'm sipping amaretto (the horror!). An inspection of my body reveals skin missing from about halfway down my calf up to my hip. My right elbow, forearm, and shoulder are all missing some skin too. My neck is sore, but not too bad.

Bike: bar tape, saddle and right chainstay were power sanded by the asphalt. She landed on grass after being launched into the air by my rolling body. She is a cyclocross bike, so built pretty tough. Glad I wasn't on my roadie.

I think I need more aspirin now...
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Old 11-20-04, 05:41 PM   #2
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Well written! Glad you and the bike are mostly alright.
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Old 11-20-04, 05:48 PM   #3
Mika
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Wait 'till tomorrow.

Sorry to hear about the spill. Damn, I hate road rash.

Did you use some disinfectant on the wounds? You should.. the road is covered with cooties.

Take care, and keep us posted on how the injuries are coming along.
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Old 11-20-04, 05:49 PM   #4
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Ouch! That sounds painful. Look at it this way: any crash you can remember wasn't as worse as it could have been. When I was teenager, friend of mine ended up being airlifted after his front QR popped just as he was riding over some tracks. He went down head first onto the rails. He wasn't wearing a helmet. We had slowed down perhaps to the low-20s MPH at the time in perparation for crossing. He woke up in the hospital not even remembering that he had been riding that day. Another friend of mine ended up in a pile when the rider in front of him went down (I think the front rider touched wheels with the rider ahead). He told me later that all he remembers is that the rider in front fell and he thought to himself, "wow... this is going to be bad." Then he also recounts how the next thing he knew he was on the ground with a bunch of people surrounding him feeling disassociated from his body and hearing ambulance sirens while thinking, "boy, those are ambulances, someone must have really been hurt." What he didn't realise was that the ambulances were for him!

Heal up well.
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Last edited by khuon; 11-20-04 at 05:54 PM.
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Old 11-20-04, 08:19 PM   #5
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I hate rail tracks, and have a nice set of them on my commute (yuck). Always slow down for them, though I bomb over them faster than most other cyclists I see. Hope you feel okay when you get up on the morrow; my last scrape was a kayak accident (got sucked into a hydraulic, and boy, it sucked alright; roll wouldn't stick and came out beaten and bruised). Felt worse the next day, even after the stitches.
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Old 11-20-04, 08:32 PM   #6
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Happened to me, too.

It can be over in a second.
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