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  1. #1
    aka Tom Reingold noglider's Avatar
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    safety warning: do not insert your brake lever into your thigh

    Last night was the last of four sessions of classes my partner and I taught. The course was called Let's Ride. It covered traffic handling skills and bike repair.

    Near the end of the ride, a student fell, and in a freak accident, the brake lever entered her thigh and was completely submerged under her skin. It caused a lot of pain, and she was in quite a panic because it looked so very gruesome.

    As luck had it, very helpful people were right there. We were in a county park, near the edge of the park and a road. In the park was a fire engine with full crew, a patrol car with an officer, an EMT riding his bike, and an OR nurse taking a walk. The officer called for an ambulance, which came quickly, with EMT's, as did an ambulance with paramedics. The cyclist-EMT and my partner disassembled the bike, separating handlebars from the bike so that our student could keep the handlebars in her lap. She didn't want anyone extracting the brake lever. The EMT's agreed and complied, and they gingerly lifted her onto a backboard and then a stretcher, taking great care not to disturb the handlebar/human interface.

    The police officer said he is also a cyclist. He does mountain bike races. He had never seen a brake lever pierce a body before. I'm sure he never will again, either.

    The student had brought her husband and kids with her for the first time. Husband was riding along with us. The two kids, age 17 and 7, stayed at the ride start point.

    By the time the ambulance took the student away, the sun had set, and it was quite dark. I strapped the disassembled remains of the bike to the rack on my bike, and we pedaled through the quite-dark woods to our start point. I talked to the husband, making sure he was calm and wasn't worrying too much.

    The kids took the news quite well. My partner and I accompanied husband and kids to the hospital. We found the patient in good spirits. Her injury, as it turned out, was minor. She said that at least half the pain was from the horror of seeing her body invaded in such a shocking and disgusting way. The lever didn't enter any muscle tissue.

    She's sore today and has trouble walking, but she says she is looking forward to getting back on the bike.
    You don't read my signature anyway, do you?

    Tom Reingold, noglider@pobox.com
    Residences: West Village, New York City and High Falls, NY
    Blogs: The Experienced Cyclist; noglider's ride blog

  2. #2
    PanGalacticGargleBlaster Zaphod Beeblebrox's Avatar
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    I'm sure I'll be able to formulate a coherent response when I'm done cringing in sympathetic pain DAMN!
    --Don't Panic.

  3. #3
    French threaded PDXaero's Avatar
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    There is no smilet face on this forum that accurately reflects my reaction.
    Its good to hear it wasn't a major injury, and you are very fortunate to have so much medical staff present.
    Also thanks to you for teaching public classes to educate for biking advocacy.
    While gruesome, this story replenishes some hope after hearing nonstop "bike vs car" rhettoric.
    ISO
    stronglight 107 cranks

  4. #4
    FBoD Member at Large khatfull's Avatar
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    Ttiuwp

    Seriously though, glad there's no permanent damage...the 64 dollar question:

    What kind of brake lever?!

  5. #5
    Wherever I may roam....
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    Working as a nurse in a trauma center, I've seen some pretty strange injuries (papermate pen in a particularly delicate male place) but, I've never seen that one. Glad she's OK and still interested in riding!
    Emails are quicker.... RobvanI-81@hotmail.com

    ISO: Roberts frame/fork 58cm

  6. #6
    aka Tom Reingold noglider's Avatar
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    If you are on facebook, you can see a funny video of a friend of mine. This has nothing to do with my story, but since you said ttiuwp...

    http://www.facebook.com/video/video.php?v=420103164028

    Why is it that when I googled that term, I got a lot of pictures of pretty young women with large breasts?
    You don't read my signature anyway, do you?

    Tom Reingold, noglider@pobox.com
    Residences: West Village, New York City and High Falls, NY
    Blogs: The Experienced Cyclist; noglider's ride blog

  7. #7
    Some guy with a bike serra's Avatar
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    Dang that would hurt/be horrifying!!! My goodness! Glad she's okay, hopefully she gets back out and riding again.

  8. #8
    aka Tom Reingold noglider's Avatar
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    I have faith she'll be back on the road soon.
    You don't read my signature anyway, do you?

    Tom Reingold, noglider@pobox.com
    Residences: West Village, New York City and High Falls, NY
    Blogs: The Experienced Cyclist; noglider's ride blog

  9. #9
    PanGalacticGargleBlaster Zaphod Beeblebrox's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by noglider View Post

    Why is it that when I googled that term (ttiup) I got a lot of pictures of pretty young women with large breasts?
    WOW you aren't kidding!
    --Don't Panic.

  10. #10
    Senior Member KD5NRH's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by khatfull View Post
    What kind of brake lever?!
    That's what I was wondering; most of them have that rounded bit on the end, and they should be on the wrong side of the bars to poke the rider anyway.

  11. #11
    slow as I ever was Ex Pres's Avatar
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    A little OT but not much:
    Reminder: Everyone out there plug the ends of your handlebars.
    It's a USCF rule, and one of the things I check each rider's bike for before each race I ref.

  12. #12
    FBoD Member at Large khatfull's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zaphod Beeblebrox View Post
    WOW you aren't kidding!
    This Thread Is Uuseless Without Pics. I didn't miss the "W".

  13. #13
    Senior Member mudboy's Avatar
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    I put a spoke through my left calf when I was a lad. Hurt.
    --~--~--~--~--~--~--~--~--~--~--~--~--~--~--~--~--
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  14. #14
    Senior Member mudboy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zaphod Beeblebrox View Post
    WOW you aren't kidding!
    Try googling "CN tower"

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  15. #15
    PanGalacticGargleBlaster Zaphod Beeblebrox's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mudboy View Post
    Try googling "CN tower"

    791,999 pics of the CN tower and 1 pic (interestingly the 4th result)....Clearly NOT the CN tower.
    --Don't Panic.

  16. #16
    DRF aka Thrifty Bill wrk101's Avatar
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    Another reason to have really good insurance and an LLC to protect you. I teach motorcycle riding in the Carolinas through the community college system. They had a fatality at another school in the program last weekend...... I may be rethinking that hobby job.

  17. #17
    WNG
    WNG is offline
    Spin Forest! Spin! WNG's Avatar
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    Wow, weird accident. I've also never heard of a brake lever causing such an injury. Sounds like it managed to pierce dermal layer and lodge into a layer of fat tissue. Glad to read she's going to be OK.
    “You meet the nicest people on two wheels!"
    "Learn from yesterday, live for today, hope for tomorrow." ~Albert Einstein

  18. #18
    XR2
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zaphod Beeblebrox View Post
    791,999 pics of the CN tower and 1 pic (interestingly the 4th result)....Clearly NOT the CN tower.
    You didn't pay attention. The CN tower is on the left side of the image. Overwhelmed were we?
    I owe-therefore I am.

  19. #19
    aka Tom Reingold noglider's Avatar
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    I was teaching it through The Adult School which, I assume, has a full set of lawyers and accountants. Thank goodness for that and for the good nature of my student.
    You don't read my signature anyway, do you?

    Tom Reingold, noglider@pobox.com
    Residences: West Village, New York City and High Falls, NY
    Blogs: The Experienced Cyclist; noglider's ride blog

  20. #20
    aka Tom Reingold noglider's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by WNG View Post
    Wow, weird accident. I've also never heard of a brake lever causing such an injury. Sounds like it managed to pierce dermal layer and lodge into a layer of fat tissue. Glad to read she's going to be OK.
    Yes, I think that's what happened.
    You don't read my signature anyway, do you?

    Tom Reingold, noglider@pobox.com
    Residences: West Village, New York City and High Falls, NY
    Blogs: The Experienced Cyclist; noglider's ride blog

  21. #21
    Some guy with a bike serra's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by noglider View Post
    I have faith she'll be back on the road soon.
    Glad to hear that.

  22. #22
    www.theheadbadge.com cudak888's Avatar
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    *Takes a deep breath*

    I am not sure I can visit this thread again. I can't stand the thought. Very glad to hear it was minor.

    -Kurt

  23. #23
    Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zaphod Beeblebrox View Post
    I'm sure I'll be able to formulate a coherent response when I'm done cringing in sympathetic pain DAMN!
    As much as I would like to.. I don't think I can come up with more than OWWOWWW OWWWOWWWOWWWW OWWWWWWWW!!!!! Yikes...

    Good to hear all is well..

    OWWWWWW

  24. #24
    aka Tom Reingold noglider's Avatar
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    Yeah, we all cringed every time we looked at it. And we had to look at it a lot to help her.
    You don't read my signature anyway, do you?

    Tom Reingold, noglider@pobox.com
    Residences: West Village, New York City and High Falls, NY
    Blogs: The Experienced Cyclist; noglider's ride blog

  25. #25
    Senior Member Andrew F's Avatar
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    Well....when I read the title, I was sure it had something to do with you breaking 50mph on that little hill by your house and discovering brake fade. Happy to read that I was wrong, sorry for your student, hope she heals.

    Hey, how about adding a class on proper crashing techniques? I can do "how to hit a parked car 101"

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