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Old 09-19-13, 10:39 PM   #1
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3 Sec. Bicycle Verses Feral Hogs - Near Miss UNIVEGA ChroMo

Its been three weeks now and I am just and inch and a half shorter, I am no longer flat on my back at less than 30 degrees. I can walk but still need help standing up or wiping my bum. Talking, eating, moving around, a miracle of no jest. My pain meds are at a minimum. Every breath I take one of thankfulness.

On 2013-08-27...
00:01 - I was taking my gentile but fast ride down hill from the local state park “Look Out Point”. The conditions were dry and hot, with no traffic, the road in perfect shape having been repaved after the forest fire a few years ago. Along the sides of the road were many dead trees and piles of brush with sharp branches. My speed was about 30 Mph and slowing to the bottom of the hills in preparation for a blind turn. Out of the corner of my right eye I saw charging at top speed three feral hogs, one large and two small. They were plowing through the grass and brush and angled to intersect the road just in front of me without diversion.

00:02 - I slammed my brakes slowing my ChroMo UNIVEGA and my 238#s but it seemed that slowing was just going to precipitate a more final convergence of bike, rider and hogs. My choices were to try to slide through and stay on the road or try to make a small diversion into a road way parking annex just to my right. The largest hog no more than tree feet high appeared to be mostly composed of an extremely large head and snout with two teeth the size of my thumbs sticking out from its lower jaw. The smaller ones were mere shadows. I had slowed to about 18-19 Mph. Maybe I could jog right and recover.

00:03 - My final thought was what if I hit or startled the hogs they would turn on me. Of hogs I have heard many stories that in spite of Texas like exaggeration were mostly true and gruesome. You just don’t mess with feral hogs unless fully prepared. The hogs passed in front of me as I jogged right. They may not have even seen me they were running so fast. My front wheel bit then sunk into soft gravel on the roadway shoulder as it skipped into a fallen tree. I was in the air coming down chest first my sternum slamming into a burnt stump about 18“ high. As my body folded my head banged directly down into the sticks and dirt at the stump base as I flipped. I could hear the crunching of helmet and bone. I then was in the air again bouncing off the stump and buried back first into a pile of debris, branches, brush, and fallen trees wrapped in thistle. My only thought was “Do not loose consciousness.”.

And I did not. No air I forced myself to breath raggedly then checked my self for feeling of head neck toes, it was so hard to breath and my upper body was loose and disconnected. Blood flooded my eyes. Thankful that I was not fending off hogs it took several minutes to struggled to the road. I knew that if I stayed were I was there was no visible sign of my presence from the road. At the road I got my feet under me and staggered, it was so hard to breath, do not loose consciousness. Some how I got to my not so high an IQ smart phone. My fastest ride out not 911 but my wife a nurse just two miles from home and a transport to the ER less than 3 miles away. At the ER I stepped out of the truck and stood blood pouring from my head an asked for a back board and collar. The medics totally surprised as they had never had a patient ask for them.

From our local ER to Austin trauma center and a long row of studies and tests and I live. The current verdict is Broken sternum with hematoma, two displaced ribs, compression fractures T7 to T12, Compression Fracture L2, Displaced L5, contusions Right knee, arms, back, chest, head, Head lacerations, and a very painful neck.

I am alive. This could have so easily been death or paraplegia. My family and friends and community are all praying for me and its working. I am getting better everyday. I think back on previous spills that I have had even at much higher speeds and more rugged terrain but at 60 years I guess things just can’t take the same beating they used to. Now my biggest problem is trying not to be such a burden around the house. I have less leeway than a porch dog at this time but I know it will get better. I am in an LS spine brace, a type of clam shell that mobilizes the spine (mutant ninja turtle type brace). If I’m lucky I will be able to remove it after Thanks Giving.

My boys brought the UNIVEGA in and let me look at it. WOW, it looks great! I’m not sure but I don’t even think the fork is bent and the wheels are almost true. Of course thats all I got to look at before it was chased out of the house.

I don’t know when I’ll ride again but I’ve got three bikes to build up and that should be fun when I’m allowed in the garage again. My thoughts on Helmets is now changed. I have always thought them a burden and viewed them as flimsy attempts at offering more peace of mind than protection. Over the years I have worn them more for fear of road rash than contusion. My cheap little WallMart Bell helmet really did its job. When my head impacted the ground it caved in spreading out the blow. Small sticks poked through the holes in the helmet sticking my skull and causing lacerations. I believe it saved me from a cranial fracture.

I have talked to people around town here in Bastrop and most everyone has a story about their encounters with feral hogs. One person over in Smithville was nearly disemboweled by one when stepped off of his tractor. I am still not a fan of mandatory bicycle helmets but I will admit their use is well vested. Thats the long story. We’ll see more as I go along and thank you all for your kind thoughts and prayers. Next trip to Vegas I don’t think I’ll be gambling. Most likely I’ve used up more than all my luck. Thank God...
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File Type: jpg Bell2.JPG (70.1 KB, 73 views)
No matter where your at... There you are... Δf:=f(1/2)-f(-1/2)

Last edited by zandoval; 09-20-13 at 09:22 AM.
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Old 09-20-13, 03:29 AM   #2
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Wow. Thank God is right. And thank helmets too.
Any problem can be solved with the proper application of force, heat, chemicals, or money.
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Old 09-20-13, 04:36 AM   #3
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Hoping you recover, and stay safe. You're a very lucky man.
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Old 09-20-13, 04:41 AM   #4
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YIKES!!! Glad you are healing up...but a ways to go. I have not had a bad spill in many, many years....and always just a little afraid of one. I ALWAYS wear a helmet...just because. A local friend here took a bad spill a decade ago, broke his neck...he bounced back and is now the Senior State Champ in Florida (and just won in Georgia 5k and 10 k at 73 years old. But recovery IS slow...don't push TOO hard...but DO PUSH.
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Old 09-20-13, 05:42 AM   #5
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Hearing of many spills and injuries recently. Most involve cars or moving vehicles. Wild Hogs!?!? Hope you recover fully.
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Old 09-20-13, 05:54 AM   #6
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Thank God you are ok.
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Old 09-20-13, 06:03 AM   #7
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Wow, Glad to hear you'll recover. Awesome that the helmet did it's job too! I had a similar nasty crash as a teen and lesser crash almost two years ago that really jacked up my shoulder.

You certainly don't absorb impacts as well as you get older do you?
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Old 09-20-13, 06:13 AM   #8
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I'm really sorry to hear about your crash. On the other had, it's wonderful that you lived to share the tale. Best of luck with your recovery. Time to go dust off my helmet!
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Old 09-20-13, 07:08 AM   #9
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Jesus Mary and Joseph !!
Some wreck-all those crunched vertebra??
It take a tremendous amount of force to crush/break all-7 ?? those vertebra-and displace another. They are large tough bones with tough elastic spacers
Wow !! Yes I will say a prayer for you-can't hurt!

The lessons I took from your HORRIBLE WRECK- (as close to being fatal as possible-the sort of wreck that can partially separate your heart from the large arteries-chest rammed into stump)
Don't ride 30 mph downhill(easy to do)-
ignore animals ( really hard to do)
Wow you nearly died!!
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Old 09-20-13, 07:41 AM   #10
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High-siding off a two-wheeled mode of transportation is rarely going to result in a pleasant recovery. Sounds like you landed (quite literally) on the rougher side of the bell curve though! Good to hear you are on the road to recovery though, hope you make as full of a recovery as possible.
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Old 09-20-13, 08:18 AM   #11
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Glad that you survived this! Hope you heal up well and as quickly as possible, and thanks for letting us know!
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Old 09-20-13, 10:00 AM   #12
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Amen to all of the above.
Glad you are safe and now to get sound.
My prayers for a full and speedy recovery.
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Old 09-20-13, 10:24 AM   #13
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Effing feral hogs, what pests...released as an "easy" food source back in the pioneer days, those little buggers are smart, vicious, and hard to kill. Plus they breed like rabbits.

Glad you survived, that's a pretty amazing story. Best of luck in recovery!
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Old 09-20-13, 01:06 PM   #14
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My prayers added for your recovery.

A brother has some rural acreage that the feral hogs get into often and tear stuff up.

When descending fast I have often thought what if's?

Such as what if I hit a pot hole I don't see, or rock, or something runs into my path, etc?

I would never have thought of feral hogs running into the roads but also living in Texas I guess I should be aware.

Take care of yourself.
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Old 09-20-13, 04:42 PM   #15
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Glad you're ok. A speedy recovery to you!
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Old 09-20-13, 05:29 PM   #16
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My prayers as well. What a story! Wildlife encounters at close range never go well. I've started slowing down on my descents this year. I'm guessing now I'm going to go even slower.
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Old 09-20-13, 06:35 PM   #17
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Oh damn! Hope you feel better soon! Damn!
You see, their morals, their's a bad joke, dropped at the first sign of trouble. They're only as good as the world allows them to be. I'll show you. When the chips are down, these...These "civilized" people...they'll eat each other. See, I'm not a monster. I'm just ahead of the curve
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Old 09-20-13, 08:10 PM   #18
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It's a relief to know you are recovering from a terrible ordeal. Heal up and ride once more.
I also did a 180 on helmet use. Not because of an accident, but because of too many incidents out where I am. It's a small price to pay in order to avoid paying the ultimate price.
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Old 09-20-13, 08:17 PM   #19
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Biker vs. Wildebeest;
I have spoken.
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Old 09-20-13, 08:21 PM   #20
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Around here, it is mostly watching for silly squirrels, I do NOT radically deviate from my path to avoid Crabs or Lizards (small ones anyways)...Gopher Tortoises I DO avoid as well as Alligators (have YET to have to dodge one of those on my bike...but HAVE in my car...about a 6 footer). Read an article about a cyclist up north of us that got run over by a BEAR! The bear kept going, the cyclist was somewhat messed up! CRITTERS!!!!
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Old 09-20-13, 08:56 PM   #21
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Somehow, I just now saw this. I must be getting old too. I'll add another prayer for a speedy & full recovery. And I'll think more, about making myself wear one.
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Old 09-20-13, 09:18 PM   #22
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We are all glad you are still with us. Here's wishing you a speedy recovery and seat time in the near future.
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Old 09-20-13, 09:52 PM   #23
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I seem to remember that you survived a near miss last year with the massive Bastrop wildfire, now it is wild pig attacks! What is next, plagues of locus and snakes?
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Old 09-21-13, 12:59 AM   #24
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Sounds like you went through the wringer for sure - but, damn, is there a better commercial for wearing a helmet? I think not! Those pics of your helmet post-accident sent a chill through me...

I hope your recovery goes well. I ***** and complain about costant, nagging low-grade lower back pain and then I read this. I'm blessed; you've got quite the row to hoe! Take your time and heal up slowly; you've got a nurse in the house who'll most likely ensure you won't be pushing yourself too far too soon, so that's a good thing

Glad you're still around to tell the tale; got a cool story for the grandkids, huh?

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Old 09-21-13, 04:03 AM   #25
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Good luck with your recovery. Former National Champ and Coors Classic winner Dale Stetina wasn't quite as lucky a couple of weeks ago and his recovery will be in Craig neuro-rehabilitation hospital in Denver for awhile.....So count yourself relatively fortunate.

Man those East Texas hogs must be baaad. Guess I should wear the crash hat more often.
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