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  1. #1
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    First bike accident today...

    Hello all,

    Well, my 3 week old bicycle and I have just had our first (and only I hope!) accident this morning. I was on my way to work with my roommate to pick up my check and then go to the bank to cash it. She has been riding over a year now, and I have been riding just over a month after a long hiatus. She was well ahead of me, and I was about a block or two from my work, when I decided to ride on the sidewalk instead of in the street. The driveway I was going to use to get to the sidewalk had about two inches of standing water, but I did not think anything of it, except that it would just clean the dirt off my tires. Well, I did not know there was moss at the bottom of the water, and when my front tire hit the little one inch ridge at the end of the driveway, it instantly veered left, and my momentum carried me to the right...

    I remember thinking "This was not a good idea" I closed my eyes before the impact, and remember hearing the helmet hit the pavement. I could feel pain in both knees, my right elbow, and both my hands. As I am laying there, I am now thinking "How the heck am I going to get up?" Since my right leg does not bend more than 60 degrees, I would normally need something to lean on like a chair or desk to get me off the ground. Well, for some reason this driveway had neither.

    A passing motorist stopped, and came over to see if I was okay. I remember hearing her voice, but not seeing her. I must have looked dazed and confused because she decided to call for paramedics. By this time Aspen ( my roommate/best friend) had realized I was not behind her and had returned to where I was. The lady who stopped was with her adult son, and he moved my bike out of the driveway and over to the side. By this time, a motorcycle cop had arrived to see if any assistance was needed. The lady (who I found out later was a nurse) said she had called for paramedics, but they had not arrived yet. So the cop gets on the radio, and has them expedite the call. Then he calls and tells them to come code 3. I didn't feel bad enough for that, but I was complaining of feeling nauseated, and I guess they felt I had a head injury.

    A second Police officer arrives in a car, and blocks the entrance to the driveway behind the other officer's motorcycle. Then I hear an ambulance, and pretty soon, they are asking me all kinds of questions, and wanting to know how it happened, and if I was wearing a helmet etc. I told them I was, and that I felt okay considering the accident, but I had felt nauseous right after the fall, but not so much right now. They tell me I should go to the hospital just in case, so I agree and they take me to the hospital. The lady who stopped offered to take our bikes back home, and Aspen got to ride in the back of a Police car as they took her home as well.

    As far as my injuries, it is mostly just the road rash from hitting the driveway. My right elbow got the worst of it, followed by my right knee. Somehow the back of my left hand got scraped up and I think the pinkie finger has a slight sprain. My right palm has a big red circle on it I am guessing from hitting the handlebars or the brake lever or something. My cellphone was destroyed. It will no longer work, even though the lights do come on. Since I keep it on my right side, and fell on that side, I guess it was too much for it to handle.

    During the ambulance ride to the county hospital my lower back started hurting. I informed the EMT, and he said it was a good thing we were going to the hospital. Once there, they took X-rays of my back, but found no problems. They also took my blood pressure several times, and informed me it is way too high. It is supposed to be somewhere between 120-130, and mine was between 174 and 189! So it looks like I will be altering my diet, and going on blood pressure medicine.

    I honestly don't think the bike accident injured my back per se, as much as it just aggravated the problems I have had with it since my auto accident in 1998. Right now, I am moving around very slowly so as not to cause anymore back pain. I called wok and let them know what is going on, and will have the next 4 days off. I am scheduled to go to the clinic across the street from the hospital for a follow up exam.

    When I got home, I took a look at the helmet and there is only a minor scratch on the right front side of it. I then looked at the bike, and other than a reflector coming off of the right side pedal (which I have already popped back into place) you can't even tell it was in an accident. So I consider myself very lucky today. No real damage to the bike, no damage to the helmet, only scrapes and bruises to me, and now 4 days off (5 counting today!) It could have been worse. If I had not worn the helmet, I am sure I would have suffered a concussion at the very least. And the passerby was a nurse, so it looks like the Lord was looking out for me today.
    Jim

    2008 KHS TC-150

  2. #2
    Senior Member Hill-Pumper's Avatar
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    Yep, the Lord was taking care of you today. Be sure to take the next few days easy until you know the full extent of the injuries. I know they may feel worse in the morning when the soreness starts to set in. Anyway, sorry to hear that you had an accident, but glad that it was not life threatening.

  3. #3
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    If the Lord decides to take care of me, I hope he'll step in a second sooner and prevent the accident. Glad to hear that you and your bike are ok, though.

  4. #4
    Bikezilla Mazama's Avatar
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    Two types of bikers: Those who have crashed, and those who will.

    My last spill was over 2 years ago *knocking on wood*. I very nearly went down on Monday when I hit a pile of sand on a turn. Somehow I saved it.

    Well, at least you lived to learn a lesson. You wont wreck that way again.
    14,000 miles and rolling...

  5. #5
    Neil_B
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    I'm glad He was watching out for you. Be careful out there.

    And don't ride on the sidewalk. As Bautieri would say, bad kitty, bad kitty.

  6. #6
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    Replace the helmet!!! It may look okay, but it took an impact and may have unseen damage. When it comes to my melon, I don't take chances.

    Bicycle Helmet safety institute:
    http://www.bhsi.org/replace.htm

  7. #7
    Senior Member Wogster's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nighteyez View Post
    Hello all,

    Well, my 3 week old bicycle and I have just had our first (and only I hope!) accident this morning. I was on my way to work with my roommate to pick up my check and then go to the bank to cash it. She has been riding over a year now, and I have been riding just over a month after a long hiatus. She was well ahead of me, and I was about a block or two from my work, when I decided to ride on the sidewalk instead of in the street. The driveway I was going to use to get to the sidewalk had about two inches of standing water, but I did not think anything of it, except that it would just clean the dirt off my tires. Well, I did not know there was moss at the bottom of the water, and when my front tire hit the little one inch ridge at the end of the driveway, it instantly veered left, and my momentum carried me to the right...

    I remember thinking "This was not a good idea" I closed my eyes before the impact, and remember hearing the helmet hit the pavement. I could feel pain in both knees, my right elbow, and both my hands. As I am laying there, I am now
    Glad you are not hurt worse then you are. Helmets are designed for a single hit, the foam inside absorbs impact, it gets crushed and stays that way, so a helmet that has been involved in a crash where your head hits anything, needs to be replaced. You need to watch yourself, it's not uncommon for things to hurt worse later in the day or the next day. You may also want to get your bicycle inspected by the LBS, some damage is not immediately obvious.

  8. #8
    Tilting with windmills txvintage's Avatar
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    +1 on being OK.

    Two things of note from the other replies.

    1. Don't ride on the side walk. It causes vehicles to not recognize you as a fellow vehicle and they may not afford you the proper respect when needed. You can also encounter unexpected abnormalities you wouldn't on the road.

    2. Replace your helmet. Yhey are a one and done deal.

  9. #9
    Senior Member Jtgyk's Avatar
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    +2 on being OK...speedy recovery to you.

    .....aaaand what everyone else said re: sidewalks, helmets, and getting your bike checked by a good mechanic.

    I was guilty of doing the sidewalk thing too when I got started again. It takes a while to get comfortable with riding in traffic again. It'll come.

    Rest up
    Heal Up
    &
    Ride On!
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  10. #10
    Senior Member BigPolishJimmy's Avatar
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    Jim,

    Get well soon. I'm glad you were wearing a helmet, sounds like it did it's job and kept you from getting a lot worse. Cut that helmet in half and mount it in a place of honor on the garage wall, it served you well.

  11. #11
    The Site Administrator: Currently at home recovering from a couple of strokes,please contact my assistnt admins for forum issues Tom Stormcrowe's Avatar
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    Jim,

    welcome to the other half of the equation, cyclists who've crashed. If you ain't crashing, you ain't trying hard enough. Glad you weren't hurt badly, and I'll also say "Buy a new helmet". They really are a one crash item.
    on light duty due to illness; please contact my assistants for forum issues. They are Siu Blue Wind, or CbadRider or the other 3 star folk. I am currently at home recovering from a couple of strokes. I am making good progress, happily.


    . “He who fights with monsters might take care lest he thereby become a monster. And if you gaze for long into an abyss, the abyss gazes also into you.”- Fredrick Nietzsche

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  12. #12
    just pedal donalson's Avatar
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    haha growing up my mom gave me the nick name "mr. klutzo"... my 1st "good" bike accident was when I was 5 or 6... was riding around the block and on one portion at the bottom of the hill was a lot of loose pebbles... arm, leg and stomach where shreded pretty good ... from about that time on I stayed pretty rashed up... got real bad in middle/high school... between cycling, MTBing, inline skating and just walking around haha... I just got back into cycling and thankfuly haven't had anything serious... and nothing on the road... seems while out MTBing its always OPSY type accidents (although my shins typicaly look pretty bad)... the road always hurts more though... you kinda slide along the ground which is very painful

    thankfuly non have involved head injury

    glad you are ok and wish you a speedy full recovery
    mtbr clyd moderator

  13. #13
    Senior Member
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    Same thing more or less happened to me, but when cornering at full speed and hitting one of those gravel deltas in the middle of the road at the bottom of a hill. Totally killed a rather expensive police radio I had on my side.

    If it's any consolation, you'll be a much better rider from now on.....but you should replace the helmet. Its protective abilities may have been compromised and the foam compressed, even though the outside is only a little scratched.

  14. #14
    You gonna eat that? Doohickie's Avatar
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    +1 on replace the helmet. After I wrecked last year, I looked at the helmet and it looked fine. I picked it up a couple days later and discovered it was cracked through.

    I think it is VERY important fo new (and returning) cyclists to wear helmets. Riding a bike isn't as much like riding a bike as you might expect. Yeah, you keep balance okay, but when you first get back in the saddle there are a lot of things going on to be conscious of. With more time in the saddle, a lot of that becomes automatic but when you first start there are a lot of things to distract you and cause an accident.

    I know just what you mean with respect to the moss or slime in a puddle; there's one spot on my commute that is the same way, and it's on a curve. I've learned to take that corner pretty slow.
    I stop for people / whose right of way I honor / but not for no one.



    Originally Posted by bragi "However, it's never a good idea to overgeneralize."

  15. #15
    Me and the cat... Pamestique's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MIH-Dave View Post
    Replace the helmet!!! It may look okay, but it took an impact and may have unseen damage. When it comes to my melon, I don't take chances.

    Bicycle Helmet safety institute:
    http://www.bhsi.org/replace.htm
    If you didn't say it I was going to. Helmets - one crash one crash only. If it is scratched it is done. If it touched the pavement it is done (this includes just accidently dropping your helmet to the pavement). Get a new one.

    BP: If you are stressed or in pain your BP will elevate. Have your regular physisian check it out after all things are settled. If you haven't been to the doc in awhile then its time to get a thorough check out.

    Road rash can be miserable. Hopefully the hospital gave you a thorough cleaning. best to keep the wounds clean - that usually means covered. Keep bandages on the rash until it is well healed.

    Head injuries can be serious (I am permanently brain injured from one). If you hit your head, you should followup with a regular physician if you continue to have any pain, headaches, soreness etc.

    Sadly I am speaking from lots of experience. Over 35 years of riding I have had my sharies of crashes and bad injuries (brain injury, collarbones - left and right, hip, leg, elbow, shoulder, it goes on and on...). Take each one seriously no matter how minor. Remeber cuts can develop nasty infections.

    It seems like you are OK although the experience was scary. Just always remember, water is not a bicyclist's friend! And I always say the Good Lord smiles kindly down upon us cyclists!
    Last edited by Pamestique; 05-22-09 at 02:12 PM.
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  16. #16
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    Rest up, heal well and ride on. As the others have said very wisely please replace the helmet.

    Bob

  17. #17
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    Thanks all for the kind words. Thanks also for the advice on the helmet. I was under the impression that if it was only scratched it was still good. However, it seems that is wrong. So I will go get another one. Again, better to be safe than sorry. The bike is coming up on its one month anniversary so I will take it in for its tune up. The hospital did nothing with the road rash. I ended up cleaning them when I got home. As for riding on the sidewalk, there are places here where the city has crammed 3 lanes of traffic into a space that only had two. With no room for bike lanes, and with my roommate riding a 3 wheeler, I feel much safer on the sidewalk. This area where I had the accident however, was not one of those areas, and there was plenty of room for me to stay in the street. I will be doing just that in the future. My roommate was worried that I would be selling my bike after this, and I assured her that that is not going to happen.

    The back pain was so bad last night, that I did not get much sleep. I think the Vicodin that the hospital gave me wore off. It was so painful this morning, that I could not even get out of bed. I woke my roommate up and had her get me some Ibuprofin, and put one of those icy/hot patches on. Then tried to sleep for a couple of hours. I was finally able to get out of bed around noon. She put some stop pain stuff on my back, and I have been able to walk around the apartment slowly. I am hoping the worst is over, but only time will tell. I am amazed at how much pain there is for what looked like a simple fall.
    Jim

    2008 KHS TC-150

  18. #18
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    Hi Jim, I'm glad to hear you're accident wasn't worse. I was going to chime in about replacing the helmet, but I read down to your last post and saw you allready decided to get a new one. Good. As far as being sore, when you have pulled some muscles like you obviously did, staying hydrated is realy important. You will be surprised how much faster sore muscles heal when you drink lots of water. I do mean lots. Like you was working out. Any way, welcome to the club. I crashed crossing rail road tracks on my very first commute last summer. Mucho road rash. Sore for days. It sucks, but get back on the horse, you'll be glad you did.

  19. #19
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    With just about any type of injury resulting from a jarring impact, the next day or two are always the worst in terms of stiffness and soreness. From the sounds of your injuries, you really took a spill, even if no one else or any cars were involved.

    Rest up this weekend!!!!! If anything still hurts after Monday see a doctor (please note I am not medically trained, just offering support and advice).

    And stay out of the water! It can hide lots of other things dangerous to cyclists besides moss, like a flattened aluminum can, deep ridge, broken glass or a small pot hole.

  20. #20
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    Glad it wasn't to bad. I've been riding on the road about 2 years now and have not gone down hard......yet....I did get my arm clipped by a marker flag sticking out from a "wide load" flatbed trailer. I didn't go down and the guy never even slowed. It's was one of those things that could have gone very wrong, very quickly.

  21. #21
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    Another vote for the replace the helmet! Although I am sure by now you have. +a thousand for wearing it in the first place. I remember going out for a ride not too long ago on my old road bike, wasn't feeling well so I planned to take it easy, wasn't going to wear my helmet and at the last minute decided to take it. On my way back from my 17 mile ride, there was a stretch that I had to go up a drive ramp and take the sidewalk (unless i wanted to stop get up, cross 100+ feet of grass to the road and restart) to continue on... well needless to say I went up the ramp but didn't hit the lip straight on as I should have, similar to what you did, fell the same way you did, and remember a few nice scrapes, a wholly c#$% moment, and then my head bouncing along the pavement.

    Got up, the bike seemed a lil bent at the handle bars, a minor scrape, checked my helmet, lil scrape, got home after taking it a lot easier, and found the helmet sheared across on the inside, and here i sit successfully procrastinating an architecture project for finals that I am days behind on due monday, a few months later, none the worse for wear but in one piece. Helmets for life!

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