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  1. #1
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    Got my collar off!

    Back in August I crashed on my roadbike. Front tire went flat at about 35-40 MPH, downhill. I did a bad lawn dart impression (I didn't stick), destroyed my helmet, received a severe concussion, broke my neck, broke a few ribs in my back and had some tendon and muscle damage, but the worst of it was I crushed the T9 vertebra, and damaged the T7, 8 and 10. I was fused T7-12 the day after the crash, 6 hours in surgery. Spent a week in the hospital and then two more in their physical rehab unit. Was in a full torso brace with braces holding my head up and still. At 5 weeks, I was allowed to remove the torso brace, but had to have the collar full time, waking or sleeping.

    Had a checkup with the surgeon yesterday. 3 months, or if you prefer, 14 weeks and 2 days, from the wreck and I got my collar off. She says I'm doing well. Neurologically, I'm on track, says I'm walking very well. Most restrictions have been lifted. But no high impact activities, no aggressive mountain biking or ATV riding. No bouncing or jarring activities. And NO NO NO running. At least until August. I go back in March for more Xrays, and August for Xrays, CT scans and maybe MRIs. After August, I should be able to run. In the meantime. I can have a full return to the gym. No limits on weights, beyond what I can tolerate (you would be surprised how tough 5 pounds can be right now!!!). I spend 10 to 15 minutes with my bike on the trainer now.

    I weighed 294 the day of the crash. I currently weigh 258. I was down to 257 for a while, but ate a lot last week. My blood pressure is down some as well. If there is a silver lining anywhere, its that I've lost some weight and have lowered my blood pressure some.

    Never a spectator!!!

  2. #2
    Senior Member magohn's Avatar
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    Jeepers - what a crash! Im happy to hear that you are recovering. It must be nice to be able to move around more freely. If you dont mind, I will show this post to my wife who has "no fear" on a descent and will let the bike roll as fast as it possibly can. Im an old "fuddy-duddy" who gets on the brakes at 20+ mph on a descent. She thinks Im crazy but I cant get beyond the fact that she hurtles down hills wearing spandex and a polystyrene helmet for protection - whats the point at 30+mph?
    As a teenager, my parents refused to let me ride a motorcycle as it was "unsafe". However, a motorcylce allows for better helmet technology and leathers - a bicycle is the hidden danger that not many acknowledge. On a descent we can travel as fast as a car/motorcycle but with almost no safety equipment. Be careful out there!
    As stated, I am happy your recovering

  3. #3
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    PLEASE!! Show it to anyone. I destroyed my helmet in the process, it did its job, but I still had a concussion. I don't think I have a "no fear" attitude, but I have a high tolerance for "danger". Might I add, I lost a lot of skin on my right shoulder as well, crushed a vein (in my neck) that allows blood to drain from the brain (and damaged some nerves in teh process, the shoulder is STILL numb)... For all that happened, I think I'm doing pretty darned good. Still sore, but good.

  4. #4
    Senior Member skilsaw's Avatar
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    Stories like this make we want to drive a car. I can get a 70's Olds Cutlass for under $500. Those old beauties were built to take a hit.
    The one who has the most bikes wins.

  5. #5
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    Yikes! I'm SO glad you were able to recover from that! Trust me, a road bike is much faster than a handcycle, especially uphill.

    That is my worst fear when descending. I like to haul ass too, although I'm pretty careful around corners.

    This is why I always inspect both tires before a climbing ride, use Stop Flats tire liners, and don't inflate much over 100 psi, even though the tire can take 115 to 125 psi. I also won't go narrower than 700x25c.

    On a climb earlier this year, a group of riders caught up to me. One of them had a blowout at 8 mph or however fast they were going. I told him "Good thing that didn't happen on the descent!"

  6. #6
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    Now you know what can happen on that descent. 700x23... Right at 100 pounds, inspected just before the ride.

  7. #7
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    That is what's so troubling about road bike tires and tubes. I think they're too delicate. I've seen other people's ride videos where riding partners had blowouts too. Luckily it was on flat ground, but we shouldn't have to worry about our tires going flat suddenly like that. With cars, as long as you have good tires and keep them maintained you usually don't have to worry about blowouts, unless it's one of the infamous defective tires that the tread separated on a few years back.

    Years ago a friend of mine summed up his opinion of ultra-light bicycle tires and tubes like this: "Save an ounce of weight-ssssssssss!"

  8. #8
    You gonna eat that? Doohickie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by zjrog View Post
    Got my collar off!
    Winston.... is that you?
    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."

  9. #9
    Neil_B
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    Congratulations!

  10. #10
    Senior Member Homeyba's Avatar
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    Nasty little wreck! I've had a number of 50+mph front flats, they are exciting but I've never tried the lawn dart thing. Sorry you had to try it first. I will definitely make efforts to avoid that technique. Sounds like you're healing up fast glad things are looking up for you!
    It doesn't get harder, you just go slower.

  11. #11
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    Still sore in the neck. But I expect that for a while. Like many more months. I'm doing OK and am enjoying the pace of healing. I hope to never try the lawn dart thing again either.

  12. #12
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    Almost three weeks now and I can turn my head more. Still quite sore and stiff too. I do stretching routines 3 to 4 times a day. Getting better, but might have to get used to a stiffer neck. I'll just say that this whole journey since the crash has been amazing and at times very, very humbling. I don't take simple things for granted anymore either. Also, the friend with me that day is building me a recumbent trike. I hope to be strong enough to ride it come springtime.
    Last edited by zjrog; 12-20-11 at 06:11 AM.

  13. #13
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    Good news! Your story is a real eye-opener. I think of it every time I descend. I still feel like 35 mph is too slow for me on smooth wide roads, but I am careful when and where I haul ass downhill.

  14. #14
    Senior Member skilsaw's Avatar
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    Glad to know you are getting better.
    Your crash being caused in part by a front flat gives me pause to think.

    I am burning up a back tire on the trainer right now, and plan to replace it in the spring.
    Maybe following the Sheldon school of thought and putting the new tire on the front is a good idea.

    Keep us posted on your progress.
    The one who has the most bikes wins.

  15. #15
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    Thats what I do if I only put a pair of tires on my truck or Jeep. New tires on the front. But I'd never thought of it for the bikes. My bike is on my indoor trainer too. Not getting but a couple "miles" at a time, my back doesn't tolerate more than 10-15 minutes right now. But I'm getting spin time of sorts in therapy...

  16. #16
    DEK
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    zjrog: About all I can say to that is "Wow!" So glad to hear you're on the mend. Best wishes to you on a full recovery.

  17. #17
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    My daughter noticed that my birthmark on my back makes a neat exclamation point with the scar...

    DEK, last week I was reminded how lucky I have been, watched a lady help her husband from their car to his wheelchair. That could have been me very easily.

  18. #18
    Neil_B
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    zjrog, that photo falls under the category of "too much information."

  19. #19
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    Badge of honor...

  20. #20
    Fat Guy Rolling dcrowell's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Neil_B View Post
    zjrog, that photo falls under the category of "too much information."
    It's okay. He didn't drop the towel.
    Car-Free IT Geek
    My blog: fatguy.org

    Bikes: Surly Big Dummy, 1980s Raleigh Record single-speed conversion, Bacchetta Agio

  21. #21
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    Maybe its the Jeep magazine?

  22. #22
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    How about some XRay images? I couldn't see the neck injuries clearly enough to show here. Maybe after a friend shows what I'm missing.

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