Our local club had it's annual Dog Days ride. We probably had 150 riders to participate. Weather was perfect for riding here in NC-hardly what you'd call Dog Days for July in the Piedmont of NC. It was low 70's with low humidity plus a really nice cloud cover for the entire time of the ride.
Unfortunately we had a really nasty crash just 8 miles into the ride. The group was still very large, in fact it was probably 3 across in one lane. We were going down a very fast hill-probably doing 40 mph. At the bottom of the hill is a really tight curve to the right.
Everything happened immediately in front of me. It looked to me like one fellow was very uncomfortable being in that tight of a group, going that fast and facing a curve. I'm guessing he was just in over his head. It looked to me like he oversteered, he hit his brakes and his rear wheel came out, he went down and he slid a pretty long ways towards the front of a pack of at least a hundred riders. I'm not sure the extent of his injuries.
Two of my cycling buddies were on my immediate left. Buddy No 1 tried going to the left of the downed cyclist and he almost made it by but his front wheel hit the downed bike. He did a complete somersault completely clipped in to this bike. He landed on his back and his bike flew off into the woods beside the road.
Buddy No 2 tried to go to the right with me. He almost made it as well by but the downed cyclist's leg flew out and hit him and he crashed extremely hard. He landed on his right shoulder, back and right side. He had some very bad road rash on his knee, elbows and shoulder. He was in really bad pain in his shoulder and rib cage area. He needed medical attention so he was taken to the local hospital to get checked out.
Buddy No 1 really wanted to ride so he got up and after about 10 mins of adjustments to his wheels, seat and handlebars he hopped back on and we did the remaining 60 miles. He is one tough fellow...Four of us who had stopped to lend a hand road the last 60 miles together and it was very, very nice. Since we were not in a "race" mode, we just took turns pulling and did a very comfortable ride. Interestingly we still averaged around 19+ mph and I didn't feel all worn out for a change.
Here are some pics including shots of the free, all you can eat pizza afterwards. The pic of the riders walking on the road in the distance is the curve/crash scene and we were escorting the injured cyclist to the car.
I rec'd an email from Buddy 2. Here is what he emailed me on his injuries:
I went to the ortho this afternoon. My clavicle is snapped, but not comminuted (misaligned) like last time. The scapula is broken, along with a couple of ribs in my upper chest. There may also be one or more fractures in my lower ribcage. I don't have nearly as much road rash as before, just one bad spot on my knee and some minor scrapes on my shoulder, arm, leg, and hand.
It's pretty painful when I move (or cough, sneeze, laugh, etc.), but the pain medication keeps it in check as long as I hold still. Please keep him in your thoughts as he goes through the rehab!!