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Old 07-12-06, 08:24 PM   #1
Raketmensch
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Had my first crash today...

Okay, first things first. The bike is fine. Some scratches on the left brake lever, slightly dinged up bar tape, a little superficial damage to the left pedal, and some scratches on the rear quick release. The frame is flawless.

Equipment damage: Wrecked a pair of shorts and a pair of gloves. Also put a small hole in my absolute favorite jersey, but small enough that it can be pretty easily mended.

How it happened: It was a group ride, but we were really strung out, so there was nobody around me when it happened. I was going downhill on a hill I know pretty well. It's steep, and you could easily crank it up to 40 or 45 mph there; I was doing about 35 when the crash happened. We've had a bit of flooding around here lately, and I came around a turn to find a bunch of gravel on the road, some pieces more than an inch across. Hit something and started a high-speed wobble. It had rained a lot earlier in the day, and though virtually all the roads we had ridden had been dry, this stretch of road is in thick woods, and the shade had helped keep the road wet. Skidded on wet pavement, and down I went.

No broken bones, but an awful lot of road rash. Left hip (big one), right hip, both elbows, and all across my back. So I learned a lot about how to treat road rash tonight. Pretty deep gouges in the elbows from gravel... there was an impressive amount of gravel in the bathtub after I finished cleaning up! The funny thing is, it all hurt a lot less than I thought something like that would.

Of course, I may be singing a different tune come tomorrow morning!

Anyway, no lasting damage and some good lessons learned.

Be careful out there!!
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Old 07-12-06, 08:29 PM   #2
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Ouch! Lots of pain medication tomorrow, and keep that road rash clean. Infections grow quickly when you've got that much skin removed. Glad you survived it.
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Old 07-12-06, 08:34 PM   #3
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Ouch! (I'll repeat it!) It hurts reading about it! Glad to hear that you're OK--mostly. If you can stomach it, load up on ibuprofen tonight 'cause you'll probably feel it tomorrow.
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Old 07-12-06, 09:17 PM   #4
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Aren't you glad you have "lawyer's tabs"? Seriously, glad you kept damages just to your surface-- although tomorrow they may feel like they're whole body. Make a great story to be retold many times in the future.
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Old 07-12-06, 09:31 PM   #5
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Welcome to the club. Hope you don't have to work tomorrow. You may not be hurting now, but it will hurt tonite & tomorrow.

You'll find that the wound oozes quite a bit for a couple of days. The first shower you take, when the water hits the wound, really hurts, but then the pain stops pretty quickly. You want to make sure the wounds are completely cleaned (debrided), and then you want to put some antiseptic ointment over them (Polysporin).

I would highly recommend telfa gauze pads for the first few days. They come off without sticking to the wound, like a regular gauze pad. Buy a couple boxes of the 4x4 or larger size, you'll go thru quite a few, since you'll be changing them every time you shower. Once the wounds stop oozing, you can start using the more expensive plastic bandages (Tegaderm is one). You put them on and just leave them. If the wound is really clean, and the plastic bandage doesn't get pulled or twisted off, the wound will heal very cleanly underneath.

Another strategy is if you have the time and it's warm outside, just sit in the back yard with nothing over the wounds, and let the sun dry them out. You want your body to create its own bandages (we calll them "scabs").

For the wounds on your elbow, where it's hard to get tape to hold down the bandages, do like the Euro pros and go to a medical supply store and get some of the tubular netting material. You cut a 4-6" length and slide it over your arm and over the bandage. Works great, but you have to make sure you cut it long enough.

Good luck and get well soon.

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Old 07-12-06, 09:34 PM   #6
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OUCH!

Hope you have a speedy and infection free recovery.
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Old 07-12-06, 09:36 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by lhbernhardt
Welcome to the club...
Good luck and get well soon.
+1.
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Old 07-12-06, 10:15 PM   #8
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I recommend Jack Daniels. On the wounds and then take internally. Reapply frequently.

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Old 07-12-06, 10:20 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by Blackberry
+1.
+1

(Although I haven't crashed yet, and don't look forward to it!)
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Old 07-12-06, 10:31 PM   #10
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I've gone moe than 7000 miles without that happenning. I still fear it. I hope you heal without any further incident.
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Old 07-12-06, 11:09 PM   #11
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I can highly recommend covering your rash burns with any of the "2nd skin" type bandages available in drug stores. My own experience is with the Spenco product "2nd Skin" which I've used for many years and many slides down the road. Spenco 2nd Skin
But I believe that the other makers of similar products would also work quite well.
This stuff is intented for 'burns', and road rash is just that. But it works for any scrape or wound.
Literally cuts the heal time in half. Makes everyhting much more comfortable, because oozing is minimized. No real hard scab, so much more comfort in day to day movement. Keeps the wound clean, so aids healing time. Scaring is minimized. This stuff is miraculous.
Actually easy to get back on the bike and enjoy riding again as soon as the soreness of 'bouncing' goes away.
my wishes for a speedy recovery!
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Old 07-12-06, 11:54 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Raketmensch
Okay, first things first. The bike is fine.
See, you're already in the "state of grace." Who cares about some road rash???
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Old 07-13-06, 12:42 AM   #13
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Why do you think I prefer offroad? Falling off on mud doesn't hurt as much as road. If you can bear the pain, Surgical Spirit on the road rash works. Gets you mobile very quick as well but thats probably due to you running around hopping up and down with the stinging.

At least you have your priorities right in checking the bike.
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Old 07-13-06, 06:05 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Digital Gee
+1

(Although I haven't crashed yet, and don't look forward to it!)
I'll see your +1 and raise you three matchsticks and a bottlecap.
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Old 07-13-06, 06:30 AM   #15
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Sounds like you did OK to just escape with road rash. I've gone down a couple of time in the 20's I can't imagine going down at 30-45mph. Your showers for the next few days are going to be an adventure. I generally never cover road rash, just put a layer of polysporin or some other topical antibiotic (many include a anesthetic as well).
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Old 07-13-06, 10:50 AM   #16
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Sorry to hear about the crash but glad there are no broken collarbones or hip bones!! It's also good to hear of only minor equipment scrapes.

One of my biggest fears is debris on the road on descents. I've become overly cautious on descents but so far so good.....
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Old 07-13-06, 10:59 AM   #17
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Thanks everybody for the kind words and the advice. It is indeed true that there's more discomfort on the second day! But I'm doing fine. After reading up a little bit, I decided to go with the "second skin" approach, like what Cyclezen suggested. The stuff I'm using is called Tegaderm, made by 3M. I can't speak to the healing time yet obviously, but I will say that the it's remarkably comfortable. The only downside so far is that, being transparent, the stuff is pretty gruesome to look at. Anyway, I seem to be on the mend, and I plan to be back on the bike later today.

I cannot tell you how relieved I am that the bike came out of it okay! I didn't see what happened to it (we parted company pretty early in the crash), but based on the very little damage it suffered, it seems that it just tipped over onto its left side and slid. I think I was pretty lucky.
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Old 07-13-06, 11:34 AM   #18
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Aren't you glad you have "lawyer's tabs"?
+ 1
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Old 07-13-06, 12:54 PM   #19
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Originally Posted by Raketmensch
...Anyway, I seem to be on the mend, and I plan to be back on the bike later today.
well, good deal - back on the 'horse'...

bike shorts actually work quite well to keeping the bandages in place. As another option - to wear around the ranch - and since bike lycra is less breathable than you'd like...
Terramar MicroMesh leggedbriefs
These guys are like bike shorts, except no chamois (obviously) and VERY breathable.
I used them back about 18 months when I had a sliding episode... I'll spare the details, but needless to say I had to 'tile' the 2nd skin onto my left hip and leg like the heat tiles on the shuttle. And no real way to put enough tape on that large of a surface. I had 2 pr of these to use under my xc-ski togs, bough a couple more, and that worked til the healing was done... I guess you could use LEGGS or other women's apparel with the legs cut off as well... Thankfully my helmet and head took most of the upper body 'hit' and the shoulder was lightly skinned.
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Old 07-13-06, 02:24 PM   #20
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OK -

"lawyer's tabs" ???

I've seen them mentioned more than once.
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Old 07-13-06, 03:03 PM   #21
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Stories like this make me wonder why I gave up motorcycles and am doing more bicycling because it's "safer". At least on my motorcycles I was dressed for the conditions: full riding suit, full-coverage helmet, boots, leather gloves, etc. But in fact, the worst two-wheeler injury that I've had in the last 25+ years was on my bicycle last year when I hit a rut and went down hard, getting gravel rash, a badly bruised shoulder, and a trashed helmet.

But good luck to you in your recovery!
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Old 07-15-06, 08:15 AM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by robtown
OK -

"lawyer's tabs" ???

I've seen them mentioned more than once.
yep - need to know what those are, also.

Glad you are ok.

Caruso
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Old 07-21-06, 08:03 PM   #23
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Hi all: Just a quick follow-up nine days after my crash. That Tegaderm stuff that I mentioned is fabulous. No scabs form... everything stays clean and you just heal from the inside out. And the healing time is impressive. Back is good as new, right hip is good as new, left hip is starting to look really good, and the elbows are shaping up nicely. I don't recommend crashing for anybody, but if you do pick up some rash somewhere down the road, careful cleaning followed by Tegaderm is a great way to go.
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Old 07-21-06, 08:17 PM   #24
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Thanks for the advice about tagederm, and glad to see you're OK. I guess by now you've had a chance to see the Tour and the major accident where three cyclists went down, 2 over the guard rail. As soon as I read your thread I thought of that Le Tour de France accident. Compared to their injuries, you, and your bike, came out quite nicely. That's good!
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