The question isn't solely about the injuries; They are relatively minor even though I look pretty rough right now. It's as much about how to avoid them in the future.
I took a spill on my morning ride yesterday. It was my own fault ---- isn't that frequently the case? I was where I shouldn't have been, had to turn to avoid a 4-wheeler while I was running through a large puddle, and lost the grip on the front wheel. I ended up with a somewhat shredded knee and elbow, and a knot on my hip about the size of a tennis ball.
My question is: Is there a better tire than the standard smooth 700 X 23C that came on the bike? I see tires with a little 'tread', but question whether they really would do any better in the same sort of situation I was in yesterday, i.e. lateral thrust on a slick surface. I spent a little time at the LBS yesterday looking at different tires, and didn't see anything that seemed to offer any meaningful improvement.
The obvious thing is to avoid falling, and to some small degree, I do have control over that. Yesterday's spill was completely self-induced. I was cutting a corner, running a stop-sign, and the vehicle I had to avoid was where he had every right to be. Mea culpa. So now I will be a lot more careful, and not allow myself to get into that position again. But now I'm now wondering about the next time I fall, whether it's a flat tire, an animal running in front of me, or any of a number of hazards that happen and are completely beyond my control. Is there a way to minimize the damage to my body that always seems to ensue?
Is it too weird to consider some sort of padding, especially on my knees and elbows? I was wearing a long sleeve jersey, and still managed to sacrifice a fair amount of skin off my elbow, so covering those areas with clothing does not appear to be the answer. There are pads for skate-boarders and BMX riders, but I hate to look like I plan on crashing. lol
My 70-year old body can't just shake these things off any more, and I see the options as somewhat limited. It's padding of some sort which might be too silly to even contemplate, slowing down to reduce the severity of 'sudden dismounts', giving up riding altogether, or just sucking it up and accepting that I'm going to get a little banged up once in a while.
Going slower might be the most sensible option, but that tends to defeat the purpose of why I'm riding in the first place. It's great exercise, and wallowing around at beach cruiser speeds just doesn't appeal to me.
Giving it up altogether? Forget it. Why live at all if you can't do the things you love?
Pads? I don't think they would be any less inconvenient than the occasional scab.
Anyway, I'm really interested in how you guys deal with this issue. Also, I'd appreciate any pointers you might have on treating road rash so that I can continue riding while the abrasions heal.