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  1. #26
    Senior Member
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    I had a crash a bit more than a week ago with a car that, thankfully, was relatively minor in the scheme of things and involved nothing more than some pretty serious road rash and a bruise to the forehead (even though I was wearing a helmet). I got back out as soon as I could because I didn't want my mind to make the fear bigger than it should be. There's obviously an element or risk in cycling and perhaps I didn't do a good enough job mitigating that by anticipating the potential action of the motorist who hit me. But other than do a better job with that and ride defensively, you just have to let the chips fall where they may.

    The way I look at it, the health benefits I gain from cycling do far more for me than the likelihood of a serious injury from cycling.

  2. #27
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    July 2012 along the Colorado River bike trail east of Glenwood, I hit a section after two 90* turns under the flying over passes at low speed. The section of cement on the trail had collapsed and I hit it at an angle almost head on.

    Came out of my clips and over the back of the bike, landing right on my sacrum/pelvis. Fractured T12 and L2.

    Long and painful recovery, still have pain after long rides and exertion while on the peaks.

    A few things I've learned after riding bikes for well over fifty years and motorcycles for forty two.

    1) Accidents happen unbelievably fast and sometimes they're not your fault. Don't beat yourself up and take recovery... one day at a time. Btw... first accident ever on both bikes and motorcycles.

    2) There are lots of road dangers lurking that are unmarked and in need of repair.

    3) Do not carry anything like smartphones or bike pumps in your jersey. If you land on them, they become deadly objects.

    4) Drivers who are on their cell phones or are texting, are as bad as drunk drivers... maybe more so.

    5) Give yourself and body time to heal and recover.

    Be safe out there!
    Of all the gin joints in all the towns in all the world, she walks into mine.

  3. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by HawkOwl View Post
    In this thread you will primarily see posts from those who those who went back to cycling. The many who didn't probably don't even know Bike Forums exists.
    This is absolutely true. I know several people who have given up cycling (as well as skiing, climbing and sailing) after being hurt, or sometimes seeing someone else badly hurt or killed. I think it is worth giving it a try, and don't worry about being a wimp about traffic, pacelines, descents, or whatever your particular demon is. However, if you try it a few times and the anxiety is still dominant, and the enjoyment and relaxation is not present, to hell with it! This is supposed to be fun, and I assume you are not being paid to ride. Life is too short to torture yourself, and there are plenty of other ways to spend time and get exercise.

  4. #29
    This is how I NOW roll! Pamestique's Avatar
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    I've had my share of bad accidents and long recoveries... after each I got back on the bike but... I've slowed it down a bit; I don't descend like I use too (I was at one time fearless - now I am respectful of being afraid) and I take it easy on technical trails, even walking at times, when I mountain bike. I have a permanent brain injury I have to deal with and I don't really want to do the recovery thing again (two collarbone breaks including surgery, torn shoulder, fx'd leg and arm, shattered hip, fx'd ankle the list goes on...most of these injuries where on the road which is why I now stick more to mountain biking. I think dirt is more forgiving...) but I love the sport; I can still ride; and I can enjoy myself even though I don't do all the crazy stuff anymore...
    Last edited by Pamestique; 07-22-14 at 12:43 PM.
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  5. #30
    This is how I NOW roll! Pamestique's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Climb14er View Post


    3) Do not carry anything like smartphones or bike pumps in your jersey. If you land on them, they become deadly objects.

    While mountain biking last year, I had a bad fall going up a steep hill... hit a rock, bike just stopped and in order to avoid falling off a cliff to my right, I "willed" myself off the bike to the left landing hard on my chest and shoulder. So, I know better, but I always like to carry a camera which I thread through the top connecting strap of my Camelbak. The camera was OK but I had this perfectly square, 4 X 6" black and purple bruise on my chest (that hurt!) for months! You would think I've learn a lesson - I haven't - still carry a camera in
    the same place.
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  6. #31
    Senior Member Doug64's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jeromephone View Post
    on May 31 I clipped the back tire if the bike in front of me going 15mph i vaulted over and proceeded to break 7 ribs and collar bone as an added bonus I had a collapsed lung. Spent the last 7 weeks in the hosiptal. Bike is OK. I don't know if I can get back on the bike or not. I ahould be ok physically but don't know if I can get over the mental hump. Has anyone else gone through this type of accident and how did you comeback or not. As a side note helmet saved my life, and if I had been a smoker I would not have made it. I did reach my weight loss goals for the summer even without riding
    Yes, exact same scenario, only I was luckier. 27 stitches in forearm and knee, road rash, complete tear of the bicep tendon, partial tear of 3 other tendons including the rotator cuff. I had surgery in March, and two weeks ago was the first time I was allowed on my bike since then (not counting trainer). I rode the remaining 4 miles home after the accident; I had no other options. I must admit that I've been a little wary of letting loose on the downhills. More so because I can't afford an accident for another 2 months; until my shoulder is completely healed. Also, I'm darn leery of the back wheels of the people I ride with. I did overlap my wife's back wheel for a short time this morning. Old habits are hard to break.

    We are leaving for a fully loaded tour of the Selkirk Loop in Idaho and southern British Columbia Thursday.

    Get on your bike as quick as possible, but follow your doctor's instructions.

    My helmet may have also saved my life, or at least prevented serious injury. The ER Doc told me to get a new one as he cleaned out the dirt packed in my ear. He held up a piece of debris as he cleaned my elbow, and said, "this looks like a flower".
    Last edited by Doug64; 07-22-14 at 08:21 PM.

  7. #32
    Grillparzer Grillparzer's Avatar
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    “Faster, Faster, until the thrill of speed overcomes the fear of death.”

    Hunter S. Thompson
    Don't go out on a bicycle wearing a tail coat unless you enjoy making a ridiculous show of yourself.

  8. #33
    Senior Member zonatandem's Avatar
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    In my early-70s (am now 81 years old) got blown over by the wind just after apexing a climb. Very strong wind blew me sideways into the dirt and broke 6 ribs and punctured a lung. Bike was fine.
    Could of been worse as I landed in the dirt, missed a 50 foot dropoff.
    Ribs take a while to heal and the lung took a couple weeks of riding to get back to normal.
    Still riding 100+ miles a week.
    Stuff happens!
    Rudy/zonatandem
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  9. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by jeromephone View Post
    on May 31 I clipped the back tire if the bike in front of me going 15mph i vaulted over and proceeded to break 7 ribs and collar bone as an added bonus I had a collapsed lung. Spent the last 7 weeks in the hosiptal. Bike is OK. I don't know if I can get back on the bike or not. I ahould be ok physically but don't know if I can get over the mental hump. Has anyone else gone through this type of accident and how did you comeback or not. As a side note helmet saved my life, and if I had been a smoker I would not have made it. I did reach my weight loss goals for the summer even without riding
    While the consequences might have been very different, just about every racer, and many experienced non-racers have gone down from overlapped tires. The rule of thumb is the front rider does OK, and the rear one goes down because he's lost steering (like falling into trolley tracks). But it isn't always that way.

    A short while back was a thread about the etiquette of drafting, and you'll see posts from myself and others that unapproved drafting is a serious breach. This is why.

    If you allow yourself to overlap the wheel in front of you, you loose steering room to that side, the same way as when riding very close to a curb, or trolley tracks. This is OK as long as you and the rider are on the same page, but if you misjudge your position or body angle, or if the rider ahead moves toward you, you'll go down unless you have superb handling skills (even the best pros go down for this reason).

    I'm sorry to hear about your injury, but you shouldn't be afraid to get back on the horse, just don't draft close and certainly do not allow tire overlap. These days I ride mainly solo, or with a small circle of friends who know and trust each other. I don't draft strangers, nor do I allow them to draft me.
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    WARNING, I'm from New York. Thin skinned people should maintain safe distance.

  10. #35
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    These threads always leave me grateful to the wonderful cycling mentors I had when I was a teenager who taught me well how to avoid such mishaps.

    After 510,000 miles, I have hit the deck twice. Once as a five-year-old (sting rays don't handle pot holes at 40 mph) that resulted in a mild collar bone crack and once about six years ago when an angry motorist changed lanes into me and gave me a brake check. He left a thirteen foot skid mark. My front wheel went into his bumper while my right thigh found my handlebar on my way up and out (which caused the down-tube to separate from the head tube). I managed a full flip with a one and three-quarters twist and stuck the landing in sandals. I credit the helmet for reminding me which end to keep up.

    I feel it is important to keep one's core muscles in shape for these mishaps. If I had been lacking in core strength, that encounter with the bumper could have been quite painful.

  11. #36
    Beicwyr Hapus Gerryattrick's Avatar
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    My recent crash is chicken-feed compared to others in this thread but the post-crash issues are the same. I fell, landing on my head, breaking my crash helmet and ending up with bad concussion and some bleeding on the brain. Three weeks later all symptoms had virtually gone away and I was ready to ride again, now started and enjoying it just as much, if a little more wary for a while.

    My mental issue was that I was knocked out and remember nothing about the crash at all, so no idea how it happened and no idea if I could do anything to stop it happening again. The doc says it was unlikely to have been a blackout and I'll probably never know, but the worry on my first few rides was all about a possible blackout causing it. Luckily a few weeks of riding have just about washed those worries away.

    I've got a follow-up scan in a couple of weeks so hopefully that will further alleviate my concerns.

    Only you will know if you're ready to ride again, and it's not the end of the world if you're not, but either way it is a cliché, but true that time is a great healer - not just of physical ailments.

  12. #37
    Senior Member BlazingPedals's Avatar
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    Last week's Tuesday night ride was, let's say, "spirited," and the participants are fairly new to group riding (bunch of tri-geeks.) So before this week's Tuesday ride, the ride leader gave them the lecture: They should follow rules for safe pacelining, with only the very basics mentioned. Trouble is, these guys don't KNOW the rules. Well, the ride turned into a free-for-all again. This time, I went to the front and told them to BACK OFF on the testosterone and practice their technique. This led them all to slow to <10 mph and bunch up, wondering what they were doing wrong (everything!) , at which point one of them crossed a wheel and went down hard. Not much road rash at that speed, but it looked like he was in a lot of pain & he got picked up by his son in the car. Tonight I may hear how bad it was.

  13. #38
    Senior Member digibud's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BlazingPedals View Post
    This led them all to slow to <10 mph and bunch up
    A group of tri geeks slowing down to <10mph??? Pacelines with strangers is a recipe for disaster.
    Alaskans for global warming.

  14. #39
    Senior Member BlazingPedals's Avatar
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    The good news was, no serious injuries and nothing broken. Yeah, they didn't know how to ride that slow!

  15. #40
    Senior Member downtube42's Avatar
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    When we were young we had so much to lose - our entire lives ahead of us - yet we were reckless. The older we get, generally the more careful we become. Seems backwards, don't you think?

    Maybe as we age we become aware of how precious life is; although we have fewer years remaining to risk, we better know the value of those years.

    I've modified my riding to reduce the chance of certain accidents, as I've come to know my limitations and to know where the risks are. But to quit riding... that's a guaranteed reduction in quality of life.
    This has to be a tie between re-frozen slushy uneven dirty ice stuff just right of the nicely plowed pavement, and super-glassy ice with a dusting of fresh powder - SalshShark

  16. #41
    Member Gordy. 1888's Avatar
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    Broke my hip 6 days ago after coming off my bike and had a pin fitted. Desperate to get on the bike already. It's going to be a long struggle waiting.

  17. #42
    Seat Sniffer Biker395's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Doug64 View Post
    My helmet may have also saved my life, or at least prevented serious injury. The ER Doc told me to get a new one as he cleaned out the dirt packed in my ear. He held up a piece of debris as he cleaned my elbow, and said, "this looks like a flower".
    I love gallows humor.
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  18. #43
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gordy. 1888 View Post
    Broke my hip 6 days ago after coming off my bike and had a pin fitted. Desperate to get on the bike already. It's going to be a long struggle waiting.
    Same injury a year ago. Three weeks in, the doc let me start riding a stationary recumbent. It was a muscle, life saver. In 8 weeks I was back on a regular bike. In the last 12 months, I've gone better than 8k miles. Bones heal.

  19. #44
    Member Gordy. 1888's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tigat View Post
    Same injury a year ago. Three weeks in, the doc let me start riding a stationary recumbent. It was a muscle, life saver. In 8 weeks I was back on a regular bike. In the last 12 months, I've gone better than 8k miles. Bones heal.
    thanks tigat, good positive info just what I need right now..

  20. #45
    You gonna eat that? Doohickie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by buckwheat987 View Post
    I'm recovering from a broken collarbone that needed surgery due to a cycling accident. At first I asked myself a similar question.
    My crash last year wasn't as severe as some of the ones in this thread, but after breaking my arm I didn't really want to want to ride right away. The wreck came on my fixed gear bike and I did several rides on other bikes before I got up the nerve to try FG again (even though the spill wasn't a result of being on a FG). But I think the OP will get over his trepidation eventually and the joy of riding will return. Just don't rush into it.
    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."

  21. #46
    Senior Member Jim from Boston's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jeromephone View Post
    … Spent the last 7 weeks in the hosiptal. Bike is OK. I don't know if I can get back on the bike or not. I should be ok physically but don't know if I can get over the mental hump. Has anyone else gone through this type of accident and how did you comeback or not…
    Even as a fellow (native) Michiganian, I would like to tell you about my serious accident, but we of BF have been advised by Tom Stormcrowe in a sticky on the Advocacy & Safety Forum (****If You've Been Hit By A Motor Vehicle: ALL MEMBERS READ****):

    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Stromcrowe
    1) Limit your disclosure on the forums. This isn't to protect us, it's to protect you. Lawyers do mine online forums for data on accidents, and can even identify if they have found their opponent if you disclose enough information. This has happened at some of in the car forums and it has cost members settlements that are satisfactory.

    2) See 1 and drive it into your brain.

    3) See 1 and 2

    4) This actually applies to any potential legal action, whether you are cycling, walking, or driving a vehicle, or even a workplace accident. In a nutshell, you do not want to disclose a tremendous amount of specific information when you are potentially going to have to sue someone to anyone but YOUR lawyer. He or she is being paid to and is ethically bound to represent your interests, and the other lawyer is paid to, and is ethically bound to represent theirs. Don't make THEIR job easier and your lawyer's harder.

    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Stormcrowe
    Bump to make this a top shelf thread again.
    FWIW. Best wishes for recovery, and keep reading the Forums.

  22. #47
    Senior Member George's Avatar
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    I may as well join in, about 7 years ago while going down hill at a little over 20 mph I went down. Cracked 3 ribs and got some road rash. The good part is, I got a new set of bibs, jersey and helmet out of it.
    Heal fast op and keep riding it has a lot of benefits. I know you know that already though.
    George

  23. #48
    Senior Member bruce19's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by zonatandem View Post
    In my early-70s (am now 81 years old) got blown over by the wind just after apexing a climb. Very strong wind blew me sideways into the dirt and broke 6 ribs and punctured a lung. Bike was fine.
    Could of been worse as I landed in the dirt, missed a 50 foot dropoff.
    Ribs take a while to heal and the lung took a couple weeks of riding to get back to normal.
    Still riding 100+ miles a week.
    Stuff happens!
    Rudy/zonatandem
    People can't believe I am riding better than ever after having C1&C2 fused last July thanks to a road accident. But, I can't believe you. Awesome and inspirational.

  24. #49
    Senior Member BikeArkansas's Avatar
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    It is not about the crash, it is about your mind once you get back out there. A deer got me. I lived through it, but my bike did not. The poor Trek had to be put down for good. Sad day. Anyway, I was very worried about riding again. I was shocked at how very little I worred about crashing again once I recovered, built up another bike and got back out there. I guess I was lucky.
    I started riding my bike to get healthy. Now I try to stay healthy so I can ride my bike.

  25. #50
    Bendo Bendopolo's Avatar
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    I crash all the time. I've been knocked off my bike by a shopping cart on SART. Had people clip my wheels in turns. Don't want to jinx it, but never been seriously hurt. Learning to fall is important. Mostly when you fall roll into a ball. Dissipate the energy away from your core. Hardest thing is not putting your hands out to catch yourself. Good luck out there and we will all fall, those of us that get back up and ride are "Cyclists".

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