My name is Dan, and I live on the East Coast of Florida. I took up riding in July of 2004, 40 pounds overweight, I was looking for an exercise that I might enjoy. Riding an 89.00 bike from Walmart, I didn't get to the end of my road and I was exhausted and sore. I thought, "this is not going to be fun". My first long ride - 5 miles one way, almost put me in an early grave. Plus, I was doing the Atkins diet, and I had no fuel for my body. A visit to my local bike shop put me in contact with Libby, my angel of mercy. First of all, she told me if I was going to ride, I needed a bike that fit me - apparently bikes come in sizes outside of Wally World! She fit me to a Trek 1000 and I began to ride with my sister every weekend. My sister who is 4 years older than me had been biking for years, and could ride 50 miles with no problem. So off we went, and she kicked my butt every ride, but we had fun.
I soon learned that money could buy speed and new 600.00 wheels, clips and pedals, and some other adjustments soon saw me kicking her but for a change. I got off the Atkins diet, and began a nutrition plan to go with my riding schedule - and although I was eating more than ever - I was losing weight. I soon found myself riding 13 miles every morning before work, and 20 - 30 miles every day after work, I was obsessed. On weekends I sometimes topped 45 miles. I loved it, it was the first time in my life that I ever found an exercise I could stick with and really enjoy.
On Sept 16th 2004 my whole world changed. I was on a short warm up ride before work, riding in a residential neighborhood, very low key - no shoulder on the road, but not a lot of cars. I was riding into a beautiful sunrise with the sun in my eyes, I really was hugging the edge of the road, as I knew whatever was behind me would have the sun in their eyes as well. I check my mirror - lots of distance between me and the approaching cars, so much so that I thought, I will be turning soon and out of the sun - and on the stretch to home. All of a sudden BAM, I was hit from behind - I hit the grass with my front tire, and I thought - wait, I can't control the bike, who pushed me? Soon I was falling, unable to unclip, I was also coming down with the bike in a heap, I actually think we did a full flip. I ended up in the sitting position, with my bike all around me - and my knew 300 rear tire, shattered and actually over my head. My leg was screaming in pain, and I was yelling call 911, call 911 to a few passing motorist. Everyone stopped and tried to comfort me, telling me not to move. The woman (35) who hit me, stayed in her car, and I heard she had said, the sun was in my eyes, I didn't even see him. I learned later, she has just entered the street I was on about 1 block back, so in between my check in the mirror, she must have come on me quickly.
My leg was shaped like a Z, the bone was sticking out, and I was in a mucky ditch - I later learned how dangerous and dirty that muck was. I was air lifted to an out of town hospital, as apparently they had a better trauma unit. I stayed there for 5 weeks - morphine was my best friend. I had to have 9 surgeries on my leg, broken tib/fib with compound fracture - complicated by severe infection (remember the muck). At one point, amputation was a very real possibility - and although scared, I thought well take it - I can always get a prothesis, and plus I would never be riding again.
Here I am 6 months, and 10 surgeries later. A wound vac, and a skin graft helped close the enormous wound in my leg, that now looks like a shark bite. With over 300,000 in hospital bills - covered mostly by my health insurance, I can tell you all about the nightmare that is called no fault insurance in the state of Florida. If any of you think that if you ever get hit - you will be rich - make sure you are hit by a very rich person, with good insurance and money in the bank. I was hit by someone who had limited insurance, as did I until now, and has no money in the bank - and already was bankrupt. In Florida taking someone's home is not an option. So far, out of 300,000 in bills - my insurance paid 10,000 and her insurance has paid none. My health insurance paid the rest.
In any case, I vowed never to ride again - promised my family I never would. For anyone who knows, once the biking is in your blood - it stays! I am the proud owner of a Trek 1200C and I started riding a month ago - with my current leg pain level I can only do small rides - but recently I did 20 miles, and I am loving it! I hope to be up to 30 soon, and getting my life back. Small steps, and with the help and advice of Libby my biking advisor and angel - I am taking back what I lost from all those months of pain - I am taking back my health and my life!
Welcome to the forums. I'm glad to see the accident didn't affect your enthusiasm for riding. Keep up with it, and you'll find you'll exceed your goals!
There you go, operator. It should help with the stream of consciousness.
Sorry to hear about your accident, but I am glad to hear it hasn't put you off what seems to be a good thing for you...bicycling! I am originally from the East Coast of Florida (Jacksonville), but I left in 1981 after high school and joined the USAF. I returned to Florida in 85 to go to school in Gainesville (UF) but left again after graduating and going back into the USAF in 89. I commuted on a Jamis Durango while at UF, it was a great way to stay in shape. I bought a Specialized Hard Rock after college, and rode it a bit while stationed in Maryland, but not much. It wasn't until I went to Bratislava, Slovakia in 92 that the biking bug bit. While in Germany over the Christmas holiday, I bought a Cannondale M400 that I took back to Slovakia. It was a great way to see the country! I returned to the States in 93 and then moved to Germany in 95, where the biking bug really bit! While there I bought two more Cannondales, a SuperV700 and a SuperV3000, both full suspension rigs. They really helped me ride further, lightening the beating my back was taking from the M400 hardtail. Germany is great for riding, lots of "wanderwegs" that are open to bikes as well. We left Germany in 99 and moved to San Antonio, Texas, where I also got some great riding done. Central Texas and the Hill Country are great, although I did have to get used to the heat. We left Texas for Belgium in 02, and although I rode on occasion, it wasn't until I went to Oberammergau in the German Alps last year that I got back into riding again. When I got back to Belgium I swore I would keep it up, and I did just over 700 miles, mostly on my Super V700 mountain bike, last year. This was a tough winter, I rode up until the last week of December but then the weather got too ugly so I put the bike away for almost three months. In mid-March, I dusted the bike off and started to ride again, and in the last week I did a 31-mile and a 43-mile ride. It felt great!
Atkins is a bad for bikers, the diet is high in fat and the lack of carbs make it hard to get through workouts. Putting fat in a cyclist or runner or any endurance athlete is like putting kerosene in your car, ain't gonna burn very well, and sputters. As one of my buds says you know things are outta whack when you can eat a t-bone but NOT a banana! The same bud recommended picking up Chris Carmicahel's book, "Eat Right to Train Right." (Lance Armstrong's coach). Follow his advice about diet and cycling, and you will lose weight.
And keep biking, it is good for your soul!
p.s. Sorry 'bout the paragraphs, Operator!
Dan I wil keep it short. I live one state north of you and have been riding for years. 2004 was not a good year for me either. I was hit by a car twice. The first time a car hit my elbow with her rear view mirror. The second time my bike went under the car and I went over the top when a woman made an illegal left turn through me. By the way I still ride everyday. Today I just got back from a short ride of 48 miles. I kept it short because the wind was gusting up to 38 mph.
Hey, welcome back to cycling, Dan! I got broadsided in an intersection by a guy running a red light. I flew through the air like Superman and made a perfect three-point landing. Broke my arm, leg, and helmet. But it didn't affect me any ... affect me any ... affect me any ...
wow, what a story. I am glad to hear that you are riding again.
*bang* (upside head)
Originally Posted by Neil Anderson
Does that help any?
Kelly Drive Amateur
Wow - what a story... glad you're here to tell it. Glad your back in the saddle, as well.
The only accident I've ever been in almost resulted in the death, by heart-attack, of the driver and her passenger. I was flying through West Philly and approached an intersection where a car had been idling on the corner for the 20 seconds or so it was in view. I was about to go barrelling through when the very elderly driver, who must not have seen me coming, lurched foward. I braked so hard I literally flew over the front and, after bouncing once on the hood, landed neatly on the other side of the now-stopped car. I walked casually up to the lowering passenger side window and said "Um...that would be my fault... sorry ladies!". I've never seen such expressions of terror in my life. I felt pretty bad, and am a little more careful to make eye contact now.
Thanks, Koffee. I needed that. A little bang (upside the head) now and then never hurt anyone.
Originally Posted by koffee brown
Hey Boogs, same when I got hit. One of the pedestrians waiting to cross the street was a pregnant woman. She looked horror stricken, then I heard her faintly say, "I've gotta go back home and lie down." (I, on the other had, was already lying down.)
Originally Posted by Boogs