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  1. #2001
    Old Road Racer Cleave's Avatar
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    tetonrider, what a great effort and smart racing. It's easy to say, "I'll pull out if it gets dangerous," but it's very hard to do, especially when you're the GC leader. Wishing you the best on recovering from this injury.
    Thanks.
    Cleave
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  2. #2002
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    tetonrider - Bummer about the femur, heal up quick! Great report on the race, I might have to do that one next year since it's "only" about 400 miles away.
    Regards,
    Chuck

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  3. #2003
    Senior Member shovelhd's Avatar
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    That was such a great story until the end. Heal up my friend. Good luck with the surgery.

    When you're laid up in bed and are thinking about those last few laps, what was it that caused your wheel to wash out? Oil on the road? Pavement transition? Painted lines? Bad camber? Tire pressure? Bad line? Obstacle? Or was it just high anxiety and bad luck? Think these things through from all angles as there is much to be learned from it. I know what it's like to be leading an NRC race and lose it right at the end. I've never fallen that low. But you will learn from it and you will rise again. You have way too much talent at the national level to let this get to you for very long.

  4. #2004
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    Quote Originally Posted by tetonrider View Post
    left off the most important piece (how did i leave anything out??) -- i was leading the GC in a stage race 8 weeks post-clavicle repair. hearing stuff like that from others inspires me, so i hope i might do the same for someone else. i'll also lean on it to fire myself up again sometime over the coming days/weeks, i'm sure.

    i am quite upbeat headed into surgery and am grateful i had the chance to race this past weekend.
    Great report till the crash. Heal fast tetonrider!

    I'm finally going under the knife for my clavicle tomorrow morning so taking the positives from your report!
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  5. #2005
    I need speed AzTallRider's Avatar
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    Awesome racing, Teton - and that is one tough race to do well in. Best of luck with the surgery - both of you. Glad you are in good shape for the second blow; that will certainly speed your recovery.
    "If you're riding less than 18 MPH up a 2% grade please tell people Coggan is coaching you."

  6. #2006
    Idiot Emeritus sarals's Avatar
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    Teton, you're an amazing rider and an amazing person. I'm so sorry that happened to you, however, I already know you'll see nothing but positives from it. Heal fast, my friend!
    Racer Ex..."Don't know if the shop is under new ownership. If not feel free to shoplift stuff and break bottles in his parking lot."

  7. #2007
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    thanks for the well-wishes, everyone. they are greatly appreciated. "scrambling" at the moment (as much as a man with a broken femur hobbling on crutches can scramble! ) to get ready for the hospital, but i'm taking these positive thoughts in with me.

    Quote Originally Posted by Cleave View Post
    tetonrider, what a great effort and smart racing. It's easy to say, "I'll pull out if it gets dangerous," but it's very hard to do, especially when you're the GC leader. Wishing you the best on recovering from this injury.
    yes, it is hard to step off the bike. i was constantly checking in with myself about the risk on the course. i don't expect risk to go to zero, but at the time i felt i was in an acceptable area of risk that i did not need to withdraw.

    Quote Originally Posted by shovelhd View Post
    That was such a great story until the end. Heal up my friend. Good luck with the surgery.

    When you're laid up in bed and are thinking about those last few laps, what was it that caused your wheel to wash out? Oil on the road? Pavement transition? Painted lines? Bad camber? Tire pressure? Bad line? Obstacle? Or was it just high anxiety and bad luck? Think these things through from all angles as there is much to be learned from it. I know what it's like to be leading an NRC race and lose it right at the end. I've never fallen that low. But you will learn from it and you will rise again. You have way too much talent at the national level to let this get to you for very long.
    have thought about this a bunch and can share some insights...perhaps even tonight post-op. there are some lessons in there. in brief, i think i failed to recognize a subtle change. i had at least a 10 second warning of the changing conditions but did not process it properly at the time. i'll give more details in a bit.

    i was hyper-aware of many hazards on the road but i think i placed this one hazard a bit lower on the list AND didn't react immediately to another clue.

    thanks for the kind words.

  8. #2008
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    Thanks again for th kind words. I am writing from the recovery room. I elected to spend the night in the hospital to ease the burden on thanking care of my sorry a$$. . How I made it home from Arkansas I don't exactly know, as this was pretty damn painful in the 36h since I have been home. No pain meds did not help.

    Quote Originally Posted by valygrl View Post
    Oh Teton. So sorry.
    Quote Originally Posted by Hermes View Post
    Sorry about the crash,​ Tetonrider heal up fast.
    Quote Originally Posted by Cleave View Post
    tetonrider, what a great effort and smart racing. It's easy to say, "I'll pull out if it gets dangerous," but it's very hard to do, especially when you're the GC leader. Wishing you the best on recovering from this injury.
    Quote Originally Posted by Dalai View Post
    Great report till the crash. Heal fast tetonrider!

    I'm finally going under the knife for my clavicle tomorrow morning so taking the positives from your report!
    Quote Originally Posted by AzTallRider View Post
    Awesome racing, Teton - and that is one tough race to do well in. Best of luck with the surgery - both of you. Glad you are in good shape for the second blow; that will certainly speed your recovery.
    I am humbled by the outpouring of support. I wanted desperately to appear "normal" to my family and was wracking my brain about how to ditch my crutches before deplaning from my final flight. Couldn't happen, though. The family does put up with quite a lot when I race, and to layer on top of it dealing with injuries is a big ask. I think they believe I have a bit of aptitude for it, so that helps. It is hard for me to ask them to step up here.

  9. #2009
    Resident Alien Racer Ex's Avatar
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    Heal up both you guys.

  10. #2010
    I need speed AzTallRider's Avatar
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    I remain amazed you were leading GC at Joe Martin 8 weeks after destroying your clavicle. Shocking. I sure hope your family considers that aptitude.
    "If you're riding less than 18 MPH up a 2% grade please tell people Coggan is coaching you."

  11. #2011
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    tetonrider - I want to do what you did after destroying your clavicle, right up until the broken leg. You can stay on top of that leaderboard. Three more weeks until I can get back on the bike...
    Regards,
    Chuck

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  12. #2012
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    Quote Originally Posted by shovelhd View Post
    That was such a great story until the end. Heal up my friend. Good luck with the surgery.

    When you're laid up in bed and are thinking about those last few laps, what was it that caused your wheel to wash out? Oil on the road? Pavement transition? Painted lines? Bad camber? Tire pressure? Bad line? Obstacle? Or was it just high anxiety and bad luck? Think these things through from all angles as there is much to be learned from it. I know what it's like to be leading an NRC race and lose it right at the end. I've never fallen that low. But you will learn from it and you will rise again. You have way too much talent at the national level to let this get to you for very long.
    These are all good questions.

    I have thought a fair bit about the crash and what I might take away from it.
    S
    Mistake 1: I arrived quite early and took a few laps over an hour prior to my race in order to inspect t he corners. I noticed what I considered to be the key dangerous elements should it rain -- crosswalks, arrows and 2 downhill corners. What I did not consider with as much care was the first corner into the uphill transition. It had clearly been recently repaired and was a patchwork of new and old asphalt.

    Mistake 2: our race started out dry but rain was imminent. I lowered my tire pressure 5-7 psi. I felt it was acceptable but in hindsight I could have maybe dropped 10+. I don't think this was too much of a factor.

    Mistake 3: I think we chose the best line through all the curves, but in this curve it was impossible to take a line that did not hit any of the new asphalt, even if for a moment. I am pretty sure this was the case, but I would that've to go an inspect to be 100% certain. I took it out-in-out to straighten the corner as much as possible.

    Mistake 4: I think this is the real one. Half our race was dry, then it rained for a few laps. I was very aware that the course could change and risks might increase. I did not notice any changes during those first 3 laps of rain, and I was checking in with myself each lap. On the 4th lap of rain, on the corner immediately prior to my crash I do recall noticing that the moto left a slight track. It is obvious now but my brain did not process it at the time. I took a fine line through that turn, but I should have had 5 or 10 seconds heads-up. I could have slowed down more, which would have enabled me to alter a line or take it even more upright. The race was not worth taking a huge risk to win, so I am pretty sure that I was not blinded by such a thing.

    With a forecast for thunderstorms, significant accumulation from all-day rain, and even a tornado warning, it is fair to say that most racers spent lots of time worrying about conditions. I was staying with 7 1/2s and all of us lost sleep during the night. That said, I dealt appropriately with anxiety by showing up early to evaluate the new course. I was relaxed while racing and do not feel that nerves influenced things.

    I do not really believe in bad luck or good luck. Bad stuff can happen to the most prepared rider, and good luck tends to favor the prepared. I feel that what happened to me could have happened to almost any rider in the field. I am a bit wiser for it. Maybe some vo2 efforts slowed my thinking, but I just feel like I blew it by not being able to *automatically* apply my knowledge of rainy conditions because I haven't done it enough at race pace.

    I am am open to feedback and more than willing to learn. This was not my last race, so I need to get better at things.

    Thanks for for the kind words. I am not sure that I am at the national level yet, but to hear such words from someone who IS there gives me hope.

  13. #2013
    Senior Member shovelhd's Avatar
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    Dude, you were leading Joe Friggin' Martin and came within minutes of winning it. Nothing about what you wrote set off any flags.

    I'm a spiritual and somewhat superstitious guy. I do believe in luck, both good and bad. Yes, you can tip the scales to the good side, but I do no believe that we are capable of controlling everything around us. You've had a bad streak. Let's hope it's over.

  14. #2014
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    Quote Originally Posted by revchuck View Post
    tetonrider - I want to do what you did after destroying your clavicle, right up until the broken leg. You can stay on top of that leaderboard. Three more weeks until I can get back on the bike...
    It is certainly possible. Believe that it can happen. Know that there is evidence of it out there. I rode among my best ever 20' power 4 weeks post op. I did not gain in that period from year to year, but I basically it'd that best ever power from a year prior (this year was a few watts higher, but essentially the same).

    Having a a goal during a comeback makes things easier. I admit I had some dark moments, but it kept plugging away.

    Not ow taking time off the bike more than a few days (even if riding easy) maintains the neuromuscular firing patterns. Low cadence intervals are also easy to accomplish on a trainer and are effective at maintaining muscular endurance in a minimal amount of time (also important on a trainer).

    hang in there...we are rooting for you!

  15. #2015
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    Quote Originally Posted by shovelhd View Post
    Dude, you were leading Joe Friggin' Martin and came within minutes of winning it. Nothing about what you wrote set off any flags.

    I'm a spiritual and somewhat superstitious guy. I do believe in luck, both good and bad. Yes, you can tip the scales to the good side, but I do no believe that we are capable of controlling everything around us. You've had a bad streak. Let's hope it's over.
    I agree that we cannot control everything but we can help stack odds in our favor. I also believe in honesty with oneself, as it is the only way we can learn and improve.

  16. #2016
    Elite Rider Hermes's Avatar
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    Tetronrider, You can analyze the crash but do not beat yourself up. Let it go and focus on healing and getting better. IMO, the simple explanations may be the best. You went too fast into a corner for the road conditions. If you had it to do over, you would go slower.

    Having said that, I totally get why you may have overcooked the corner. You were on the brink of winning an NRC race. Maybe the lesson is when one is close to winning there must still be an element of caution and thinking about creating safety margin. And of course, that contradicts the fact that one has to take risks in major races to be competitive with very tough competition.

    I do not have the answer to that "dilemma".

    I am with ShovelHD and I sincerely hope that your string of bad fortune has ended and you will make a complete recovery and be back quickly. Good luck.
    "Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results." Einstein

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    Thanks, Hermes! I beat myself up a bunch over the prior crash, but I am not at all doing so for this one. I've analyzed it, taken away the lessons, and at this point it is merely a story if anyone wants to hear it.

    I am out of surgery and have started healing already. Totally psyched. Getting ready for lots of hard work just to get to where I was 3 days ago, but when one is CERTAIN they can get there it is much easier to deal with.

    My my goal is still to ride up Teton pass in 29:59 or less. Only a handful of folks here have ever done it (one was lance's domestique the year he raced Leadville), and it requires shaving 2:08 off of my time last year. I need to build a little more power, lose a little weight, and get a little luck regarding wind/drafts (I had pretty much n draft at the base last year so instead of getting a boost during the first 5' "flat" section, I pretty much got to the same point as I do when I do my 5' repeats). Not at all ready to give up that goal. You'll have to pry that one away from me!

    that climb is 5.5 miles at 8-10%. Used to take me an hour to go up it when I first threw a leg over a road bike. It is meaningful only for personal pride.

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    tetonrider, i get what you are doing with your analysis. I try to do something similar - and it sounds like "beating yourself up" to outside observers, but really it's just about learning every possible thing from the situation, so you can take away anything you can do better next time. I just wrote a note to my coach last night with something like that - and though I did have a lot more personal responsibility and need to change more of what I did vs. what you did, it's still not "beating myself up" - it's a learning process.

    Love your reports. Hope you heal well and quickly. If you don't beat your Teton Pass goal, it's not going to be because you didn't give it the very best attempt you possibly can.
    ...

  19. #2019
    Ninny globecanvas's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hermes View Post
    Having said that, I totally get why you may have overcooked the corner. You were on the brink of winning an NRC race.

    Heck, every year a pro tour guy on the brink of winning will overcook a corner. "Overcook" isn't even the right word, more like "take a corner at sufficiently close to limits that unexpected external factors can cause traction failure".

    If you're going to win, you have to push limits, and sometimes the limits move in ways you can't possibly predict. Maybe the moto was losing a little oil, maybe there was a tiny piece of debris on the road, could have been anything.



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    Quote Originally Posted by globecanvas View Post
    Heck, every year a pro tour guy on the brink of winning will overcook a corner. "Overcook" isn't even the right word, more like "take a corner at sufficiently close to limits that unexpected external factors can cause traction failure".

    If you're going to win, you have to push limits, and sometimes the limits move in ways you can't possibly predict. Maybe the moto was losing a little oil, maybe there was a tiny piece of debris on the road, could have been anything.


    Good points. I think it was just that after 10-15' of rain the oil in the new patches of asphalt came to the surface. The moto's temporary track was a sign that right then (5-10" prior to racers hitting the deck) the water started to actually collect on the course. Prior to then it was absorbed and did not affect handling.

    No biggie...I just didn't quickly process that piece of info in those 10", but someone *could have*. Unfortunately my injury was severe, but it is nothing I won't comes back from, stronger. The medical personnel on the course were helpful, but what they did could have had a very bad consequence for me, so I am lucky. Making it all the way home on my own with no pain meds with the fracture makes the rest of the pain seem trivial in comparison (truly).

  21. #2021
    I need speed AzTallRider's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by valygrl View Post
    tetonrider, i get what you are doing with your analysis. I try to do something similar - and it sounds like "beating yourself up" to outside observers, but really it's just about learning every possible thing from the situation, so you can take away anything you can do better next time. I just wrote a note to my coach last night with something like that - and though I did have a lot more personal responsibility and need to change more of what I did vs. what you did, it's still not "beating myself up" - it's a learning process.
    Very well put.
    "If you're riding less than 18 MPH up a 2% grade please tell people Coggan is coaching you."

  22. #2022
    I need speed AzTallRider's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by globecanvas View Post
    maybe there was a tiny piece of debris on the road, could have been anything.
    It's amazing what a little pebble can do - throwing your tire off to the side a little; starting the process of losing traction. Ditto for a tiny bit of gravel. And you can't see it all, particularly in a race, nor do you always have room to avoid it if you do. I haven't had a pebble, gravel, or a paint spot take me down, but I've certainly been forced to recover.
    "If you're riding less than 18 MPH up a 2% grade please tell people Coggan is coaching you."

  23. #2023
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    tetonrider, this is such a shame. I know you can bounce back from this, as strong, or stronger, but crap.... This is not deserved.

    Give it hell, and I look forward to your next race report!
    Quote Originally Posted by rpenmanparker View Post
    Not to be argumentative

  24. #2024
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    Quote Originally Posted by LAJ View Post
    tetonrider, this is such a shame. I know you can bounce back from this, as strong, or stronger, but crap.... This is not deserved.

    Give it hell, and I look forward to your next race report!
    hey, all--thanks for the support. i got out of the hospital wednesday and am working on my program to reduce inflammation, just as i did with my collarbone. i was surprised to get a phone call from my doc yesterday where he told me i could start riding the trainer immediately. pre-op, he told me i could bear weight right away but it would take 3 weeks to be on the trainer. i was prepared to ask him why that was the case; turns out i didn't have to.

    spinning felt great. so privileged to take this step in recovery. i am choosing to be optimistic.
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  25. #2025
    Old Road Racer Cleave's Avatar
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    Nice. Crutches to get on the trainer. Love it!
    Thanks.
    Cleave
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