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Old 11-02-09, 11:21 PM   #1
mtnwalker
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Crashed last Wednesday.

I've posted this in the Commuting forum already but I figured to share here too.

(Sorry, long read)
I became a statistic last Wednesday.

It was really windy here in the bay area and I was dealing with some really strong head wind as I headed north on Sunnyvale/Saratoga around 1130 am. The last thing I remember was looking at my computer and thinking "Man, its windy and I am going so slow." This street is mainly downhill northbound but I was only going 14 mph.

I looked up then I kinda remember falling. It still feels more like a dream up to this day. Then I must have blacked out on impact because I don't remember it. When I came to there were voices telling me to stay down and not get up. Must have passed out again because when I opened my eyes I was in an ambulance while they placed an IV on my arm. I was asked some questions "What month is it?", "What day?" "What time?" and I didn't know the anwer any of them. Passed out.

When I came to again I was inside a CT scanner and must have passed out again cuz the next thing I know I was on a bed in the ER with a neck brace.

I have an abrasion on my left cheek about an inch long and half an inch wide and some scratches on my fingers. My knees were saved by my leg warmers because all I got are major scrapes but no loss of flesh. The back of my helmet was smashed and I was told that I was lucky to have had it on. Otherwise I will be suffering more than just a concussion.

My wife told me that there was only one witness and he/she told the police that responded that it happened so quickly and I must have rolled on the ground at least 3 times before stopping. When I spoke to the police the next day he asked if I remembered anything like getting hit by a car, running over something, anything? I said, "No." He then told me that as he investigated the area he noticed a crushed pine cone behind where I crashed.

I'm still not sure to this day exactly what happened but I'm pretty sure now that a pine cone did me in
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Old 11-02-09, 11:30 PM   #2
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Ouch. So nothing broken on you? The bike? Sounds like you're ok...good to hear. Pine cones are serious business!
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Old 11-02-09, 11:37 PM   #3
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Wow, glad you're okay! Must be spooky to lose consciousness like that.
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Old 11-03-09, 12:01 AM   #4
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That hurt to read - heal up soon. Hope that this was the pine cone, rather than you passing out then falling?
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Old 11-03-09, 01:43 AM   #5
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Tony, I'm glad you're not hurt any worse. We have to watch out for those killer pine cones.
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Old 11-03-09, 01:48 AM   #6
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Holy Evergreen, Batman! A pinecone did you in? Amazing.

And so glad you're okay; head injuries are nothing to mess with. Hope you have a speedy recovery.

So how's the bike?
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Old 11-03-09, 09:33 AM   #7
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Thanks for the concern everyone. I'll let the my bike know that she is well thought of.

I'm doing better except for some light headedness in the morning when I get up from bed and when I over exert myself. Otherwise I got away with no broken bones or major injuries except for the concussion. The CT of my head turned out negative and my primary physician told me that there are no nerve damage. Prescription - Take a week off the bike and come back in a couple of weeks for a follow up.

Thank God for that helmet. I must have hit the back of my head real hard because that part of the helmet is smashed. The bike faired better. It had to stay overnight at the local PD and when I picked it up I was pleasantly surprised that nothing was missing off it, lights, bottles, bag, cell, wallet were all there. There's a scratch on top of the steering tube, on top of the brifters and the left seat stay. But no structural damage.

Last edited by mtnwalker; 11-03-09 at 09:45 AM.
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Old 11-03-09, 10:06 AM   #8
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Glad you're OK, but why thank God for the helmet when you could just as properly damn God for the pine cone. The lesson I take from your unfortunate story is to not put distracting technology on my handlebars, as helmets do nothing to prevent accidents like the one you apparently just suffered.
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Old 11-03-09, 10:11 AM   #9
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Glad you are ok. Reminds me when I was in a group ride last winter. I and the other guy were at the front pulling and were going down from this over pass. Next thing I know my front wheel is half a foot off the ground, arms in the air. I recovered and stayed up right. Good thing because there were a bunch of people behind me who would have been really pissed if I caused a crash. Still not sure what caused it, but rim was dent and tire was completely flat (blow out).

Now for ahole part.
I guess those 60-90 Joules made all the difference.
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Old 11-03-09, 10:19 AM   #10
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Pine cones are crazy, and they're out to kill us humans. I have to dodge them all the time on the trail, and a couple months ago, one almost got me while I was camping. My wife was packing her sleeping bag as we were breaking camp to head to the start of our hike, when I heard a rustling in the tree above me. A few seconds later was a VERY loud impact on the table a few feet away. An animal must have knocked this pine cone out - had that hit me on the head, I suppose it could have killed me. It weighed a few pounds and dropped from at least 15 feet. The next day, hiking to Echo Summit, we heard a similar rustling overhead, and we both dove off the trail with our heads covered Damn pine cones.
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Old 11-03-09, 10:20 AM   #11
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Tony, glad you made it relatively ok.
Take it easy!
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Old 11-03-09, 10:26 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RapidRobert View Post
Glad you're OK, but why thank God for the helmet when you could just as properly damn God for the pine cone. The lesson I take from your unfortunate story is to not put distracting technology on my handlebars, as helmets do nothing to prevent accidents like the one you apparently just suffered.
True, but nothing can prevent accidents from happening either. I'm usually a safe rider but it happens. And I'm glad the helmet is there when it happened. If not, I will not be here typing any of these at all.
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Old 11-03-09, 10:33 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by UmneyDurak View Post
Glad you are ok. Reminds me when I was in a group ride last winter. I and the other guy were at the front pulling and were going down from this over pass. Next thing I know my front wheel is half a foot off the ground, arms in the air. I recovered and stayed up right. Good thing because there were a bunch of people behind me who would have been really pissed if I caused a crash. Still not sure what caused it, but rim was dent and tire was completely flat (blow out).

Now for ahole part.
I guess those 60-90 Joules made all the difference.
Momentum saved you on that ride. So you bet those extra Joules made a difference.

I've been thinking about what happened and I believe now that it was the slow speed and strong head wind that caused me to crash like that. I've ran over pine cones before at speed and the worst that happened was a wobble followed by a quick recovery. But this was almost an instantaneous crash as soon as I hit that pine cone. IF I was going faster I probably would not have crashed that day. Maybe.
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Old 11-03-09, 11:12 AM   #14
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So many things to place after the word "if", but by your own account the reason you crashed is because you took your eyes off the road long enough for something unseen when you decided to do it to come up and throw you to the ground.

"Keep your eyes on the road, your hands upon the (bars)" - wrt Jim Morrison.
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Old 11-03-09, 11:37 AM   #15
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"Keep your eyes on the road, your hands upon the (bars)" - wrt Jim Morrison.
And always wear your helmet.
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Old 11-03-09, 12:01 PM   #16
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Yeah, right. That "magic pill", the "Finger of God" that encourages faster and riskier riding, does nothing for punctured lungs or broken necks, polarizes those riding bikes, discourages participation, and obviously works very well iff and when your head hits the pavement, within the small range of forces it's designed for. A couple more Newtons, or a rock or headlight between the ground and helmet, and our cycling friend here would've been toast, just like a lidless rider.

But this isn't the place for helmet advocacy, so I'll just be happy he's OK regardless of lessons learned or not, and look forward to riding with him (which was a real pleasure) again!
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Old 11-03-09, 12:16 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RapidRobert View Post
So many things to place after the word "if", but by your own account the reason you crashed is because you took your eyes off the road long enough for something unseen when you decided to do it to come up and throw you to the ground.

"Keep your eyes on the road, your hands upon the (bars)" - wrt Jim Morrison.
I'm not denying taking my eyes off the road. I probably could have avoided that pinecone if I was paying attention. So, yeah, that lesson has been learned.

No way I'm giving up my computer though.
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Old 11-03-09, 12:20 PM   #18
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Momentum saved you on that ride. So you bet those extra Joules made a difference.

I've been thinking about what happened and I believe now that it was the slow speed and strong head wind that caused me to crash like that. I've ran over pine cones before at speed and the worst that happened was a wobble followed by a quick recovery. But this was almost an instantaneous crash as soon as I hit that pine cone. IF I was going faster I probably would not have crashed that day. Maybe.
The Joules comment wasn't referring to my incident. Look up helmet testing/standards.
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Old 11-03-09, 12:38 PM   #19
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Dang, Tony. That sounded pretty horrific even based on your first person semi-conscious perspective. Good to hear you've still got your wits about you and wishing you a full and speedy recovery.
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Old 11-03-09, 12:49 PM   #20
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Not only pine cones are dangerous, but any round object on the road. It either gets shot off your tires, or it "tosses" your bike out of balance so fast, it's nearly impossible to correct.
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Old 11-03-09, 02:08 PM   #21
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Tony, so sorry to hear about your accident, and I wish you a quick recovery.
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Old 11-03-09, 02:10 PM   #22
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Scary incident, Tony. Glad you're OK.

Every accident offers us a learning experience. You've highlighted one for all of us to pay attention to.
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Old 11-04-09, 01:16 AM   #23
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That sounds scary, I'm glad you're relatively ok. Heal up quickly!
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