Anyone know the details on the woman cyclist that was taken out? I hear she broke her L3 vertebrae (how serious is that?)
I saw the whole thing right in front of me. There was a very distrubing scream... she looked like she was in pain... She landed flat on her lower back when another cyclist decided to take a sharp left to a bike trail.
I had that same injury when I was 19 years old (I am 26). Its not fun at all. After a total of 18 months in a back brace trying to make the fracture heal i went under the knife to have it fixed. I had a bone graft from my hip and wire wrapped around my L3 vert. to hold it still during the healing process. The graft was successful and it all fused up stronger than ever but that was likely the worse 4 years of my life (9 month recovery and years of PT after that). I still get back pain and have some nagging issues but hey I am doing just fine all considered. I have to maintain a strong core and keep active or else things get really stiff and the pain comes back.
My thoughts go out to the rider and hope her fracture heals without going under the knife. Back injuries are likely the most frustrating as they totally debilitate you for a long period of time. Her fracture is hopefully not in the same location as my on the bone it self as it was the "worst." Many of the other fractures are less severe and have MUCH quicker recovery times and less restriction of motion during the healing process.
The gal that crashed is named Karen and is a very good rider and racer. The guy who crashed her out was new to the ride and for some reason thought he should turn onto the bike path and took her front wheel out. I was one of the first responders to get to her and we (Armin Rhah) and I administered first aid, well we kept her immobilzed until the meat wagon arrived. Its really sad too, because she was emerging as a really good bike racer. Hopefully she'll make a full recovery and be back out there as soon as possible. This is a classic example of the varible dangers you find on any big group ride like this. The only good thing, if you can call it that, was the guy who took her out didn't take off like many culprits do, but stuck around.