I have been lurking on this forum for several months but feel I must now submit my first post in the hope that at least one person will benefit from what I have learned less than 72 hours ago.
I live and ride ( road bike and MTB turned touring bike ) in southeastern rural Arizona. I do my training rides on a beautiful but hilly nicely surfaced rural two lane road with very little traffic.The speed limit on this road varies between 55 and 65 mph. The shoulder on this road has rumble strips and a lot of mostly pebbles so I mainly ride to the left of the white shoulder line about a foot. On occasion with traffic from both directions I will ride the shoulder until they pass. But at most times traffic is almost non existent. BUT there are sections with nothing but a GRAVEL shoulder!
Here is my story;
I was riding my road bike ( I alternate ) on a 50 mile training ride very early in the morning around 7:30 A.M. with almost no traffic. I do an out and back so I turn around at 25 miles which I read off my computer and I was about 4 miles into my return trip. Like I said earlier there are a lot of hills and the return trip is climbing until I reach this location where it levels off and even goes down hill. This is where I always eat.
This is where my life suddenly changed!:
I ride hard ( HAMMER ) on my road bike! I reached back and pulled two bagels out from my jersey which were in a zip-lock bag and pulled one out. I pulled one out with my right hand and took a bite out of it with the zip-lock bag and other bagel in my left hand. I was on the left of the white line about a foot and MADE THE MISTAKE TO LOOK DOWN AT MY COMPUTER!
I read 23 mph BUT SUDDENLY I WAS OFF THE ROAD ON THE SHOULDER IN LOOSE GRAVEL! (gravel shoulder part I told you about!) I panicked -WRONG CHOICE- and tried to pull the bike back on the road by climbing a TWO OR THREE INCH ROAD LEDGE!
I crashed HARD!!!!
I could not move for about two minutes! (laying on the pavement with the bagel still in my mouth!)
I finally got up but in great pain with no cars or anybody around!
I called my wife to come for me because I was hurt quite a bit and even scared!
About two minutes later a couple guys who lived across from where I stood drove up. They said "GOOD MORNING" without realizing I was hurt. I asked them for help and they were FANTASTIC! They brought me a chair and blanket and stayed with me until my wife arrived !
We got to the ER were I was tended to. I have a bruised hip , bad road rash (everywere), and a broken right clavicle (may need surgery). I would not wish this on anybody!!!!
The whole purpose of this long thread is two issues I can not stess enough IMHO;
1.; NEVER RELAX YOUR CONCENTRATION FOR EVEN A SECOUND!!!! (COMPUTER, FOOD,ETC.)
2.; WEAR A HELMET!!!!!!! MINE BROKE IN TWO!!!!!
P.S. I would like to hear from anyone with a similar experience! Also anyone ever get hurt on tour?