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Closest Encouter to a "Headstone" yet

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Closest Encouter to a "Headstone" yet

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Old 07-28-13, 07:04 AM
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jppe
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Closest Encouter to a "Headstone" yet

I drove up to Harrisonburg, Va and did the Shenandoah Valley Bike Festival ride yesterday. Well organized, roads well marked, terrific rest stops, good roads etc. A very good training ride---especially for someone that is trying to find their climbing legs and doesn't want any climbs terribly long or steep. The even had breakfast and a nice meal afterwards.

Here is a link to the ride:
http://www.ourcommunityplace.org/eve...est/index.html

It rained pretty steadily the first few hours so the roads were wet. Somewhere before the 65 mile point I went down really hard. We were on some very rural roads that were not well marked by normal highway standards.......very narrow, no center line, no warning signs etc. I was coming down a slight downhill and all of a sudden the road drops to much steeper grade AND makes a sharp hairpin turn to the right. You really didn't know the road was turning due to vegetation and trees along the sides of the road. Just as I was entering the drop off and turn I noticed a car coming towards me and just getting in the curve from the opposite direction. My momentum was carrying me into the car. I applied the brakes, the rear wheel came around and down I went on my left side heading for the front of the car. This crash happened much faster than any others I've had.

There were two ladies in the car. The driver was probably in her mid fifties and her daughter was in her late twenties and riding in the passenger seat. The car came to a quick stop and I slid a ways and just under the front of the car.......(so the radiator looks okay as I'm looking up???)

I'm thinking what saved me from getting run over was the lady appeared to be an experienced and cautious driver. I'm guessing she was driving defensively and saw what was about to happen and instinctively came to a stop as quickly as she could. Had it been a more aggressive driver there is a good chance I would not be typing this.........

I scared them half to death.......as I went down right in front of them and probably out of their sight. They jumped out of the car and begged me to call 911. I checked out all the parts and everything seemed okay. Well, there was already a lot of blood flowing from my left leg, left arm, etc so it probably looked really bad. My head hit so hard that while my glasses stayed on my one of the lens popped out......My helmet was scratched and has a hairline crack on the left side. They had wet wipes so I commenced to cleaning up as best I could. They were pretty shook up.

While we were there, several other bikes came through the curve.......all had issues. However since there was not a vehicle in the turn (she had moved off the road) they were able to get to safety in the grass and one even went up a driveway halfway in the curve..............

I understand from talking to other riders that in some of the past rides they used to have a warning sign just before that curve. I can see why!!!

After briefly cleaning up and looking at the bike I took off on completing the ride. I was able to complete the century in a about 5 hr 53 mins. As in the past things don't start hurting until afterwards............I started feeling stuff on the 5 hour drive back to the house!

So the damage report:

Severe road rash on my left hip-----nice hematoma. Very, very lucky to not break my hip.
Road Rash on left forearm and elbow.
Road Rash on my left leg.
Small scratch my forehead---I guess from my glasses. (the daughter found my lens, I put it back in and was good to go?!?!?)
Broken buckle on my left shoe.
I have a slightly separated left shoulder......very sore. Similar injury to a crash several years ago and I know how it feels. Very lucky to not break a collarbone!!
I got back late last night and haven't really looked at the bike but I was able to ride it another 35+ miles so I'm guessing everything is okay????
Holes in bike shorts and shirt. Will see if I can put a patch on those.

Funny, but I had a crick in my neck for a couple days prior to the ride and now it is cured!!


And the best part is I'm still here typing!!!


Edit:

Cleaned up the bike and fortunately didn't find anything mechanically wrong---just scrapes:
Left Carbon Shifter handle Scratched at the tip (SRAM Red)
The left Look pedal had a two chunks of carbon gouged out---at the end where the spring fits in a slot and in the middle under the medal base.
The left rear skewer had a small hunk of Titanium gouged out on the end.
The left rear stay had a large scratch across the top where my shoe must have scraped it
The rear brake needed recentering
I also found a huge bruise on the very back of my left buttock (bounced off the ground maybe??)
Today I have more pains and the aches are a little worse than I had expected!!
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Last edited by jppe; 07-28-13 at 04:24 PM.
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Old 07-28-13, 07:16 AM
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ThatBritBloke
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Thank goodness there are some attentive drivers ... speedy recovery!!!

PS: Bike and stuff? That's not important ...

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Old 07-28-13, 07:54 AM
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Scary. Glad you are still here.
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Old 07-28-13, 08:09 AM
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This lends some credence to the concept of Guardian Angels. It sounds like yours should get quite a few kudos.

I understand why you got back on your bike, but the prudent thing would have been to hitch up with the SAG wagon, if there was one.
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Old 07-28-13, 08:43 AM
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Glad you came out OK!

This is how I open these kinds of threads:



I don't want to read things that will make me more worried about crashes,

but,

I want to learn from others' experiences.
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Old 07-28-13, 08:49 AM
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Glad what could have been very serious wasn't, though it sounds serious enough. Here's some info which might be relevant the next time: http://sheldonbrown.com/brakturn.html
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Old 07-28-13, 09:38 AM
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Good sight lines are critical in downhills aren't they? And experience with the road features too. This thread is a good reminder of how dangerous this hobby can really be and it's why I'm such a careful descender. Very glad you are okay Joe!

Some of the curves I just saw in northern Italy just amazed me. I don't see how even the pros take them at respectable speeds.

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Old 07-28-13, 10:56 AM
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Thanks for the incident report. You were quite lucky. Not that I need it, but you've reinforced my slow-poke descent inclinations. I really love the drag brakes on my tandems.
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Old 07-28-13, 02:06 PM
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I am so glad you are writing this message to us, and not someone else with a different message.

Take care!!
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Old 07-28-13, 02:21 PM
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Wow Joe, scary stuff! Glad to hear you came through about as well as one could hope given the scene you described. I'm grateful the driver was attentive.
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Old 07-28-13, 02:53 PM
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Glad you will be able to heal up.

I am always thankful for the good motorist out there.
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Old 07-28-13, 03:01 PM
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Heal fast, jppe.
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Old 07-28-13, 03:10 PM
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Looks like you got your adrenaline pumping enough to do the rest of your century in good time anyway.

I'd put in a complaint to the powers that be and make them put a curve warning sign back up there. Something must've happened to the one that the riders said had been there.
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Old 07-28-13, 03:18 PM
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Glad you made it. That's cycling!
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Old 07-28-13, 05:40 PM
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Speaking of headstones, I ran across this one while doing my findagrave.com stuff-



Kind of an oxymoron-
I did ride my bicycle to take the pic-

Glad you're OK!
Attached Images
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Old 07-28-13, 08:06 PM
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Sorry you crashed. Very happy you are relatively OK. So glad the driver was so alert! Heal quickly, friend.
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Old 07-28-13, 09:13 PM
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Originally Posted by DnvrFox View Post
I am so glad you are writing this message to us, and not someone else with a different message.

Take care!!
Yes, indeed.
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Old 07-29-13, 04:28 AM
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Yeeps! Glad to hear you're OK.

I've done that ride three times before. Almost did it this year, but decided to skip it to ride my own ride just over the ridge from where you were on Skyline Drive and down into Madison/Syria/Sperryville.

Heal up quick!
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Old 07-29-13, 05:44 AM
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Originally Posted by JimF22003 View Post
Yeeps! Glad to hear you're OK.

I've done that ride three times before. Almost did it this year, but decided to skip it to ride my own ride just over the ridge from where you were on Skyline Drive and down into Madison/Syria/Sperryville.

Heal up quick!

I figured either you probably have ridden that one. It was a decent turnout. There might have been 75 doing the century?? Very unusual route profile for me. I'm not used to roller after roller after roller. There were spaced together so tightly and weren't all that long so it was very hard to sustain any momentum. Also a good number of stair step climbs. Climb a couple hundred yards, ease off and then climb a couple hundred more.......sets of 4-5 steps at times. Roads were certainly not that busy and lots of farmland. One of the profiles I saw indicated that there was 49 miles of climbing so no wonder if felt like you were either going up or going down.
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Old 07-29-13, 08:13 AM
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"I'm thinking what saved me from getting run over was the lady appeared to be an experienced and cautious driver. I'm guessing she was driving defensively and saw what was about to happen and instinctively came to a stop as quickly as she could. Had it been a more aggressive driver there is a good chance I would not be typing this........."

This had to be a terrifying event (after you had a chance to think about it) for both you and the driver of the car. I've always been a defensive driver and given lots of space to pedestrians, children, stopped vehicles, cyclists, etc. I have noticed since I've gotten back into cycling that a lot of drivers don't give cyclists a lot of room. I was riding on a road with a 5 foot shoulder yesterday, and noticed that only about 1 in 3 cars moved over into their left/passing lane when passing me, even though no one was coming behind them. Fortunately for everyone your encounter was with a woman who acted responsibly. Incidentally, I got a hematoma from a fall (much less frightening than yours) about 4 weeks ago, and it still sticks out from my thigh about 1 1/2 inches and about the size of a grapefruit. The doctor said it will take 1 1/2 to 2 more months for the body to reabsorb it. Nearly all of the bruising has been reabsorbed, and while my wife has been concerned with it, the doctor didn't seem concerned in the least.
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Old 07-29-13, 08:18 AM
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This thread makes me glad I drove the last two century routes prior to the rides so I had an idea of what to expect.

Heal quickly. Take care and I'm glad it wasn't worse.
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Old 07-29-13, 09:48 AM
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Originally Posted by jppe View Post
Funny, but I had a crick in my neck for a couple days prior to the ride and now it is cured!!
Glad you survived to ride another day. Scary stuff.

Might I suggest you consider a chiropractor next time you need a neck adjustment.
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Old 07-29-13, 10:05 AM
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Cripes. There goes one of your 9-lives.

I can't imagine finding myself on the ground looking up at a radiator ... holy crap.

There are some really bad wrecks that are just an unfortunate juxtaposition of events ... this is one of the. How many times do you crash? Almost never. And the one time in a million happens to be when a car is coming the other way? Glad you missed disaster by a sliver.
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Old 07-29-13, 07:53 PM
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Your story is terrifying! So glad you are okay. Be careful out there!
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Old 07-29-13, 08:04 PM
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Holy Smokes! I'm glad you're still with us, and in one piece! Heal quickly!
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