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How much do you remember from a crash?

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Road Cycling “It is by riding a bicycle that you learn the contours of a country best, since you have to sweat up the hills and coast down them. Thus you remember them as they actually are, while in a motor car only a high hill impresses you, and you have no such accurate remembrance of country you have driven through as you gain by riding a bicycle.” -- Ernest Hemingway

How much do you remember from a crash?

Old 11-30-14, 05:04 AM
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rick458
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How much do you remember from a crash?

Yesterdays crash thread. and more likely, yesterdays wreck, got me thinking about crashing, crash dynamics, witness recall etc..
So what detail do you remember from a crash.
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Old 11-30-14, 05:15 AM
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I remember hauling down a fire road at 20mph on my mountain bike, I remember wanting to blast through the big water puddle at the bottom, I remember my front tire instantly sinking four feet in the hole, I remember flying over the bars 50 feet through the air, I remember my left shoulder striking the ground first, I remember hearing a tree branch snapping except it was really my clavicle breaking in three places, I remember instant and pure pain before I even stopped sliding on the ground, I remember sitting up and seeing a bone sticking out of my body. I remember a trip to the ER, shots of morphine, surgery, rods, pins, weeks of Percocet. I remember pretty much everything. Especially when I look in the mirror and see my left shoulder is an inch lower than my right
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Old 11-30-14, 05:26 AM
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I had a crash in 2005, I was rear ended by a Ford F-150 on my Motobecane. I remember the pick up hitting the back of my bicycle, and I was trying to stay on the bike, but eventually was thrown off, landing on my head. I noticed when the woman got out of the pick up, she was still talking on her cell phone, so I realized why she didn't see me. I ended up getting 4 staples in my scalp, and have worn a helmet every ride since.
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Old 11-30-14, 05:29 AM
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I had a wreck in 2003, I was approaching a blind alley from a sidewalk. As I was about to turn right into the alley, a pick up came barrelling out of the alley at 40 mph. The only way I could avoid him was to turn hard right, and landing on my left shoulder. I separated my ACL I think its called.
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Old 11-30-14, 05:30 AM
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My most recent crash ... coming down a steep road covered in a thin layer of slippery white mud to a 4-way stop. I would have flown through the 4-way stop like the two cyclists ahead of me, except that as I approached cars pulled up from all directions. I hit the brakes.

I remember a feeling of skidding.

I remember looking down and seeing my front wheel folded back toward my right foot and thinking, "that's not good!"

I remember falling and my left hip hitting the ground. I didn't feel anything and so I thought, "this might not be so bad after all".

And then I remember thinking, "my head is going too fast".

I tried to brace myself ... and then there was a loud crack and everything went white.

And then there was pain. Lots of it. Everywhere.

And voices ... people asking me if I was OK. I said something about the pain. So they left me there on the road and carried my bicycle to the side.

I tried to sit up and the world spun around. I lay down again. I tried a second time and was successful.

I looked over to where my bicycle had been ... and noticed my almonds. I had just purchased those almonds and had them in my bento bag and now they were all over the road, in the mud. I felt sad.

But then the people were back, helping me up and kind of carrying me off the road.

[HR][/HR]
15 min later the fog cleared and the pain subsided enough for me to get back on the road and finish the last half of the 200K randonnee I was on.

My helmet was cracked, so my father met me at the next control and gave me his helmet. I refused to look at myself until the end of the ride, about 5 hours later. I figured that I could finish the ride on adrenalin but if I saw the damage it would start to hurt and I wouldn't be able to finish the ride.

The damage:
-- concussion
-- separated left shoulder ... which still gives me trouble
-- bruising on both legs from hips to feet, especially on my left hip ... that was one massive bruise
-- sprained right hand/wrist ... I had turned my right brake lever inward as far as it could go

3 days later I started a 400K randonnee, but only made it to about the 250 km point ... just too much pain to continue.
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Old 11-30-14, 05:39 AM
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I was surprised by how many things were happening for such a relatively low speed wreck/go down.
I can recall going over the front wheel, the bike in the air going from left to right with my hands still clamped in the drops, my right fooot still clipped in left free, things spinning (clouds, streetlight pole, grass, curbs, vehicles).
I was only going 10mph ish, had to stop at the intersection from a nieghborhood loop, walkers to the left pickup coming past and slowing down (will he turn across me, keep going but wont be past yet).
I was in the drops (trying to get more flat and loose), the front tire was low on the repair stand 35-40 psi on 25s, lots of people out, parked cars, pedestrians etc..
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Old 11-30-14, 05:41 AM
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Holy moly! Are you superman Machka?
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Old 11-30-14, 06:07 AM
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Originally Posted by Wind Runner View Post
Holy moly! Are you superman Machka?
Wonder Woman I think
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Old 11-30-14, 06:19 AM
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Originally Posted by Wind Runner View Post
Holy moly! Are you superman Machka?
Originally Posted by K.Katso View Post
Wonder Woman I think


I was just in really good shape back then.
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Old 11-30-14, 06:26 AM
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My worst wreck...

I can still remember most of it clearly. My brother and I were trail riding and coming down a good size dune made of fairly well packed white sand. The trail at the bottom of the dune led across a wooden "bridge", basically 2x4s nailed across a couple of logs. The bridge was at about a 30 degree angle to the right from the trail. My brother went across first and when he did, his tires left a fine coating of sand on the wood. As I angled onto the bridge, I remember my front tire sliding sideways, off the bridge to the left, the front of the bike dropping, me not having time to let go of the handlebars, and being vaulted, head first, into the base of a tree on the opposite bank of the creek we were crossing. I can still remember the sound of my head hitting the tree. The next thing I knew I was blinded by a sheet of blood pouring over my face and laying in the bottom of the dry creek bed.

I lay in the ditch bleeding until my brother came back and found me seconds later. He gave me his t-shirt to use as a compress on my head, and rode out to get help (we were in a state park, so help was not far). He sent another couple on the trail to come watch me til he could get back with help. I still remember the guy using his water bottle to clean the blood from my face so I could at least see and not inhale it through my mouth and nose.

Some time later, I have no idea how long or short of time it was, the paramedics showed up, bandaged my head, strapped me to a back board, walked me to the main trail and loaded me on an ATV to drive me out to the road where the ambulance was waiting. They were working on getting the bleeding under control and kept asking me if I'd lost consciousness, which I hadn't. I still remember that I wasn't concerned with my head and kept complaining of back pain.

At the hospital, everyone was worried about my head wound which was a "V" shaped tear, starting at my left ear, going about 3 inches toward the top of my head and then angling forward to my front hairline. It seems that when I hit the tree, the bark cut my scalp to the scull and then tore a large "V" shaped flap loose. It took 6 internal sutures to get the bleeding under control and 36 stitches to close it up. All the while I was complaining of back pain.

Once they were done with my head, it was off to radiology for my back. It turns out that I had completely crushed my T9 vertebrae to about 1/4 inch thick. Everyone was amazed that I had done no other damage in the area. No nerve damage, nothing with the discs. The doctor said I must have hit at just the right angle to crush it, but not cause any sideways skewing of the spine, resulting in no additional damage. Frankly they couldn't believe I wasn't paralyzed. Someone was surely watching over me that day.

That was about 20 years ago, and I fully recovered other than a nasty scar hidden by my hair (which I can thankfully still grow ), and some aches in my back from time to time. I did loose nearly an inch of height though!
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Old 11-30-14, 06:30 AM
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I remember every detail of every bicycle crash I've ever had very vividly. Especially the concerned expressions of the riders who stopped, when I noticed the white styrofoam balls falling out of my helmet and said, "Check it out. It's snowing!" Turns out a guard rail is harder than a Giro helmet. Also, my shoe flying through the air in slow-mo when I got nailed by a little Asian lady driving a large Cadillac, and the sparks lingering when she tried to proceed with my bike still under her car.

Only exception is one motorcycle crash on Palomar Mountain. Didn't low-side or high-side, but bike spun around and rotated past a full 180, flying backwards. I fell headfirst into a boulder outcropping like a bug into a windshield, shattering a new $500 helmet, and my motorcycle went cartwheeling. Only reason I know this much is because I'd just passed some guy with a helmet camera and he got the footage of my crash.
All I remember was suddenly facing backward, a brief, vivid glance at the kill-switch next to my throttle hand and thinking, "This is going to hurt." Then waking up in the hospital. My ex-wife looked exhausted, and I started to ask her what happened; she replied as if reciting a hated gradeschool poem, "You had an accident on Palomar. You're bike is damaged, but at home in the garage. You're at Palomar/Pomerado Hospital, and you've been asking me these questions for the last 6 hours."
Had double-vision for 11 days after that, and the doctor was very helpful with that: "It's either going to heal on its own, or it's not. But there's nothing we can do about it." (That'll be $380, please. NEXT!)
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Old 11-30-14, 07:33 AM
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I was pacing a group of inline skaters at El Dorado park in long beach. I was on my fixed gear track bike with one front brake. The skaters (national ranked) asked me to take them into a sprint. during the sprint a large flock of resident geese crossed the road right in front of me. I remember trying to slow and felt a hand on my back. One of the skaters trying to slow himself. I remember the sensation of going over the bars. I remember having a dream while out about a Nikon F-1 camera. Strange. I remember waking up in the middle of the road not knowing where I was or how I had gotten there. It was like I had gone to bed in my own bed the night before and someone had moved me to El Dorado park and woke me up. My right arm was paralyzed. I spend three days in the hospital and lost the use of the arm for 7 months with serious nerve damage. To my knowledge I am the only cyclist who has ever been taken down by a flock of geese. My bike computer showed a max speed of 28 mph.
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Old 11-30-14, 08:24 AM
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My only crash of note was Sept 11 2012. I was riding alone, and as far as my memory of it one second I am fine and the next second I am sitting up on the ground, going "Wow why am I on the ground". Looked at my R shoulder and saw obvious fractured clavicle, but wasn't until I tried to get up I figured I also had a pelvic fracture. I also cracked my helmet, so that would explain the lost seconds of memory. i have a vague memory of a dog being involved but not sure. Several people in cars came to my aid but none saw the actual crash. Frustrating for sure.
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Old 11-30-14, 08:35 AM
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Zero...same for the next two days in the hospital.
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Old 11-30-14, 09:04 AM
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I remember hearing a diesel engine running and the driver trying to calm me down. The next three days I was unconscious. I remember having a few visitors the next couple days, but can't remember who visited.

They moved me out of ICU after 6 days, and I don't remember much from those days. I remember being in ICU, but few details.
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Old 11-30-14, 09:09 AM
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My last serious crash, 1991, a car pulled out in front of me while riding on a MUP @ around 15mph. I remember the driver's facial expression (shock) when he saw me coming down the path, and then my next memory is the fire fighter telling me not to move when I was lying on my back. I remember no details about the crash.
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Old 11-30-14, 09:21 AM
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Originally Posted by BoSoxYacht View Post
I remember hearing a diesel engine running and the driver trying to calm me down. The next three days I was unconscious. I remember having a few visitors the next couple days, but can't remember who visited.

They moved me out of ICU after 6 days, and I don't remember much from those days. I remember being in ICU, but few details.
My Mom was in a ICU for a week with Necrotizing Staff, she said she remembers dreaming about a trip her and Dad were taking in San Antonio.
I thank God for that she had 6 surguries in that time to remove tissue.
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Old 11-30-14, 09:39 AM
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Originally Posted by rick458 View Post
My Mom was in a ICU for a week with Necrotizing Staff, she said she remembers dreaming about a trip her and Dad were taking in San Antonio.
I thank God for that she had 6 surguries in that time to remove tissue.
I didn't see what happened to you in your wreck, but it sounds like you need to get back out there, and stop overthinking it. Minor little spills happen, but don't let those worry you.

Big wrecks suck, but when you ride a ton of miles for decades, something is bound to happen sooner or later.
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Old 11-30-14, 09:51 AM
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In my wreck I just jacked up a standard intersection stop, I will be back out tonight after work.
Just engaging in a little free form thinking, while stuck at work.
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Old 11-30-14, 09:57 AM
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1) On wet leaves.

One minute I was coasting down the path. Next minute I was on top of the bike lying on its side.

2) Looking back for a riding partner.

One minute I was looking around. Next minute I was on the ground on my chest with a throbbing wrist and ribs.
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Old 11-30-14, 11:19 AM
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I remember every detail of each crash, but that's not a good thing. Dwelling on these events is like positive visualization in reverse.
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Old 11-30-14, 11:23 AM
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Or it could be a learning tool, if you could have avoided the incident.
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Old 11-30-14, 12:00 PM
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I was riding on the white line and heard tires screeching. Next thing I remember is lying on the ground face upward, seeing trees and blue sky and people looking at me. I thought "Where I am? Why I'm lying here?" Then I noticed I was in my cycling clothes, and thought "I must have been riding and crashed". People said "You were hit by a car, the ambulance is coming, don't move". Later I was told I was unconscious for about 5 minutes, some thought I was dead.
The drunk driver hit me from behind, I think it's better for me not to have memories of the actual crash.
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Old 11-30-14, 12:49 PM
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I’ve ridden too long and had too many crashes for a comprehensive list. My crashes have been very different. Serious head injury, 5 day coma, exactly one memory of that morning, of reading a note my housemate left me regarding a club we went to the night before. I have zero memory of that night at the club.


Biggest physical injury, breaking 3 ribs, collarbone and massive soft tissue damage to that shoulder. I remember all of it. Getting tossed by a car running a red light that just barely tagged my rear wheel but sent me flying. Same bones as above, but other side. Remember it all up to hitting the road and then immediately after all had stopped. When I blew out a tire and it came off, jamming in the seatstays of my fixie, I hit head and hip hard. Lots of road rash. Remember feeling my helmet and body hit and grind, then nothing. As soon as I stopped, I was completely with it. I was not there at all for the flip over to the other side and all same the damage there side less the deep bruises. I had no idea I was so trashed on that side until I looked.


I firmly believe that my brain in those last two crashes “shut down” just to spare me of the awareness of what my body was going through. Both times, as soon as the crash stopped, I was as with it as any bystander. In that last crash, I knew exactly how close the car behind me should be when I opened my eyes, and I was right. The cyclist behind me had some medical knowledge, quizzed me to accees (sp) head injury and said I was fine. At my request, he called a taxi who drove me to a local clinic for wallpapering. Directing the taxi to the clinic and paying him was easy (except reaching into my jersey pocket for my wallet!).

Edit: on the last crash I said "wallpapering". Yes, lots. Also a broken collarbone so X-rays. And a cracked rib but I kept my mouth shut to spare my chest of more X-rays and all involved of money. Cracked rib treatment? X-rays. "You have a cracked rib but there is not much we can do about it. It will heal on its own. Come back in two weeks for follow up. Two weeks later, more X-rays. "It appears to be healing just fine, Should stop hurting in about 3 weeks." Now,the collarbone got exactly the same treatment, but that I will pay for because sometimes collarbones need to be pinned to get a good heal and a working shoulder after.

Ben

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Old 11-30-14, 12:52 PM
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I've never wrecked on a bicycle, but I have on a motorcycle. Slow speed on a gravel road where it spun out and resulted in a shattered lower left leg. I remember the skid but not a thing about the bike landing on my leg and breaking it. I think the pain itself flushed out whatever was in my short term memory. After the wreck, it didn't hurt much if I didn't move it and I remember all of that. Plus the 4 hour ambulance ride...
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