Friday, June 4, 2010

Wiping Out - Bike Crash Report 5/18/2010

This post has been a long time coming...and so I apologize for it's "lateness."

Here is what happened:

I was taking part in my first 40K Time Trial on 5/18.  I was pushing fairly hard, while still trying to pace myself a bit.   Later powertap data would show I was at about 90% of my Critical Power/FTP.

This is the route I rode, along with my speed and power data if you are interested.

Entering the corner from 2250 to 750 the second time I swung out very wide and started my turn in.  I didn't stop peddling and didn't bleed off enough speed.  I was going approximately 22 Mph before the crash.  My wide line was made wider while adjusting for a  SSW wind at about 10 miles an hour.  Lastly my inside foot was down, keeping me from leaning correctly, when I did finally stop peddling. 

Anyway, the last thing I remember is my front wheel grabbing the gravel on the far side of 750 and thinking "well, this is going to suck."  I lost control and went forward over the handlebars.  The bike went with me, I pulled it over by my cleats.  The next thing I knew, I was laying down in a ditch full of water with a bike on top of me.  I had to pull my shoes off to get free of the bike.  At first I thought my legs were broken, but it turned out my calves were both just very very cramped from either the impact or pulling the bike over with me.  

I landed on my head and shoulder and immediately felt a good amount of pain in both.  My handlebars were bent completely forward at the stem, but that was an easy repair.  The rest of the bike appeared ridable.

A motorist stopped at the corner.  I was guessing he was going to check if I was ok.  I guessed wrong.  He pointed at me, laughed, and drove off.  What a douche...and in retrospect, kinda like Nelson from the Simpsons.  

I decided to make the repair to the bars and ride back the remaining 5 miles at an easy pace.

When I got back to the car Lana snapped these pictures on my iPhone:

So, I was a bit beat up.  My bike had a few scratches and dings, but nothing too serious.  I also decided to replace my helmet.  It look a huge amount of the impact and might have saved me from a much more serious injury.  Big thanks to Giro for their crash replacement program too, by the way.  A discount on a new lid after all this was very welcome.  The next day I was still running, but on Thursday I was seriously sore.  I was off swimming for about a week because of my shoulder pain but that was the only real impact to my training.  All in all however, I was very lucky.  It could have been pretty bad.

I still haven't gotten my nerve back in the corners, but I imagine it will come back in time.  Until then, I'm pretty much back to full speed on my training and feeling fine.


  1. Glad you made it out in one piece.

    I'd have been driving around that area the rest of the day looking for the guy who stopped to laugh.

    I bike-commute 20+ miles every weekday and a lot of non-cyclists seem to think that any hard peddling or fast corners are "showing off" or some kind of challenge. They need to accelerate and come within a few inches to teach me a lesson. As long as they don't get stuck at the next light so I can catch up.

  2. Hi there! I found your blog through your link over at I just wanted to take a moment to pretty much say, "Wow!" All that you have accomplished since 2007 is absolutely amazing. I hope that more people stumble upon your blog-- you are exactly the kind of 'real' inspiration that so many people need to make that move towards health.

    Sorry about your crash-- that road rash looks pretty gnarly. I'm sure the scrubbing hurt like heck! Scars make for interesting stories, though. :-)

  3. Thanks Mike, I did make it out in one piece, but I sure was shaken up. I'm still a little skittish in the corners, but it's probably more a healthy respect than anything.

    Thanks for coming by Sherry! I really appreciate the kind words. I've got a long path ahead of me still...but I'd be really happy to inspire others to make positive changes!