Thursday, June 23, 2011

Bicycle wreck

I had a bicycle wreck yesterday.

I went out for a fast 10-mile ride after swim practice yesterday. I had biked halfway and was heading home. I was on the right side of the road, going with the traffic, in my biking lane. There was a car in oncoming traffic. Without slowing her speed or signaling or anything, the woman darted her car in front of me to make a left-hand turn. If I had been a car, we surely would have crashed.

I braked really hard and for a moment I thought I was clear. Then my bike went into a skid and bam! I was down. The woman didn't even stop and I know she saw me fall.

I knew I was pretty banged up but I also knew that I hadn't broken anything. I checked my bike and it seemed fine other than my grip tape was completely shredded on the right side. So I shook it off and pedaled five miles home. By the time I got home, my wounds were throbbing.

I had really messed up right elbow (it may look like a smile but it's so fake. I was completely pissed at that driver),
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had a scratched and bruised knee,
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a goose egg on my side, a black-and-blue bruise on my right butt cheek and sore hands from where I squeezed the brakes with all my might.

Karen was working from home and helped me wash out the wounds and ice everything. We did the best we could in cleaning it (with me screaming obscenities at the top of my lungs) but we decided that I needed to go to the walk-in clinic near the house to make sure I got all the rock and grit out of my elbow. I also needed a tetanus shot since it had been over ten years since I had one. So Karen picked Kylie up from school while I went to the doctor.

The funny thing is that I was all excited to share my biking success with you at the end of the month in my monthly triathlete post. I went back to my bike shop to have them work on my fit. They moved my bike seat forward a very small amount...seriously, it was less than half an inch. But that slight adjustment made a huge difference. Last month on my rides, I was at an average of 12.5mph and my max speed was 15. After the bike fit adjustment, I had a 25 mile ride and my average speed was 14.5mph and my max speed was 17.5. I took 20 minutes off my 25 mile time! I was so dang thrilled.

So yesterday, when I made the turn to go home, I had a light tailwind and I told myself, "Let's get this speed up to 17 and see if you can hold it there until you get home."

So I was going 17mph when I went down.

I could have been so much worse. I keep reminding myself of this. I was so very lucky.

Here's a shot of the elbow this morning.
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One last thing, scroll back up to the top picture and look at my left, uninjured wrist. You can barely see a black bracelet there. It's my Road ID. It has my name and emergency contact numbers. In case I'm out running or biking and I'm knocked unconscious, this id bracelet will tell emergency workers who I am. If you are a biker or runner (or just can't remember phone numbers when you are stressed like little ole me), you might want to get one.

12 comments:

Stacey said...

Ouch. Glad you are okay. So many people who drive and shouldn't... That id bracelet is a great idea.

kathy said...

wow...u look so tough!!!! thanks for sharing and glad u r ok!

Caroline said...

Wow...so glad that you are OK. And I can't believe that she didn't stop to see if you were OK. Did anyone stop when you fell? Glad you have that ID bracelet in case something serious happens. Be careful.

Allison said...

Oh no! I am glad that you're (somewhat) okay. It's scary how quickly accidents like this can happen.

A few years ago I was riding down a busy road and a cab turned out of a driveway and hit me. Like your lady, he didn't stop, the passenger, however, insisted that he come back and check on me. I was stunned and told him I was okay. I had swerved around the back of car and into a retaining wall of a garden, flown off of my bike and into a bush. I was pretty banged up... bumps, bruises, a cracked helmet (that goodness I always wear one). The cab went on it's merry way and just seconds later an ambulance arrived. Someone in the building had seen the crash and called. They gave me the once over, asked if I wanted to go to the hospital (I didn't) and then asked how I was getting home. I told them I would ride. They asked if I had seen my bike. I hadn't. The whole front rim was smashed in. They, so kindly, put my bike in the back of the ambulance and drove me home. A good friend came over later that afternoon to make sure I was okay. I'm so glad that's the worst that happened. Now that I'm a mom, it freaks me out to think of something like that happening again. I try to be aware, but if you're on a bike come up against a car, sometimes it doesn't matter how aware you are.

Hope you recover quickly.

Cara said...

Ouch! What a bummer! I'm glad you are OK. You look so fit and strong and fabulous otherwise! I remember reading when you didn't ride. Keep on going!

Louise said...

Oh my gosh! How awful! I'm glad that it was all well in the end. An elbow scrape is ridiculously painful...it makes you realize just how much you use your elbow.

I hope you can get your handle bar tape fixed...I hate it when it looks shabby!

Thanks for the tip about the bracelet. I'm ordering one right now for my beloved.

The Mrs/Mommy said...

Sounds like a European Driver. Here, DRIVER is KING and I hate it!(It makes me miss the US!) I've almost gotten run over many, many times. When we have the right of way with the crosswalks, cars still run the red light and turn (while you are in the middle of crossing) and then, they thank you for getting out of their way. HA! Feel better and keep going!

Sharon said...

Ouch, glad your okay. Argee with Stacey, the bracelt is a great idea.

nibo said...

I had a Road ID when I used to train in the states. This really makes me want to get a bike again here in Taiwan.

Good job on keeping your head about you. Sometimes there's just nothing you can do. I had one of those a couple of years ago. My front wheel was totally taco'd. Thankfully, there are about as many wonderful people as horrible ones.

Good luck!

Teaberry said...

OW! That looks so painful! That person should definitely get a ticket!

You look great though, other than the cuts and bruises!!

Linda said...

Wow. So,so glad that you weren't seriously hurt! Those are "ouchies" for sure. I went online and ordered one of those ID bracelets for my daughter. She has been a marathoner for quite a while now, and has decided to ride her bike a few days a week to work. It will put my mind at ease to have her wear one of these.
Take Care

Kerry Lynn said...

June 23rd?? I can't believe I haven't checked in in so long! I can't believe that happened to you!!! Thank God it wasn't worse. The fact that that person didn't stop makes me livid! She deserves a punch in the face!