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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    Tucson, AZ
    Posts
    1,973

    When, not if..... my first crash

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    I managed to get through about four years and 15,000 miles without an incident more serious than being unable to unclip at a stop. That run of good luck ended Sunday.

    Friday through Sunday, my husband and I were camping with friends on Mount Lemmon. He drove home and I decided to ride down.

    The descent takes me about an hour to get to the turn-off heading home. I like descending but I feel like it takes constant focus, between the curves, braking and watching the oncoming traffic. I think I used up my entire quota of concentration on the ride down. After turning on to the last 5 mile section home through the city, I saw a rider just a short distance ahead of me. "I could catch up to her" I thought and picked up my speed/effort. After all, I hadn't really put in that much physical effort just coming down the mountain. A few moments of inattention to the road....

    In an instant- everything went chaotic as I experienced my first bike crash. I saw a big white plastic object under my tire, just as my front tire hit it, veered left and then right, hitting and then going up over the curb into (fortunately) dirt, where I apparently flew off my bike in what might have been a baseball style slide. The rider in front of me turned around, two vehicles driven by cyclists stopped and together we tried to assess the damage. My palms must have taken some of impact, as they were a little sore. My entire jersey front was covered with dust and there were bits of mesquite leaves up into my hair, and dust and dirt on my face. I didn't even notice the tiny scrape on my face until the next day! But my right knee took the brunt of it.

    The other rider and the 2 cyclists who stopped when they saw me go flying helped check me and the bike. I was offered a lift home but it seemed like the bike and I were going to be able to pedal home. The shifter/brake had moved a little and we just loosened the brake release to be sure the wheel wouldn't rub, but nothing else seemed to have been damaged on the bike. The woman rider lived close to me and offered to ride home with me.

    My knee got more sore and stiff as we rode. About a mile and a half later, it all kind of hit me and I had to stop and get off the bike and lie down for a minute at a bus stop. I felt okay again in a couple of minutes and made it home in spite of the hurting knee. I got out an ice pack, and and took some ibuprofen.

    I had heard it's not a matter of IF you're going to crash, but WHEN. If that's the worst crash I ever have, I'm okay with that. The knee has three little scrapes/patches of road rash,and it's swollen, bruised and sore, my chest muscles are sore from when my arms must have gone out in front of me. A couple of bruises and very minor scratches- that's it. It could have been SO much worse if I'd landed completely on pavement or in cactus, or the bike had veered toward the road instead of the curb.

    I felt okay to take a spin on relatively flat ground Monday, but am taking the bike in for a closer inspection this morning.
    All in all, a wake-up call not to let anything distract from paying attention to the road ahead, even not being in a group where it's relatively easy to see any possible obstacles.
    2016 Specialized Ruby Comp disc - Ruby Expert ti 155
    2010 Surly Long Haul Trucker - Jett 143

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Uncanny Valley
    Posts
    14,498
    Ow. So glad it wasn't worse!

    I really disagree with that whole phrasing of "when not if." It may be true that nearly all riders will crash at some point - I've surely had my share - but the mindset that a crash is inevitable, I think, lets us put down our guard. Because although everyone's attention wanders from time to time and no one's skills are perfect, there are very few, if any, crashes that could not have been avoided.

    Heal up quick and hope the bike's okay.
    Speed comes from what you put behind you. - Judi Ketteler

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    Rowland Hts, CA
    Posts
    461
    Glad you are OK.

    Road bikes with the thin wheels will knock you over if you hit a tiny battery/stick/nail. Thanks for the reminders to keep an eye on the road.

    I had to run over a pigeon as I was going downhill and couldn't brake without swerving. Poor pigeon
    2014 Liv Lust
    2013 Specialized Fate Expert with carbon wheelset (sold)
    2012 Specialized Amira Elite
    2010 Santa Cruz Juliana with R kit and Crampon pedals (sold)

    2011 Specialized Ariel Sport,suspension post,Serfas Rx Women's Microfiber saddle (sold)

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    Houston
    Posts
    1,301

    Re: When, not if..... my first crash

    I'm pretty sure my legs would have been jelly after that and unable to ride. All my crashes have been mtb related. A road crash seems scarier to me.

    Glad you're okay. Hopefully the bike is too.
    2012 Jamis Quest Brooks B17 Blue
    2012 Jamis Dakar XC Comp SI Ldy Gel
    2013 Electra Verse

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    Tucson, AZ
    Posts
    1,973
    One reason I often ride by myself is that I like being able to see the road and any potential pot holes, obstacles etc. I don't mind riding in groups with experienced riders who know how to ride safely in a paceline, but it can be a little worrisome at times. Anyway, my bike is over at the shop now- at least it's easier to take care of since I'm on summer vacation.
    2016 Specialized Ruby Comp disc - Ruby Expert ti 155
    2010 Surly Long Haul Trucker - Jett 143

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Flagstaff AZ
    Posts
    2,516
    I'm glad it wasn't worse, when I started reading I was cringing thinking of the road rash of a downhill crash!

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Concord, MA
    Posts
    13,394
    Hope you heal soon, AZ. I feel your pain.
    2015 Trek Silque SSL
    Specialized Oura

    2011 Guru Praemio
    Specialized Oura
    2017 Specialized Ariel Sport

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    Tucson, AZ
    Posts
    1,973
    Oh- and just got the bike checked out- she's a-ok
    2016 Specialized Ruby Comp disc - Ruby Expert ti 155
    2010 Surly Long Haul Trucker - Jett 143

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    Florida
    Posts
    452
    That was some scary reading. Glad you and your bike are going to be fine. I've been lucky so far, but.........
    2013 Kirk Frameworks JK Special/Selle Anatomica
    2012 Gunnar Sport/Brooks B17
    2001 Calfee Tetra Pro/Selle Anatomica
    1984 Raleigh Sport/Brooks B66

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Location
    Oregon
    Posts
    471
    Yes! glad you are ok. I know Mt Lemmon from hiking last year.
    2013 Specialized Myka FSR Comp
    2013 Specialized Ruby Sport (carbon)
    2014 Salsa Vaya 3 (steel)
    2014 Felt Z75

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jul 2003
    Location
    Traveling Nomad
    Posts
    6,763
    Ouch! Glad it was no worse than it was, az...but crashes are always disconcerting and scary. Hope you have no lingering after-effects.
    Emily

    2011 Jamis Dakar XC "Toto" - Selle Italia Ldy Gel Flow
    2007 Trek Pilot 5.0 WSD "Gloria" - Selle Italia Diva Gel Flow
    2004 Bike Friday Petite Pocket Crusoe - Selle Italia Diva Gel Flow

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    Central Indiana
    Posts
    6,034
    Yikes, azfiddle! I'm sorry about your crash, but I'm so glad you weren't seriously hurt or your bike damaged. Heal up quickly!
    Live with intention. Walk to the edge. Listen hard. Practice wellness. Play with abandon. Laugh. Choose with no regret. Continue to learn. Appreciate your friends. Do what you love. Live as if this is all there is.

    --Mary Anne Radmacher

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Posts
    194
    Glad to hear your not seriously injured. Wiping out is never a pleasant experience. How's your knee doing?
    No pressure No diamonds

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    Tucson, AZ
    Posts
    1,973
    I'm surprised how fast I'm recovering. I just keep thinking how much worse it could have been. I just read a Facebook post by an experienced cyclist here who spent 4 days in the hospital with a shattered clavicle, broken ribs and bruised heart and lungs. Yikes.
    2016 Specialized Ruby Comp disc - Ruby Expert ti 155
    2010 Surly Long Haul Trucker - Jett 143

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Location
    Folsom CA
    Posts
    5,667
    Glad you (& your bike!) are OK.

    2009 Lynskey R230 Houseblend - Brooks Team Pro
    2007 Rivendell Bleriot - Rivet Pearl

 

 

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