Thursday, May 31, 2012

Ouch. That Hurt.

I suppose it was only a matter of time before I tasted asphalt.

I was making my way through an intersection on my afternoon bike commute approaching a Fred Meyer on my right. An SUV was alongside me, so I sped up to the front window and looked in to make sure the driver could see me - pretty common tactic. Apparently it didn't work this time. She started moving into the shoulder, forcing me into the curb. I squeezed my brakes hard and my back wheel was skidding, but not much could be done. Pinned between the car and the curb, I was at the complete mercy of the driver's movements. In hindsight I could have tried to hop onto the sidewalk as my cleats were clamped in, but that probably would have just injured me more instead of the bike.

When the SUV began turning into the Fred Meyer it bent my front wheel in half removing all the spokes from the hub. Without a front wheel the only place to go was down. At least I went down sideways instead of over the handlebars. The major collision points were my right shoulder and the right side of my forehead, but most of my right side was scratched up.

Road Rash - The latest style

After bouncing off the pavement and realizing I was still alive, I started wincing in pain and trying to regain my breath. Asphalt doesn't taste that great as it turns out. Everything went into slow motion, people started panicking, and I...looked at my beautiful Cannondale CAAD9 5. (sniff, sniff) The front wheel is a disaster but the frame looks fine at first glance. A bike shop is performing the insurance inspection right now to know for sure if the carbon/aluminum components are cracked. Strangely enough, though the wheel is mangled, the Kevlar-lined tire didn't pop.

The bike shop guys were amazed how "beat to @*#% the front wheel is"

I'll go to the Urgent Care tomorrow morning to make sure my head is fine. My vision went blurry for 30 minutes which scared me a tad, but I feel fine now aside from a headache and sore torso. In case anyone needs an extra reminder: ALWAYS WEAR A HELMET.

The real disappointment to me is that I have a half-century this Saturday. I still want to participate so I might ride my heavier winter bike. Everyone else keeps me in the proper perspective by reminding me that it's amazing I 1) am alive, 2) have no broken bones, 3) kept injuries down through evasive actions.

I was listening to Adele as the crash happened - I wonder if any of these lyrics were playing at the time:
  • All that I have is on the floor...
  • As hard as you try, no, I will never be knocked down...
  • Didn't I give it all, tried my best...
  • Don't look back at this crumbling fool...
  • The scars of your love they leave me breathless...


  1. We are just thankful you are OK.

  2. So glad you are alright! Please be careful, one of my best friends husband was hit and killed by a car while riding his bike. He had ridden for many years/in many races. And yes, it was the driver of the cars fault :-( .