October 29, 2013

Oops. I fell while cycling.

Well, it finally happened.  After four+ years of cycling I finally had my first real crash.

This morning at 8pm I went out for my normal Tue/Thu ride (climbing Jefferson, Kings, and the West side of Old La Honda). While descending 35 / Skyline Blvd towards Skylonda (after climbing up Kings) I was going a little too fast for the conditions (which were wet and cold).  I hit a slick spot where all the chip seal had worn off the road and my tires slipped out from under me. I landed on my right side and skidded for a ways. I remember thinking "just relax" while I felt my head bounce against the ground a couple times.  Luckily there were no cars on the road and I got up quickly and moved to the side of the road.  I was happy to see that my biking shorts, shirt, and vest had no holes in them.  My left had was really numb, so i took off my gloves and saw that my thumb was pretty scraped up.  I also noticed that i was bleeding, at which point I found a hole on the inside of my right arm arm warmer where there was some not-so-pretty-looking flesh hanging out.  I then realized I was no longer wearing my glasses and I found them in two pieces on the side of the road.  After re-assembling my glasses I tried to call Ronda but there was no cell reception, so I started trying to fix up my bike to ride again.  I fixed my chain (which was off and wrapped around my pedal and shifter cable). I got my tires rotating again.  Then I noticed that my left shifter was scraped up and rotated inwards, so I straightened it out.  I also noticed that my rear derailleur hanger was bent so I took a note to avoid shifting to easier gear on the back (so as to avoid the rear derailleur getting stuck in the spokes).  I put my gloves back on and then rode a short ways to Skylonda, called Ronda, and waited for her to pick me up.  Looking at the data from my Garmin, I figure i was going about 28 mph at the time of the crash.

I went home, changed, and then went to PAMF Urgent care. They cleaned up the road rash on my right arm and x-rayed both my right arm and left thumb.  I may have fractured my thumb, so they put it in a splint and I have an appointment on Thu for them to look at it again after the swelling goes down.  I also have some minor scratches and bruises on my right hip and down my back, but those all seem really minor (although Ronda keeps warning me that I'm going to be really sore tomorrow).

I'm a lucky SOB.  First, there were no cars on the road when I crashed (it happened at a curve in the road and they probably wouldn't have seen me).  Second, I'm amazed at how little road rash I actually got (compared to other people I know who have also been in accidents).

I'm really confused about how my left thumb and shifter ended up damaged.  I was in the drops when I went down, so I was thinking that my handle bars must have shot to the left and twisted my thumb outwards (riding over the top of my left thumb and skinning it in the process).  But that doesn't jive with the damage to my left shifter.  The cover plate from the top of the left shifter is missing and it's badly scraped up on the top front.  Given that I slid on my right side I have no idea how or when it came into contact with the ground.  


I snapped a photo at the top of skyline (before i fell), thinking I'd post it to my blog today.
Me at PAMF enjoying morphine and classical music (j/k about the morphine, even though they offered...)

Me all cleaned up (except for the helmet hair).