Bike MS Training Update #5: A wreck and recovery

Yes, you read that correctly. A wreck. Not during a training ride of course, but rather on a 3 mile ride from the office to the movie theater on Friday night. I was even riding in a skirt because I was hardly going anywhere! I had just crossed a road and the bike lane I was in ended. Rather than take the right lane of the two lanes (which I often do) I opted to go for the sidewalk / parking lot area since I was decently close to my final destination. I angled myself into the parking lot driveway and neglected to notice the large cement lip between the road and driveway. I hit it and went down on my right side going about 17 mph. Once my bike and I stopped I was laying on my back in the middle of the driveway with a car trying to turn into the parking lot behind me. My first attempt to get up was thwarted by the fact that my legs and bike were all tangled. I eventually made it up and out of the way after verifying no part of me was broken. The driver and passenger of that vehicle stopped to ask me if I was going to be OK. They didn’t get out to help me get up, just stared at me. I realized was dripping blood everywhere from my elbow and the chain had fallen off my bike. Another driver (who was a cyclist also) actually got out and offered to give me a ride somewhere. He put the chain back on my bike. I really only had to go one block more so I had to turn him down, but I was impressed with his kindness.

There is a bike store just next to the movie theater so I went in there with my bike because the brake and shifter handles were knocked out of position. Well, I did this as soon as I verified my work laptop was still working since I was pretty sure I heard it hit the ground in the crash. It works thankfully. The bike mechanics straightened the brake handles while I washed the blood off my right arm, which had finally stopped dripping, and cleaned four different scrapes on my left arm. When I finished they showed me that the rear derailer was bent and almost touched the spokes of the wheel. While they readjusted it, I headed to CVS, also in the same plaza, for bandages. I phoned my husband to let him know why I was late to the movie and he was sweet enough to ask me if I wanted to go home despite the fact that he really wanted to see the Avengers AND arrived an hour early to make sure we got good seats. I didn’t really see any point in going home so after fetching my bike again, I found his car, locked my bike up on the bike rack and proceeded inside. Besides, I could have wine and food in the theater.

At that point I knew my training plan for the weekend had to change. On Saturday morning I needed to test out my bike and my badly bruised knee somewhere that I could easily bail to the car if needed. My husband was out of commission at a bee keeping class an hour away so he would be unable to rescue me if something happened. I headed to the Veloway in south Austin to ride loops around the 3.1 mile course, closed to cars and pedestrians. My knee felt pretty good, if a bit weak, so I roade 8 laps easier than I otherwise would have. The rear shifting was a bit off so I stopped by Bicycle Sport Shop for an adjustment on my way home. It turned out that the rear derailer hanger was ruined so I had to head to another local bike shop to get a new one. They had it swapped out and I was on my way in no time.

That afternoon I put the bike up on my bike stand and finally cleaned it after many months of neglect. I washed off multiple drips of blood. I learned to adjust the rear brake as that had gone out of whack.

Poor bike. Shifter all scraped up.

Blood on the rim. A “badge of honor” as the bike shop employee put it.


On Sunday I knew that I could ride longer again. I left home a few minutes before 7am so that I could beat the wind and the heat. Unfortunately the wind forecast was wrong and the wind started super early. I turned around to face the headwind earlier than planned because I wasn’t sure that fighting a strong headwind for 25 miles was a good idea with a weak knee and bad shoulder. I made up for it by riding in town a bit for a total of 53 miles.

Seen on the ride: a cow at the dead end of a road.


During the ride: Stopping to wait for a train


Anyhow, I promise next week to return to my regular short ride updates because there will be no crashing to go on about.

Thanks for reading and remember –  I’m training for the 2012 Pedal to the Point Bike MS ride in northern Ohio on August 4th & 5th. Consider supporting my participation by making a donation today!



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