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.
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.
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!
Falls are a bugger but they’re also part of riding aren’t they. Good that you were able to get back on quickly. I hope you got yourself checked out after the fall. It’s very normal to get some degree of whiplash when you land on your side. Often you won’t notice the effects for a while though. Cheers, JS.
Thanks for reading! I actually had something similar happen when being knocked to the ground playing softball. Immediate symptoms were from a concussion but the whiplash symptoms didn’t show up until much later.