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Bad Accident Report!(34 posts)

Bad Accident Report!Len J
Sep 23, 2002 3:38 PM
My normally nice Saturday morning ride ended suddenly when a 71 year old guy suddenly tried to back his car out of a hidden driveway (hidden from my view anyway), as he approached the shoulder I was riding on, he lost his brakes and accelerated. He was in front of me so fast, I never got a chance to even touch my brakes. I ended up T-Boning him at 20 mph. I flew over the bars and smashed my right side into the car. I then bounced backwards (he was still moving rapidly) and landed hard on my sit bones, instantly aware that something was wrong with my back.

-one fracture of my right collarbone
-a compression fracture of my #2 Lumbar vertabrae in my back
-a fat lip where my face hit the side of the car
-numerous spots of road rash
-a completly trashed trek 5500. Fork broke and headtube fractured away from the top & down tube

I am one hurting pup right now.(even with the vicodan).

Good news is I got a copy of the accident report today, and he has been labeled by the accident investigator as the one at fault.

Now, what kind of bike to get?

they are telling me 8 weeks off the bike. Is this true?

Bummers but it is good that you survived.MB1
Sep 23, 2002 3:45 PM
8 weeks is what a non-rider would tell you. Raise your stem and in 2 weeks you will be back on the road (depending on your tolerance for pain). It is going to hurt when you pull on the bars for a long time, good thing you spin so well (and live where it is flat).

I guess that means you can drive sag for our Oct. 5th ride ;-).

BTW now is a good time for that Rivendell.
I'm less worried about my collarbone......Len J
Sep 23, 2002 3:48 PM
I'm less worried about my collarbone....Len J
Sep 23, 2002 3:51 PM
then I am my back. I'm not sure the back fracture will allow me to ride that quick. I hope you're right about the two weeks.

I do appreciate being alive, more than I did before Sat.

10 days and back on the trainer ...kinger
Sep 23, 2002 4:11 PM
When I broke my collar bone and cracked 3 ribs in an ulgy MTB accident I was back on a trainer in 10 days. Riding on the road was still a bit painful due to uneven surfaces in the road. Bumps hurt like hell. Fortunately, the trainer has no bumps so I was spinning in about 10 days.

I agree with you though. Collarbones seems to heal pretty darn fast but I don't know about your back ... sorry man.
Glad you're okay Len, hope you're 100% soon.js5280
Sep 23, 2002 4:28 PM
Take good care of yourself so you heal quickly and completely.
Didn't you have a bad one last year?Lone Gunman
Sep 23, 2002 4:36 PM
sorry to hear of this. Now, GET AWAY FROM THAT TREK!! Salvage the components, buy a nice frameset, rebuild with new and old parts, pocket the savings. Maybe Ti or a Richard Sachs or Riv?
re: Bad Accident Report!Kunfoochi
Sep 23, 2002 5:15 PM
That really sucks, feel better soon:).
re: Bad Accident Report!weiwentg
Sep 23, 2002 5:33 PM
Len, sorry to hear about that. hope you get well soon!
and get something titanium.
if they say 8 weeks ... you could be on the trainer much sooner, but I wouldn't jeopardize the back by doing anything insane. it would be different if it was just the collarbone.
Jeez, Len!Elefantino
Sep 23, 2002 6:02 PM
Sorry to hear about your accident, and especially sorry to hear you joined the broken bone club. It's no fun, I know. (And watch that Vicodin. It's tricky!)

I don't know about the collarbone, but I'd take it easy on the L-2 fracture. The pounding and vibration may seem like nothing when you're healthy, but it can really get a broken spine to hurtin'. As much as I tried to push my rehab with my various mishaps, I listened to the doctors until they told me to get back on the bike. I'm glad I did. It'll be 8 weeks soon enough. You might want to talk to the doctor about riding a stationary or a trainer, though, just to keep the legs and lungs in shape. Anyway, take their advice.

As for the bike, it sounds a lot like the condition my OCLV was after my neck wreck. Trek fixed mine (can't even tell). However, if you want to try something new, may I also suggest something in steel. I love my Serotta so much I'm selling the Trek, as hard as it is to part with.

A new Richard Sachs frame will set you back about three large, including the Joe Bell paint job. But because the other guy's insurance will be paying for it, live it up.

Seriously, have a good rehab and take care of yourself. The road will be there when you are healthy again.

Sep 23, 2002 6:39 PM
That sucks. I agree that I'd worry about the back a lot more than the collar bone. You can ride in one week with the collar bone, at least on the trainer. Don't mess around with a back injury, though. Maybe a recumbent stationary?

Got a lawyer? This is a "real" case, no doubt.

re: Bad Accident Report!desmo
Sep 23, 2002 6:44 PM
You'll want to get back on the bike in a few weeks but it's a good idea to wait. Even a small fall on that collarbone will put you way back. Anyway, the rest might do you some good if you've been racing and training hard. I broke my collarbone last October and taking 6 weeks off the bike was great for me. I walked everyday (the dogs were in heaven)to keep the weight off and started doing long easy rides by the end of November. I really felt great when spring rolled around. Best of luck with the back, that can be tricky.
May your next bike be even bettercarnageasada
Sep 23, 2002 7:14 PM
Tough one.look271
Sep 23, 2002 7:28 PM
Glad you're (relatively) OK. Hamilton was back on his bike in less than 8 weeks, I believe. Take it easy, though. Spinning on the trainer to start sounds like good advice. Go for a really nice frame-join the ranks of happy Look owners! =)
re: Bad Accident Report!zray61
Sep 23, 2002 7:29 PM
Sorry about the accident but quite concerned about your view or lack of view towards your spine injury. My limited
experience with spinal injury is that the Doctors are not as
advanced in this area as say the cardiovascular area. So please try a slow pace in recovery and if you would maybe consider water exercises as an important part of your recovery. Best of luck and remember everything that is
important to you now will be there 3 to 6 months from now.
sorry to hear that ...bianchi boy
Sep 23, 2002 7:31 PM
time for some serious recovery
Bummer, Hope you recover fully Len. The back is ...rwbadley
Sep 23, 2002 8:57 PM
the one you need to be really careful with.

Glad to hear it was not worse.

Oooch.Eager Beagle
Sep 24, 2002 12:24 AM
Sorry to hear that - good luck with the recovery. My advice FWIW is not to rush it too much - start gently on the trainer when you feel ready and see how it goes?

Bike? Can't think of one with a usable rubber fork and headtube :) - could be time to try a Softride?
re: Bad Accident Report!aliensporebomb
Sep 24, 2002 2:33 AM

That sounds totally painful - sorry to hear you're suffering.

Take the time now to research a great new bike. If you opt
not to go for one of the project Treks perhaps a titanium
framed wonder bike might be the trick? One things for sure
you'll likely want a smoothly compliant ride from now on.

I got hit by a car when I was 13 but it almost sounds like
you turned into a Hollywood movie stunt pilot for a second.

Take care of yourself!
re: Bad Accident Report!Bike Fool
Sep 24, 2002 3:53 AM
Wish you a speedy recovery and a boss new bike!
Heal fast, my friendPaulCL
Sep 24, 2002 5:50 AM
Ouch! You will heal faster than the average guy. Take care and let us know what new toy you buy. Paul
Only Moving Does It Have A SoulAllisonHayes
Sep 24, 2002 7:40 AM
Only Moving Does It Have A Soul

There are countries, there are rivers,
in your eyes,
and where you ride,
and until you recover,
my destination is guided by your eyes
they shall light the path
through which I ride.

And they guide me:
a sizzling road,
the sun popped like
a field of blazing maize,
is hot,
an infinite circle
with an empty
blue sky overhead.

that dry
moment of summer,
barely stirred
the air.

Sing, eat, raise
a cup
of wine
in honor
of love
and life,
yet the bicycle,
until you recover.

Only moving
does it have a soul,
and fallen there
it isn't
a translucent insect
through summer
a cold
that will return to
when it's needed,
when it's light,
that is,
your recovery.

i ...adapted from Pablo Neruda's "Ode to Bicycles"
Damn, Len. I guess that means we'll be hearing more from you...Sintesi
Sep 24, 2002 7:50 AM
in the coming weeks. Hate to see that happen to one of the board's truly nice guys - so here's to a speedy and full recovery. I'm sending vibes.

But you definitely got the right attitude, it's time to get shopping!!! Elephantino started this tradition where all the laid up injured guys on RBR get a hot-shlt Serotta when they recover. I think you should proceed in that direction.
Get well soon!gregg
Sep 24, 2002 8:27 AM

Sorry to hear 'bout your bad luck. Heal quickly! For all that damage, 8 weeks doesn't sound too bad (easy for me to say, huh?) I've had several friends break their collar bones, and 6 to 8 weeks is pretty much standard. Fastest healer was back in the saddle after 4, with the warning that any more falls will do serious damage. Personally, I wouldn't risk it and would probably stick to the trainer for the full duration.

Like everyone else says, you are truly one of the good guys on our board, and I am glad to have people like you around!


(re: what bike? -I've always had a soft spot for old Bottechias myself)
been there...philippec
Sep 24, 2002 8:28 AM
I feel your pain --

In 1992 I got caught up in a crash in the final sprint of a road race. After cartwheeling through the sky, I landed on my rearend crushing my L2 and L3 vertabrae. After a few weeks in a "turtle shell", my doctor allowed me to start up on the hometrainer. Recovery was not as fast as I wanted (is it ever?) but by the following year (well, the end of the following year) I was back to my pre-accident racing form.

3 pointers I can share w/ you:
1. Be mindful that you may experience back pain after long rides (I used to race on alum. frames, switching to ti and steel have almost completely solved this problem)
2. Do your torso-stregthening exercises religiously as soon as your doctor/phys. therapist tells you to start.
3. You'll never get over the slightly nostalgic longing for prescription painkillers (percocet in my case) -- long descents with sweeping hairpin turns make a good substitute though...

good luck w/ recovery

bon courage.

Philippe......Len J
Sep 24, 2002 9:35 AM
you were back on the trainer in a few weeks? That is the best news I've heard since the accident.

I'll keep your pointers in mind. The bike I trashed was a Trek carbon, I think I'll lookm at steel & TI. As to the prescription painkillers, I have been taking less than the minimum in the hopes that I will be able to wean from them easier.

few weeks ...philippec
Sep 24, 2002 11:17 AM 6-7 weeks. However, try to make sure you get a sports-oriented orthopedist that will understand your desire (need) to get back in tha saddle as soon as possible. You'll have to raise your stem/bars considerably though for the trainer sessions to be tolerable.


Sep 24, 2002 8:33 AM
Was not good to read about your accident. I guess now's a good time to be thankful that you escaped with your life and your wits.

I have no advice to give you as to your next bike. Whether to stay with something similar or to make a drastic departure like a Softride. Maybe take the off-time now as an opportunity to review your reasons for riding, make up the list of bikes that would best work, and to find out how your back injury will affect you in the long run.
Sep 24, 2002 8:39 AM
Really sorry to hear that.

I agree with the others, the back is the one to take care of. The collarbone will hurt and be a PITA but the L2 is the one which may give you long-lasting grief if it's not properly healed. I ignored the Dr's advice (with his blessing, since he's a cyclist, too) and was back on the trainer in 3 days after my right clavicular in July, but the L2 will have to take longer to heal. Do NOT screw around with the back injury, this is not the kind of break you should buck the physician's advice on.

Compression fractures like this can be bad news. You could have any number of disc and pinched nerve issues that might take a while to surface. After the fracture is healed, I'd seriously recommend looking into a combo of chiropractic, physical therapy and massage therapy.

Yoga and swimming are good for rehabilitating these types of injuries, but only after you get the all-clear from the Dr; twisting motions in the lumbar region can provoke more problems than they solve if you're not fully healed.
Len, sorry to hear about the wreck. Ouch.Kristin
Sep 24, 2002 8:49 AM
That really sucks. I hope you're feeling better in no time. Enjoy the new bike! Hey, look how popular you are here!!!
Thanks to all......Len J
Sep 24, 2002 9:13 AM
You people really are the best.

It really sucks to go from peak physical condition, where you feel like you can do anything, to struggling to put on a pair of pants. It really is humbling.

Your get well wishes are a good tonic, thanks.

The back is & will be my main limiter to getting back on the bike.

Ah well, at least I get to window shop until I'm sure I can get comfortable on a diamond frame again.

Mucho gracias!

Sounds like it is time for that Recumbent Tandem Tricycle.MB1
Sep 24, 2002 11:09 AM
Don't forget that big bright flag.

Get well soon.
Maybe just training wheels! nmLen J
Sep 24, 2002 11:28 AM
Don't forget the streamers, bell & basket.MB1
Sep 24, 2002 11:34 AM
What a fashion plate you will be.