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Wrecked! Notice a bit long winded.(10 posts)

Wrecked! Notice a bit long winded.mikebikr
Oct 8, 2002 5:52 AM
The day started off nice enough. Up before the kids to have a quick breakfast and an early start to a 40 miler with my good friend Blair. The weather was kind of gray and dreary, but I didn't encounter any rain on my 5
mile ride to Blair's house. I was recovering from a cold and was excited to be embarking on my first ride in 4-5 days. I cruised into Blair's driveway to see his shining Blue Bianci Axis x-cross bike gleaming next to his car.
It's a beauty and pretty close to brand new! Anyhow he pumps his tires up and off we go.

I inquire, "Hey Blair have you ever done the climb up out of Edmon?"

"NOPE." Replies Blair.

"Let's give it a shot, it's a killer!" I blurt out, happy to be in the saddle, cruising along with a riding buddy.

Now the reason Blair's bike is so new is because it's his first road bike. Although I've had the good fortune of MTBing with Blair on numerous occasions it's our first road ride together. Shortly into the climb it becomes apparent that he is still a little green to the ways of the road biking world. I offer a couple of helpful suggestions during the climb like, "It might be easier to climb holding onto the hoods and not in the drops."
Anyhow he takes the suggestion and we finish off the long, steep climb. After a little recovery we are zipping along, both loving life and the joy that can only come from the freedom of two wheels. We get out on a long
flat section and being in the lead I pick the pace up a little. I glance back and Blair is 10-15' back. I slow down a little and he closes the gap. I pick it up once more and he drops off a little again. Humm. Blair probably
doesn't know about drafting. I pull up next to him and begin lesson two of the day. Drafting and the principles of aerodynamics. He's a quick study and we tool along for the next 2-3 miles at a nice clip. In my slip stream Blair
exclaims." What a difference."

We start the decent down into Avonmore, its a big sweeping turn leading onto the bridge. I glance over my shoulder to warn Blair about the iron grate bridge. I've ridden it several times and rather casually approach at about
25 mph. Although it hasn't rained on the North side of the bridge, it apparently has on the bridge. Now some of you are imagining what's about to happen, kind of like a bad mystery novel I guess. After about 25-30 feet
things begin to happen very very quickly. My rear wheel begins a rather dynamic fishtailing action. (This ain't good.) After 3 rather dramatic attempts to maintain control my front wheel washes out on the metal grates
that are more slippery than Peanut Butter Festival Mud. That's when things go from way too fast to time stopping slow motion. As I launch over the bars, I have enough time to contemplate about how much this is going to hurt, but not enough time to do anything about it. Upon impact (left
shoulder first) a scene from the Discovery Channel's Shark Week comes to mind. Cut to a young tan Australian surfer leaning against a tree on the beach. Now he's leaning cause he only has one leg. They flash the obligatory
shot of a great white tearing apart an offering of fresh tuna. Big gnarly twisted tear teeth ripping into flesh and shaking it mercilessly to pieces.
"me and my mates have surfed this reef for years. Sure we always see the Whites swimming about...but the never bothered us till last summer. I was paddling out to catch some waves and wham...I felt my shoulder catching on
individual grates. Then my left hip started to slide/catch/slide/tear/slide...etc. Then my head. Things are now going slowly in my mind though my body hasn't really decelerated much. This hurts...bad. I've got to stop sliding. I roll over and slam both hands down
on the grates. That's when my thumb wedges in one of the grates. At least I stop sliding and roll over into a fetal position just in time to look back and see Blair's wheels seemingly get yanked out from under him by some
magical trap do
It's Cut Off! We need to know if you survived.... (NM)Gregory Taylor
Oct 8, 2002 6:22 AM
...that's it? Maybe they both died. (NM)Spunout
Oct 8, 2002 6:26 AM
The ending Sorry. Wrecked.mikebikr
Oct 8, 2002 6:38 AM
At least I stop sliding and roll over into a fetal position just in time to look back and see Blair's wheels seemingly get yanked out from under him by some magical trap door. One second he's up and fine, the next he's sliding across the grates atop his brand new bike. Lucky for him, bad for the bike. I manage to pull myself to my feet and begin to move towards Blair, unsure of his condition. Blair is up and running towards me already knowing that I've taken the bigger hit.

"Mike are you OK?" he shrieks.

"UUUUHHH" Is my muttered reply.

I wander-stagger to the side of the bridge and onto the sidewalk (YEAH I KNOW that's why it's there). Blair rounds up the bikes and goes into EMT mode. Luckily he had worked for years as an emergency room nurse and very quickly and astutely accesses the situation. "Mike your hurt!"

"UUUUHHH" Is all I can get out.

At this point a woman and her son stop to help. "Are you OK?" She asks.

"I'm not sure." Blair tells her. She and her son get out of the car come to our aide. She is dressed in white and seems to have a halo. As she walks her feet never really touch the ground. It's kind of weird, but at this point I can't really question her appearance or the ability to levitate. In my mind I do have time to question the car when she can float.but it's only a fleeting though.
By now I've returned to the fetal position albeit a modified kneeling version. Things are a little cloudy and I'm trying to pinpoint where all the pain is coming from and to figure where the bad parts are. My head hurts. I can't breath. My hip hurts. My shoulder. My hand/wrist/thumb. About ¼ of the way through the physical inventory things go very black. I'm out. Someone, either Blair or the Angel lady keeps my head from smacking the concrete. Strangely as I come to after a couple of seconds (I guess) I'm feeling slightly better. At least I'm not as dizzy and the need to puke isn't imminent.

We assure the angle lady that I'm going to be OK. She walks back to her car. Once again I can't figure this out since she has the whole floating thing going on.but I digress. Blair calls Maria and asks her to come pick me up. She does. By the time she gets there I'm able to joke with Blair and I'm beginning to feel really guilty about being so stupid. Blair's rear wheel is destroyed. He's also got a cut on his elbow from the grating. Somehow his frame seems OK. My new bike also pays the price for my stupidity. A big gouge out of the seat stay. The rear skewer has been ripped from the dropouts. The brake levers are twisted and gouged. My thumbs broken. Lots of nice cheese grater rash. Miscellaneous blood blisters, bruises and such. Broken helmet. Sore ribs, shoulders, back.

By the way the next day. A fisherman caught the shark and found the leg and part of a surfboard (bike) in its stomach.


PS: Thanks Blair and the angel lady wherever you are.
Feels like I just went ot the "Lord of the Rings".oh there it isScot_Gore
Oct 8, 2002 6:50 AM
To make a short story long...Uncle Tim
Oct 8, 2002 7:16 AM
...we're glad you're OK, but cut back on the melodrama. You aren't Shakespeare reincarnated.
To make a short story long...Berm
Oct 8, 2002 7:53 AM
I disagree. It was a well written and entertaining story. Hope you feel better.
Entertaining? You sick bastard. . .js5280
Oct 8, 2002 9:12 AM
What kind of sadist are you? ;-) Agreed it was well written, I enjoyed the shark analogy. Crashing on a metal grate, I hate to think about it. Get well soon Mikebikr. Hope the bike pulls through. You might consider some crash pointers from Blair. Mt. biking teaches you good crash technique although there's always a bit of luck involved too.
You started to loose me...biknben
Oct 8, 2002 8:25 AM
...with all that chatter about surfers and sharks. You got back on track just before I hit the Back button.

Glad to see you're upbeat about the incident.

Metal objects on the road are slick as ice when wet. When you metioned the bridge, I immediately knew where the story was going. That sounded pretty nasty. Hear up fast.

Use caution on metal bridges. Avoid them like the plague if wet.
I wouldn't call you loose...;-)Spunout
Oct 8, 2002 9:25 AM
Yes, although this is an unfortunate crash story, it is also a "How not to descend at 20mph across metal bridges" story.

Lesson learned.