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"thwap" is the sound .....(7 posts)

"thwap" is the sound .....nova
Nov 14, 2002 6:09 PM
I've been riding for four years through all kinds of terrain and weather - NM desert in dry heat, Blue Ridge mtns in VA during heavy rain, downtown Chicago during the evening rush hour...

So today's gorgeous weather had me out on my cross bike, looking forward to a good ride before the sun set. I was on an essentially deserted stretch of road with no traffic. My mind was elsewhere when my front wheel went out from under me on some wet leaves that were laying on top of a thin layer of mud. (I learned that later) I was in a shallow turn on asphalt, doing at least 15mph...

I had no idea what was happening. I wasn't aware that I was going down until I saw the pavement about five inches from my face. As I recall, I had enough time to hope that I wasn't going to lose any teeth - and then "twap", my face hit the pavement and I rolled and slid for what seemed like a long time.

Bloody nose, big abrasions on my face, abrasions all over my body, lacerations on my left shin where the big chainring appears to have rolled and sliced into my leg. (my *left* leg?!) Road rash everywhere - and judging by the brusing and pain in my left hand and wrist, I'm lucky that I didn't break any bones. Teeth are intact. Never had anything like this before. I was wearing my best prescription *non-cycling* sunglasses. They didn't fare well - but I'm lucky that they didn't become an issue. Wish I had been wearing a pair of sport glasses.

I'm in denial about my bike - the bars are ruined. Too much aluminum is missing for them to be safe. Both shift levers are mangled. Paint is missing from the frame. The rear derailliuer looks like someone took a file to it. I built this bike myself.

It's my secondary bike (glad I wasn't on my Merckx!) but it is an awful sight just the same. The bike is 14 months old, with just over 1000 miles on it. It's never going to be the same....

Anyone have a similar story? It might help me to cope...
Help you cope? Hmmmm...let me think...Ahimsa
Nov 14, 2002 6:28 PM
Well, I once had to walk my new bike back after hitting a small ridge in the pavement and thus folding the front wheel over taco style. Bruised and bloody. In the rain. Lots of pedestrians around.

Cheap wheels = never again. All handbuilds by a local guy now.

Hmmmm....what else? Oh, I once t-boned a ground hog at speed and went over the bars so abruptly that the bike wound up on top of me. My helmet crushed like an eggshell. My hand and shoulder were deep brownish purple for weeks.

I have been hit twice...make that three times by cars, chased down by a truck, chased by a guy with a rifle (see truck), hit black ice and sent whirling across an intersection like it was a hockey rink, endoed coming down a steep hill face first right into a mud bog, and wrecked once in the front yard with only one foot on a pedal as I went to roll off (not looking) and dropped the front wheel into a deep crevice in the pavement.

Crash and live and learn and keep on riding.


A. (also once backed his car with trunk rack mounted bike into a telephone pole and ruined a really good wheel)
Ouch! seriously, thanks for sharing...(nm)nova
Nov 14, 2002 6:38 PM
How about a little self-sacrifice?VertAddict
Nov 14, 2002 7:27 PM
I had a fun one a couple of years ago. Going down a cycling trail through the trees in the early morning on my hybrid (TREK UAV) on the way to work, there was a combination small bend/dip in the trail that was deceptive in that it created a bit of a semi-blind spot. It wouldn't more than half obscure someone coming the other way on the trail, but on this particular morning there was a pedestrian on the trail with dark hair and wearing a dark brown sweatsuit and in the exact blind spot as I came by. Combine that with tricks being played by the shadows from the trees (sun was just barely up), and you've got an accident waiting to happen.

I moved out to pass a couple of other cyclists, doing a good 15mph, and suddenly realized this woman was no more than 20 feet in front of me. The only thing I could do was nail the V-brakes, as there was a tree coming up on the left side of the trail and I had those other cyclists to my right. Well, I locked the front tire and did a very high-speed endo. I pounded my head into the pavement so hard it cracked my helmet and gave me a splitting headache that lasted almost a week, and I cut up my shoulder and arm. My bike came back over top again so hard it tacoed the *back* wheel hitting the ground. Really weird little detail: I hit my back on the ground hard enough going over that a little seam in my wallet, which was in my backpack, broke one of my credit cards in half.

Here is the twilight zone part of the story. This chick had a front row seat to one of the more spectacular wipeouts you will ever see, I'm sitting there dazed and she goes walking by less than two feet away like nothing happened. Doesn't even ask if I'm OK, doesn't say a word. The cyclists that were beside me keep on riding. It's like I'm not even on the same planet with them. I just ask myself WTF?

The only plausible theory I could come up with is that she had a walkman and was so much in her own world looking down at the trail that she had no clue how close she came to being the recipient of a T-bone her grand-kids would have felt. I just can't believe that if she saw it she wouldn't have said something, even if it was to cuss me for almost hitting her. But after all, I nearly killed myself to avoid her! ;-)

One post-script: When I finally got to work, I put some bandages on, got dressed and tried to have a normal day (despite being a bit dazed). The money quote was when my boss says to me, "You're leaking", and I look down to notice blood from my arm has oozed through the bandages and is seeping through my shirt sleeve. How's that for dedication!

Hope that helped.
Normal day!?nova
Nov 15, 2002 8:27 AM
After that, you deserved a day off. Very strange that no one stopped to even ask if you were ok.

Thanks for contributing to my little post-crash support group :0
re: "thwap" is the sound .....WrigleyRoadie
Nov 15, 2002 6:57 AM
Your crash sounds pretty solid on the smash-o-meter, but youd lose points for lack of an audience. Normally, I'd give it a 5 of 10 based on personal injury, but you sound emotionally upset about the damage, so I'll bump you up to 6.5.

I only have a few ones to compete, but my most spectacular involved a dirt road that came down off a hill and past the soccer fields of my college campus.

Doing about 20 mph on my mountain bike off the hill. See women's soccer game going on. Start watching...legs. Lots of legs.

Fail to notice rope stretched across road to stop cars from entering fields. See rope at last second. Attempt hockey-stop with rear brake. Fail.

Rope slides up my arm, shoulder and face, leaving burn marks for first month of my freshman year. My bike flew out from under me and into the road, nearly getting run over by traffic. The audience was about 40 Division-I women's soccer players and their families, so I give myslef points on that scale.

you're rightnova
Nov 15, 2002 8:34 AM
the damage to the bike and subsequent emotional pain when looking at it will far outweigh the damage to my body in the long run.

and yes, there was no audience for my performance. Sounds like you did it in style - going down with flair in front of all those women!