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THIS is why: helmet, gloves, glasses, cellphone...(45 posts)

THIS is why: helmet, gloves, glasses, cellphone...JS Haiku Shop
Aug 22, 2003 5:15 AM
16 miles into the thursday night club ride last evening, in a 23 mph paceline on a long, flat, windy 2 lane road, somebody touched wheels. i was about fifth in line. guess i sensed it before i heard or saw anything, as i'm usually about touching rubber when in the draft, but i'd backed off about 3 feet. first thing i saw was my bud, M, on the ground in a tangled mess with his 60+ cm trek postal 5200. of course i had about five hundreths of a second to react, and i figured i'd bunny hop him. my legs didn't get the signal fast enough. next thing it's about 90 seconds later adn i'm on the roadside having trouble breathing, can't feel my left hand/right leg, and on the verge of nausea.

though i remember almost nothing between seeing him on the ground and sitting on the shoulder, i do remember sliding face-down on the pavement for a few meters.

my gloves were toast: the palms were completely ground off from the pavement. lost some skin on both arms, wrist pretty banged up, and landed on some part of somebody's body or bike, 'cause i've bruised a rib or three and am still having some moderate pain breathing (i can touch the ribs near my front torso centerline and feel the burn, baby!). worst of all, though, i impacted something pretty hard with my right outer thigh, and after about 12 hours and a sketcy night of sleep, have graduated to limping from hobbling. walking seems to help, so i hope it's just a jammed-up muscle.

the others were and weren't so lucky. the girl in front of me slid quite some distance across the pavement, and will surely be sticking to the sheets for a few nights. she lost an acre of skin, most of it on her face--cheebones, forehead, chin--and i suppose she also slid on her glasses, 'cause they look as though they protected her eyes pretty well. the skin's gone from both her shoulders above the entire deltoid region. she and i caught a ride back to the cars.

M tore up his bike pretty well, ruined a pair of syntace aero bars (and no, nobody was on the bars in paceline), and lost some skin as well. his helmet was broken in half. he rode home with good spirits and an indefatigable sense of humor. i drove back along the route to pick him up in my car, but he was happy to keep riding.

couple of the others were banged up or in a little shock, or sustained minor injuries to their pride. another girl in the group (who took responsibility for the questionable handling that initiated the grav checks) is a nurse; she checked us all out and called for her husband to ferry us back; he drives a full-sized van, and had no problems in the service of those on the injured list. she felt awful, kept apologizing, and was disconsolate, though we tried to assure her that she did nothing wrong, and we all have to learn sometime.

morals: risks are inherent in riding. group rides multiply those risks by a factor of the number of folks in the ride, often times regardless of experience and skills. there would have been ambulances called last night had the injured girl not been wearing her glasses, had M not been wearing a helmet, and had i not been wearing gloves. we were quickly extracted due to a cellphone. sh!t happens, be aware that risks are assumed.

btw i was riding my new look, with less than 30 miles on it. first group ride on the bike. minor cosmetic damage to the tape and saddle (miraculous!). the front wheel is a bit out of trim. when i called my wife from the parking lot, her first response was "how bad?" her second was "how's the bike?" LOL!
re: THIS is why: helmet, gloves, glasses, cellphone...BikeViking
Aug 22, 2003 5:22 AM
Accident's are always bad. I am really glad to hear that everyoone came out of it with no lasting damage.

A note for all of us...please be careful.

Have a good weekend

re: THIS is why: helmet, gloves, glasses, cellphone...Alpedhuez55
Aug 22, 2003 5:34 AM
Hope you make a quick and full recovery. I am sure your leg will be fine within a day ot two. It is never fun to hit the pavement though.
Sounds nasty...JL
Aug 22, 2003 5:42 AM
Glad to hear you'll survive, albeit a bit sore for a while. That one girl sounds pretty messed up. Really sucks.

Good to hear the bike survived with minor damage, too. It's funny how the wives just know/learn these things, i.e. "How's the bike?"

We're getting these reminders about carrying the equipment you mentioned, too frequently. Not enough to keep me off the bike, but certainly enough not to let me forget.

Heal quickly,

Glad the bike is OKfiltersweep
Aug 22, 2003 5:43 AM
I'm always very nervous the first 50 miles into a new bike... It is amazing how between the skewers, pedals, and your body, a frame won't touch the pavement when you lay it down. I'd be more than happy to sacrifice my body to save a great frame like a Look!
J, what did I miss? You ride a LOOK?Fez
Aug 22, 2003 12:49 PM
I think I recall you riding a Surly. You get a new rig? Got a picture floating around?

And hey, glad you're OK. And remember, your body is always more important than a bike because one isn't replaceable and the other is.

The only exception I would make is if I was borrowing The Rock's bike and either I could sacrifice some skin and return it to him in good condition, or I could return it to him trashed and he would start peeling away some of my skin.
but of courseJS Haiku Shop
Aug 25, 2003 5:33 AM
look kg286 painted plane jane. frame purchased from some time ago, just built up last weekend with 105 kit from gvh. winter/rain/etc. bike.

yep, i have a cross-check, steamroller, and this one, plus a steel merckx with chorus 10, the mtb (specialized rockhopper), and a few other frames waiting for build--including another merckx.
Aug 22, 2003 5:43 AM
I'm glad you and your friends are OK. Accidents happen, that's part of our sport. Make a point to invite the 'responsible nurse' to your next ride becuase she might hesitate to join in again.

As for your wife. Whoa! Question #1 about your health is expected and automatic, but to know to ask about your! I'm impressed. She must realy understand. Like all cyclist in a wreck, the first thing you think of is not your own health but the health of your steed. She's a keeper.

Glad your OK. Go see a doctor - you may have a broken rib.

Funny...I thought the same thing!Bonked
Aug 22, 2003 12:27 PM
People heal...bikes don't!
why I don't do group ridesgtx
Aug 22, 2003 5:48 AM
glad everyone was (mostly) ok

Regarding "morals: risks are inherent in riding. group rides multiply those risks by a factor of the number of folks in the ride, often times regardless of experience and skills. " -- I disagree - not to be a total snob, but I've found that most people who are not experienced racers have no idea how to hold a line or ride fast in a group.
group ridesfiltersweep
Aug 22, 2003 5:59 AM
"most people" ?? I think that is an unfair exaggeration.

There are all sorts of obsessive club riders that are very fast and very technically skilled that don't race.

And BTW- there are plenty of racers who crash- both guys in my "don't be that guy" post below race.

I won't do a no-drop group ride- you know that type that is an unruly 30-40 riders all in a huge pack. The club I ride with breaks up into all sorts of smaller groups so it doesn't mix people riding at the edge of their ability with people who are very experienced.

Finally, there is a fairly high percentage of racers that show up for certain club rides. Following your logic, would expect a new racer to gain all group experience while actually racing? To me, that sounds VERY dangerous.
group ridesgtx
Aug 22, 2003 8:10 AM
I gained group ride experience on team training rides starting at age 15. I suffered through a lot of hazing and initiation. The sport has changed a lot in the 20 years since I started--a lot more people getting into it, and it's not the small scene it used to be (for better or worse). The few group rides I have done in the last 5 to 10 years -- and these have been rides where you could drop riders -- have seemed pretty sketchy to me. I've seen plenty of strong riders who could hang in but who had somehow never learned some of the basics of bike handling. I have a kid now. It's not worth the risk for me to ride with people who don't have the skills to ride safely.
group ridesfiltersweep
Aug 22, 2003 9:14 AM
I hear what you are saying... and it is a problem that literally "anyone" can show up at one of these rides, and ride inches away from me. (Including some bozos trying to ride in a paceline on aerobars- "don't be that guy")

Fortunately, there usually is a bit of Darwinism that occurs, and the faster riders are usually more skilled and experienced, and hence ride together, making things a bit safer.

I should mention that I pick and choose my rides carefully. I was concerned enough that I picked up a robust disability policy through work a few years ago... but that had more to do with being taken down by a car on a solo ride. I still maintain cars are more of a menace than other riders.
group ridesgtx
Aug 22, 2003 10:10 AM
My father was a very serious mountaineer in the 50s or 60s. Nothing makes him more crazy than seeing climbing deaths reported on what seems like a regular basis these days. Seems that people now have the money, time, equipment and the fitness to attempt some of these climbs, but they often don't have the experience and background necessary to deal with many of the situations that commonly arrise in the sport. The "just do it" attitude is pretty prevalent and people want to run before they can crawl. Sure, you can get in very good shape at the gym, or on a trainer in spin class, and you can buy a $5000 bike, but that doesn't necessarily make you qualified to do the sport at a high level. Climbing mountains or riding in a paceline at 40mph is dangerous. I agree that cars are probably a greater risk (one reason I prefer riding my mountain bike), and that with some effort I might be able to find a good group to ride with--then again, I'm not riding 2-300 miles a week now, so I'm not sure I'd be able to hang with people who I consider good enough. ;)
in defense of this groupJS Haiku Shop
Aug 22, 2003 10:27 AM
they were all solid "B" riders, a couple "A" riders taking it easy, and a cat 3 on a recovery day. not sure what happened up front that started the domino, but i knowing each person in the group after riding with them extensively over the summer and before, i had/have no ill feelings toward anyone.

on the other hand, i'm with you on the fitness/money/casual entry thing: just two weeks ago on a regular ~70 mile saturday group ride, some jack*ass jammed on his brakes in second or third position of a 20-person field going along a moderately trafficked 2-lane road. it was worse than "rookie" and i read him the riot act on the spot. he apologized to me 30 minutes later on the road and i let him have it again. he is/was a typical example of having bought into the sport (some years ago), working in the gym, riding very little, and brining out the bike only on warm, sunny july/august days. difficult to drop by riding pace, due to his level of fitness, but don't want to blow up the pack just to leave him behind. though i hoped my tirade would send him to the back of the line, he stuck two wheels behind me most of the day.

there's a big difference between stupidity (the guy above) and situation/bad luck. all the folks in this group are experienced enough to run a loose "B" paceline for 30 miles. oh and btw, typically i'll ride alongside the paceline and observe for most of the ride, but last night i got out of the bed sick to go ride with these guys, and didn't bring good legs, so was sitting in and working very little.

even though the risks are much higher and the results of a bad accident in a group/paceline are potentially severe, i'll take a friendly and spirited group ride with friends over churning out the miles solo, anyday. i'll be back in the same situation with the same people thursday night (though i may endeavor to sit at the front, LOL).
A few minutes spent on pointers makes a difference.theBreeze
Aug 22, 2003 10:38 AM
Take the time to give a few simple instructions about safe bike handling, paceline riding etc and this would be less of a problem. Been in the game long enough that you don't want to be bothered? Fine. But shouldn't someone in the club/group do it instead of forcing them into a trial by fire? Better yet, have the club offer a once a month skills ride. No one dropped, polite and encouraging instruction. Everyone would be better off.

If a rider repeatedly chooses to ingnore safety or even respect to others on the ride, uninvite them. Sometimes you've got to be willing to speak up and communicate or nothing changes.

I agree with some of the comments that experience doesn't always play a role. Some riders never catch on. There is one guy in our group who can ride a straight line, but yo-yo's on and off like crazy and has to be tricked into taking a pull. If he can avoid being on the front he will. I hate getting behind him in a rotation.
We had a guy in our group last week...Gregory Taylor
Aug 22, 2003 10:53 AM
We had a guy in our group last week - a decent solo rider - who asked to tag along because he wanted to get experience riding in a group. He's signed up to do a charity ride, and didn't want to be a menace. So we let him tag along, with the mutual knowledge that he needed schoolin'.

It worked just fine. We gave him pointers, he learned some new skills, and we all had a grand time.
That's the way it should work! nmMikeBiker
Aug 22, 2003 12:39 PM
Sounds like you dodged a bullet...................Len J
Aug 22, 2003 5:55 AM
glad you are (mostly) OK.

That 3 ft may have been the difference between minor & major damage..........this definatly falls under the "rather be lucky than good" catagory.

I'm confused how two people ended up on thier face/front, Did they go over the bars? Nasty none the less.

Oh BTW, notice how hard it is to get tight to the wheel in front, next time you are in a's amazing the built in defense mechanisms we all carry.

Sounds like the cost of this important lesson wasn't that high........thanks for making it free for us.

Glad you're OK.


Ps. How much "Pavlovian conditioning" did you have to do to get your wife to ask about the bike?
Sounds like you dodged a bullet...................JS Haiku Shop
Aug 22, 2003 6:09 AM
i'm guessing one or more of the others went down on their sides as the front wheels were swept from their forward line--like the posties in that team time trial in the rain (last year? year before?). i'm pretty sure mine was an endo, though i don't remember. somehow i unclipped and the bike ended up on the pavement, and somebody moved it to the shoulder. i remember being concerned for my jersey (it was my first ever jersey, a gift from my wife several years ago), sliding across the tarmac. i think, however, my hands (palm/gloves) saved face and torso from skin loss.

happened too fast to see anything but the guy on the ground in front of me, but i did have time to realize that i was going to hit him. :)

re: wife--see the response above/below. she was an active observer in the "adoption" of a new bike--from the frame to kit to build.

thanks--i'm hoping folks without helmets, gloves, glasses, phone will think twice before rolling out. i agree that we were lucky. i'm really happy there were no vehicles involved.
the wife--explanationJS Haiku Shop
Aug 22, 2003 6:00 AM
this was a first "how's the bike" in several years of group rides and grav-checks. i'm guessing it's due to her watching me build it up from a brown box full of parts and a bare frame over the weekend. i did all the work in our breakfast room with table moved to the corner, parts all over the floor/counter, and frequent adult language. it's been 90-100+ degrees in memphis over the last week, so working in the non-climate controlled shop was not an option. s'pose she got attached to the thing, or learned a little more about how much work and TLC i put into the bikes.

if you look far enough, you'll find a good side to anything! now i know that my wife is "enlightened".
Wishing you a speedy recoveryMel Erickson
Aug 22, 2003 6:01 AM
Been there, done that, no fun! I'd get checked out by a doc, just to be sure there's no hidden damage. Nothing can really be done for broken/bruised ribs but a broken rib can puncture a lung. Not as likely after the fact but I like peace of mind. Also glad to hear the bike is not severely damaged. Now it's just "broken" in.
Wow... As For Your Friend With The Broken Helmet...Gregory Taylor
Aug 22, 2003 6:05 AM
Wow, glad to hear that you are generally okay.

As for your friend with the broken helmet, I have learned the hard way that if you hit the ground hard enough to break your helmet, you probably should get a ride home and get looked at by a doctor. About a year and a half ago, I was riding with a buddy when I had a solo trip over the handlebars (don't ask -- it was an equipment problem). I landed on my head and broke my helmet, along with some scrapes and bruises. My buddy said later that he asked me whether I was okay, and I said that I was. He said that I appeared to be perfectly rational, and even cracked a joke or two. I then got back on my bike and rode 2 miles home.

The real fun started at home. Despite the fact that I was bloodied and had a broken helment, I couldn't explain to my wife what had happened to me, where it happened, or how I got home. To cut to the chase, I was moderately concussed, suffering from memory loss, and really shouldn't have been near a bike. Mercifully, my buddy called my house to see if I was okay right in the middle of me not being able to explain to my wife what had happened. He let her know the story.

In short, my personal rule is that if a buddy takes a dive and bangs his or her head hard enough to crack a helmet, they take a seat until someone can pick them up.
A visit to the doc is not a bad idea . . .ms
Aug 22, 2003 6:24 AM
I try to stay away from doctors as much as possible. But, a visit to the doctor after a significant fall is a good idea. First, it is best to catch major problems early (e.g., broken bones). Second, even if you eventually will mend without medical intervention, the medical profession can provide you with things (like legal drugs) that will make your recovery easier.

My recommendation for your friends with road rash -- get some duoderm bandages or something like them.
Glad you're ok - take your time coming back.dzrider
Aug 22, 2003 6:20 AM
A friend who's an exercise physiologist and 5 time Ironman finisher took part in a test where fit people stopped exercising for 30 days. None of them had a significant loss of VO2 max at the end of the test. All of them gained a few pounds. The point is you can rest and allow your body to recover at it's own pace. The risks that come from compensating for injuries while you continue to work out are greater than the risks of not working out for a few weeks. I was skeptical when he told me this, but it worked well for me when I needed to do it. Be well!
Aug 22, 2003 6:31 AM
glad you are not seriously hurt and no one else is too.

I had the same experience late last year, in a pace line, except the guy in front of me had no helmet on, I actually rode over his bike and somehow did not go down. Yes he still rides with out a helmet.
"Tyler Haiku Shop" from now on? ;-)DougSloan
Aug 22, 2003 6:34 AM
S* happens. Heal fast.
Thanks for the smile.......that was great *NM*Mudman
Aug 22, 2003 6:38 AM
THIS is why:ET
Aug 22, 2003 6:45 AM
1. I don't do group rides

2. some aspects of cycling should be avoided by those who don't want to accept the increased risks

3. cycling babes don't cycle :-)

Glad you're (more or less) OK.
oh, and regarding those trek bat cages,...JS Haiku Shop
Aug 22, 2003 6:57 AM
they did *not* launch either bottle. so far so good.
Wishing a speedy recovery........jeff27
Aug 22, 2003 6:57 AM
To all of your group. I've read your posts before and know you like merck, so I just saw this and thought I'd pass it along....
Glad it wasn't worse.KG 361
Aug 22, 2003 6:59 AM
I'd go see your doc, just to be sure the ribs aren't broken,althought there isn't much you could do about it =)
You're absolutely rightmoneyman
Aug 22, 2003 6:59 AM
I never leave the house for a ride without those items. Glad you're able to make it to your keyboard to share this with us.

We all have our crash stories. I went OTB on a MTB two years ago. Jumping a five foot berm, my bike left me and I went ten feet up, ten feet forward, landed head first, then on my back, bounced and came to rest. My Oakley Pro M frames stayed on my head the whole time. Broke ribs, cracked helmet, concussion (symptoms actually showed up a week later in the form of migraine-like headaches for 48 hours, nausea, confusion, etc.) and generally $hitty health. Took 6 weeks before I was on a bike again. POINT: Be aware of how you feel day-to-day for the next few days. Tell your friend who cracked his helmet to do the same. Symptoms of real problems sometimes hide for a while.

Glad that your bike's OK. Wonderful to have a supportive and understanding wife. Heal fast.

inspect your bars,stem & fork really well (nm)cmgauch
Aug 22, 2003 6:59 AM
Road Rash Haiku For YouGregory Taylor
Aug 22, 2003 7:13 AM
Paceline, this is fun
A whoosh of steel and carbon
Touching wheels, uh oh...

This is going to hurt
Look! I soar like the eagle!

The smell of hot tar
Taking stock of the damage
Are y'all okay?

Shredded shorts, road rash
My bike looks okay, thank God
"I'll be sore tonight"

Saddle up, ride home
"That could have been a lot worse"
Bandages and beer
AWESOME! sky-ground-sky-ground-sky...LOL! bravo! nmJS Haiku Shop
Aug 22, 2003 7:17 AM
it ends with sky? :-) nmET
Aug 22, 2003 12:16 PM
A Haiku VictimGregory Taylor
Aug 22, 2003 12:23 PM
I needed five syllables, and I really had to start with "sky". After saying "Look! I soar like the eagle!" I couldn't then start the next line with "ground-sky-ground-sky-ground", could I?

Just imagine that our friend is lying on his back, looking up at the sky.
Brilliant! (nm)hrv
Aug 22, 2003 8:15 AM
Rider Down in FrontpedalAZ
Aug 22, 2003 9:04 AM
Rider down in front
The paceline knows pain is now

Heal quickly. Write poetry.
So glad you're ok..ditto on the gloves etc... heal fast...nmrwbadley
Aug 22, 2003 7:47 AM
Dang, JS! Are you riding today?Mike P
Aug 22, 2003 8:57 AM
I hope you all are ok; bikes too. That type of accident is one of my fears.

You might try a slow and easy ride, just to work the aches and pains out.

probably a half hour todayJS Haiku Shop
Aug 22, 2003 9:07 AM
but i have a century planned with tnsquared tomorrow, so i'm in the market for some prescription medication. anyone? anyone?
Wow, I thought my ride home yesterday....JFR
Aug 22, 2003 9:33 AM
...was an adventure (a serious storm moved through DUMPING rain, got stung by something TWICE, and had TWO flats in said rain).

J.S., glad you're going to be okay and that things weren't worse for any of you... although it sounds like that girls face is in pretty bad shape, I hope she's getting it looked at and that it won't scar badly.

What a drag this happened with your new bike. I was pretty upset when I crashed my Pinarello with less than 1k miles on it... I can only imagine the sorrow/frustration of it happening with less than 30! Thank goodness it wasn't damaged. But it still stinks when "never been crashed" doesn't last long. Oh well. Of much more importance is that you weren't seriously injured.

Hope the injuries you, your friends, and especially the girl with the face rash, heal quickly and without lasting complications/scars.

Sorry to hear about the crash,stratoshark
Aug 22, 2003 9:56 AM
and glad you were wearing the right gear. Stuff happens so fast that there can be no time to react. Thanks for sharing the episode with us, I hope someone is convinced to wear gloves/helmet/glasses every ride. It's worth it. And keep your posts coming, I always look forward to your ride reports. Hope you have a happier ride next time!