…Until he smashes his face into the concrete.
It started out as a simple enough plan, short on time so a quick 16 mile originating from my house. Ride, shower, go to meeting at the kids school. Traffic was…well it was early afternoon traffic so I was plotting and scheming the route that would put me on as many secondary roads as possible. On the return, about 2 miles away from my house I decided to cut through down a side road and bypass a formidable and inhospitable intersection….and that’s pretty much all I remember. One second I am riding the next I am on the face down on the ground and in a lot of pain….and there is blood. I push myself up and stand up and try to survey the scene. First I take a swipe across my face with my hand and get an immediate report of blood issuing from both my nose and what feels like a laceration under my left eye. A quick glance down at my coat confirms that I am indeed bleeding. I start to take a physical inventory of what is hurting I ask for a report from below the waist, knee immediately answers “left knee has sustained some damage sir! “Brain this is left hip, left hip has sustained a direct hit! We are still in this one!” I then ask for a damage assessment from above the waist and left shoulder sounds the claxon of damage “Left shoulder…..cough…..hack….Left Shoulder……gasp…..I’m trying to keep it together…..cant hold on much longer…..hack…..” Brain to spine, come in spine. “Brain this is spine took a hell of a twist but we are good to go!”
I turn my attention to my bike…it’s an ugly scene, the bars are spun grotesquely into and under to the top tube, my shifter is nowhere near where it usually is. I stand it up and straighten the bars and see a horrid bend to the left side. Bar tape is ground off on the outside and my Garmin looks like someone took a belt sander to it. I remount figuring I need to get home and address these injuries before the pain really starts to set in. The ride home I am glancing all over surveying more and more damage. Left knee of my Specialized thermal tights are shredded, I can see skin on my left shoulder which means exactly 3 layers of clothing are now trashed including my Team Fat Cyclist jersey. I have one gear that works, and my rear brake no longer functions. To really add to the insult another pair of Oakleys has fallen victim, this time my XXX’s are broken. I limp it to my house and head into the bathroom to inspect my face which took the full brunt of the hit. I clean all of the dried blood off and am left with a jagged cut and a rapidly swelling cheek. I strip off the layers and just as I suspected everything except my socks and shoes is damaged more or less beyond repair and I am also looking at a nice healthy collection of road rash on the left side of my body from hip to shoulder…and face. I shower and get dressed and head out to the garage to check my helmet, and this is precisely when the sick feeling washes over me. It’s cracked and the outer shell is virtually ground down to the foam over a large section right where the temporal section of my head would have taken the hit had I not been wearing the helmet. I can only assume I hit a small patch of ice on the road and went down. Now I have to take the bike in tomorrow to see what the real damage is. Wear your helmets!