Yesterday I was heading out for a long ride with my friends Jené, Courtney, and Jen. We were planning on riding 5-6hrs, and had picked a route I had only done once. We left around 7:45am. It was VERY windy, so we knew it was going to be a “fun” day. I was having some shifting problems at the beginning of the ride. I played around with the cables a bit, and finally got everything working fine.
About a 90min into the ride, we made a loooong descent on a road called Twin Oaks Valley Rd. I maxed out at about 38.5 mph. And had no problems touching my breaks and coming to a stop when we ended up hitting a stop light. We took a left hand turn to continue on to Twin Oaks Valley Rd. We started a bit of a climb, and then within a few miles, we started to descend…
Where the crash happened.
The turn up close.
Here’s what I remember…
I started to tap my breaks to slow down, as I noticed this descent had some good turns. I had only done this ride one other time, and I definitely don’t remember them. I was last in the line of us four girls, meaning I’m going SLOWER. I started to tap my breaks before I slowed down, and then I heard something in the back, I thought it might have been my chain because I had been having problems, but I’m in the middle of a descent a sharp turn came up, and I tapped my breaks a little bit harder…before I knew it the back of my head it the pavement, then the rest of my body followed and started skidding down the road. I remember just going into complete shock and screaming “HELP! HELP! HELP ME!” followed by a bunch of swear words, oh no’s and then more “HELP!” I was lying in the middle of the road for what seemed like forever, I couldn’t get up, maybe due to shock, my left foot was still clipped in, and my bike on top of me. I was starting to think if I don’t scream loud enough, no one is going to know, and I’m going to get run over by a car. Fortunately, I saw Courtney out of the corner of my eye. She hurried over, and helped get me out of the road, two minutes later a car came by, fortunately that guy heard me screaming and came to see what was going on, but still a car 2 minutes later? It was a close call. As I sat on the side of the road, and Courtney looked at my bike, my back wheel had come off. We started to think about what could have gone wrong, and since my back wheel was off, our first thought was, maybe my skewer was loose or something. I hobbled over into the shade, as we waited for Jené and Jen to meet back up with us, and then all four of us waited for Courtney’s husband, Mitch, to come get me. I was feeling dizzy, nauseous, and kept blacking out. Every time I tried to talk, it took too much energy out of me, that I would end up blacking out.
Courtney was laughing at me because I wanted her to take a picture, but I thought we can’t NOT capture this moment. #myfirstcrash
Jené, Jen, Me, and Courtney waiting for Mitch to come get me.
I was in a lot of pain, but gotta suck it up for the camera right? Courtney’s husband, Mitch, is a Navy Seal, and so I knew I was in good hands. He and his daughter Lucy, took me home, and helped get me cleaned up, so that I would end up with minimal scarring, and little to no infection…
It was THE worst shower I have ever taken in my life. But, it is one of those things, just like chafing, that once the burning subsided, it was bearable.
So, after Mitch patched me up…
I spent the rest of the day, talking with friends, and reading everyone’s sweet and thoughtful messages on facebook, twitter, and instagram. Thank you all for your kind words. I seriously appreciate it. I didn’t sleep very well last night. I took lots of advil. I am a stomach sleeper for the most part, but I also usually end up turning over to either side occasionally, and pretty much every time I moved, I would wake up. I was scared to get out of bed this morning, but ultimately I was able to move. I just felt really sore. My neck muscles are VERY sore from hitting my head, my hip is very badly bruised, and the muscles around my shoulder blade are very sore. My elbow is just swollen and bruised, but nothing major. Overall, I’m VERY lucky.
My helmet saved my life. I am not sponsored by any helmet company but I was wearing Giro, and I’m thankful that it withstood the impact. Also, my Oakley’s didn’t shattered, nothing. In fact, if anything I feel like they protected my face from major scrapes. The other surprising fact is the my brand new, Coeur Sports, kit, didn’t rip. Not at all! Crazy.
So, 24hrs later it was time for shower number TWO. It was still pretty painful but not nearly as bad as yesterdays. My friend Jessie came over, and she was a saint and helped patch me up. I seriously am soooo grateful to have such amazing friends, who are willing to come over and help me out. I think the worst part is actually the anti-septic spray. It stings like a B%*&H!
What it looks like post-shower number 2. The purple on my back is from athletic tape to hold the ace bandage on yesterday.
All patched up.
So, after watching The Packers beat The Lions, I decided to upload my Garmin stats from the ride yesterday, and try to figure out exactly what went wrong. The second I saw that my Garmin stats showed that the final speed of my ride was 30mph, I thought it wasn’t my back wheel. The turn was sneaky, and sharp, and I just couldn’t slow myself down enough. I started blaming myself. Although, lots of people have told me that they have wiped out there, right at that exact turn. The only puzzling part is it’s a right hand turn. So, my weight would have been leaning to the right, and therefore my wheels would have slid out from under me to the left, and I would have fell to the right, but I didn’t. My wheels went to the right and I fell left. It’s impossible to say exactly what went wrong, but the truth is no matter what I was going too fast for that sharp of a turn, a turn that is VERY dangerous if you don’t know that turn like the back of your hand.
What’s scarier is that I wiped out going 30ish mph downhill, while turning. I’m soooo lucky that my helmet did a good job protecting my head, since it was the first thing to take the impact of the fall.
Thank you to Jené, Jen, Courtney, Mitch, Lucy, and Jessie for taking care of me! Thank you everyone for your kind messages and wishes for a speedy recovery. It’s 6 weeks out for Ironman Arizona, and this is not at all how I planned on going into this week. But, it is what it is. I will hopefully recover quickly, so that I can get back to training, and going into IMAZ prepared and feeling confident. I’ll keep you posted on progress.