Crash

A week ago, on Sunday, I crashed hard while riding in traffic on Lake Shore path. Lots of runners and riders, stopping or slowing suddenly, I touched a wheel and couldn’t hang on to it. About 9:00 a.m. Landed hard on concrete, at about 10 to 15 mph. I was concious the whole time, but had to lie still at first. People came to my assistance, my companion came back around, and I sat up slowly. Serious abrasions on my right side, two around my elbow, all around the knee, and on the middle of the thigh. I got up, knocked my handlebars straight, and started riding. About a mile on from the crash site south of Fullerton, at the service booth, we planned to stop to put some air in her tire. Coming to a stop, I found I couldn’t use my right leg at all, and almost fell again trying to dismount. Finally we got me back on, and left the shore to find a service station for her tire. Riding sitting on the saddle feeling the shocks, unable to move the bike under me as usual. On a speed bump a couple of miles later, I found I could stand a bit with the left foot forward and right to the rear, so I was riding ok. I creaked to a stop at the station we finally found, putting a toe down and standing with the tube between my legs. Able to ride fine, my friend helped me up my back porch after we got to my house, because I found I could only walk with great difficulty.

So my son found the parts for me to make a respectable cane, and with it I moved around ok but with difficulty. Went out to dinner that evening with a large family group, sitting in one place for several hours. Found I could barely move at all on getting up, and got up the steps after being left off with very slow moves and assistance. Spent Monday and Tuesday mostly lying on my bed, and felt a lot better and more mobile, so that I went in by Wednesday, with the cane. Felt better every day, walked better without the cane by Thursday. An ache now and then when I forgot myself, such as when I saw a parking space and tried to hop in the car for it, with the usual lunging action. Ouch!

Today, a major relapse: after a day working around the house, I was getting dressed to go in when I lifted my leg to put my pants on, and the pain was suddenly intense, as bad as it had ever been. I called around and made arrangements for a friend to take me to the emergency room. My wife arrived from work before I was seen. The consensus was that I’ve got damage to the cartilage along my right femur, which was bolstered by an x-ray showing no breaks. It’ll heal fine as it was doing until I pushed too far too fast. So for the next few days, as little movement as possible, and after that use the cane as much as I can, to keep it unloaded as long as possible. I’m not nearly back, as I thought I was, but at least it’s simple and not likely to last long or be permanent in any way.

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4 Responses to “Crash”

  1. mcmc Says:

    Oh, that’s awful. Feel better soon! But what does this mean: “I touched a wheel and couldn’t hang on to it.”?

    Anyway, I’m glad to hear a full recovery is expected.

  2. idontpay Says:

    “touching a wheel” means your, usually front wheel makes contact with the rear wheel of someone just ahead or to the side and ahead. The front part of your front wheel is going down, hers is coming up and has relatively more weight, because she’s sitting on it, and stability, because it’s not pivoted to turn as the front is, so unless the contact is very hard, the rear rider whose front wheel is involved usually gets the worst of it. A sudden, unexpected steering input, often when you’re leaning and moving the bike from side-to-side anyway, which is why a collision. The pros often touch without harm because it’s a familiar sensation, and I’ve “hung on to it” and not fallen numerous times, but not this time. They often fall too, and often hurt themselves. In this year’s Tour, Cadel Evans fell the same day I did and by the next day was leading the race after receiving treatment while riding from a doctor leaning out of a car, and speaking the next day of trying out the bike after a hot shower to see if he should start at all. As I say, I could ride, I just can’t walk. And he is half my age, at least eigthy pounds lighter, has fallen many times before and has numerous broken bones to show for it, and is constantly attended by doctors.

  3. mcmc Says:

    I see. I’m not familiar with the dialect, and I’ve never ridden close enough to another rider to experience this.

    And he is half my age, at least eighty pounds lighter, has fallen many times before and has numerous broken bones to show for it, and is constantly attended by doctors.

    I wonder how Evans is going to feel when he gets to be your age. I would expect a lot of arthritis, general aches and pains. I’m sure he believes now that it’s worth it. Is he a star? The kind of guy who makes a fortune in endorsements?

  4. idontpay Says:

    Yes, a star, who I’ve just now watched lose the race to Carlos Sastre. By tradition the order on the penultimate day holds, although sprinters compete for the last stage on the Champs-Elysées, never the top finishers.

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