"I got the rockin' pneumonia, I need a shot of rhythm and blues"
Bike riding is serious business and although we do it for fun, exercise and athletic improvement, all too often we see in this blog and other places that there's much that can happen astride a two wheeler.
In the couple years or so, I've had 3 friends crash and I'd briefly like to share both the details of the incident so you don't let yourself get into the same predicament, and the results of their injuries. We'll call these friends Moe, Larry and Curly although collectively they are far from stooges.
Recently, we ran a thread on a tri forum dedicated to those who'd lost their lives while biking in training or racing and the length of the list is astonishing.
"Moe ' is a plaintiffs attorney who's qualified for Kona in the recent past. He was riding his road bike down a fairly steep hill on a local dirt road which he knew well from having ridden both his mountain bike and road bike there in the past. While braking, his ram's horn handle bars became loose, rotated forward, and he lost his ability to brake. He very quickly picked speed, crashed, and suffered a hip fracture - a broken hip! - like you might expect to see at the nursing home.
At surgery, the fracture was reduced, pinned, and he is now healed. He had blood clots in his leg post op and had to have blood thinning medicine for 6 months. Recently he finished the bike leg of an Ironman 70.3 race in 2:27, second by a minute in his age group. Obviously he's a talented biker.
"Larry" was riding on a quiet hard surface road having just passed over a small rise. Attempting to make a turn, he looked back to clear himself of traffic, but because of the small hill was unable to see a vehicle approaching at a rapid pace...and was struck by it going partially over the hood and windshield before striking the ground. Hard! He fractured two of the bones in his lumbar spine and had a "slight" nerve injury.
He was x-rayed, scanned and braced. And although this is one tough hombre, he needed generous pain medicine, was out of work and most definitely off his bike for a couple months. He's returned to finish our local end of summer century ride under 5 hours over a beautiful but hilly course. He still has occasional back pain.
Lastly, "Curly" a former near National Champion duathlete, and one of the most careful riders I know, while riding in a populated area on a relatively busy street, had a driver suddenly open the door of a parked car. And he rode right into it suffering a fractured pelvis in 4 places!
Following x-rays and scanning, he was quite fortunate that no other internal organ damage occurred and that surgery was not deemed necessary. He was non-weight bearing on crutches until the pain dissipated, was eventually permitted to ride the trainer in his garage, and although now back to riding, has yet to return to his level of peak fitness.
What do these three riders have in common? They were extremely fortunate that even though significantly injured, they're alive and making a good recovery.
Learn from these gents...don't be a stooge.
Images 2, 3, 4 from Google Images