After a lackluster performance at the Reno Wheelmen Geiger Hill Climb Time Trial on Tuesday, April 30, 2013, I sat around at the summit cheering on riders and soaking in the stories of summit times, epic efforts, gear choices, and the normal bike chatter. Of course by lackluster I'm merely stating the obvious that anything Sub PR (Personal Record) is always lackluster. Seriously though I was easily 45 seconds slower than my time last July. Today I was the bug and not the windshield.
So, I left the summit and did not see anyone go with me so I ASSUMED I was solo on the descent. A couple of miles from the summit I see two 8' boards lying in the uphill lane. They were causing riders to have to swerve nearly to the center line to avoid them. Definitely NOT SAFE, not to mention not cool when you're suffering to go up as fast as you can. Shortest distance and all that...
In a split second decision, thinking to myself, as the good Samaritan I am, "I should move those." I grab some brake and start looking over my shoulder for traffic.... WHAM!
It appears I grabbed too much brake and slowed too fast because my teammate Skinny Jim could not avoid me and we both hit the deck. HARD!
I'm fairly certain we were going over 30 mph. I turned my Garmin off. I own this crash. I take responsibility for not looking behind me sooner before slowing. I am so very sorry, Jim!
Equipment Damage: New Aeon helmet was cracked. My Madone SSL "Black Beauty" has cosmetic scrapes and both shifters. The invisible bra material I had put on earned it's keep. Two places where the paint would have been severely chipped now just have a tear in the bra material. Jim's saddle was torn up.
Human Damage: Jim broke his collarbone in two places and is scheduled for an Ortho appointment to get it fixed. He tore up another kit and his arm warmers so I'm giving him my Mondo Jersey for the rest of the season. Of course that's if /when he's ready to race.. probably more MTB than road for a while I suspect.
I rung by bell pretty good. I suffered mild nausea and headache that came and went in the following 36 hours. Also, stiffness and soreness in neck and torso. I was wearing my REI jacket, so I didn't tear up my kit. I have minor road rash on my right knee and hip.
Mostly from experience but also because old guys don't bounce, I'm going to take the next couple of weeks and do only easy riding and work myself back into competitive shape for June/July races. I'm also going to skip my race next weekend. There will always be more races. My brain is more important to me than the $45 race fee.
Skinny Jim: " I have to accept some responsibility as well. After coming over the false flat I was coming up on JP fast. As he didn't slow prior to the boards in the road I didn't think he would stop. I should have let him know I was coming. I have much to learn about riding on the road. Having surgery tomorrow . Plating the collar bone and reconstruction of some ligaments . Fellow cyclist Dr. J. Zebrack is doing surgery. He's had 4 already this week. Mine is the worst though. No KOM for me but I got KOCB(king of collar bone). 2-3 months off the bike".
Our lives are made up of a string of events. Some good and some bad. I choose to revel in the good and shrug off the bad. Stuff happens. Or as my grandmother used to say "poo-poo occurs." I'm thankful that it was not worse and no cars were involved. Both Jim and I learned a few new lessons and we will both be better cyclists from it. We also share the same positive attitude about life events.
How one chooses to deal with traumatic events is simply a choice. I was just handed another basket of lemons. This lemonade tastes just fine!