"Trauma team to ER 2” I heard it over the intercom at the hospital. Wait a minute; I'm in ER 2! All of the sudden 8 people were in my room looking for things they could do to me. But, I'm getting way ahead of myself.
This ride started like any other ride. I got off work came home and loaded up my bike with some nutrition. I solidified some plans to get a long ride in on Saturday with Nathan Birdsall and Derek Garcia, and I was ready to go. I rolled out of my garage and noticed right away that my legs were feeling good. This was going to be a good ride! I was hammering as soon as I got onto Dishman Mica.
The plan was to do my normal 90ish minute loop out to Rockford and back. Having done this ride at least 30 plus times I knew what my best average speed was for this course, and I planned on trying to beat it. The first 10 miles are a slight uphill, which can drive you crazy, but it makes for some fast speeds coming back home. Everything was going great and I was on pace to be right where I wanted to be. I made the turn from Highway 27 onto Dishman, and I was going as hard as I could, but still feeling great. There was a slight tailwind so I was going about 35 mph and staying there.
I hit a little steeper downhill and I'm really turning the pedals with everything I got, but still felt perfectly in control. All of the sudden I felt what I thought was a flat front tire. Now I've had a lot of flats, some even while going this fast, and I've always been able to control the bike and stop without incident. This time things happened a little bit differently. My bike instantly went into a speed wobble and the next thing I knew I was on the chip sealed pavement sliding for what felt like forever. This may sound a little dramatic but, I remember thinking that I might die right there. Well...I didn't die. I eventually came to a stop under some bushes with my bike still between my legs. I immediately jumped up and started hopping around the road, not really sure what to do. Luckily someone stopped that was going the opposite direction and called my wife for me. While I'm grateful they stopped, it was very obvious they didn't really want to get involved. About this time a truck stopped with a husband wife. They were the nicest most helpful people I have ever met. They got a hold of my wife and waited with me while she drove the 5 miles to the crash site. Their names are Pat and Lisa. I didn't get any other info from them, but I wish I would have. The world needs more people like them.
Anyway... Lisa tended to me while Pat rounded up my stuff from under the bushes. They informed me that I had a hole in my elbow and I needed to go to the hospital. Not exactly how I pictured this ride going.
Morgan arrived and took off to the hospital with me bleeding all over the inside of my car. We left my bike, and our neighbors and good friends came and picked it up for me. Up until this point I wasn't in a lot of pain. However, once I got into the car the reality of the situation started to settle in and it started to hurt pretty badly.
We pulled up to the ER and I walked in in my bike shoes to the check in desk. I knew I looked like hell! My short hanging by a thread and my jersey was all ripped up. Not to mention the blood that was oozing from right should to my right ankle. Needless to say I didn't have to sit in the waiting room. They asked me what happened while they took my vitals. I remember clearly saying that I wrecked on my bike going 35 and slid quite a ways. Somehow between the front desk and getting into the room the story changed. I got my clothes cut off and changed into a gown. I was lying in the bed for about 2 minutes when I heard the line. "Trauma team to ER 2, Trauma team to ER 2.
At that moment I remember thinking that there was something they weren't telling me, and I was a lot worse off than I thought. About 8 people came rushing into the room and just kind of stared at me. Then I heard one of them say, "This is the guy that got hit by a bus!"
"Whoa, Whoa, whoa. I did not get hit by a bus"
Everyone was pretty confused for a minute but eventually I ended up with a couple nurses coming in and talking to me. I got Morphine (I don't do well with pain meds so I felt like I was going to vomit), a tetanus shot, and eventually 2 1/2 bottles of jelly lidocaine. The ER doc came in an stitched up the hole, all the while people kept coming in and telling me how bad it was going to hurt to scrub the road rash.
On a side note, I met a legendary Ironman triathlete. He was a nurse there and was a former Navy Seal. His name is Mark Curtis. He came in and BS'd with me for quite a while. It turns out he's raced Kona quite a few times. His best ironman finish was 9:16 I think. Mark was a great guy, but he kind of made me feel like he would have just gotten back on his bike and rode home after the wreck.
Anyway they cleaned me up (didn't hurt that bad) and sent me on my way about 4 hours after I got there.
The last few days have been hard, but I'm lucky to have great friends and family that have been helping out a lot. The worst part was Saturday night. I was in more pain than I had been in since the accident happened and our dog had gotten into about 10 bags of m&m's. Needless to say he was vomiting all night while my pore wife had to take care of him and me.
This is the extent of the damage to my bike. I think my body absorbed most of the impact.
As far as what happened during the accident... I think my chain came off and hooked around my pedal. That’s about all I can see, but it doesn't really fit what I though I felt. I guess when it happens that fast it’s hard to know what really happened.
When my dad told my 6 year old nephew Maesen about the accident he shared this bit of wisdom. "See grandpa, that's why I don't ride my bike in the road. Only in the grass." So from now on I'm keeping all my riding in the grass.