Your Worst Crash

Discussion in 'The Bike Cafe' started by Yojimbo_, Apr 27, 2005.

  1. Yojimbo_

    Yojimbo_ Well-Known Member

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    Ok let's hear about it.

    Mine occurred while commuting to work. It had rained the night before so there were puddles and wet patches on the road.

    I was turning left at a reasonably high speed, crossing through what I thought was a water smear on the pavement. Well.....turned out it was oil - my wheels slipped out sideways and I came down heavily on my left side.

    Very little road rash - the oil protected my body as I slid across the road and onto the sidewalk, but unfortunately my thigh bone shattered (up high close to my hip - the trocanter). Lots of screws and steel to pin it back together, and 4 months off work to recover.

    One thing I remember is how quickly total strangers came to see if I was okay. One chap stayed with me for quite some time, even after the police and ambulance people had arrived, letting me prop my leg on his briefcase to limit the pain.

    It could have been much worse - at least, I can walk again, and my interest in riding came back at the end of last year.

    Your turn.
     
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  2. TKOS

    TKOS New Member

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    Nothing so bad as yours. I was following my friend and he braked, I had a choice of a quick stop of crossing wheels with him, so I slammed on my brakes, the bike jerked and over I went. It twisted the handle bars and I hurt my toe pretty bad but was still able to finish the ride home.
     
  3. artmichalek

    artmichalek New Member

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    Worst injury was a displaced collar bone fracture after going over the bars braking to avoid a utility truck that stopped quickly in front of me. It was twelve weeks before my doctor let me get back on a bike.
    Worst crash was down on the aero bars doing a little over 30mph. I went under a pair of railroad over passes and just inside the shadow of the second one was a huge pot hole. I didn't spot it until it was about a foot in front of my wheel. The bike bounced and then shot out from under me to the side. It's amazing how long that split second of air time lasts. I remember having time to think about how much it was going to hurt when the road eventually caught up with me. I went down on a knee and elbow and rolled over onto my back while I was sliding. When I sat up I was a good 30 feet from the point of impact. Though quite shaken I rode home with nothing more than some road rash and an imprint on my back of the keys that were in my jersey pocket.
     
  4. cydewaze

    cydewaze New Member

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    My worst one was around 6-7 years ago. On Sundays I used to do a fast-paced 25 mile group ride from a park in MD down into Washington DC and back. This one Sunday, a few of us were out in front, pacelining, but there was a new guy who didn't understand what a paceline was all about.

    He'd sit in line and think, "Wow, I can go faster than this", and he'd pull out to pass. Once in the wind, he'd lose steam after a few seconds, but instead of falling to the back, he'd try to jam his way back in right where he was. This led to chaos and some tire rubbing, and a few close calls.

    I finally decided that eventually, one or more of us was going down as a result of this guy, and I didn't want to be included. So I pulled off at an optional hill which I really enjoyed doing anyway. It was a straight, fairly steep climb, but the best part was the road back down to the parkway. It was twisty and had a series of four, slightly downhill curves of various radii that I could take at speed.

    Once I reached the top of the climb, I waited for a few cars to get ahead of me, because I knew I could take the turns a lot faster than they could, and it sucks to get bunched up behind a 20 mph car in the fun stuff. Finally I took off, cranking down the straight leading up to the first two turns.

    I took the first curve - a 45 degree right-hander - at around 40, then braked for the 90 degree left-hander that immediately followed. As I leaned the bike over I thought I might have been going a wee bit too fast, and just as that thought crossed my mind, my front tire washed out instantly. I hit the pavement hard, and slid on my left side straight into the shoulder, which was a dirt burm because the curve was carved into the side of a hill.

    I went head over heels when I hit the dirt, finally getting spit back out onto the road to slide some more on my back. Since it was a blind curve, my first thought was to get me (and my bike) off of the road. As I hobbled over to get my bike, I almost slipped and fell again. There was something on the road, and later (after smelling it on my arms) I concluded that it was a mix of oil and anti-freeze.

    My reward was significant road rash on my left forearm, upper arm, and left hip. I also had some puncture wounds on my right side from debris that were on the shoulder of the road, and I was covered with dirt and filth from rolling around. The bike was a little dinged up (STI lever, mainly) but ridable and otherwise undamaged.

    I had to ride back to the start of the ride, and when I got there, there was someone with a camera. I guess I looked pretty bad, because he refused to take a picture of me.
     
  5. Tmax1

    Tmax1 New Member

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    Three weeks ago. On a century ride. Mile 14. We were in a "modified" double pace line. I was about mid-pack.

    Some guy in front (supposedly an experienced rider) had his blinky light come off. And at 25 mph., stopped.

    Dominoes. Eight bikes down. I ran over the seventh, did the classic endo, landed on my shoulder. Sat there a minute, felt no collar bone broken. Dizzy, headache. My buds tried to get me to SAG back. I said I'll make it to the first SAG stop. I was in increasing pain.

    By the 5th and final SAG stop I could hardly get off my bike. At 70 miles I could go no further. Or make many movements.

    No road rash but after xrays it was determined I had two broken ribs, right underneath the shoulder bones. Bent derailluer hanger and assorted scratches on the bike.

    I'll be off the bike a couple more weeks.

    The good news is the guy who stopped got his blinky light back.

    Watch out while close riding.
     
  6. drichi

    drichi New Member

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    My worst was about 6 years ago on my mountain bike with Grip Shift. I had just purchased it a few days before and the so-called mechanic had misadjusted the shifters. I was going down a steep hill on pavement and had trouble shifting into the big ring, so I got the brilliant idea to try to use my opposite hand to reach over and shift with, since it was stronger. My brain was telling me not to do it or I would crash, but I ignored myself and decided to do it anyway. I tried and apparentely moved the handlebar enough to crash me. I remember flying through the air thinking "This is going to be bad." I hit hard on my hands, left shoulder, and knees. I got up and felt absolutely no pain. I noticed that my watch was cracked but that was it, so I straightened my seat from its 90 degree angle and got back on and rode back to my truck which was about a mile away. About 500 yards from the truck, my shoulder began to hurt and I noticed blood on both of my knees and the palms of my hands (I was not wearing gloves.) By the time I got to my truck, the pain was severe. I could barely lift my bike. When I started driving, I could no longer use my left arm...every little bump in the road hurt severely. I decided to go home and shower and go to the hospital. (Obviously not thinking clearly at all.) I could barely shower and getting dressed was nearly impossible, especially getting my shirt on.

    To make a long story short, I surprisingly did not have a a broken collarbone, but a badly bruised shoulder and the whole left side of my chest was black and blue the next day. I also ended up with infected road rash on my knees which took antibiotics to stop.

    I have had others, but that has so far been the wosrt, as well as stupidest (on my part) I have ever been in.
     
  7. blackwolf

    blackwolf New Member

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    Mine occurred in the first mountain bike race of the season in 2002. It was on the Pan Am course in Manitoba on a section called "The Chute". It was a straight drop and you road in a rut about 6" deep and not much wider than the tire. Many racers got off and ran this. I just decided to give it a try. Unclipped one of my shoes to allow for a need to bail out. Full brakes, one foot dragging and still picking up speed. Made it, on the first lap. On the second and final lap came up over the hill behind another rider and decided to do it again. Gave the other rider space since he was going to do it also. He was about 1/2 way down when I started. Followed the same procedure as the first time. I kept my eye on the guy in front. Once he cleared the bottom, I decided (big mistake) to lock back in, release the brakes and let's get going. I got within about 60 feet of the bottom when my front wheel caught a root, cranked the wheel to the right and buried me into the hillside. I knew right away I was hurt. Had some people run up from the bottom to help. Not sure if I was out cold or not. Ended up breaking my right collarbone into 4 pieces, tearing the cartlidge and ACL in my left knee. Off work for 5 months. On a positive note, still managed to get back on the bike, about 10 minutes after I hit and finish the race(only a mile away).
     
  8. pazu

    pazu New Member

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    Perhaps not as serious as what you think, a motorbike hit me and I think my chest was hit by my handlebar when I fell down. I felt a pain in my chest after a few days (...), and one day after a week I spitted out something, a bloody sputum!

    It's okay, totally okay now, but it was quite scary when I saw the blood...
     
  9. lumpy

    lumpy New Member

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    Mine was while riding my kindergardener to school! We live only a mile from the school and I was to go on a nice ride after dropping him off. He was following me when I rode into a puddle by the curb that, unbeknownst to me, never drains and was full of brown algae. Instantly went down hard on my left knee. Never even unclipped. Unlike other crashes, this one wasn't in slow motion. Boom!
    My son hit the puddle and crashed too and as we were picking ourselves up, (he's crying because he's scared), another cyclist hit the puddle and she crashed.
    Only one hurt was me and my knee:
    Severly (80%) torn Posterior Cruciate Ligament
    Horizontaly torn Medial meniscus

    The bad news is the injuries are essentially unoperable so my cycling lifestyle is now limited by knee pain to <2hr. rides. Century ride are only a memory now. Knee replacement is on the distant horizon. At least I can still ride and I do get a good workout in my 2hrs. on the bike!
     
  10. cpx

    cpx New Member

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    Well I don’t have any spectacular stories. I ride 150-200km a week, always alone and always on the defensive for drivers and pedestrians. I sort of fear the day I will have a bad crash.

    Last spring I was cutting through a parking lot on the way to work. I was coming towards two really good looking girls who were walking along and (I would like to think) admiring me as I went by.

    As Murphy would have it, when I made way for them I hit some sandy pavement. I must have turned a degree too sharp because the next thing I knew I went straight over the handle bars.

    Got pretty good scrapes on my knees & arms - worst was my ego. I’m sure the dork in spandex was the story for the day at their office.
     
  11. Eldrack

    Eldrack New Member

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    My worst crash ain't that bad, guess i'll have to wait for broken bones.


    Going along a country lane, middle of december. Going down a slight hill, heading round a corner. Didn't see the black ice on the road. It was really weird, i was going along and the bike just dissapeared from underneath me. Landed flat on my front and skidding along on my front. Wasted a pair of gloves and battered myself up a bit. Bent the brake levers inwards, locking my break pads against my wheels, was hell getting home after than!!!

    Still, i've learnt my lesson, won't go out riding when its icy.
     
  12. Eden

    Eden New Member

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    No really spectacular crashes for me either. I had a could have been worst that was a real near miss. I was going down a great twisty hill fairly sheer drop and trees on one side, cliff wall on the other. I hit a bump and my rear water bottle hopped out of the cage and wedged between my rear wheel and the frame. This of course caused the rear wheel to instantly stop and I skidded and slewed all over the road, but somehow I managed to keep the bike up.
    The worst actual crash I had was just this spring. It was stupid really. There is a spot where the "bike lane" ends up parallel to RR tracks and you end up having to cross over them. Instead of stopping I thought yeah I can hop over this. I've never been slapped to the ground faster. At first I did not think anything was wrong - nothing hurt and I was ready to hop back on, but my husband gave me a weird look and said uhhh your arm is swelling up. Sure enough just above my elbow I had a rapidly growing lump. Ended up at grocery store across the street with a bag of frozen beans and corn and an ace bandage. I couldn't put my arm down from above my head for several hours without it swelling up to the size of an egg. No permenant damage though.
     
  13. swerwer

    swerwer New Member

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    Had two bad spills couple of years back... one went down a mountain pass in SA to Herolds Bay. Close to the bottom there was a local worker on a commuting bike going in the same direction, just slower. He did not hear or see me coming and decided to cross the road as i came up on him. I took him on his right side (doing about 65kph) and slid faaar down the road onto someone's lawn. Came to a standstil completely mangeled up in the bikes. I look down and was covered in blood.... ended up being his blood. I had some rash on the legs and arms, chipped elbow and that was it. he picked up his bike and ran off. Apparently his one finger was dangling from a piece of skin. Cleaning and fixing my bike later i found some skin on the big chainring ... ewww ....wasn't mine :eek: . Ended up in motorbike accident 2 weeks later and broke a femur. Thats when i found out about the chipped elbow.

    The second one was after a bike rebuild. Went to test it before a big ride the next day. Had normal clothes on and no cycling shoes. Went down a nice hill and decided to push the gears to see how the bike handles the rebuilt back wheel and drivetrain. The chain came off at about 65 kph while standing, shooting my right foot forward and into the front wheel... needless to say i went over onto my back and slid way down the road. I just remember trying to save the bike and back, skidding on my backpack and shoes, watching trees pass. Had bad rash on my shoulders and side which turned septic and had to go in for op two weeks later. Broke the collarbone too and had that fixed 4 weeks later. The bike was ok, except for a huge ding in the top tube where the handlebars hit.

    I still keep going though and enjoy every moment of cycling.... even the bad ones.... :) Crashed into two cars within less than a month so far this year... not good... blind drivers....
     
  14. TRD609

    TRD609 New Member

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    Mine was 3 weeks ago. Riding in a park with my friends, top of the park has a hairpin turn that I've been thru hundreds of times (literally). But this time I blew it. Too fast, (I was on the front), bad line, I hit the outside curb and crashed, big time. Split my helmet, concussion, fractured collarbone, tore the ulnar collateral ligament in my hand, tore cartiledge between my ribs. I'm still convalescing, but I got back on the trainer about a week ago. I'm doing 1-1.5 hours now, working up to 2 hours and the intensity is increasing. The coach has me doing LT work now that I can ride without discomfort. The orthopedist is fine with my riding the trainer (he's a triathlete himself), but it looks like it will be another 6-9 weeks before I'm cleared to ride on the road again. It's like doing two winters back to back.
     
  15. cucamelsmd15

    cucamelsmd15 New Member

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    Ive got two that were pretty bad. The rest have been minor with little to no road rash

    The first: Mountain biking over the summer, and stupid me, took my helmet off in the heat. I forgot to put it back on as we pushed off from a rest stop, and I tore down this super steep hill that Ive ridden a hundred times at about 40mph. I got about halfway down, hit a root, rear wheel came up, and I knew I was going over the bars. My right foot never came out of the binding, and the bike beat my knee to a pulp on the way down the hill. At the bottom, it finally came unlocked, and I felt the bike fly over me (or so I thought). Stood up at the bottom, knee hurting, and I felt a warm trickle down the back of my neck as I realize I dont have my helmet on. Touched my neck and pulled my hand back covered in blood. So, 13 stitches in my head later, and a bruised knee that I took Prednisone for 3 months for and gained 75 pounds, I started riding again. Enter crash number 2.

    The Second: riding with a friend one day in December, when it was semi-warm. Cruising to a tail wind, doing about 25mph. I looked down to see our distance and speed, and look up to see this ginormous Ford F-250 that had backed out in front of us. I was well in front of my partner, so he could avoid, I couldnt. This guy had the towing mirrors that stuck out about 1.5 feet too. I cleanly removed one of those with my left shoulder, fracturing my collar bone in 6 places in the process. The guy wanted to argue with me that I was going to pay for his mirror too:rolleyes:
     
  16. Fendercrazy

    Fendercrazy New Member

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    My worst was in the spring of 1991. I went on a mtb ride with some friends and lost it on a single track. I launched in to a ravine and cracked six vertebras and busted my skull (I sure wish I had a helmet on :rolleyes: ). I spent my last quarter of high school in a hospital bed. A tutor came to my house on the weekdays for a couple hours to get me graduated. I was riding again by the time summer arrived.
     
  17. juf2m

    juf2m New Member

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    Holy shit!!! :eek: That poor poor guy! How terrifying! I wonder what happened to him. Talk about traumatic! :(

    Wow, you must really have 9 lives. :) If just one of those things happened to me I'd take it as a definite message to quit cycling!!!!

    As for me, I am too new at this to have had a major crash. There was one group ride where a kid came out of nowhere when we were on the path and crashed straight into us, and we had a big pileup..I was thrown mercifully into the bushes. I have also had about three falls as a result of clipless pedals, one of them was yesterday (I am the author of the clipless pedals thread). Turns out I broke one of the spokes on my wheel yesterday on top of wrecking my knee. A ridiculous amount of damage for just toppling over!

    I shudder to think what will happen to me if I get into a REAL crash!!!:eek:

    In fact, reading the rest of these stories, I'm wondering if it wouldn't be best just to go for nice scenic walks instead. :rolleyes: ;)



     
  18. Owen Meany

    Owen Meany New Member

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    September 1, 2004. The day that change my lifer forever! (too dramatic?)

    I am still recovering. After 15 surgeries, I have 2 more scheduled at this point, maybe more?. Smashed my pevlis, right tibia, left forarm.I have completely lost the use of my lower right leg I was in the hospital for 73 days (30 of which were in ICU)...

    I was coming downhill when a truck coming uphill thought I was too wide around a corner. As such he pulled into my lane thinking I would go wide around him. I did not and I had no where to go.

    Here is a link to my site: http://www.home.earthlink.net/~brazierfund/index.html

    I think only death beats me! :)
     
  19. cydewaze

    cydewaze New Member

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    Please tell me he at least stopped to assist.
     
  20. Owen Meany

    Owen Meany New Member

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    He stopped. He was an uninsured day worker at a near by construction site. I don't really remember anything from after the acutal accident until about 10 days later. I had uncontrollable bleeding and was at a very high risk for infection. So the first 10 days they kept me heavly HEAVLY sedated because I remained intibated and I was going in and out of surgery every day if not more.

    PS: My hoispital bill thus far is 1.25 million :( !!! Yes, I has insurance.
     
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