The First Time I Went Down

>> Saturday, July 09, 2011

First of all, I must say "That's what she said" regarding the title of this post. (That's for TriSaraTops.)

Secondly, I'm fine. And so is my bike.

Yes, I had my first crash during a race today at the Life Time Fitness Minneapolis Triathlon. I'd LOVE to say "It's all this other person's fault," but rarely is a crash only one person's fault. I had just started the bike. I was only about 200-300 meters into the ride, when a woman in front of me started drifting to the left. FAR left. As in she was starting to get close to the left curb. It's common bike knowledge (and a USAT rule) to ride to the right and pass on the left. I was coming up on her fast, and I was pretty sure I'd make it around her and/or she'd realize she was drifting left and move back to the right. But she just kept moving to the left. I had to make a quick decision: either (1) slam on the brakes 300 meters into the bike, or (2) run into her, or (3) nail the curb. I couldn't convince my body to brake THAT hard THAT soon in the race, and I wasn't about to "take her out," so I went for the curb sideways at 22-23 mph.

"OH CRAP!!!!..... oh good, I got this...... no, wait, NO I DON'T!!..... oh, it's OK, I'm fine...... NO I'M NOT!! I'M CRASHING!!!" (I think that's the internal dialog for anyone who comes close to crashing and thinks they've recovered when they really haven't.)

I felt pain. I got up. I had a few scrapes, but I didn't hit my head. I grabbed my bike, hopped back on, and kept going. When I was done, Pharmie grabbed these photos:

The worst of it (I think from sliding across the curb as I was crashing)

Grass and road rash on my shoulder

Forearm (the "dirty spot" towards my watch is a bunch of scraped skin)

After the kind women in the med tent cleaned it and covered it

At home, right now. The WHOLE "bandage" is sticky,
so this will SUCK to pull off in a few hours!

So everything's fine. Except Henry. He had hoped that I would have finished with a better time, and he's pretty worked up about it:

Wearing my medal (which is doing nothing to console him....)

Back with a full report ASAP! Happy weekend!


Dr. TriRunner 4:01 PM, July 09, 2011  

Yikes!! Nothing like finding a rock protruding from your forearm two months down the line...

Glad you and the bike are OK, and I'm sure Henry will get over it. ;)

Luis Fernando Oliveira 4:02 PM, July 09, 2011  

That's what you get for not shaving before a tri. It does not matter how short.

Richelle 4:06 PM, July 09, 2011  

Ouch! I'm so glad you and your bike are okay. And Henry... oh my gosh, that photo almost made me cry! I hope he's feeling better, too!

Chris and Amy 4:38 PM, July 09, 2011  

Maybe the other rider was visiting from Japan. They pass on the right here. It took some getting used to. :) Poor Henry, it's hard being that cute!

Alex Chiu 4:45 PM, July 09, 2011  

Steve, I'd recommend that you use Tegaderm for road rash. It is great for recovery from injuries and it doesn't stick as bad as some bandages do.

CoachLiz 5:34 PM, July 09, 2011  

I'm with Luis. You ALWAYS shave down before a race. Remember Andy Potts' nasty road rash when he crashed in Chicago a few years back? He is one that does not shave as well and he said that on that day, he wish he had shaved his legs.

I think you will be more sore and bruised than anything. If you can get your hands on a tube of Traumeel that has Arnica in it or Arnica tablets from a health food store, use it for reducing the swelling and preventing any nasty bruising.

Christopher Hawes 6:56 PM, July 09, 2011  

Good to hear that you made it through ok and did not break anything.

BaddApple 8:27 PM, July 09, 2011  

Sorry to hear. I crashed to at the transition. Two people went down in front of me trying to get off their bikes. I already had one foot out of the peg, but my other stuck and I slide across the unmount line. I couldn't get my bike off me so I had to kick it off. Boo Boo on my knee, elbow and hand. :-)

Anonymous,  9:27 PM, July 09, 2011  

I did the intl course today and there were quite a few folks out there who were riding waaaayyy to the left, not while executing any sort of a pass. I was forced to pass right a few times (shhhh). They seemed completely oblivious to the ride right / pass left rules.

Sorry you got hurt. I saw you when you ran past me in those (glorious?) shorts.

Laurie 11:22 PM, July 09, 2011  

Uh, that picture of my leg made me suck in my breath and barf in my mouth a little bit.
Good work!

Katie 11:24 PM, July 09, 2011  


Your son's face is priceless!

Anne 11:33 PM, July 09, 2011  

totally didn't notice you had crashed when you came up on me (with the little ass smack!) (ok, just re-read that and it sounds A LOT worse than I meant!!)

Glad you're ok - maybe you should think about shaving/waxing. Just sayin'

kT 7:22 AM, July 10, 2011  

I think Henry's crying because he's realized his legs might look that hairy someday. Sorry about the crash, but glad you're basically OK.

Jumper 2.0 7:31 AM, July 10, 2011  

Even after these photos. Not shaving. It's just temporary pain anyway!
Glad you're a fine and doing ok. Hope the lady realized what she did and paid better attention later too.

Benson 9:09 AM, July 10, 2011  

Whoa! Ouch! that makes me wince.
I know you rarely shave down but pulling that bandage off will be a good start...

TriEric 9:33 AM, July 10, 2011  

Leave it to TriSaraTops for a "that's what she said" comment.

Those pictures make me cringe...because taking that bandage off is going to hurt worse than the crash. Be a man...shave it down.

Kristin 12:02 PM, July 10, 2011  

Ha ha!! The baby pic is very cute!! glad to see you finished despite the wreckage!! Good luck peeling the tape off!! OUCH!

Erin 2:23 PM, July 10, 2011  

Matty Reed hopped on a plane right after the race to Boulder for the Boulder Peak. I can't even imagine going hard for 2 Olys in as many days AND a plane ride. He's just amazing.

Colleen 6:16 PM, July 10, 2011  

Yikes... glad you are alright - war wounds my friend!

Anonymous,  11:02 AM, July 11, 2011  

Yeah, there were a ton of people riding left, especially our on the river road northbound - I think it was smoother than riding on the right, which is pretty bumpy. I think they need to consider putting signs out on the bike course to remind people to stay right, especially in races with a high percentage of n00bs (like me).

Austin 9:23 PM, July 11, 2011  

you've been waiting years to use that title, haven't you?

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