Wednesday, May 9, 2007

a closer look

Y'all will remember my wreck from a couple weeks ago. As luck would have it, the race photographer was sitting at the finish line snapping away and pretty much got the whole alarming sequence on film.

The pictures are best viewed large, so click on 'em.

Here you can see (above), on the rider's left side of the road, the beginnings of the pile-up. I'm on the right hand side of the road, see what's going on, but think I'll be able to sneak past without any trouble. It's worth pointing out that while the field looks exceptionally bunched up from this angle, we're actually taking up quite a bit of road from front to back.

Chaos ensues.

See the riders off the left side of the road in the grass? And the wheel in the air? But of personal concern is my own position on the right side of the road. Someone hit me from my left and here you see the effect--a death lean. Things aren't looking good for the goatman.

Now I'm on the side of the road (see arrow). From my road rash (and the previous photo) it's clear that I spent some time--and skin--sliding across the road, and I remember (or at least think I remember) coming down on the grass headfirst (a later helmet shot substantiates this claim), but how I got from near the middle of the road to where you see me here without taking out several others I don't know. Though the guy you see riding in the grass was probably displaced there by me.

This is actually a pretty big picture, so click on it to see the whole thing. You see me there behind the 100m to go sign and riders in the grass on either side. (It's actually not grass, but rough farm plow with early spring growth.)


From the prior picture you thought that guy in the field was going to make it, didn't you? Nuts.

I'm totally obscured from view behind the sign. You can see a bit of handlebar, brake lever, and a front wheel from my bike. The angle obscures depth perception, but when I finally got up I was a good 10-15 feet up the road from my bike.

Here you see a bit of the aftermath. The guy in the field to my right is up, but I'm still down. I was pretty groggy and couldn't really move at first. And when I did start moving, I was super cautious, running through a self-diagnostic check for neck injuries, broken bones, and the like.

Another shot of the aftermath. You can see my back here. I remember curling up in the fetal position for some time. I wasn't able to immediately stand.

But also of note here is Carney, a teammate, in the foreground. And what's that on his face, you ask? A look of empathetic concern that his teammate just went down in a horrendous pile-up? No?

In deed not. Not an ounce of concern, but all mirth. The revelation of his amusement over my tragedy is more than a little disconcerting.

(Though I should mention that I'm now riding Carney's old fork. That kind of generosity more than makes up for his good humor at my expense.)

Eventually I got up. Eventually.

I first crawled up the embankment to the road. I couldn't quite stand. One of the others that went down was laying in the middle of the road, moaning grotesquely, a pool of blood collecting under his ear. I don't know the extent of his injuries or that of others, but at least three riders went to the hospital via ambulance.

I finished 51st. (There were 80+ starters.)


I need to give props to the boys at Pedal Pusher in Harrisburg.

I showed up Saturday afternoon with a broken bike and a bloody body and despite their being overwhelmed with customers, they let me have a work stand and Ricky...and Ricky fixed me up. He cut the steerer tube on Carney's fork down to size, installed it, found a pair of 40cm bars from an old Specialized collecting dust in the back of the shop and installed those too. Awesome, awesome.

1 comment:

Micah said...

Nice crash, Goates. I also initiated myself into the crash club a few weeks ago at Raccoon Mountain, but it wasn't nearly as spectacular as this one. (And there are no pictures of mine.) But, I did manage to take a wheel to the chest and flip a junior onto his face. Good stuff. Keep up the blogging!