Wednesday, April 16, 2008


Well I guess it was inevitable. My fourth season of bike racing I finally found the rubber side up in a serious way.

The first Opus crit of the year was starting out well. In spite of the wind, there was a good turnout, and everyone was in a good mood. Meow made cookies, lots of teammates showed up, and we were all ready to clear out the winter cobwebs. First couple of laps were a bit sketchy, but that was expected, and I stayed near the front. So much so that a couple stomps on the pedals got me my first ninja prime! The next lap found me off the front, since no one wanted to be in the wind. But then the bell rang for the first prime, and the speed ramped up quickly, and we had the wind at our backs. A Grumpy's rider who'd introduced himself earlier made a move around the outside, so I jumped to get on his wheel. Somehow I found my bars hooked with another rider, and down I went at 30+ mph!

Fortunately I didn't take down the rider I hooked my bars with, but I did take down a rider behind us. He was able to get back in the race, but I sincerely apologize to everyone I endangered. I really really feel bad - we all carry each other's lives in our hands, and need to be careful out there.

Dag was riding coach at the back and stopped to help me out. I was just sitting in the road dazed for a bit, but got to the side and Dag quizzed me for head injuries. Turns out I did crack the helmet, but the head was fine. My clavicle was not, however. Fortunately I couldn't see it, but apparently it was sticking up in a way that clearly wasn't right. So it was off to the hospital for me. Thanks so much to everyone that helped: Dag, Little D, Meow and all my teammates, Skibby, the USAC officials, the Skinnyski photographer and many others, and of course long-suffering girlfriend. Minnesota nice at its best!

It seems like EVERONE at the hospital and the paramedics knew all about bike racing and Opus! It was a slow day at the ER and several people came by to talk. I was a bit of a celebrity. Even got cookies for quitters at the ER courtesy of Meow! The x-rays seem to show a serious break, likely requiring surgery. On the other hand, surgery would get me back on the bike quicker. We'll see.