10 Reasons Not to Crash Your Bike

Whoops slightly off courseOK, so I crashed twice in the past 4-weeks, actually I crashed twice in 2-weeks but I never got around to writing this yet.I've only really had 3-major crashes in what is now 14-years of triathlon/cycling. The first was one of my early Tri-Force time trials, heading too fast into a traffic circle on the A5 near Redborn; the second, this crash was Tampa back in 2004; and later on this crash in St Petersburg FL in 2006 while out on a training ride with the Mad Dogs. None of them resulted fortunately in more than flesh wounds and the obligatory road rash.

The first crash was in the LDCTTT time trial on March 31st, Thursday night. It's a short 3-mile loop, which the time trial does 4x, after a 2-lap warm-up. The course has 3-traffic circles on each lap. After the 2-warm up laps I was flying downhill towards the first traffic circle, I didn't have an MPH I could see, and from Garmin data, 26mph was too fast to take the traffic circle. I dropped the bike trying to make the turn out having leant over too much, ended up sliding on my butt with my hand out to try to stop myself. Ouch.


After a few seconds gathering my thoughts, I checked the bike out, got back on and finished in 35:50, AVG MPH 20.6. and was only stopped to recover for 51-seconds. Emily patched me up afterwards

Just a selection of used bandage packagingThe second crash was on April 9th. I'd agreed to go ride a 100-miles with triathletebigo  aka Oscar as one of his last long rides before Ironman Texas. We set out from Barton Springs, in complete race set-up, to carbo pro bottles, and aero bottle loaded with water, and another bottle in my rear pocket. Less than 2-miles later we were bowling down the Mopac frontage Rd, I clipped the curb and hit the floor. I came down hard on my shoulder and knew it was serious. After gathering my thoughts, realizing that at least a few things on my bike were bust, I decided it was time to quit and head back to the car.

Seperated AC joint; dislocated SC jointI struggled to get my cycling jersey off, I couldn't undo my shoes, anything that required stretching was really painful. The good news was no more road rash. My immediate reaction was nothing was broken, but I really didn't feel like blowing a good w/e waiting around in E/R, so I went home and did a bunch of chores as best I could.
So here, almost 5-weeks after my first crash, and three weeks after my second are my top-10 reasons not to crash again.

10. - Lets get this out the way from the start. It hurts like hell. Even a small amount of road rash hurts, forget the pain from a dislocated SC joint and a separated AC joint.

9. - It's time consuming. The amount of time I've spent cleaning and dressing the road rash alone stretches into hours. It's messy, and it stinks if you don't change the dressing at least every 36-hours.

8. - It ruins your new bike shorts. I'd only worn my 2010 Team Dell shorts once…

7. - The US medical system, while full of great Doc's and Nurses, is possibly the worst administration and least efficient "service" on the Planet. Every new "provider" that you see requires a 5-page form to be completed consisting mostly overlapping and repetitive questions.

6. - It's expensive! The Tegaderm patches alone cost $48 for a pack of ten 6x8; add in other dressings and I'm easily in over $120 for all the other plasters, cleaners, etc. Then start adding all the co-pays, its easily run to $400.

5. - It's the dumbest reason to buy new parts for your bike. I need to fix up brake levers, re-tape the bars; fix-up the rear bottle cage and more. Time for the 2011 rebuild methinks.

4. - It ruins your training schedule. Having thought I'd become a runner who swims and bikes from time to time. Now I have. While I can bike short distances, swimming is definitely out until at least Mid-May. I did the LDCTTT last Thursday and came in a full 90-seconds slower than the day I crashed.

3. - The last thing you want to do is bang your hip when you have not changed the Tegaderm for about 18-hours, the reservoir of brown smelly fluid makes a disgusting mess on your clothes. Tegaderm is a truly great invention by 3M, its really little more than cling film for your body with a lot more stick.

2. - Having to explain to people what you've done, gets old after a while. I felt stupid enough crashing twice in such a short period, don't make me relive it all the time.

1. - It still hurts weeks later ...