Crash-o Sore-ass Wrecks: The Lead Up.
I wrecked myself on a training ride a few weeks ago. It was dumb and the outcome has sucked ...fiercely sucked. I will get to the specifics in a bit, but this injury has been part of a month that I never want to relive:
It began with what I’m am calling ‘Poopocalypse’ in which our beloved dog, Toby, had a serious case of the trots in every room of the house (no exaggeration). I’ll spare the details but it was a week-long ordeal.
Then my wife Meredith and I had our own ‘Poopocalypse’ during the following week, when I came down with a terrible case of the GI’s. I blame it on a tainted sandwich from work but Meredith thinks I got whatever it was that Toby had. I can’t stand to believe that but she does have a medical education. At any rate, I was quarantined to the basement for a week.
Things were looking up though. An exciting race slate was upon us: Snake Alley, Tour of KC, N.O.W. weekend, and Tulsa Tough. Then I was going to head up to Minneapolis for a rare, if not once in a lifetime, opportunity to compete in the North Star Grand Prix, followed by the Tour of Lawrence to round out a super fun month of racing.
Or so I thought…
Crash-o Sore-ass Wrecks: The Incident.
When I mention a certain exposed post on the trail up by the Mormon Bridge across from the pump station, I trust that the vast majority of cyclists in the Omaha area know exactly what I’m referring to. We all know of it.
Well, I hit that post.
In short, I misjudged how close an interval would get me to that post and got caught looking down hitting “lap” on my Garmin. I ran right over it and went ass-over-tea-kettle.
I envision it looking something like this: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vJXU7EVXs2A
Despite taking it all on the head, the protection provided by my Bontrager Velocis brain bucket allowed me to get up and assess the situation. I picked up my bike and inspected the damage. It looked alright, just a flat and some scuffing on the shifters but as I popped the wheel off I noticed that the rim had a nice v-shaped cleft in it. I wasn’t going anywhere. I sat down, gathered myself and called Meredith.
I was definitely concussed so my attempt at describing the crash location to Meredith was feeble. Worse, my brain wasn’t allowing me to figure out how to drop a pin on my phone. Meredith made a good decision to call Harvest Racing teammate, and coach, Markus “Champ-champ” Savery who has been through this kind of thing before (see below) and was apparently mid-pour into a bottle of wine (do note that only good friends disrupt wine drinking to help out another friend’s spouse who is in panic). When she picked up Mark, he got on the line. Before I got halfway through my description of where I wrecked, he stopped me saying “I know exactly where you’re at”. We got off the phone and I just sat there looking at the river, digesting it all.
During this time, I noticed some pressure building in my left glove. When I slipped it off, it was clear that a bone was out of place. After dropping Mark off we decided to swing by an Urgent Care to get an X-ray. But the wait was too long and this was already becoming an inconvenience. I wrapped it up and made plans to get an X-ray the next day.
X-rays revealed that I broke my thumb (which I was told was good news) and needed surgery (which I was told was bad news)--both seemed like bad news to me.
I was sure to speak with resident hand surgeon, former World Record Holder , and local cyclist, Kaitlin Neary, M.D. about my injury. She was incredibly helpful in preparing me for what to expect with this kind of injury.
Crash-o Sore-ass Wrecks: Thumbzilla.
Surgery was the following Tuesday. I came home looking and feeling like this:
Crash-o Sore-ass Wrecks: The Mend.
So I’m on the mend.
Much of sport is about resilience and cycling is no exception. I have come back from worse things and I will come back from this. I am just in the process of adjusting my expectations for this season which is very difficult because I had lofty expectations entering the year.
I feel really foolish about this whole situation and I think that’s an appropriate emotion. Meredith has been really understanding and I’m fortunate to have her around. On top of that, if you’ve never gotten a smile from a toothless 4 month-old, I suggest you try it--it’s the best medicine. My Harvest Racing teammates, including Ryan and Corey, have been super supportive and understanding through all of this. I’m so lucky to be part of this program with some of my closest friends and truly exceptional people.
Let the comeback begin.