Sunday, April 18, 2010

Crashes, Injuries, and a Re-Introduction

Dear readers - are there any left? When you don't write, who'd bother reading? My achilles has been hurting lately, - no running really possible - so this weekend was to be my "triumphant"(?) return to the bike. I had done rides the past two weekends. A 50 miler to Uvas and back, and then a wind-whipped mountain bike ride up over Los Gatos and Sierra Azul (nothing like getting pushed uphill by the "breeze"). So I felt pretty good about jumping into the 60+ mile Tierra Bella, riding with my lovely wife and her friends for awhile, and then sending them off to complete their century. Unfortunately it didn't play out as planned. Mile 1, we shove off with myself and about 5 of justine's friends from her riding group. mile 2.5, heading down an easy slope. It's early, we're cruising along single file down a moderate grade - waking up. I'm riding point, see a crack a little late, point it out but hear some commotion and look back to see a crash taking place behind me. two of the women are falling, one hits the road head first, another, Justine's friend Chris, is falling as well. Shit! We stop, nancy is literally laying on the ground, not moving, starting straight up at the sky. Chris is sitting holding her shoulder, looking pale as a ghost. Fuck, are they okay? just a month after our friend Gayle broke her neck, this is a little too much.
Slowly, Nancy shakes it off and sits up. I'm worried for her, but this is a big relief knowing she's mobile and going to be OK. she'll need a new helmet, but otherwise OK. Chris is in a lot of pain with her shoulder. I assume it's a broken collar bone but eventually I learn from the paramedics (and later get the confirm from Chris) that nothing's broken. A bit of relief but a lot of sadness for the ladies, after going through this a month ago, and with falls being really pretty rare, it's traumatizing for everyone to have this happen again. Justine's Death Ride Group is in a bit of chaos right now too, and we hope that the ladies get their health back (a) and can resume training (b).
Justine cuts her ride short to go with chris. We have separate cars, and as unchivalrous as it sounds I do the 60(+) miler. The legs feel good, the route is very nice, but it was impossible to shake off the crash.
Ride safe! If you're riding point, don't relax, point out everything!

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