photojournal

25 May 2001
 
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It's more furniture time at Arbor. Damnit, we keep growing! We ran out of desks and them some, so a while ago we placed another order for Anthro stuff and the truck arrived today. That meant hauling many many boxes up to the third floor and then a big assembly party. I stayed out of this one, having had much experience working on this sort of thing earlier in the year and having MUCH work to do.

crash! or you'll shoot your eye out

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I'm writing this well after the fact, so it's easier now, but it sucked.

I went out for a ride with JP today. It was a humid but pleasant evening and we met north of town. JP led us out to a nice curvy road and the zoom along for a while. And then I messed up.

We bank right and everything was good. I look up and to the left at a really nice lake and then look ahead to prepare the twist back to the left. Unfortunately instead of looking where I was going, I look at the road. The road was a pea-gravel road, meaning mostly paved, but it has a layer of fine sparse gravel on top. The road had been like this, so it was nothing new. But as I started to lean down for the left bank I panicked and was convinced that the bike would low-side (wipe-out) if I leaned of the gravel. So I instead decided to take the turn wide, ride out onto the shoulder and come back to the road.

Wrong!

Instead I road out onto the grass and the bike immediately low-sided, probably at around 30 mph. I went down hard along with the 450 pounds of bike on my left arm and leg and then slid past the bike, but not before hitting my hip bone with the handlebar. I slid on my right side for about 15 feet on the grass and game to a stop.

Shock, for a while. JP stopped and came up to me. He was great through the whole ordeal. Very calm and helpful. All the sudden the sun had gone down and the sky and lake were a beautiful pink and orange. Fairly quickly I was able to get up to my knees and take off my helmet. I immediately tried to stand by my left leg wouldn't lift any weight, nor would it simply support it, so I was back on my knees. Within a few minutes my whole body as reporting in. Left leg and arm very unhappy and rib cage extremely sore (more so when Gretchen encourage me to knock her really solid--whoops, i forgot--door). Five more minutes i was up on my feet and I was having trouble breathing.

I think it was around then I just realized what had happened and was a little panicked about it. Very happy that I was alive but also scared that something much worse could have happened. Then the movie A Christmas Story jumped into my head. The little boy wants a bee-bee gun, but everyone tells him he'll shoot his eye out. He gets it for christmas, shoot at a metal sign which promptly richocets the bee-bee back at his eye. Sigh.

Eventually I get to the point where I help JP right the bike (450 pounds is a lot to pick up off the ground). The bike is all there, looks like it should be ridable, but there is a lot of cosmetic damage. JP started the flooded engine for me and we start the 20 miles ride back. At this point I was tired, in pain, and nervous. It has become dark (my first time riding in the dark), we ride home on really bumpy roads, and it started to rain. With the rain and headlights all I could see through my adreneline shake was either the glare of oncoming headlights or two faint lines on the road.

JP followed me back and went on as soon as he was sure I was fine. I submerged myself in a hot shower and then stopped to make this little animated gif. Funny, and true:

crash

Afterwards, I spent two days without being able to lift my left foot more than 4 inches off the ground and another two weeks limping around. Joint pain didn't really disappear for a month. I went to the hospital the day after the crash and they determined that there were no broken bones, no extreme connective tissue damage, and no organ damage. Basically I really strained my left quad, back, abs, and really bruised myself in a couple spots. Wearing my helmet, jacket, gloves, jeans, and boots saved me from any abrasive injuries.

But now I'm all better and have put over a thousand miles on my bike. wooo!