Saturday, February 21, 2009


Not to be outdone by the many crashes at the Tour of California this week, we've had our own crashfest here in Spokane.

I hit the deck on Thursday morning. Me and the bike walked away totally unscathed. Funny, I've "performed" almost the same exact crash that resulted in cracked ribs and a busted bike. Luck of the draw.

At about the same time, Mike went down, on his way to work, his first in a long time. Bloody elbow, probably torched a shirt while he was at it.

Then I read today that John had his first in a while, over on the bluff. Dinged-up knee and a dinged-up bike.

But the worst of the bunch was Jerry's crash on today's SRV ride. The ride had a nice start, with 12 riders showing up in the middle of February.

But just outside of Cheney, another bike swerved in front of Jerry and with no time to react, they collided and he went down hard and another rider went over the top of him. I was in front of them and didn't see it, but I heard it - the unmistakeable sound of a bike crash. Jerry couldn't go no mo' (shoulder, ribs, thumb, knee) and neither could his bike (derailleur shoved into the rear spokes, chain wrapped around all kinds of wrong stuff). His helmet is a no-longer-functional souvenir suitable for reminding us why we need to wear them. A really nice lady helped us out and gave him a ride back to a coffee shop in Cheney while he waited for a ride from Spokane. The blogger code of ethics prevented me from taking a picture of Jerry lying on the shoulder of Hwy 904 or his mangled derailleur, but it wasn't his super-funnest day.

Crashes are a risk inherent to cycling. When you're sitting on top of two skinny disks rotating in the same plane, you have to acknowledge the fact that shit can definitely happen, and in the blink of an eye. I deal with this risk through a variety of head games, not the least of which is denial. But suffice to say, it's a risk I'm willing to take in order to do something I love. Me and a bunch of you guys and a lot of other people.

Anyway, let's not dwell on it. I just hope we all have it out of our systems for a while.

And speaking of luck of the draw, here's a picture sequence from Levi Leipheimer's crash at the Tour of California, earlier in the week. He got up and jumped right back in the race.

Ride on, stay safe.


Hank Greer said...

"The blogger code of ethics prevented me from taking a picture of Jerry lying on the shoulder of Hwy 904 or his mangled derailleur..."

Not to start a flame war, but I'm curious about the particular reason that stops you.

Pat S said...

Hank, I wasn't referring to any formal code of ethics - probably a poor choice of words. Taking a picture of my injured friend and posting it didn't feel right to me in this particular situation.

Hank Greer said...

Thanks. I was just wonderin'.