Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Crashing in the Rain

Right at the end of my ride on Sunday, after riding for a full hour in the rain, my luck ran thin, and I crashed in the rain about a mile from home. I was approaching a 4-Way intersection, observing traffic for sequencing, when at the last second my Fenix helmet light picked up a color difference in the road surface 4-5 ft ahead. It was a 4x6 ft utility cover of some kind, and the steel edges formed a groove that sucked my front wheel right in as I drifted from the shoulder into the middle of the lane for better visibility.

They go through the brake better when round  :-(
As best I can figure out, I broke the wheel out of the rut, but it started skidding sideways over the slick steel. I managed to recover my balance and thought I was going to be able to ride through it for a moment, UNTIL, the wheel hit the corner turned sideways, and folded up like a cheap suit.

Rim jammed hard into front brake, and heavily gouged inside of fork
When the wheel hit the corner of the utility cover it potato-chipped, and pretty much exploded as it slammed into the fork and brake. I went down hard, but the milliseconds I was skidding sideways gave me enough time to "plan" my fall, so I stuck my fisted arm out ahead of me and landed on my right side SuperMan style. No wheel could have withstood those stresses, but I'm very grateful for those milliseconds mine hung tough. That probably saved me from a face-plant, and/or a broken collarbone.

The Garmin HR strap's plastic connector is very unkind on your ribs when you fall on it, and while I had a thigh bruise the side of a DOT-bot, and a big bruise on my left knee where it fell against the frame, it's been the ribs that have been painful enough to keep me from sleeping well. Mostly though, I am very happy I didn't break my collarbone and was able to get a ride home from a nice couple in a SUV who happened by a few minutes later.
Clean break at the Mavic SUP weld
The wheel is a total loss, except for the hub, so I have ordered a new DT RR465 double-eyelet rim, and DT revolution spokes for a 3X laced build - I've had enough problems with Mavic rims I'm going to try DT this time.
20-spoke semi-aero wonder. It understeers a bit in turns.
Since it will take me awhile to build the new wheel, and I have no spare front wheel currently, I also ordered a Mavic Cosmic Elite 30mm semi-aero front wheel. At 20 spokes it isn't going to make a great training wheel, but for fast club rides and TTs on the South Folsom Canal, it should be great.

I guess I could be bummed out about this, but mostly I am anxious to see if I can crank  out 200+mile weeks as a matter of course. I want to try to get toughened into the fatigue and see if I can get to a whole new level of fitness, and maybe, ditch my BP meds!


Doug said...

What doesn't kill ya makes ya stronger. Especially when you aren't in a cast. Bon Courage!

Anonymous said...

Ouch!!! So, so sorry to be reading this. And I'm glad you're ok!!! Looks like we are both a bit damaged at the moment. Take care, rest, and treat yourself a little!

Grey Beard said...

Thanks for the well wishes Stephanie. Take care of yourself and those leg fractures.