John 8:32 "Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free." NIV

Friday, May 6, 2011

My first WRECK

Last night, I met some of the MoCo DCTri group at a LBS called Conte's. It was supposed to be a moderate ride for about 20-25 miles. As my fellow riders arrived, I started to feel very inadequate. They had AWESOME bikes.. like their wheels cost more than my whole bike. And they wore "proper" bike gear. I on the other hand, wanted to embrace my nickname of Pinkie, so I wore my pink knee high socks, black Tri shorts with pink stitching, and a pink shirt (under my purple windbreaker). I even wore pink sunglasses (I have more pink in my wardrobe than I had originally thought). Of course, NO ONE had knee high socks on. And I am pretty sure there is NO WAY I am going to lose the nickname Pinkie anytime soon.

My goal for the ride was not to be the last person. Little did I know, there were several "sweepers" so it was impossible. The ride to the turn around point was pretty "easy" and I felt good. The camaraderie amongst the 30+ riders was nice. There were a couple of hills and I was in the back for most of them.... which I was ok with. At the turn around, a group decided to take "the hill" to get a little more of a workout.... TG was one of those.

We started to descend down the hill and we were in peloton formation (see pic) and were practicing pace lines. The right riders were to pedal fast and get over and so on. I was on the right, had gotten over easily and several riders followed. For some reason one of the "organizers" felt the need to come back and talk to me about what we were doing. B (a MoCo DCTri guy) passed me and teased, "How come I didn't get one-on-one coaching"... and minutes later I was down!

What happened? Ummmm, well at some point, I took my eye off the guy in front of me (did I mention he had a VERY expensive Cervelo?) for a split second, and then I saw my front tire, hit his back tire... and down I went. Did I mention we were probably at around 15 mph? Apparently it was loud (I don't remember).  I had 3 initial thoughts:

1. The riders behind me are going to run over me.
2. How am I going to do my long run on Saturday?
3. I hope I didn't damage the Cervelo.

Since this was an organized ride, I had LOTS of support. More support than I had wanted, really. The pace line "organizer" helped me get the bike off of me, and the sweeper immediately started checking my vitals. I really just wanted to get out of the road and start riding again. I was torn between embarrassment and pain. BTW: The Cervelo was FINE and no other rider was injured or even fell  - Yay!

Thankfully, I had the knee high socks or my legs would have been badly scraped. When I initially tried to stand, my right calve muscle seized... I think it was partially because the bike fell on me. I was helped up and asked to stand on one foot, follow his finger, lean forward... and eventually asked to ride slow to get my footing again. I obliged, but was mortified... and sore. My right butt cheek really hurt.

We probably had about 3-4 miles to get back to the shop. Eventually, TG heard about my wreck and slowed down to make sure I was okay! I tried to be strong, but he could see through me. I was shaken up and truthfully, just wanted to cry. Again, more embarrassed than anything else.

We ended at the shop, and I wanted to ride straight to my car. Actually I told TG that was what I was going to do... but then again, I felt like I was running away. I stopped listened to the wrap up where they congratulated everyone for "avoiding the rider when she fell and for the people in front of her not causing more wrecks by stopping suddenly". Yeah, I was a lesson of what to do when a rider goes down. I tried to play it off... but really, any second, I was going to lose it.

I started to walk my bike back to my car, and TG came riding up. He tried to talk to me, but I really just wanted to get to my car and cry. And that is exactly what I did. I did not even put my bike on my car. I simply set it against the back of my car and climbed in the back seat and cried. And then I examined my injuries. My calve was bruised and sore. My butt, felt like I had taken the skin off it but, nothing, visible. My elbows... scrapped, hole in shirt, but a "mere flesh wound"!

I started to change out of my gear.... crying a little, trying to laugh it off. My pride was hurt... badly. More importantly, I thought Athena was badly hurt, but again, just some minor scrapes.

Take Away:

1. There is only one First Wreck, right? I think some of my embarrassment was because I was probably one of the least experienced riders there.... and I obviously stood out in all pink... and I was the one that fell. Nothing like drawing attention to myself. If I was really good and I fell, then I probably would have laughed.

2. I probably should not be talking, riding, and practicing something new while on Athena until I get more practice.

3. Everyone falls.... eventually. And the group seemed more concerned and supportive than annoyed that the newbie fell so they had to stop.

4. My bruises do NOTHING to tell the story of the pain or fall. Could be a good thing, but really, there is nothing like a huge black bruise to get you some sympathy. As TG said, "Your shorts aren't even torn!" True, but if they were... it would have been one more thing to be upset about - tearing my $100 Tri shorts.

I feel a little sore today... and I am still attempting my long run tomorrow. I have Bob on deck so it will be fun to catch up.

Hope you all have a wonderful weekend and if you are a mother, HAPPY MOTHER'S DAY!!!!!


XLMIC said...

I am soooo glad neither you nor Athena were badly hurt! Ouch.

I hope you heal quickly and are up on the saddle again soon :)

Have a great weekend!

Carrie said...

Oh man Jen. Really sorry about your fall, but it sounds like you were with a great group of riders and I'm so glad you weren't out there solo!

Happy Mother's Day, and have a great weekend!

kimert said...

I am so sorry to hear about your fall. I am glad you and the bike are OK!
Happy Mother's Day to you! :)

Anonymous said...

I'm glad that you are okay. I think that is one of my biggest fears about biking - the potential for falling! I'm such a klutz

Julie said...

I'm so sorry about your fall :-(
Made my heart break just reading about it. Don't worry - without this kind of stuff for memories, triathlon might become boring :D

Have a great weekend!!

Elizabeth said...

Sorry about the fall but glad there was no serious damage. I'll put it to you like this you have established with this group that you are the lady in pink that fell that is going to need some help being a great rider, please stick with the group because guess what you now have lots of coaches/team mate that are going to make sure you don't fall again by giving you great pointers. Can't wait to read how things progress during the summer. A new cyclist on a cheap lime green bike that is mentally practicing how to properly fall with minimal damage hopefully trail running has taught me somethings. :)

momof3 said...

Oh my eyes filled up with tears!! I have chills. I'm so glad you're OK.


So glad you are OK. But, apparently you don't have the same drive as me when it comes to crashing. I mean, my first wreck has me lined up for surgery. Next time, you are going to have to try harder.

OK, really don't try harder. How about neither of us crashes again?

Rene' said...

that is so scary. between you and T I don't know if Ebony is coming out of the garage again. I am so afraid to fall and get hurt....I am glad that you are okay!

Jae said...

Like all the others, I'm so thankful you weren't hurt more badly. I read fast to get to the end to make sure you weren't blogging from a hospital bed or something!

Yes. Everybody falls. Not just somebodies. Everybody. Multiple times. Its life.

What I LOVED is that girl inside you who, knowing she was going with a more experienced group, had the awesomeness to wear ThePinks! How great is that??! :)

MomRunningFromCancer said...

Sorry to read about your crash - glad there were no broken bones involved and that your bike was OK. I try not to think about crashing on my bike - tooooo scary to even consider the inevitable. I DID think about it last weekend when I lost both my front and rear brakes during the Bike New York ride. I was so lucky that it was on level ground.
Take care and I home you weren't too sore to enjoy your run with Bob.

MomRunningFromCancer said...

Meant to say I HOPE you weren't too sore. :-)

Anonymous said...

I was completely embarrassed after my first crash too! But I'm glad you are ok :) Have a good Mother's Day!

B.o.B. said...

Oh no! So sorry to hear about your fall. I am impressed you made it to the car without crying. I would have boo hooed and not even gotten back on the bike. Kudos to you for getting out there and riding. That takes a lot as a newbie. :) Hope you are feeling better. (I have yet to wipe out while moving but it's cause I am too scared to ride with other people.)