Sunday, May 16, 2010

Gravel Crushed Me

Bryan Joas and I decided to give the Almanzo 100 gravel ride/race a try. We had said we were just going to take it easy and pace ourselves. Well, we staged in the back and looked at each other and said, let's move up. So we got ourselves up front, Mark Kowalwi, Keith Bianchi and others were up there. We took off, and boys being boys, we were right up in the mix. We hadn't gone very far when we hit a fast downhill, I don't remember exactly what happened, I vaguely remember at the bottom having too much speed, I don't know if the guy in front of me, hit his brakes but I do remember hitting mine and not stopping, I think I bounced off and went down HARD. Bryan was behind me and he said he saw Tom Boonen flying through the air.

When the dust settled I remember wandering around and talking to the ambulance people, Bryan said I'd need stitches on my forearm and someone said they thought I broke my collarbone. I couldn't remember anything and the ambulance people were concerned. So I got an ambulance ride to the emergency room in Rochester MN. They strapped me down because of the neck, shoulder pain and the absolute lack of memory. I was hallucinating that I was at work and late on an assignment. They tried putting an IV in me on the bumpy roads, and I swung my arm all over, no frickin way. They weren't going to give me morphine or anti-biotics so I didn't want it. I absolutely could not stand having my head strapped down and tryed to con Cheryl (ambulance lady) into taking it off, she just loosened it a tad.

They did a CT scan and x-rays. There was no brain bleeding and the spine was ok. I just had a pretty good concussion. Nothing broke, although they did notice the arthritis in my shoulder from an earlier crash! So it was off to stitch my arm up and wound cleanup.

I have "gravel" rash from my head to my toe on the right side. I guess my helmet cracked, and they cut my kit off of me, so the fake Tommeke Skibby Boom Boom Boonen days are over. I am going to take some time off to let my head heel, and I may not do any more mass start type racing. I'm too old for this shit. I'm going to focus on just riding my bike, I can never quit that, and maybe do some tt's and pursuits on the track.

The Almanzo 100 itself was well organized and a very cool event. I will be back next year, but I will have training wheels on my bike and I'm going to be in the back, riding a leisurely pace. CHEERS!