“At least we didn’t have to go to the hospital.”
That was what Neil and I kept telling each other Sunday afternoon driving home from Sterling, where we had raced Ride Sally Ride, a 3-corner crit with about 70 other riders.
Neil, Jason and I all woke up way too early to drive to NoVa for the race. Rain was forecasted that morning, which would have led us to skip it. But it didn’t, so we didn’t. I wish it did.
Coming into the final corner, Neil and I were in what we thought was a great position — fourth or fifth wheel off the front and feeling fresh. But someone dive-bombed the inside corner way too fast and wrecked, sending a line of us toppling like dominoes.
All I remember is seeing some kid on the ground in front of me as I was getting ready to open up my sprint. My front wheel hit him, sending me over the handlebars and flying DJ Jazzy Jeff-style.
I can’t quite remember how I hit the ground, but I have road rash on my wrist, knee and shoulder, and my helmet cracked. As I laid there, bike in tatters and others behind me, including Neil, I remembering only thinking “Fuck, I could have had that.”
Neil hit the ground behind me and completely taco’d his front wheel. Thankfully, he was mostly unscathed.
Given the circumstances, it’s for the best our bikes and gear took the brunt of the damage. Being forced into a rest week this week has me so fucking restless and without sorts but I’d rather be in this situation than nursing a broken bone or concussion. Wear ya helmets, y’all.
ANYWAY, my frame cracked and can’t be fixed. Neil’s also cracked, but it looks like his will live to see another day.
The obvious downside: This basically sucks. I have managed to not finish races this year in a dizzying array of methods. I’ll very likely miss the first week of Bryan Park. Having road rash hurts like hell. I’m sure the next few times I race I’ll be really nervous. My beloved bike is toast. Just lots of bad-bad-not-good stuff in the aftermath of this.
The important upside: We’re not hurt. Once I sifted past the frustration, I began to feel gratitude more than anything. I’m grateful we didn’t get hurt and have to spend our Sunday in a hospital in NoVa (that sentence is honestly some nightmare Mad Libs shit). I’m grateful I have insurance on my bike. I’m grateful I now know what types of races to avoid. I’m grateful Neil and I dealt with it together.
Oh, and I get a new bike! And helmet! In about seven business days, a new, hot red Giant TCR will be mine. I’ve also always wanted a Kask Protone and I was finally able to justify getting one.
This has also forced me to kind of audit how I want to approach racing. I don’t think racing as many races as possible is as fun or as good an idea as I initially thought. It’s not worth it to race in a field like that with so many folks whose abilities you’re not sure of. In the future, I’ll probably opt for staying home and training.
There’s a lot whining and pouting going on here but whatever, I’m just very ready for this to be over. I am terminally impatient and just want to be able to ride again, I want my insurance company to decide if they’re going to bone me or not, I want to not have to reapply bandaids thrice daily, I want to put this behind me and get back out there.