I had a vicious crash and need to vent. I was coming down Pound road descending from Marble Hill Road. I came around a corner and there were two ladies walking dogs in the entire left lane. I peeled right to avoid. One looked at me and then turned away, and sprinted into my escape lane! I figure I had decelerated from 60 to 50 by the time I hit her as I was hard on the brakes. Rather than hit her square I tried to glance her and went cartwheeling down the asphalt. it was scary at that speed, and I do not know how pro riders survive faster crashes, maybe they slide.
My front end of the bike is destroyed. My helmet split in half and I am lucky to be alive. I broke two ribs at the back and my spine and pelvis were bruised to the point of "should have been broken" according to emergency folks. the worst is I was recovering from a separated right shoulder, but now have dislocated my left out the back, and broken the humerus (ball). They had to put me under to get it back in. My shoulder will never be the same and it is still unknown if I will need surgery. I am out thousands already. The lady was fine, didn't even say sorry, and kept trucking up the road. Some bystanders drove me to the emergency thank God.
I am quite surprised by the anger I feel. Someone's silly decisions almost killed me, yet I am admittedly lucky. It is frustrating as totally unnecessary. Take it easy, and as if it was even debatable anymore, wear a helmet. Heck wear motocross gear!
Sorry to hear about that - I know the road quite well tho usually cycle up it not down. Locals and passers by are pretty good.
Oh, and Mike, if you are cycling up Pound Rd.....you are an animal, good on ya! I usually plan my routes for the least amount of uphill exertion! I saw it getting a ride up, and it is a mother in a few places.
The locals who helped me were A+ as well.
Sorry to hear of your horrible accident and all your injuries Erik.
But you are a brave boy to tell your story, and despite your anger at the apparently silly avoidance manouvre of the lady, still have the ability to share your lesson learned with the rest of us.
I have come very close to killing myself having fun tearing down a steep hill on a dirt track on my mountain bike. Just recently, over the last three months, I have also had thrills free wheeling down steep hills on the bitumen on my road bike. I have managed to touch 60km/hr on a couple of occasions. But every second I am thinking 'if something happens and I come off at this speed . . . .' Too horrible to imagine the injuries. Could well be fatal in fact.
So thanks for letting us know what you have suffered. So sad for you. As you said, looks like you will be suffering these injuries for many years to come!
Today I turned 60, and I had my chance to hit 60 again on several occasions. But I must be getting old LOL, because I found myself using my rear brakes often on those ripe descents, watching my mates speed off into the distance. Fastest I went was about 52 I think. Maybe my fears are finally curbing my desire for speed. It has taken a while, and I reckon if I hit the bitumen at 52 an 'old fella' like myself is not going to bounce too well anyway.
Yesterday some of my other mates apparently hit 79, in a tight drafting bunch of four! EEEK! In another small group two experienced riders clipped wheels while riding on a main road at much slower speeds. Can you imagine the bedlam of four riders, clipped to bikes, cartwheeling all over each other at 80km/hr. Elbows, handlebars and pedals playing havoc with eyeballs, cheek bones, ribs and every other body part! I wonder whether they will still be doing this at 60? Just hope they get there in one piece!
And riding a bike around a corner at speed should be based on the same principles as driving a car. Never put yourself in a situation where, because of an obstructed view, whether it be reversing or rounding a corner, you cannot stop, or steer, to avoid a collison.
My Dad's motto to me when he was teaching me to drive was "If you don't know - you don't go!" I think he was referring to reversing in difficult circumstances - at night, in the rain, misted rear windows, etc etc. But it could also apply to many other driving/riding situations, like cornering and overtaking. If going too fast for visibilty, or surface conditions - slow down! The tighter the corner, the slower you need to go. And even if you can see, because we are only on two narrow, high pressure tyres, there are 'slipping and sliding' factors to be taken into account. The smallest amount of loose dirt / sand / wet leaves / even dry leaves, are enough to bring a rider down, even at slower speeds!
So I fully agree with your last statement - take it easy! I only hope I have enough self discipline to take your advice. Thanks Eric, and good luck with your healing!
The advice I received in 1971 in the PMG truck driving school: If at any time going down a hill you have doubts about your ability to control the speed further down, then STOP. You know that when you have stopped, you have complete control of your speed.
Thanks John and others for the thoughtful replies. I do appreciate being heard. It is a strange experience to come to grips with.
I don't particularly road bike for thrills, I ride to feel alive, smell the air and see the beauty of the countryside. But part of feeling alive is also being thrilled. Being forty, and so far refusing to grow up, I have resisted this to no end, but I think it was coming.....I will have to trade the thrills for more certainty of being around long enough to smell the air. I really do miss not being on the bike.
That comment about being able to see around the corners and stop in a safe distance is warranted. Hopefully a few others can learn it without the trouble.
OH!!!!! Sorry to see this as I am a new rider (two years 13,000 km) and know people who will never ride again due to friends being badly injured. Your comments about protection should be heard not ignored by those who claim its better to be dead (no helmet) than injured. You survived and your family will be relieved. You will now go through the 5 stages of grief. Its OK to vent, vent, vent...
Sorry to hear about your accident. It is a great road to descend and I understand coming around a corner at speed and having to deviate suddenly.
I hope your recovery is fast and successful.
Sorry to hear about your off caused by the idiot walking on the road !
Be angry Hell yea !!
Although you are badly banged up now just use that anger/energy to recuperate & Rehabilitate .
Before you know it you will be ready to climb those hills again flying down the other side with the wind in your hair[assuming you have hair ]
Myself I have had to wait 1 year and 3 months after having a bike crash[Breakin my Neck & Back in 4 places]before I could ride again In fact it was only yesterday that I climbed on board my old trusty steed and rode up to Eagle on the Hill .....I have to save I even had weepy eyes upon being pedalling there again after so long off a bike !
Cheer up Erik you will be back in the saddle soon Champ !
Emu....holy smokes..1 year and 3 months...I would have just crumpled in disapointment. Good for you for getting back. I'm almost scared to ask, but what happened to you? I'm starting to like my chances with the white pointers whilst windsurfing compared to riding asphalt...
And I wouldn't call any of the walkers an idiot. She did not mean any harm intentionally. Just happened. Next time I will not just say "no nO, NO!" I will scream "STOP, STAY STILL!" no matter how uneccessary and potentially embarassing it may be. I am also going to practice my emergency stops at high speeds.
Great to hear your back on it Brian .
Good on you Brian.
If you don't mind, and not to take away attention from Erik's accident, Emu Legs runs Road Rage Cycles on Payneham Rd so I cannot imagine how hard it must be being around bikes all day and not riding like you want to.
Erik, sorry about your crash and injuries. Hope you are back on your bike soon.
Unfortunately the prognosis is not good for your shoulder. You also realise that your injuries could have been worse. You might have come off better physically if you had used the pedestrian as a softer object than the road, but mentally and financially you could have been worse off.
More than disappointing that the woman did not say sorry. I have met so many confused pedestrians at low speed on the River Torrens Linear Park SHARED path, that I will only cycle there if riding with a group. Do you recall an overseas pro tour this year, where a confused pedestrian jumped into the path of an Australian entrant who had to withdraw from the comp?
Erik and Emu Legs, I have added a link under AC group Look For Cyclists at http://www.adelaidecyclists.com/forum/topics/cyclist-versus-object