Pescadero Crash Report, Category 55+
June 17, 2008
The pace seemed pretty high going up the first climb on Stage Road in the Pescadero Road Race, but the descent was orderly with the field spread out and no jostling going on, so it surprised me when, in the middle of a pretty mild curve, I heard an explosion of expletives and a bike hitting the ground behind me, then felt my rear wheel being pushed toward the outside of the curve. I fought the side force for a couple of seconds and thought I was going to pull free when suddenly it felt like someone had pulled a rug out from under my bike and I was on the pavement, sliding on my right side. The other guy, both bikes and I ended up on the left shoulder of the road. I sat there for awhile assessing my injuries while the other guy stood up right away and started pacing around. That didn’t last too long as he suddenly looked like he was going to pass out so I suggested that he should lie down, which he did. Soon a sag car came along and carted us back to the medic at the registration area. I had some road rash, a charlie horse in my right thigh and a painful rib which screamed bloody murder if I took a deep breath. The medic told me the rib might be broken and I should have it x-rayed. The other guy had a broken collar bone and was hauled off in an ambulance. Before he left I asked him what happened; I didn’t think I had made any sudden moves that would have caused him to hit me but I wanted his story. He said that he had hit a water bottle that was loose on the road and had bounced over it with both wheels which accelerated him into my wheel. I hadn’t seen any loose bottles myself, and I don’t quite understand how hitting one would cause his bike to accelerate, but I don’t see why he would lie about it either, so I guess the crash was just bad luck.
Since there is nothing that can be done for a broken rib, I didn’t go to the doctor until Monday so that I could avoid the long wait and high cost of an emergency room. The prognosis was encouraging: the doctor said the rib was not broken and I should be back on the bike in a few weeks, which, to my mind, meant a few days. As for my bike, the rear rim was beyond repair but the bike seemed ok otherwise. A spoke had been yanked out of the rim, nipple and all, looking like something on the other guy’s bike hooked the spoke when he went down. That would explain why it felt like my bike was pulled out from under me and makes me feel a little better about my handling skills since there is nothing I know of that can counter a hooked wheel.
The rest of the team did pretty well in the race, as they have described in their own reports, so congratulations to them.