I read somewhere that there are two kinds of riders, those who have crashed and those who are going to crash. This whole thing of crashing seems to be a major hurdle for most people starting out. It seems everyone has a story of someone they know who has had a serious injury on bike. Mention you are taking up cycling and someone knows a friend of a friend who is either dead or paralyzed because of riding. I was at a party with my wife and a friend of mine was telling my wife about his experience:
My Wife: How does you wife feel about your riding? Isn’t she afraid you are going to get hurt?
My Friend: My wife is very supportive. She even met the ambulance when it was bringing me in from a crash.
Me: [waving my hands for him to stop]
My wife: Really!!??
My Friend: Sure. She was very understanding.
My wife: Really!!??
I did a little research into crashes and it turns out most occur in cities and most occur when turning vehicles don’t see you they turn. Since do most of my riding on country road with groups, I figured I was relatively safe.
The research does not have much data on self-inflicted crashes.
So I was riding on a hot summer day my first season and I found myself on a busy street riding on the cement curb. Not really sure why I was there but I figured I should probably get back on the black top. I moved out and WHAM! I slammed to the ground. I had caught the front tire on the lip between the cement and the black top, which was a good 3/4″ above the cement. I landed hard on my side. Several folks stopped as I writhed in pain (I had landed on my ribs). Someone called 911 and an EMT showed up in no time. By then, I was in less pain but they had to go through their procedure. The EMT put the automatic blood pressure cuff on and tried three times to get a reading with no luck. While she was doing that, I called my wife to come pick me up. Afterward, I tried to hurry the EMT folks along, quickly signing my release form (“No, I don’t want you to take me to the emergency room”). It’s not a good idea to have an ambulance around when your wife shows up to pick you up after a crash.
It was a long, quiet ride in the car back home.
It took six to eight weeks for the ribs to heal (bruised or broken ribs have the same treatment: time). I had cracked my helmet (Thank God for the helmet) but other than that, no serious losses.