(Written on 8 July 2009)
I’m riding in Judy’s van today. Why? Well, I did something stupid yesterday. Francesca and I had just left the midway stop (at a Huddle House, whose signs bear a striking resemblance to the similar Waffle House chain), and it looked as though it might rain. Fran already had her jacket on, and I thought to myself, “I should’ve put my jacket on before we left, too. I guess I’ll just do it now.” Of course, I’ve had experience putting on arm warmers while riding, but I’ve never put a jacket on while on my bike. And that was my downfall. Just after we turned onto White School Church Road, I felt the rain start to fall, so I took my Rapha jacket out of my jersey pocket and brought it around to set on my lap, all while thinking, “This is dumb. I should pull over and put it on. Ugh, but we just got going.” And then one of the sleeves fell across my body and down near the right side of my rear wheel. We started to pick up a bit of speed and then Fran said something like, “Your sleeve is caught in your brake.” Seconds later, I felt my wheel lock up and very soon after I was using the left side of my body to skid to a stop on the pavement. It looked almost as if I were sliding into home plate feet first (and on my side).
A woman and her son were driving in the oncoming lane, and they pulled over and got out of the car to help. A man in a pickup truck also pulled over and kindly helped me up. I unfortunately didn’t get their names, but I did thank them for helping. The woman handed me some paper towels to use to clean myself up (I was profusely bleeding at that point), and I think her son ran to the nearest house to ask for help or something, because very shortly thereafter, a man came out of the house and asked me if I’d like him to bring out some hydrogen peroxide and some supplies. Fran brought my bike up onto the man’s lawn and called Judy, who was still at the Huddle House not too far away.
Once Judy arrived, I told Fran to continue riding, and the man, Wayne Ritchey, invited us inside to clean up. It took about half a bottle of hydrogen peroxide, several bandages (we had to stop at a store in Winder to get extra bandages ‘cause the first aid kit in the van didn’t have enough), and a whole lot of wimpering and grimacing on my part, but Judy and I got me pretty well fixed up.
The damage to my body
- severe road rash on the outside of my left calf
- severe road rash on the outside of my left thigh
- road rash on the underside of my left forearm
- a gash on the middle joints and road rash on the knuckles of my left pinkie and ring fingers
- road rash and puffiness on the back of my left hand, near the deep gash on the outside of my left wrist missing two-thirds of the top half of the nail on my middle finger.
The damage to my gear
- burn holes on the sleeve of my Rapha jacket (it’s pretty much not wearable anymore)
- scrape lines on the left sleeve of one of my jerseys (still wearable)
- huge holes in the thigh of my cute chamois skorts (DEFINITELY not wearable anymore)
In addition, my left shoulder started hurting this morning, so I decided to take the day to rest. And yes, Dad, I’ve learned my lesson and won’t make that mistake again.