First Day Back…First Big Crash.

14 03 2011

Yesterday afternoon, during my (Chloe’s) first ride back outside after a long winter, I crashed, for the first time in my triathlon/biking career! Now this wasn’t just an “I cant get my foot out of the clips fall over” kind of fall. I hit the ground hard. I’ve got road rash on my hand and arm, a bruise on my leg/rear the size of my head, a cracked helmet and a war wounded bike. All’s well that ends well (with the help of some ice and Advil), but it was definitely not such a sweet first day back riding outside….

I’ll give you some more of the gory (actually it wasn’t really so gory) details a little later, but let me back up for a second and begin my post the way I had planned to pre-bike crash. My day was off to a great start! I slept in, had a nice leisurely breakfast of Cheerios while reading the paper, stocked up for the week at the grocery store, watched Duke dominate Carolina in the ACC finals, and was ready to head out into the sunshine for my first outdoor bike ride of the season.

This is my bike. A Cannondale Synapse Carbon 2008 model. I LOVE HER. Yes…she is a girl. I don’t know why, maybe the red, but from the moment I bought her (on super last years model sale) we have been good friends. When I first started riding, I really didn’t like it. But she has really helped me appreciate a good bike ride. As I mentioned a few weeks ago, I have been spinning throughout the winter to stay in biking shape. I love spin classes, but the sun is out, the weather is getting warmer and it’s time to transition outside. My odometer had been doing this for way too long..

These are my bike shoes, made by Forte, which is a line produced by Performance Bicycle, one of the most well known, middle of the line, reliable manufacturers of bikes and bike gear.  Nothing fancy, but they fit great and were a good price.

The bike shoes are great on spin bikes and on my Red Speed Demon of a Bike, but transitioning from spin bikes to my bike is a little bit of a tricky situation…

You see…the pedals on my bike are Look pedals, which require special look clips. Bikes in spin classes use clips that looks like this…called SPD clips.

The green lines indicate where the Look clips should be placed when it is time to switch them out...

So the tricky part is that I have to switch out my SPD clips for the Look clips when I am ready to start riding outside. The process doesn’t take long, but it is a bit of a pain and I always manage to lose a screw or two, so I try not to switch back and forth too much. I decided to make the big switch though! (and only lost one screw!)

I dug out my matching red, white and black helmet and gloves that I got from Performance when I first started biking and was ready to go! maybe the pink doesn’t match so much and the spandex below the spandex might not be super fashion forward, but trust me, not only did these leggings keep me warm, they saved my legs from some major road rash later on…when I wasn’t smiling so big.

Chris and I headed out for our standard 30 mile ride just down in a park near where we live. It felt so great to be riding outside again. I was curious how my legs would adjust to being back on my bike and I was excited to find out that the spin classes had kept them in pretty good shape! We were cruising along, sun beating down, wind blowing in my face, about halfway through the ride. Then BAM. Down I went. I was going a little too fast and cut a right hand curve a little to sharply, skidded on some sand and my bike slid out from underneath me. Luckily there were no other riders or cars nearby, but the wind was quickly knocked out of me. I scooted to the side of the road, sat/cried/came out of shock with the help of Chris then dusted myself off. A couple nearby offered to drive but I was so pissed off about falling that I just wanted to get back on my bike and ride home. And so we did…very slowly.

In a strange way, I knew it was coming. Every rider has to fall sometime. I lucked out and got away with some road rash on my arm and a little on my leg, a humongo bruise on my leg/rear end (which I will spare you the image of), a nagging headache and cracked helmet.



All is well that ends well (with the help of some ice and Advil). Goal of the week: get a new helmet Goal of next weekend: get back out there!

Question of the Day: Have you ever had a bad bike or other sporting accident? Did it put you off of the activity for a while or did you want to get back out there as soon as you could?!