Thursday, July 07, 2005

A Day of Crashing

Originally uploaded by sethsdisciple.
I was yelling at my TV cheering for this man earlier in the day. He had been away in a breakaway for 180 km. That is like 100 fricken' miles. He fought through brutal rain and the loss of his fellow escapies, and was about to be collected by a Professional Catch inside the last 700 meters. That would have sucked. Worse was that his bike slid out from under him going through the last turn and he ended up in the barriers. And then a yard sale ensued.

I feel especially bad as he is 36, which is very old for someone riding at that level, and was riding only 20k from his home. This was likely his last chance to leave his mark. Add that to the fact that he was a domestique that I'd never heard of, and this may have been the defining moment in his career.

And speaking of crashing, I was nearly collected in a nasty one this morning. Christian, arguably the strongest rider in our group, was riding 2 in front of me in the pace line when he hit a dip.
As he weighs about 130 lbs and we were doing 25 mph, his front wheel shot up, locked up, and then came back down. Because it was locked up, it served as a plant, and suddenly I heard one of those ugly noises and saw his body and bike above Jeff, the tall rider in front of me. Jeff said he saw Christian's face upsidedown. That'll be a sight that sticks with Jeff.

Christian did a full summersault and landed on his butt in the drainage ditch next to the road. He and his bike were at least three feet off the ground at the top. The guy behind 6'5" me saw him. Amazingly, he only had some scratches and torn up shorts. I think if he landed on the tarmac, he might have broken his tailbone.

When I heard that noise ahead (and there is no noise like a bike tire no longer spinning and hitting the pavement), I was getting ready to smash into a bike across the road in front of me and try to do the forward roll when I went over the bars to avoid breaking my collar bone. Fortunately no acrobatics were required as Jeff did a wonderful job of keeping his bike upright (Christain and bike both went right).


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