So after cycling for almost a complete year and hundreds of miles I have suffered my first cycling injury. Nothing major like breaking any bones just a split lip that required some stitches. The way I see it if you do anything as much as I cycle something is bound to happen. The risk of injury is much higher for those who cycle the majority of the week. I’ve spoken with other riders who have had really horrible injuries and came back to riding. Mine isn’t as crazy but still worth documenting it, so here’s my story.
On Sunday morning I decided to go on a 60 mile ride on a route that I had been wanting to do for months. The day before I rode about 53 miles and my legs felt great. My training has changed a little now because I want to focus on being able to ride long distances for consecutive days. I am starting to train for a 545 mile 7 day ride from SF to LA and need to be able to recover quickly and ride consecutively. So for now I’m starting off with 50 plus mile rides two days in a row and will increase the distance and days as I make more progress.
Feeling very motivated by having a great ride the day before I woke up early to get my second day of riding started under my new training regimen. I set off to on my 60 mile journey heading North on the San Gabriel River Trail towards The Santa Fe Dam. I live somewhere in the middle of the trail and from the Dam to the beach it is 30 miles. So I decided to head to the Dam then make my way to the beach and back home taking a break whenever I changed direction.
At 18 miles I got to the Santa Fe Dam where there is a small climb. I figured I would cycle up the hill and take a break to eat my Clif Bar and enjoy the view before heading 30 miles to the beach. When going up this hill you have to make a sharp turn to start the climb. I made my turn and what I didn’t see is that there was a big pile of sand right at the turn at the bottom of the downhill. My back wheel slipped and the bike went from under me. Unable to bail from my pedals I hit the grown with my right shoulder followed by slamming my face on the concrete.
It happened so fast, The first thing I did was remove the face mask I wear so I can spit out the blood that was starting to pour out from my mouth. I older couple was there walking their dog and they were very helpful. The man helped me up and grabbed the water bottle from my bike so I can start rinsing off the blood. They asked If I needed a phone to call someone for help but luckily for me I always make sure my phone is 100% charged before I leave my house. For a split second I thought about cycling home but the cut on my lip was really bad and I knew I needed stitches right away. I called my wife and cycled to the nearest freeway exit I could find so she can find me easily. She picked me up and from the look on her face once she saw my lip I knew going to the hospital right away was the right choice. I was in and stitched up in 30 minutes, the hospital staff was curious to hear about my story.
When I look back I have never seen sand in that area. I believe someone placed it there with the intention of seeing cyclists fall. It was someones idea of a sick joke and unfortunately I was at the bad end of it. I’m thankful to have such loving friends and family who wished me a speedy recovery. My wife and my Daughter were awesome to have by my side. These things happen so I wont let it bug me to much and continue to ride. This happened on a Sunday and I road again Tuesday morning.