Monday, June 7, 2010

bike crash

Well, I have been very fortunate to have logged tens of thousands of miles riding my bicycle, and never had a real accident. Until last Saturday.

The weather was perfect. No wind, cool temperatures, and sunny. So I joined a group of fellow cyclists to ride the Pioneer Century--100 miles through the scenic and historic Willamette Valley. I have done this ride in years past, but not for the several recent years.

Three of us were clipping along at a good pace on an open, low traffic road at about mile 35. I was second in the line and without warning the rider in front of me braked and swerved to avoid a dog that ran out at us. I did the same, wildly trying to avoid crashing into the dog or rider, and just about made it through okay when the rider behind crashed into me. We both went down on the pavement and gravel.

I ended up with some scrapes on my knee and a chest injury, which I thought might be cracked ribs (it hurt to breath deeply). And my rear wheel was wobbly. The other rider also had scrapes and a ruined front wheel. We had to call a sag wagon to pick up the other rider, but I was able to open my rear brakes enough to continue riding. At the next rest stop a mechanic was able to true my wheel somewhat and the bike rode fine.

At 55 miles I was back at the start/finish and could have gone home, but, since I had paid my money and the day was beautiful, I continued on the 45 mile second loop and completed the full century.

Interestingly, about mile 80 a bee flew into my helmet and sunglasses and started stinging me multiple times. I stopped quickly and flung it out. Man, that hurt like the dickens. But there was nothing to do but keep riding, and the pain subsided after a few minutes. That's another thing I don't recall ever happening to me on a bike ride.

Coincidentally, I had my annual physical exam scheduled for today, so the doctor checked out my chest (which is already much improved from Saturday) and diagnosed just some strained muscles.

So, with the double misfortunes was the ride worth it? Of course! And what memories it created! And a feeling of accomplishment!


  1. The crash part wasn't funny but the bee sting part was. That happened to me when I was like 9, riding down Saltzman one time.

  2. I've been stung a number of times but the most bizarre one, akin to yours, was when I was driving down West Union Road and a bee flew in threw the open window, hit my chin, & stung me, all before I could take preventive measures. Suzanne (not Steven)