My First Real Crash.

Kayakguy

Member
How do you feel now @Kayakguy? Have you already recovered from your crash?
Coming along very well. Started physical therapy yesterday. I can get along quite well without a cane, though I do keep it handy, especially if I have to walk much distance. Still get a little wooziness from the concussion, though it only lasts a few seconds. Hope to be back on the bike soon, though the therapist thinks it could be anywhere from 3 to 6 weeks. When I feel ready, I may get back on the bike whether the therapist approves or not. At least for a ride around the block. Thanks for asking.
 

BigNerd

Well-Known Member
I guess I should consider myself lucky. Even though I suffered a concussion I was able to ride a week later... I'm 2 months removed from Bunny Gate but still have numerous scars that haven't quite healed yet.

It's funny... a month after my crash, I pulled out a small piece of branch from my thigh that must have got stuck in there from one of the bushes I ran into. Sadly, I did not develop any wood superpowers. :(
 

smorgasbord

Well-Known Member
First crash—and it was a doozy. Happened Tues, Oct 13. Some of you might remember that I was the guy who pointed out that bikers can now treat stop signs as “yield” signs in Washington State. So, ironically, my crash involved an intersection where I did not have the right of way. But it did not involve running the stop sign. Quite the contrary, I had stopped and looked very carefully both ways.

The problem was I was unable to see clearly traffic coming from my left. This was on NW Avenue in Bellingham, and the cross street was E. Connecticut. I was heading west. NW just to the south of Connecticut makes about a 45 deg. turn (technically, Elm turns into NW at that point—Bellingham is a crazy town). On the east side of NW, south of Connecticut, is a tap room, one of my favorite stops before covid19. And all along the street in front of the tap room were parked cars, patrons of said tap room. They blocked my view of traffic coming around that bend.

So after checking carefully both ways, I shot out onto NW and crashed into the side of a passing car. I didn’t get more than a split second glimpse of that car before all went blank. I woke up as the EMTs were loading me onto a gurney for the trip to the ER. Don’t know how long that was, but there are fire departments both directions on NW that are less than 2 miles distant, so it couldn’t be more than 5 minutes or so. As I was being loaded up, I could see a fireman picking up my bike. As I was returning from a shopping trip, my cargo bags were loaded with groceries, which apparently got home okay; even the beer seems to have made it. My wife said that as she walked the bike out back to put it in the shed, it seemed to roll okay, but for a ticking sound. I haven’t had a chance to look at it yet, but I suspect a bent front wheel, and I’ll carefully check for any cracks in the frame. The bike, by the way, is an Ariel Rider C-class, which I was (am, because I intend to get back on it as soon as possible) enjoying very much.

The damage to me was a mild concussion, broken pelvis, and bruised ribs on my upper left side. Bruises often appear slowly, and this morning I noticed a massive one on my left chest. It’s sort of sore there, but a CAT scan at the hospital shown nothing broken. I did not “fall” off the bike, but rather the collision slammed me forcefully onto the pavement on my left side, because that’s where all the damage is. My helmet suffered contusions and abrasions on its left side, too. Glad I was wearing that thing.

Lesson learned: beware intersections where you can’t be sure of traffic. I can avoid the NW-Connecticut one by crossing a block further south, where I can see clearly both directions. I could also have used the crosswalk at Connecticut (would have walked the bike across, not ridden). As for the financial damages, the insurance people are sparring over that. Could be a substantial hit. My next missive may be from deptor’s prison.

And a philosophical note for those who are into such things. During my blackout period, there was nothing but blackness. No light at the end of a tunnel, nor any flames of hell. Just nothing. If I had been dead, it would have been the most instant death imaginable—no fear or regrets, no lamenting my misspent existence, not even any pain. Just silence and nothingness. My wife, by the way, gets a little upset when I say this to her.

I’ve been home since Friday, and seem to be healing up nicely.
Wow, glad you're doing OK given the circumstances.
Your philosophical note is actually comforting to me. A co-worker/friend of mine died in a motorcycle crash - someone literally ran through a red light at 45+ MPH and hit him broadside as he was traveling through the intersection on a green. He wasn't pronounced dead at the scene, but never regained consciousness and they terminated life support a few days later. I've always wondered what he went through.

Here's the intersection you described:
Screen Shot 2020-11-18 at 2.49.30 PM.png


So it is West Connecticut, not East.

I'm guessing because of the acute angle, that it was hard to sight down (southwards) on Northwest Ave (to your left). Sound about right?
I wonder if the "passing car" had just pulled out from being parked.

Anyway, glad you're around to not just write about it, but ride another day.
 

Art Deco

Well-Known Member
I guess I should consider myself lucky. Even though I suffered a concussion I was able to ride a week later... I'm 2 months removed from Bunny Gate but still have numerous scars that haven't quite healed yet.

It's funny... a month after my crash, I pulled out a small piece of branch from my thigh that must have got stuck in there from one of the bushes I ran into. Sadly, I did not develop any wood superpowers. :(
Happily, you didn't develop any infections/reactions from it.Other than a well deserved fear of rabbits....
 

Kayakguy

Member
Wow, glad you're doing OK given the circumstances.
Your philosophical note is actually comforting to me. A co-worker/friend of mine died in a motorcycle crash - someone literally ran through a red light at 45+ MPH and hit him broadside as he was traveling through the intersection on a green. He wasn't pronounced dead at the scene, but never regained consciousness and they terminated life support a few days later. I've always wondered what he went through.

Here's the intersection you described:
View attachment 71776

So it is West Connecticut, not East.

I'm guessing because of the acute angle, that it was hard to sight down (southwards) on Northwest Ave (to your left). Sound about right?
I wonder if the "passing car" had just pulled out from being parked.

Anyway, glad you're around to not just write about it, but ride another day.
Yes, West Connecticut, not East. If you look to the south, you can see where Elm turns into Northwest. If I had turned left from West Connecticut onto Elm, I would have had a clear shot down Elm, and a good shot up Northwest. This is the route I will take in the future (when going west). After the short jog on Elm, I'll be able to turn right on W. North, which is a lightly travelled street. On the other hand, going east on W. North would be dicey, as you can't see traffic coming from the left. Bellingham is a town where we often take one route to get somewhere, but an alternative route coming back. That's because Bellingham consists of 4 towns merged together--Sehome, Whatcom, Bellingham, and Fairhaven. One result is that within about 2 or 3 blocks further south, Elm turns into Roeder. It's a challenge trying to give directions to a stranger. Northwest is the old US 99 heading for Canada, before the freeway. It still has one or two motels on it, which manage to hang on, probably due to Canadians coming south for the weekend to shop. Don't know whether they will survive covid
 

Kayakguy

Member
Yes, West Connecticut, not East. If you look to the south, you can see where Elm turns into Northwest. If I had turned left from West Connecticut onto Elm, I would have had a clear shot down Elm, and a good shot up Northwest. This is the route I will take in the future (when going west). After the short jog on Elm, I'll be able to turn right on W. North, which is a lightly travelled street. On the other hand, going east on W. North would be dicey, as you can't see traffic coming from the left. Bellingham is a town where we often take one route to get somewhere, but an alternative route coming back. That's because Bellingham consists of 4 towns merged together--Sehome, Whatcom, Bellingham, and Fairhaven. One result is that within about 2 or 3 blocks further south, Elm turns into Roeder. It's a challenge trying to give directions to a stranger. Northwest is the old US 99 heading for Canada, before the freeway. It still has one or two motels on it, which manage to hang on, probably due to Canadians coming south for the weekend to shop. Don't know whether they will survive covid
Saw the orthopedic surgeon today. Did x-rays of the hip, and I could see the hairline crack. He said I could get back on the bike when I feel ready, but to work my way up from local, easy rides to more challenging ones as I progress. I've also been doing an exercise regimen with a physical therapist, which I realize will do a lot to improve my conditioning. I am still feeling effects of the concussion, though, with moments of wooziness that last maybe 3 seconds or so. Usually happens when I go from vertical to horizontal or vice versa.

The orthopedist also had a bike crash tale to relate. Seems he was on WA highway 20 where it goes by Deception Pass state park. He saw a car moving into his lane, though it might stop, but it didn't, and he ended up on the hood and nearly got dragged under the front of the car. Said he got a massive bruise on his shoulder and other contusions and abrasions, but nothing broken. He said mine was the first story he'd heard of the bike running into the car.
 

FlatSix911

Well-Known Member
Saw the orthopedic surgeon today. Did x-rays of the hip, and I could see the hairline crack. He said I could get back on the bike when I feel ready, but to work my way up from local, easy rides to more challenging ones as I progress. I've also been doing an exercise regimen with a physical therapist, which I realize will do a lot to improve my conditioning. I am still feeling effects of the concussion, though, with moments of wooziness that last maybe 3 seconds or so. Usually happens when I go from vertical to horizontal or vice versa.

The orthopedist also had a bike crash tale to relate. Seems he was on WA highway 20 where it goes by Deception Pass state park. He saw a car moving into his lane, though it might stop, but it didn't, and he ended up on the hood and nearly got dragged under the front of the car. Said he got a massive bruise on his shoulder and other contusions and abrasions, but nothing broken. He said mine was the first story he'd heard of the bike running into the car.
Take care when you get back on the bike. ;)
 

Kayakguy

Member
Take care when you get back on the bike. ;)
Did my firs turn around the block (2 or 3 blocks, actually) today, and it felt good. The PT exercises are boring, but I know they strengthen key body parts. May ride to my therapy session tomorrow, if the weather isn't too snotty.

To all of you well-wishers: many thanks for your expressions of concern. I am gratified to participate in such a caring community. So I think this thread has run its course, don't you?