Saturday, February 23, 2008

2004 MS 150 Excitement

Recently Biking Brady posted his perspective of the
incident. I thought I would add a little to the story since I was mentioned and had a front row perspective.

It was a day with a stiff head wind coming out of the south that was a little gusty and irregular. It was a good strength and stamina sapping wind. Travis and Kevin were the leading riders of a double pace line. We had started with at least eight riders and had been "gathering" riders who gladly latched on to our group to get a break from the wind. By the time we reached the draft of the tractor we were tightly packed group at the front trying to maximize the draft off each other.

The quickest part of Kevin's story seemed to take forever for me. I'll pick up the story from Kevin’s line "I no more grabbed it and my wheel wobbled and the rest is a blur of looking at the ground, sky, ground, sky, etc" and describe what happened during each of his clockwise Kevin over bike tumbles during the incident.

When Kevin went down I was right behind him trying to stay off his back wheel. I was between his back wheel and the white line on the edge of the road. As Kevin went down he and his bike rolled clockwise down to the pavement just like he hit a sheet of ice. Kevin's back tire blocked me from moving toward the center of the road.

I couldn't hit my brakes for fear of taking out the rider behind me so I just moved a little closer toward the white line. This ended the first blur of ground to sky Kevin quickly described in one sentence.

I thought pulling over and using my brakes again but I didn't remember the position of the front tire of the rider behind me. It had been a while since I had checked. The gusty conditions made it hard to feel safe enough to glance under my arm to check and I sure could not take a look now. If I could have moved over toward the middle of the road, I would risk bumping the rider next to me in the other line. Right behind the rider next to me (Eric?) was a rider (John?) who was an offensive lineman in college. Not the person I wanted on top of me in a pile up on pavement. Thus ended Kevin's second blur of ground to sky.

To avoid Kevin's new wheel position I moved onto the white line. He was slowing down faster than I was and I would have had to brake really hard to get out of the way of his tire. I hadn't gone down yet and I was hoping that the person behind me wasn't about to take out my back tire. I still couldn't use my brakes and had now where to go except toward the ditch. Thus ended Kevin's third blur of ground to sky.

As I rode my bike into the ditch Kevin rolled into the ditch. Thus ended Kevin's fourth blur of ground to sky.

I wanted to be free of my bike and control my roll into the ditch so threw my bike into the ditch toward the fence while throwing my body forward. Luckily my feet came out of my pedals. Kevin came free from his bike at just about the same time and popped up like a carnival target. He ended up kneeling in mid air in front of me as I went flying free from my bike. My right knee smacked him square in the helmet.

Kneeing Kevin in the head slowed me down while keeping my legs under me and I hit the ground running (literally). I survived without any injuries. My bike didn't fare as well. My handlebars were knocked out of true. My seat post luggage rack was push way out of proper alignment. My Polar power monitor didn't want to work right for the rest of the day.

The most depressing site was my fellow riders riding up and over the hill in front of me and out of sight. When I finally got back on the bike I rode 25 mph trying to catch the group until the adrenalin rush wore off. I never caught the group on the road. I was dog tired by the time I got to Centerville. I limped my way to Dalesburg and crawled my way to Vermillion.

There are too many "morals of the story" to cover considering I did my best not to cause anyone else to crash and we were on a ride raising money for people with MS. But the important moral I am left with is to remember to include more time trial interval training into my training program so that one hard push doesn't leave me dog tired on the road.

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