Crash, Bang, Boom

Wisconsin State TT Championship
May 31, 2008 – Brighton, WI
Masters 30-34 – DNF
264 watts – 25.2 MPH

I woke up on Saturday morning and I had a weird feeling that I should skip the day’s race. However, I was motivated to race in warmer weather and see if I could go for a better time than I had 2 weeks prior at the MATTS Double Bong.

Traffic was a real pain with all of the road construction. There were a lot of state troopers out nabbing speeders, and I didn’t see the new photo radar traps that we’re supposed to be recently installed. My normal trip took 30 minutes longer, but I still had about 45 minutes to warm up. My legs were feeling good, but my body was lethargic from bad sleep.

Conditions were warmer, but just as windy as the MATTS Double Bong. Having done that race helped me determine how I should pace the course. The starters were only running a few minutes behind and I had a hold at the start. After a few miles, I knew I just wasn’t into the race. I wasn’t using my power meter at all to gauge my effort, but I could just feel I was slower.

The wind on the homestretch was great. I went through the first lap a little disappointed with my time, but was determined to hammer it on the second lap. That’s probably what went wrong.

I took the turn right by the start WAY faster than I had the previous week (24 vs 30 MPH). Dumb idea. I should have slowed myself a little and had a drink of water. Instead, I found myself skidding on the pavement. Oh, crap…

I immediately sat up and realized nothing major was broken. I sat on the road for a minute or two to get my bearings. Since I was by the start, I had several people ask if I was OK and move my bike out of the way. I had hunch something was wrong with my shoulder, so I kept my right arm close to my chest like I had seen the pros do so often in the Tour de France. One rider even came to look at my shoulder and asked if I had ever broken my collar bone, because I had a bump. I said no and he said I likely broke it. Great.

One of the Team Wheaton (the hosting club) riders came over an aid kit and asked how I was doing. We walked over to the registration area so I could rest and we could figure out what to do. I didn’t want to call an ambulance, but then I also couldn’t drive myself to the hospital with my stick shift. Thankfully, one of the dads at the race volunteered to drive me to the Burlington Hospital.

It also helped that the Burlington Hospital ER was nice and quiet on Saturday morning. I was by far the youngest patient and the only one not in for more serious issues (eg, cardiovascular pain). I saw the ER doc in about 20 minutes and had an x-ray. Dr. Wood came out with my x-ray and showed my break. He put me in a sling and had my wounds cleaned. He said it would heal with time, but still have an orthopedic follow up. Now my biggest challenge would be how to get back to Chicago.

While waiting in the ER, I called Rose and luckily her sister had already come over for lunch. They were able to rent a car and drive up to get me. The ride back wasn’t fun, since the slightest road vibrations shook my fracture. The whole day turned out to be quite an adventure.

A big thanks to Nate from Team Wisconsin and his dad for helping me after my crash. Now, it’s just a waiting game for the healing.

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