Monday, April 30, 2012

Over the Edge

I laid my bike down Saturday evening on the way back from The Meltdown vintage bike show in Hendersonville NC. We were headed down the watershed just south of Saluda, NC when I came in too fast on a right turn. I tried to brake but I was already in the turn. I leaned it more but my foot was dragging on the ground. I went wide and hit the shoulder on the opposite side. I immediately lowsided and started sliding in the dirt/grass. Just when I thought I was about to stop I started tumbling, and going faster. What I found out later was that I had just slide off of a cliff. It wasn't a vertical drop but it was very steep. 

After tumbling about 30-40 feet down some large rocks I finally stopped when I hit one especially big boulder. One of the guys I was riding with came down to see how I was. There was also a doctor and his wife bicycling there and he came down too. To everyones surprise I seemed alright. My right shoulder was sore and my left ankle. After about 10 minutes, the adrenaline started wearing off and I tried to get them to help me crawl back up but they wouldn't let me and made me wait for the paramedics. 

Where I went down was fairly remote so it took about 20-30 minutes for a rescue team to show up. After they checked me out I again asked to help me crawl out but they wouldn't let me. They said that due to the nature of the accident and the possibility of neck or back injury they were going to immobilize me and haul me out. They strapped me down to a back board and then we had to wait for a rescue truck to come from 45 minutes away to bring a basket and other climbing gear to haul me out. By this time all the adrenaline was gone and I could feel my right collar bone was broken every time they moved me.

So after 3 hours down in a ravine, I was finally in an ambulance and had a 45 minute ride to the hospital. 

My hospital experience was not so good. When I finally decided it was time to get some pain meds it took them 2 hours to give them to me. Also, when I went to get my X-rays, they shot my neck, back, abdomen and ankle.  When they were going to wheel me out, I said, "Hey, aren't you going to X-ray my broken collar bone?" the tech said the doctor hadn't ordered that. Nice. He called and got it straightened out. As expected it took forever to get out of there. 

I am now at home with a broken collar bone, a badly sprained ankle, a sore hip where I landed on it and one scratch one my knuckle. I believe my full face helmet and armored leather jacket saved me from much worse damage and was worth every penny I spent on them. Looking at my helmet it looks like I did a face plant into the dirt. I knew there was a reason I would only where a full face. 

As for Nixon, I'm not really sure how she is. She slid about 20 feet further than me and missed all the boulders and ended up buried in some kudzu down as far as I was in the ravine. From what i could tell from the pictures, the aluminum tank and seat are toast and probably the headlight too.  I can get a better look at it when I go get it from the towing yard after my insurance co takes a look at it. 

Pictures of the damage to the bike are here:

1 comment:

Pyro said...

That'll buff right out. :-)

But seriously, glad you're ok bud.