Sunday, August 9, 2009

Hanes Park Crash 08/09/09

I had a terrible accident today. A rider shot across my front wheel (from left to right) and I went head first onto the ground. My face is trashed (30-40% road rash on right side of face), my jersey is ripped, my lip had to have two stitches, my temporary teeth were broken out and I suffered a concussion. I got knocked out I hit the ground so hard. I’ve got rash on my shoulder, knee & wrist as well. My wrists are banged up (from trying to catch myself) and my right leg has some road rash. I was rushed off to the ER in a Ambulance (pretty cool—haven’t done that in a while). The CAT scan showed everything was cool.

Shame really. I happened with 3 to go. It was around 34 minutes into the race when we were going up the hill. We were traveling around 19mph. All I remember was yelling at him, hitting the deck and looking at the curb thinking to myself “that’s going to hurt.” The EMT’s said I remembered everything when I got up and that I was coherent, but I only remember bits and pieces. I do remember yelling at the peleton as they stormed by me on the final lap so that’s a bit of a consolation. Needless to say, I’m not going to race this coming weekend. It’s 4 hours away and at the moment, I would rather train closer to home for my wife’s sake. I was over 3 hours away from home when this happened and she was at work so this really scared her. It opened my eyes as well. This was something that I could truly not control.

The thing is, my collarbone’s not broken. My wrists aren't’ broken (my teeth don’t count) and my bike is perfectly fine—I think. That being said, I don’t want to take the chance to miss my priority race because of some squirrely rider.

How was the race up until that point? Perfect. I put in a good long warm-up and my 2 minute threshold efforts were solid. As an aside, I think my threshold power is around 295-305w now. For the race, I was at the front the entire time around 10-15th spot. With 5 to go, I moved to 5-10th spot. I only had my nose in the wind once and that was short lived because of a preme. I felt great. The average HR for this race was 172bpm, speed 24.5 and it had 1 significant hill with 2 little risers. For me to stay in it shows that I am in form and smarter about hills racing in general. Also, I had a friend say that he would lead me out that sealed the deal. I crashed and my friend ended up winning so I’m very happy for him. I talked to him a bit after the race and he said I’m sure you are hurting. I told him that not being able to finish hurts more.


  1. well, here's my good/bad comment/ appreciate it and leave it up hear as a reminder to yourself and a testament to your words of mentioned appreciation.
    Sorry to hear about the crash, but your front wheel is your responsibilty. This is the thing you need to learn first and foremost. 2ndly, Chris Horner didn't even go to the Olympics, and he won every race they ever had in America, and could beat you in a sprint 100 out of 100 times, and he's not even really a sprinter. To go to the Olympics you have to be a uber-blessed, obsessive compulsive magician genius who knows people and gets lucky. My advice to you: Lesson 1 - never crash again. Lesson 2 win 1 Cat 3 race. You must not only be able to go 1700 watts, like at least 1000+ other riders in the US (myself included), you must be able to ride at the front, position yourself, hold your position (with people yelling at you, hitting you, coming over your wheels left and right continuously (at 35+mph)) time your jump, have tremendous top speed (like 41mph), corner at 37mph - 3-wide if necessary, goes on and on. If you ever become a Cat 2, and you better do it soon. Then enter some PRO 1,2 NRC crits in your area, like Athens or any of the Speedweek stuff, and you'll see what I mean. You should be soloing away from Cat 4 races, and then Cat 3 races if you even want to entertain a chance at being Pro. Once over 27 in the US, you could solo away in Pro,1,2 races and not even get a pro contract unless you knew someone starting a team who did you a favor, unless you won NRC stage races which is impossible without being on a pro team to start with. Your engine would be evident if you had it. You don't, and you can't build it, especially at 32, or 3 or whatever. Your new goal is never crash again, THEN, win 1 cat 3 race, and I'll consider you improved. AND I'll be don't change your name.
    Sincerely, Ex-Pro

  2. You must have alot of time on your hands, but you are a EX pro. Have some balls and tell us who you are

  3. Ex-Pro,
    Thanks for your advice, your honesty and sharing your experience. I agree with you wholeheartedly on everything you've written.
    Regarding accountability for my front wheel, I've never looked at it from that perspective. I have, but no in this particular frame of mind. Sure, if I was on the other side of the road or off the back, this wouldn't have happened. I also could have chosen another wheel or another line and it wouldn't have happened. This is a painful lesson for sure and I hope that those who've taken the time to read this will learn from it as well. I don't want to crash ever again and I'll do everything in my power not to do so. Winning in a race takes risks. Reducing risk is the name of the game. My experience--or lacktherof--was my downfall here (literally and figuratively). I believe in making your own luck, so you're right. This was my own fault.

    Speaking on my Olympic dream and my engine; dreams are just that--dreams. Dreaming is what inspires. My goal next year is Masters 30-34 Crit Championships and I'm sure I'll get my ass handed to me. Regarding my engine, by the time masters roll around next year, I project my threshold power to be around 4.6-4.7w/kg if my power increases at the rate it has--which it may not. If my sprinting power still continues to climb as it has then that should put me around 26 w/kg for the 5 second power. As you know (but others who read this may not) Watts per Kilogram is more important that just Watts because it puts it into racing context. I can routinely hit +41mph when sprinting on my own. Watts do not make a rider, but it does help to quantify things. Am I being realistic in my goals? Maybe not, but I'm going to try because trying is the only way to fail. I am obsessive compulsive and smart but not uber-blessed nor have the connections. I believe in making my own luck and I'm making more and more friends. I believe that you can't make it to the top alone and that's why I truly value your insight.

    I don't want to be a Cat-1 for the money or get a contract. I want to be like the guys around here who race because they love it and they love being on a team. I want the up and coming guys to look up to me as I do the guys above me. I want to say that I've either done it, or have tried and failed. I'm going to talk to my coach about upgrading to a 3 at the end of this month. I'm going to stay a 4 so that can help a teammate win the SC RR championships 4's race. I may not win a 3's race by the end of the year, but rest assured I'm not racing for 2nd. Please keep checking back in and offering up your insight. I truly do thank you and I'll keep your comments close to my heart. Please do watch me. When I win that race, I hope you are there because I want to shake your hand and share that victory with you.

  4. Ex-pro (laugh),
    Your first point is valid and provides some insight. It also follows the subject matter. As far as the rest what in the hell is your point? Does it make you feel better to trash talk a Cat 4 on his blog. You come across with your “God complex” because you are ex pro yet you must be anonymous. What difference does it make to you what he writes in his blog? You will be watching…….. I say who gives a rat’s ass if you are watching! I am sorry that you see the world through such pessimistic eyes.

  5. i see u won a cat 3 race - BRAVO!
    not easy to win any race

  6. Thank you. I had a fantastic teammate by the name of Johnny Mitchell who chased everything down & lead me out for the final. He's a Cat 2 now and rightly so. I've recently placed 2nd without a teammate (1st in the field sprint as there was 1 guy up the road).


Whether good or bad, Thank you for your comment. Any advice or tips you can give would be greatly appreciated.