Sunday, February 12, 2012

Fells Face Plant

With snow in the forecast for Friday night, I asked the Internets if anyone was up for an early morning ride. Mike said that he was up for an early morning meet up in Harvard Square, and a ride at the Fells. Saturday morning dawned with a disappointing lack of the white stuff, and some rain, but by 7:00 am the rain was turning to a light snow. We rode over to the Fells, and were happy to see that the snow was just starting to accumulate.

The conditions were pretty slick, so we were both taking it fairly easy. Mike more so because he was figuring out his new bike, and me because I am prone to crashing. Sure enough, as I followed Mike down a rocky descent at high speed, full of false confidence in my abilities, I crashed hard. I started to lose it on my front wheel, and my instincts from riding the old '95 rigid with cantilever brakes kicked in, causing me to grab the brakes. These were the wrong instincts when transferred to the new bike with hydraulic discs, and I went over the bars. Some people say that when you have a bad accident it happens in slow motion, to this I say FALSE! Every major crash I've had, happens so quick I barely have to time to even think, "Oh crap!", before impact. I stopped my forward momentum, by landing jaw and shoulder first on a rock. I had managed to turn my head just in time to avoid injuring the mustache. I lay dazed on the ground, clutching my face, which was bleeding. Mike heard the crash, and doubled back to check on me. I had to lay on the ground for a few minutes, while I took stock of whether anything felt broken. After deciding that I wasn't going to die, I got up, and Mike suggested that I take a chunk of ice from the pond, and apply it to my jaw. Which I did, numbing it up, and then we were off again.

After a little while I noticed that I was riding like a drunk, and after informing Mike, we moved to the easier trails as we worked our way out of the Fells. Even injured, the ride was still fun. The trails were pretty empty, with just a few trail runners out. With the light coating of snow, Mike commented that it looked like Narnia. We even found what could have been the home of Mr. Tumnus near the top of Bear Hill. We stopped there to eat something, and I when I tried to take a bite of my Pro Bar, my jaw felt like it was being stabbed with an ice pick. Between the jaw, and the chance of a mild concussion, we decided that getting my ass back home would be a good choice at this juncture. We had some fun conversations about martial arts, injuries, and such on the ride back. Upon arriving home, Sarah asked how the ride went, and I told her that I think I should go to the hospital. I was primarily concerned that I might have fractured something in my jaw. I stripped down, and discovered that my shoulder was looking a bit rough as well. I washed as much debris as I could out of the gashes in my jaw; I saw a nice array of dirt, pine needles, wood, and blood in the sink.
Dangit, I got blood on my new Lazer helmet straps.
Sometimes, the gnar shreds you.

My wife drove me over to Mt. Auburn hospital. I didn't feel like I was in dire straits, so we went to the walk in clinic registration area. They asked me what I was there for, and when I told them what happened, they looked at me like I was insane, and told me to go to the ER. The ER put me in a room pretty quickly, but things slowed down considerably, due to what I assume was the shift change. I had a cat scan of my head, to see if any of my facial bones or jaw was broken, and an x-ray of my shoulder, both of which came back clear. They gave me some percocet, and as I waited for the results to come back, Sarah asked if my jaw would need stitches. The physician's asst. said maybe 1 or 2 at the most. After cleaning out the wounds better, "maybe" had turned into 9 stitches. I guess it was good that she asked. After 5 hours at the hospital, we headed home, and I took a 3 hour nap. I woke up feeling like crap, but we went to Allston, to wish Mr. Whitney a happy b-day. I turned to a self medicating liquid diet of beer, which led to some ill-advised pull up action. Seeing so many of the NECX crew seemed to be the best medicine though, and I left feeling much better.

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