Friday the 13th – What Could Go Wrong?

Friday, April 13, 2018

With warmer weather and more sunlight in Athens, planning a long bike ride takes a lot less work. Fewer lights, less clothing and so forth. So this morning, I kept to my plan to get up early and attempt a 300 km ride.

It all started so well. I was out the door by 6:30am and rode up that hill to Sotira. From there it is a bit up and down until you get (well, really a lot more up) to Erythres, then the down starts. When I rode this route last in February it was pretty. Today, with flowers and fields of grain peeking up, its gorgeous.

I am tired, so I am going to cut to the good stuff. At 155 km, just before Marathonas, I was descending on wonderful roads with a few bends. Here is a monster home at the top. It was a nice road and a good time.

And here is what the valley below looks like:

Alas, there was some water across the road. I can’t say if I was braking (tight bend, near the bottom and I couldn’t see around it), or whether the water was soapy from someone’s house cleaning, but in an instant both wheels went out from underneath me and I went down like a rock. Other than tipping over on Milos, that I joked about before, this is the first time I have crashed since March, 2007. On that day I was also completing a 300km ride and was about 150 km in. I guess it’s a thing with me. (That time it was on gravel and not nearly as graceful as today. I still have gravel lodged in my body from that one).

People ask sometimes, “why do you shave your legs?” Yesterday, fortuitously, I shaved my legs for the first time in 6 weeks. THIS is why we shave our legs. That should heal pretty nicely with no hair in there to mess it up and make an ugly scab.

I hit my arm, my leg, my hip and my head. I don’t know if the helmet helped to deflect the impact, but my head hit the pavement directly and I was seeing stars. Luckily there was not a single car that passed and I had a few moments to sit on the road and consider my options. When I had confidence that everything was working as it should I got the heck off the roadway (blind corner!) and sat down to inspect bike and body.

All was good, so I rode to the next village and took a longer stop to let the adrenaline rush fade. I couldn’t see my head, but I knew it was bleeding (I wear a sweat cap, and when I took it off, it was bloody), but after a while I realized that I should take a picture of myself and look at it from there. Here is what that looked like.

Despite my determination to complete a 300k ride, the better course was to get back to the boat before pharmacies closed and get cleaned up. So instead of 300, I cut things short and finished with 270km and a good story.

Here are all four of my wounds. I don’t even have a headache now, so the head thing was strictly surface. My hip isn’t so lucky and I have likely pulled a muscle, but it will probably take a day or two to figure that out. Cycling is ‘okay’, but walking requires a bit more effort.

So, that’s it. Barely a scratch 😳 or four. I have eaten, now I will put some protection on the wounds and then I sleep. That’s it for tonight.

8 thoughts on “Friday the 13th – What Could Go Wrong?

  1. Oh gosh Don that looks like it hurts. Hope you’re healing up. Glad it wasn’t worse and also glad nobody came around that blind corner! Yikes!!

    1. Thank you Lani, I will be fine. The Motrin (which I greatly prefer over Tylenol) will likely not be needed today as the only thing left is the skin to heal. All the rest is fine. Given the snow in Toronto I will be riding indoors for the next two weeks but I will be riding.

  2. Richard Wah Kan April 16, 2018 — 2:34 am

    Don, I feel for you. It looks like a nasty fall. Be well. Hope to see you when you’re back.



  3. Ouch!!! That looks really painful! Hope you get some rest and recover quickly. The kids are making you a get better card:)

  4. Take care Don. What happens to you still matters a lot to me. Shalom.

    1. Thanks Dad. All is good. Just the aches and pains from falling and removing the top few layers of dermis. 😂. Really if it wasn’t someone you know it would be kinda funny. A guy, alone on a bicycle on an empty road. Nothing around, anywhere, goes around a corner and drops on his head during an otherwise perfect day. You can’t make this up. Today I battled cars and busses and cyclists and pedestrians on a 90km ride. No problem. But me alone in he middle of nowhere. Now that’s a reason to hit the ground hard.

      All is well and I will heal just fine within a week or so. Jinhee says the hit to the head made me funnier. I’m going to go with that.

  5. So sorry about your crash. You seem to come out relatively unscathed considering. Hope you recover guickly and that your bike is OK.

    1. Thank you Peter. Just road rash and really sore muscles.

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