Ramblings, musings and generally boring stuff. Mostly about bikes...

Monday, June 28, 2010

First Criterium Crash!

photo credit: Eville Mike

I have loved the Webster Groves Crit each of the three years I have raced it. My first year was with Team Revolution and it was my Dad's first opportunity to see me race.
Last year, Alice, Kate and I podiumed for the Women's Cat 4, in one of our first races with the 1,2,3 women.
Year three was sure to be a hot one.
Alice and I worked registration (With Phil, Chris Saxton, Anna Berger) until the Kids race.
We helped run a smooth and quick kids race and even helped get the racing back on schedule for the day.

Quick changes into kits, wheels into the pit and a spin around the neighborhood were up next. Suzanne, Kate and I warmed up together for a bit. I stopped for a quick "nature break" and picked up some ice, which Taylor helped me fashion into a baggie in the sports bra for fabulous cooling!

At 2:35pm I lined up with 18 or so of the best local racers around. Our Cat 1,2,3 field was combined with the cat 4s, including some strong new and not so new ladies. Our race was hot from the start, literally and figuratively! Chris gave a little attack right away to get the heart rates pumping.

It was clear early on that everyone was fatigued from the heat and a little twitchy. There were lots of bumping and comments flying around. There were lots of bumps and potholes before turn 1 and everyone seemed to slow down through turn 2, only to give chase halfway up the climb and slow a bit again for turn 3. Turn 4 seemed good to get into at speed, but not everyone felt that way, which made for more bunching and chasing. After a couple of laps, I was between turn 3 and 4 on the hill, reaching for my bottle while still gaining momentum into Jamie, who was easing up, and unfortunately over my way. I had time to put my bottle in my teeth and reach for my brake but that prevented anything other than a muffled exclamation to Jamie! We touched wheels but separated without incident (I saw something go flying off the road and thought I'd broken the cap on her mavic skewer in half... but later learned that wasn't it).

Suzanne and I bumped once and I think I bumped Jamie again. Allison even commented that I was making her nervous on a bumpy section. I was feeling the heat for sure but gained some energy back thanks to a cool bottle of water doused on me by Jessi!

I survived a prime lap, after Britta seemed to jump for it immediately after the bell!. After heading back into turn one, I quickly realized something was wrong.
To my knowledge, I was too far on the inside headed into the turn at good speed. Jamie was on my left and when I started to exit the turn, I came out too wide and bumped into her. Unfortunately I didn't hit her hand, shoulder, arm or hip- one of the many areas that can be bumped and both parties stay upright. Fortunately for her, I didn't take her down with me.
That part happened fast! I was on the ground with a LOUD crash! A few people swerved around me and Kube narrowly missed my head. Unfortunately, Emilie was a casualty too. We jumped up. I appologized. She said "It happens." and we headed to the pit. I immediately noticed my brake hoods were pushed in and both wheels were stuck. I carried it to the start/finish and Ron met me when I was almost there. He took one look at me, took my bike and sent me to the medics.

The sum total of my injuries were a couple of mild elbow scrapes, a small scrape on my wrist, another on my leg. My shoulder is sore. The doozey of the injuries is where my thigh meets my butt. I noticed this hurting as Donna Thackery and Analyn Howells, our awesome medics tended to me. I had a small hole in my shorts in the back and some great scrapes from the road. After Phil bought my skirt and I changed, it was clear that I had literally fallen on my ASS!

The bike is ok, save for a slightly bent spoke and some of the saddle has been torn off. There are scrapes on my shifters but Im not sure what's new and what's old. My shoe is scraped a bit and the jersey has a hole in the back from a pin getting sheared off. The helmet did not make any contact with the ground.

Warning: Pictures May be Graphic!!

The first post-crash shower was the most horrendous thing I have ever experienced. I knew I was in trouble when the first drops hit my small injuries on my elbow and sent me screaming. Poor Phil hung out nearby, trying to soothe me as I yelled, whimpered and cried. He helped me dry off and appy a Tagaderm patch. I don't know what I would have done without him!
He even gave me a pair of his boxer briefs to wear, since my own underwear just wouldn't cover and protect what I needed it to!

(That's not a pimple, its a piece of tagaderm stuck to me)

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