Cycling Scars

15
Jun
2012

This post is dedicated to all you cyclists who have been injured while on the bike, heal up, and continue to cycle along….battle scars and all.  I wouldn’t say that I personally have had any major crashes on the bike, but even the couple minor ones I’ve been involved in have left me a lifetime of repercussions.

Battle Scar #1: My Bump

It was back in 2002 and I was living on the Caribbean island of St. Kitts.  My only form of transportation at the time was my GT Timberline mountain bike and together we commuted all over the island.  The island of St. Kitts is its own country, but has been heavily influenced from its days of being part of Britain.  Because of this, the driving is done on the left side of the road.  I’ve personally found this pretty easy to adapt to, but there are many tourists who land on the island, rent a car, and proceed to terrorize the roads with their lack of experience on that side of the street.

Anyway, one day I was riding along and got clipped by one of these newbie tourists.  I can’t honestly say for sure because they never stopped to see if I was okay, but as I looked ahead I could tell it was a typical rental car and just the fact that they came so close was enough to convince me.  They knocked my handlebars and sent me down to the pavement.  This was back in the days when I didn’t wear a helmet, so luckily I never cracked my head…but instead took the brunt of the impact on my shoulder.  I stood up right after it happened and as I began to assess the situation my shoulder really began to ache and I could see that my rear derailer was all messed up.  It was in good enough shape to ride home so I limped along cradling my arm to my chest.

St. Kitts is definitely not known for great health care so instead of going to check it out with a doctor, I did some self-healing.  I rubbed fresh aloe on the wound each day to help clear it up and I did a bunch of shoulder massage and rehab based on my personal training and rehabilitation experience.  I can’t remember how long it took, but it eventually got better….although that right shoulder of mine will never operate completely the way it should.  One of the biggest after-effects is that it really starts to ache when on long rides and stuck in the same position for a long period of time.

Looking at it now, I’m pretty sure I broke something in there and it never healed properly….hence the strange looking bump that now protrudes from my collarbone area.

Battle Scar #2

Now this one is kind of embarrassing because it occurred while I was riding along at something like 0.1 miles per hour.  Yeah, I was barely even moving….but my left elbow will forever feel the effects of this one.

It was Mother’s Day, 2008 and we were out on a nice Family ride.  I was on my mountain bike and pulling my Son behind me in the trailer.  We pulled up to a stop sign and I was busy talking to my Wife and totally not paying attention to what I was doing.  As I came to a stop, I forgot that I was clipped in (it was the my first time using clipless pedals on my mountain bike) and fell to my side.  It seemed so innocent (and embarrassing), but when I got back up I could instantly tell that something wasn’t right with my arm.

We rode back home and this time around I did go to the doctor.  They checked it out and told me that I had a hairline crack on my elbow and needed to keep it in  a sling for a few weeks.  I was totally bummed out and at dis-belief that such as simple little crash could do so much damage.  I see these pro riders hitting the pavement at like 40 miles per hour or more and often get up and continue riding with nothing more than some bad road rash….how the heck could a 0 mile per hour fall do something like this?

Although you can’t see the after-effects of this one…..it’s four years later and that elbow still hurts when I do certain things, and it’s nowhere near as strong as it was in the past.  I know I rushed things and didn’t let it heal properly, so it’s really my own fault.

Tell Us About Your Cycling Scars

Okay, so now it’s your turn.  Leave us a comment explaining your own cycling battle scars and injuries.  How did you get them?  How are they doing now?  Attach a picture if you have one.  It’s time to revel in our crashes and boast about overcoming the scars.  Let’s hear all about it.

Enjoy Your Ride
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14 Responses to “ Cycling Scars ”

  1. Adam on January 29, 2014 at 7:15 pm

    Riding on a bike lane – guy with a motorbike just steps on to the lane with his bike about 2 meters in front of me – I just had time to brake and fly over the handle bars. At least the other guy is fine! thank god! right now I have some road rash on my elbow – maybe I should get an xray…

  2. Hannah Mary Bradshaw on February 17, 2013 at 7:45 pm

    I was practicing a race circuit in Suesca, near Bogotá (Colombia) a year ago. It was the dry season so everything was really crumbly and…dry (and hot…that 3000masl under scorching sun hot). I was on a downhill and went with it, breaking would have been a disaster. But a pebble caught under my front tire and just sort of pinged. I got thrown sideways (where the edge of the mountain was) and down. I landed with my head into a rock, got slid along and stuck between two rocks. My bike was still attached to my feet and then slammed into me too. It hurt. But there are no ambulances or anything like that so my mate helped me back UP the mountain and spread me out in the sun while he got everything together and sorted out a car. I was shivering with the cold (in my head) and spent the next month recuperating. Nothing broke, the hospital was amazed! But it took ages to get back to where I was. That first month even morning yoga left me in pain for the whole day. Then I used hiking sticks to move more and got back to the mountains the month after. I have lost that total freedom on the downhill but have more stamina now. AND I have a scar on my thigh that looks like a dolphin skeleton! My fieldwork has taken me to some hot places and when I wear shorts I get definite stares and quite a few comments. But I quite like it now, and it reminds me to be tough and get back on the bike. I have a few more but they are not as obvious unless I get a tan. Unfortunately my experience so far is not that ‘guys dig scars’ :-p

    • Darryl is Loving the Bike on February 18, 2013 at 9:21 am

      Wow, what a story. Thanks for sharing it, Hannah. You should post a picture of that dolphin scar….it’s sounds interesting. I’m sure one of these days you’ll meet a guy who digs scars, bikes, and cool people.

  3. Whitney on June 24, 2012 at 8:54 am

    I crashed on the road after catching my front tire in a pavement groove. I was going along at a fairly decent clip and crashed sideways and skidded across lanes into on coming traffic and almost ended up under a car. There was a car in my lane behind me but he had slowed to allow me to pass over a narrow bridge before he passed. He had slowed enough to stop behind me after the crash. The oncoming car had slowed as he noticed I was approaching the narrow bridge and he was able to stop in time before I became his new hood ornament. Both drivers probably saved my life by being observant and safe around cyclists. I jumped up out of the road carrying my bike and rode home completely out of sorts. I recovered with bruises to my thumbs and palms and it took two weeks to grip the handle bars again. My cycling shorts took most of the assault and are visibly abraded now even a year later. My thigh would have been minced meat if it weren’t for my Century Elite shorts. I had a huge bruise on my hip. There were no broken bones and no permanent visible scars. The most painful scar is the mental one. Every time I hop a groove or a lip in the pavement there’s an internally audible scream in my head that remembers what it was like to go down on the road that day thinking about those two approaching cars.

    • Darryl is Loving the Bike on June 25, 2012 at 1:21 pm

      Oh man, that is quite the story Whitney. Thanks for sharing it and it’s so nice to hear that you can out of that one okay. I’m not sure if you’re interested, but I’d love to create a post around your experience or have you provide the story as a guest post. Let me know what you think.

  4. Melinda on June 18, 2012 at 10:01 am

    Maybe I shouldn’t be reading this article as a “beginner.” I don’t WANT the scars! lol However, I have a hematoma knot in my belly where I fell and caught the handlebars in my stomach. This was May 28. I understand the knot may take months to disappear.

    • Darryl is Loving the Bike on June 18, 2012 at 1:28 pm

      Hahahaha, nice one Melinda. That knot sounds a little painful…..I hope it heals up soon. Thanks for checking out this post and for leaving your comments behind. Awesome.

  5. Emily Smith on June 16, 2012 at 4:08 pm

    Your “bump” looks like my husband’s (same shoulder too). In his case, he fractured his collarbone when he took a fall on bad pavement and put down his hand to block his fall. He was in a sling for awhile plus did some PT. I’d guess you probably fractured your clavicle as well. In my case, I have a 5″ scar above my right ilium from a serious cycling accident in 2005. I had surgery to put in a plate and four pins — I had fractured my pelvis from my ilium to sacrum. Still ride but have some lingering pain to this day.

    • Darryl is Loving the Bike on June 18, 2012 at 8:45 am

      Good to hear from you, Emily. That’s a nasty one you had back in 2005, but great to hear that you’re still riding. Yeah, it sounds like mine was quite similar to your Husbands….thanks for your comments.

  6. Anthony on June 15, 2012 at 2:10 pm

    No major scars here, just a few bumps and bruises.

  7. Charles on June 15, 2012 at 12:24 pm

    I’ve had some good ones. Once I was like trying to beat another rider and missed the yellow and got t-boned slid for a quarter mile on the bike and smashed my face on the road. A friend saw the whole thing and went to see who had died. It was me. She said I saw you sliding for ever my Ray Ban Gacier sunglasses took most of the hit but cut me around the eye so I had to have my orbit checked. I and the bike were ok. I remeber having to take my Sony sport headphones off tho talk to the cop. Think I had the walkman can’t remember the tune. Maybe Pink Floyd

  8. JJ on June 15, 2012 at 11:56 am

    Where do I start? I have a couple visible scars from crashes on my legs, one on my arm, and have had plenty of road rash in my past. Keep on riding.

  9. Adam on June 15, 2012 at 11:51 am

    I took a slow speed crash a couple years ago and it was enough to dislocate my shoulder. No scars but I still can’t move my shoulder in all directions without it hurting.

  10. jaseridesbikes on June 15, 2012 at 9:47 am

    Broken elbow, separated shoulder, broken rib, two scars on the brain, and plenty of muscle damage that I’m slowly sorting out with yoga and other exercises and stretching. Don’t get me started on the stuff on the skin…

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