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.