Now I know how easy it is to break the collar bone when we fall down from the bike, i.e. bike crash. And I now also know how important it is to always wear a helmet while riding a bike.
Because it happened to me last night. My first bike crash.
Wednesday night is our normal weekly riding night. There were seven cyclists altogether last night. Together with another duathlete, he and I came early to training site to do a 6km run prior to riding. The weather was nice, with a very little drizzle at the start.
Done with the slow run, we went for cycling. I paired up with another triathlete who’s doing a last minute training for Desaru, and side by side with him I shifted to my heaviest gear (to do quads power training) and started the cruise. And paddling with heavy gears means cadence is within 65 to 75 rpm, perfect to be in aero position all the way comfortably. On the flat, or while climbing inclinations.
The first loop was ok. On the second loop, I almost hit a fallen tree branch lying on the tarmac, under the tree shadow. The road was actually well lit by the street lights, but there were some dark areas where the lights were blocked by the shady tree branches.
It happened on the third loop. I was still in aero position (i.e. hands are away from the brakes), followed by my friend at the back who was also in aero position. While riding pretty slowly up the incline (I reckon it was around 25kph or less), I suddenly saw the tree branch one meter ahead in the darkness of the shadow and there’s no way I could maneuver my bike away from it.
“Kayu!!!”, I shouted to my friend.
I went straight onto the fallen tree branch on the road. In a split second, I swerved to the left as my front tire lifted up from the ground when it hit the branch. My hands were still holding the aerobars and my left shoulder took the first impact, followed by another impact on the left side of my skull onto the tarmac. At that particular microsecond after the impact, all I could think was “luckily I was wearing a helmet”.
I think I rolled myself on the tarmac to avoid any other hard impact to any other bones. And the next moment when I re-opened my eyes, there I saw my buddy also fell down. He said he didn’t manage to avoid hitting my tires. Luckily there were no vehicles coming close from behind. Or else it will be a different story.
My aerobars were dislocated, with a bit of a scratch at the ends. The right hand side shifters were badly scratched, but still functioning. There was also a bit of dislocation on the back wheel, and no other major damage on my bicycle. My buddy were much luckier, both him and his bike survived the accident with injury free.
I stood up, checked my body, bones and skins. I felt a big pain on my left shoulder, blood were coming out from the big laceration there. There were also some other lacerations on my left knee, right elbow and on my left and right hand fingers.
We then picked up our bikes, and continued riding back to where we parked our cars. My left shoulder was tingling with pain, but I could still paddle. Once arrived at the car park, I quickly threw in my bike inside the car and told my buddy I need to rush to the clinic before it closes. Time was showing 10.30pm when I reached the clinic and luckily the doctor was still there.
Anyway, the morale of the story are:
1) Always wear a helmet when you go riding. No matter how slow or short your cycling session is going to be.
2) If you see obstructions on the road, e.g. fallen tree branch, big stones, potholes, etc., please notify your cycling buddies and if however possible, stop cycling for a while and remove the obstacles away from the road.
3) Always bring along your ID and insurance card if you have. You never know when you will be needing them desperately.
4) Well, this is not really a morale of the story. But it would be good to have at least a phone with a camera along with you, especially if you are a blogger like me who likes to write drama. Ngeh ngeh ngeh.