Sunday, June 21, 2015

Goddard Olympic Tri: Crash, Flat, and Burn


Oh My Goddard Olympic Tri
Goddard Park, Warwick
Sunday, June 21, 2015

4am wake-up call.  Was impressed that Matthew was already up and showering at 3:45. On the drive out to Goddard we encountered brief downpours, but it let up as we arrived and was just a light rain as we set up in transition and started the race.

The swim:  AC/DC's "Thunderstruck" was blasting at the start of my swim wave.  How cool is that!  Tom asked me if I asked them to cue that up for me.  Right at the start, I stubbed my toe good on a big rock, but otherwise uneventful.  I got into my slow but steady rhythm as I rounded the first buoy, I could feel and hear that the pouring rain had returned.  Finished the swim in 31 minutes (1.5K), for some reason 4 minutes slower than last year.   On the run up to T1, I was pleasantly surprised to see Steve Schonning out cheering in the rain.

The bike:  On my way out of transition, I passed Matthew coming in.  (He was in the next wave, but swam three minutes faster than me.)  Leaving Goddard Park and onto NK roads, I was feeling good on the aerobars and passing probably 4 people for every one that passed me.  And then it happened ...

I was having trouble seeing in a downpour, and was heading downhill at 28mph passing two bikers on their left.  I was on the center line of the road, and with a van driving towards me, I moved right to get clearly back into my lane.  With the flooding on the road and downpour, I didn't notice 'til the last second that the road was uneven and milled for repaving, and there was at least a 1" gap between road surfaces.  Too late!  I went airborne, the bike chain somehow struck me in the ankle and came off, and I came down hard on my hip, then skidded backwards on the road on my shoulder and arm.  Scared, dazed, and hurting, I picked myself off the road while the two cycler-witnesses came to a complete stop to check on me.  I waved them on to keep going with a lie that I felt fine.  Pulled my bike to the side of the road, and freed and put the chain back on.

What do you when you fall off the bike?  You get back on.  Slowly got on the bike.  Bike computer not working, brake lever bent, shifter not working, but otherwise manageable.  After the next turn, I see Tommy walking his bike in the wrong direction.  Not good.  It turns out he had a flat and didn't bring any flat-fixing supplies.  I continue on another mile or so, when I get a flat myself.  Uggh!  Now should I take a DNF?  Once again, pulled the bike to the side of the road.  Changed out the old tube for the new one when a vehicle from Providence Bikes pulled up with a pump.  Nice!  He gave me a grimace at the blood running down from my shoulder and back, but was a great help.

During my two stops, Matthew had passed me.  I somehow caught up to him, and with my own race now shot, and it being Father's Day, figured I'd spend some time with my son as we rode together for the rest of the ride.

The Run:  Painful start, as the hip was really bothering me.  Very slow first mile in 9:21, but I felt better and picked it up slightly with each progressive mile:  7:37, 7:19, 7:09, 6:58, 6:15.

Obviously no awards for me today (8th out of 14 in my age group), but I'm glad I finished at all, and was happy to get a voicemail from Steve saying I should get the courage award for finishing.

Congrats to Shara for 3rd overall female, and to Matthew for first overall in run portion.  Sore and painful tonight.  Will take next couple of days to recover and bring the bike in tomorrow for an assessment.

Now, for the obligatory body pics I know you've all been craving (I have a feeling these will be black and blue in the next day or so):

After cleaning up blood and mud, remaining
 road rash on the hip

and shoulder



  1. Oof. When I woke up and saw the rain coming down I thought of you guys. Sorry about the crash and glad you're not "too" banged up. Hope the bike recovers as well.

  2. Replies
    1. Yeah, it turns out body sledding on asphalt isn't all it's cracked up to be. Who knew?

  3. There's a great line about cyclists: "There are those who have fallen...and there are those who will." Welcome to the first half of that quote. I had a similar crash during my one and only bike race and remember it hurting quite a bit to shower afterwards. Hope you made it through yours (assuming you took one...).

  4. Glad you are okay. Tough and gutsy to carry on. Heal up. Well done.

  5. Holy crap Jeff. Glad you are in one piece and not shredded. I've seen bike crashes on dry pavement, I can't imagine wet, although maybe the rain helps skid rather than scrape? How are the injuries progressing?