Oops, I did it again. I suffered my third bicycle accident several days ago. The more and more I ride, the worse and worse the accidents seem to get. In order to understand how it happened, you first need to understand my favorite athletic tracking website
What is Strava?
Strava is a website that tracks running, swimming, and most popularly, cycling. Strava has a social media aspect to it as well in that you can follow the workouts of other users and post comments and kudos. One of the main draws to Strava is the concept of the KOM or ‘King of the Mountain’. After uploading the GPS file of a bike ride, Strava automatically breaks it down into ‘segments’ which are popular sections of a road, climb, or trail. There is a leaderboard for each segment. If you capture the number one spot, then you earn the KOM.
That’s nice, but how did you crash?
I was attempting to obtain all of the KOMs on my ride home from work. I had four out of the eight and was looking to raise it to five with the ‘50th to Kiewit Curve’ segment.
In order to obtain the KOM I would have to go all out for one mile. I was cooking, achieving speeds that would be illegal in school zones. I dodged low hanging branches which attempted to decapitate me and avoided the rabbits that play Frogger with my carbon fiber TT bike. At that effort level you can feel the lactic acid rushing into your veins as if your blood was on fire. The poisonous burn is so intense that your legs would come to a stop if not for the antidote known as adrenaline. After a two minute balls to the wall run I let off the throttle and got on the brakes for the sharp left turn ahead. I leaned into the curve, but rather than getting swung around the bend, the tires slid out from beneath me and I went crashing to the concrete.
Ouch, that sounds like it hurt!
Yeah, I was pretty bloody and the fingers on my left hand seemed to have lost some functionality. I considered calling for some help, but felt that I deserved it for taking the turn too quickly, so I rode the seven miles home. My father was nice enough to drive me the rest of the way to the ER where the very kind nurses bandaged me up.
Thankfully I have insurance. But a trip to the emergency room followed up with surgery to put a pin in my finger is certainly going to go a long ways towards achieving the maximum out of pocket limit of my high deductible health plan. All things considered though, I was lucky that it wasn’t more serious. Just a broken pinky finger and some road rash.
I hoped you learned your lesson!
What’s the silver lining to this story? Well I got the KOM – no pain, no gain.