by Mike Mahoney
Day 3 at Asheville Spring Training Camp 2013
“Help The Helmet Help You.”
I’m sorry to report that Carol crashed and broke her collarbone on the Ox Creek ride.
I was riding behind her and saw her go down. There was a huge branch on the road, all the way across the lane. Because I saw Carol go down, I was already on the brakes and able to get over it. Had I been cornering at speed, that probably would not have been the case. Carol told us later that the branch had actually fallen right in front of her.
EMS responded to our call very quickly and took Carol to Mission Hospital in Asheville. We’re very happy to report that except for that broken collarbone and some road rash, she’s okay, in remarkably good spirits, and home with her family.
This could have been a lot worse. I’d like to share some reasons, from first hand experience, why it wasn’t.
1. Helmet. Carol was wearing her helmet. She took a blow to the head in the crash, and the helmet was scraped and the structure was cracked.
2. Group ride. Carol wasn’t riding alone. The rest of the group was there to stop traffic and call EMS.
3. Cell phones. In our group we had multiple cell phones, and were able to call EMS right away.
4. Skills. Carol has good bike skills and was able to react, going for the smallest part of the branch. She still crashed, but it might have been a lot worse.
The lesson learned here is that one can’t predict every eventuality. No matter how skilled you are, cycling is a sport that carries some risk. No one could predict that a branch would fall right in front of a cornering cyclist, so it pays to be prepared. Carry a cell phone, ride in a group when you can, carry your emergency contact info, insurance, and RoadID if you’ve got it. And always, always, always wear a helmet.
Carol told me later that when a rider crashes on the Tour De France, the Tour rolls on, so we shouldn’t miss any training.
We miss you, Carol. Your spot in next year’s camp is waiting for you.