First Bike Accident – 15 Stitches

OK. I was getting cocky. 47 miles on Saturday, 35 miles on Sunday.  Both in crazy wind. Then back on the bike this morning at 6am in 35 degrees to meet my buddy Chuck to ride to the ocean. I felt unstoppable.

It was dark when I kissed the curb…
Because it was daylight savings, we were relying heavily on our bike lights to navigate the dark.

We were riding at a nice clip, chatting away about our weekends when my bike hit a really rough patch in the road. Suddenly my front tire veered out from under me, throwing me off the bike. I slammed my knee and my elbow right into the curb, butchered my handlebars, and killed my mirror.

I’m fine. Let’s keep riding.
After rolling around in pain for 10 minutes feeling like I was going to puke, I said, “OK. I’ll be fine. I’m sure it’s just bruised. Let’s keep going.” I was unbelievably slow and the pain kept moving from my knee to my elbow. But we kept going – we went 15 miles before my constant wincing got the best of me.

Finally, the smarter of the two of us, Chuck suggested as we passed his house that he drive me the rest of the way home. On the way, I insisted that we stop at Starbucks, not wanting to shortchange our entire morning ritual.

Let’s take a look.
As I limped into Starbucks, I said, “Let’s see what the bruise looks like.” As I rolled up the 3 layers of bike tights to see my knee, I lost it. The gash on my knee was so deep that we could see bone in between blood and flaps of skin.

Urgent Care doctor sent us away
My husband Rob met me at Starbucks and then rushed me to the urgent care facility in town. The doctor on call took one look at my knee and said, “Honey, I see bone. Go to the emergency room.”

Doc said 2 weeks, I negotiated for 1
So, Rob, a total trooper, rushed me over to the hospital. The ER doctor said, “Bummer. You need stitches and you can’t ride for 2 weeks.” I said, “Better make them strong stitches, doc. I’m training for the Moxie Ride. I’ll give you 1 week off the bike.”

Maya, the wonderful physician’s assistant with a great Russian accent, kept shaking her head. How in the heck did I keep riding with this horrific gash in my knee? she asked.

15 stitches later…
Maya went to work sewing 3 stitches in my elbow and 12 in my knee. 4 hours, 8 xrays, andMaya's beautiful work 15 stictches later I was ready to limp home. Now, my knee is swollen. I can’t bend my elbow. And the right side of my body is throbbing with pain. But all I keep thinking about is how freaking fortunate I am that nothing was broken and that the Ride will go on!

Chuck is a little upset
He says that he knew better and should have stopped us from riding after the crash. I said I never would have acquiesced. We had to go to the ocean to see the magnificent sky. He claims that when I was rolling around in pain on some Oceanport resident’s lawn yelling in pain, he had the advantage of reality. I disagree. I couldn’t see how bad it was and therefore in my mind, it wasn’t that bad.  

Anything to learn (or remember) in all of this?
I’m not as infallible as I think I am.
I am always 1 pot hole away from being side-lined with stitches.
A bright bright light for riding in the dark is essential.
I’m grateful for the helmet on my head.
I have the ability to stay in control, but I need to pay attention.
Nothing on this adventure (or in life) is guaranteed to go as planned.
And so resilience is my best friend (next to Rob, of course).


About moxieride

I'm the Founder of LifeMoxie and I'm riding my bicycle across the country this summer to celebrate people who love their jobs and to celebrate the moxie managers who help us make work matter.
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3 Responses to First Bike Accident – 15 Stitches

  1. janet says:

    Keep the faith. All will be well if you take time to heal. Lo0oking forward to seeing you in Colorado!

  2. janet benjaminson says:

    Keep the faith. All will be well if you take time to heal. Looking forward to seeing you in Colorado.

  3. So sorry to hear about your accident…..loved the lessons learned….but ouch!
    Will keep an eye on your adventures that’s for sure.

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