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Discussion: Ouch!

in: Swampfox; Swampfox > 2016-04-14

Apr 15, 2016 1:26 AM # 
This is not the usual Swampfox entry I was expecting to see! I'm glad there is enough of you unscrambled to stitch back together! Do you have any idea what happened? Very scary - I might have started to panic a bit about not being able to figure out which way to go, much less what had happened. Ouch. Feel better soon.
Apr 15, 2016 1:55 AM # 
I don't have any idea. The bike path is wide, flat, smooth, paved, and there wasn't a speck of debris, not even a discarded Wendy's hamburger wrapper. Also, it's not like I am crash prone. I ride a lot, I've ridden my whole life, and I've never gone down on a road bike before.
Apr 15, 2016 6:40 AM # 
I also am glad that you wore your helmet that day! Heal quickly.

Glad you live in a place where passersby will stop and check in after witnessing a bike crash.
Apr 15, 2016 8:09 AM # 
Hoppsan, krya på Dig snabbt - vi vill ha vår Sumpräv i gammal god form ;)
Apr 15, 2016 8:12 AM # 
Things can happen very quickly, especially on a bike. Get well soon! Very glad it wasn't worse, but certainly sorry that you have to go through this.
Apr 15, 2016 11:04 AM # 
Interesting how you have to use a malfunctioning brain to try and save itself in a situation like that. Listening to the description, it sounds completely clear that you had a concussion and needed medical help, and that riding a bike and driving a car to get it is maybe not the best idea. But when you have a brain that can't figure out which way home is, it's not too surprising that it doesn't understand that things are seriously amiss.

Given that you don't know what happened, I guess there's a possibility that the reason for your falling wasn't there for you to see afterwards. I'm thinking along the lines of a badger that darted out onto the path, and fled after you hit it, and you just didn't get a chance to store that in memory before you were knocked out. But even though you claim there was no whiskey involved, my money is on a wild turkey.
Apr 15, 2016 12:12 PM # 
So distressing to hear about your accident, and thanks for sharing the story.

One of my current favorite phrases is "Life is full of surprises, and some of them are even good." Unfortunately, sometimes they really suck.

You're a tough dude, and I know you will heal and be back as active as ever. In the meantime, particularly when it comes to the Laramie Daze, don't be afraid to ask for help.

Gail and I are sitting here, thinking about you, telling fond stories. You're a good man, Mr. Swampfox.
Apr 15, 2016 4:45 PM # 
So sorry to hear about this! Glad that you are healing.

Quite strange that you don't know why you fell, and frustrating that the moment you need to remember is of course the one lost from hitting your head. Do you think it was something external (car, badger, etc)? No chance that something happened that you fainted/passed out first, which caused the fall? A while back at work somebody blacked out in their office, and the doctors struggled to figure out if he'd fallen and then hit his head causing him to lose consciousness... or if something happened to make him lose consciousness and then he fell.
Apr 15, 2016 5:59 PM # 
What JJ said. If you don't already carry a phone, please do, and call someone for assistance. Even a submoron will help a Swampfox in distress.
Apr 15, 2016 7:17 PM # 
@Suzzane Naturally I've wondered what happened. Or, since I'll never know for sure, what *most likely* happened, given a universe of possibilities and assigning probabilities to each possible event to sum 1.

The vast majority of things are so random and so unlikely that they're utterly beyond any predictability and therefore no use in terms of thinking if there are future behaviors someone should change; for instance, a random object could have tumbled out of the sky, struck me resulting in my fall, and then fallen out of view off the bike path. It's a very, very low probability event, and it would make no sense at all to abandon biking for fear of that happening (or happening again.)

I also think it's a very, very low probability that I fainted first, and then fell. Total travel time from the point I got on the bike path, and was doing fine, and the point where I came to and was sitting on the ground was at most 2-3 seconds. I've fainted before, but never out of the blue with no explanatory circumstance (like needles having been poked in me), and each time there was ample warning I was about to faint.

When I am riding, I am constantly anticipating bumps and such up ahead, and to minimize them, I lift myself ever so slightly out of the seat, lighten my grip off the handlebar, and put nearly all of my weight on my feet, and let the bike frame absorb most of the shock. It's so slight a movement that I doubt anyone watching would take note of it, and I do it hundreds of times at least per ride without thinking about it.

My best guess is that I did that right as I was leaving the road and getting on the bike path--where there is a small bump at the connection--and that very shortly after I was on the bike path my left hand might have slipped as I was re-gripping the handlebar. My right hand could have ended up torqueing the wheel to the right in that case, and it would have led me to tumbling off the bike an onto my left side, which is consistent with the injuries I suffered.

I give that event a fairly high probability and higher than the probability of all the other possibilities taken together. But, again, I'll never know for sure.
Apr 15, 2016 7:52 PM # 
Have you canvassed the area for security camera footage...? We could reconstruct the sequence of events just like the Corey Lewandowski Incident. :-)
Apr 15, 2016 7:58 PM # 
I'd say you got stroke. But lucky you got your head immediately hit so hard the stuff that caused the blockage got loose and disintegrated. And the blood flood was blocked only for a second so no sign of the event can be found.
Apr 15, 2016 8:22 PM # 
(like needles having been poked in me)

Or needles poked into somebody else in the room...
Apr 15, 2016 9:34 PM # 
Have you tried playing guitar? If you can do that, then all is well. Wishing you a speedy recovery. Hopefully by the time I see you around the end of June you'll be nearly normal, er, back to your usual self.
Apr 16, 2016 12:49 AM # 
Yikes! That sounds very scary and I'm glad you were able to get home safely. Hope the recovery goes quickly.
Apr 16, 2016 4:39 AM # 
Best wishes on your recovery, don't forget to buy a new helmet. Too bad you will be missing some epic Yowsa!!! this weekend and possibly some excellent skiing.
Apr 16, 2016 5:21 AM # 
Very shaken that this has happened to you. You move through the woods so smoothly and confidently that I always imagined that you were indestructible. Hope you are back riding and orienteering in the near future.
Apr 16, 2016 5:35 AM # 
Oops. Just saw in kissy's log that guitar playing is out. Hope you can listen to a lot of music!
Apr 16, 2016 3:44 PM # 
To all of you: thank you very much for your kind thoughts and well wishes. It certainly makes me feel better, and that means a lot.
Apr 16, 2016 3:57 PM # 
Very scary! Glad you are on the mend.

You might look at your spokes to see if any are bent. Maybe a stick through the spokes??
Apr 16, 2016 9:04 PM # 
The bike path was spic and span--you could have served dinner off of it. And my bike is 100% mechanically sound, and no bent spokes. Obviously I have a bike that is much smarter and more quick witted than I am, as it suffered no damage at all, while it looks like I absorbed all the shock of the fall. When I am better, maybe me and mister bike will have a talk and go over our respective duties again--especially the part where, if we go down, we go down together and split the damage. It's not as if I'm unwilling to take it in for repairs!

@Dennis: music, of course. I was just listening to some Merle Haggard. And I have begun the process of teaching myself how to play the guitar Jeff Healey style, which ought to be at least somewhat easier since I can see.

@Geoman: you remain inspirational to me, and you must have on e of th emost amazing bodies/psyches of all time! Compared to what you went through and survived, what has happened here to me is nothing.
Apr 16, 2016 11:21 PM # 
You ended up unclipped from your pedals in the process, yes?
Apr 17, 2016 3:13 AM # 
I still have old school toe clips, and my shoes did come out.
Apr 17, 2016 9:27 PM # 
I have rethought this, and if your reporting is accurate, I don't believe the driver saw you fall. When he said he saw you "flip off your bike", I think what happened is that, in your stupor, you were sitting there giving it the middle finger.
Apr 18, 2016 1:49 AM # 
Sorry to hear about your accident. Might have been a "confused Marmot" that wandered down from the high country and crossed your path and then went back up into the hills.

Wishing you successful surgery and a speedy recovery.

Went over the handlebars once myself on a bike path in Germany. Pedal caught on a short post and totally stopped the bike. Happens quickly.
Apr 18, 2016 12:34 PM # 
Either way whatever happened, get well soon!

This happened to me riding a my bike, after a hard technical ride in Co, just taking the easy flat single track back into town. I was flipped over by a 3 in root sticking up from the ground. Never saw it and quite the surprise. Cracked helmet, but no other serious injuries. Had to go back to find my watch the next morning when the alarm went off.
See you in Laramie in June.
Apr 18, 2016 3:42 PM # 
Wow, just heard about this at the Troll Cup. On TV---those little bits of amnesia always come back at the most critical time so maybe, after some time, you will remember better what happened.

After you do heal though, you should consider doing something a bit safer--how about bull ridging or bronco busting? Perfect for a Wyoming lad that drives around with a bucking bronco on his license plates. And, instead of Jukola or Tiomila or Laramie Daze you could participate in the world famous Cheyenne Frontier Days!

Seriously, I hope you heal quickly and can find something (elliptical? STATIONARY bike) that lets you keep some fitness while you are recovering.
Apr 19, 2016 12:41 AM # 
Terrifying to read about this, Swampfox. Good luck with the recovery! As PG wrote, you are a tough dude, and I have all the belief in the world that you'll be back to enjoying being active and racing and kicking butt. Lots of warm, healing thoughts for you from the east coast.
Apr 19, 2016 1:59 AM # 
Thank you very much, Boris. I have been following your back struggles and it sounds just horrible. I have some extra amount of empathy for that because--somewhat oddly--the single most painful and uncomfortable thing I've had to deal with have been back spasms, presumably in some effort to compensate for all the other stuff. Getting comfortable can be very difficult and it sounds what I've have experienced is absolutely nothing compared to what you are going through.

You have my very best wishes for finding a successful solution for your back troubles.
Apr 19, 2016 9:31 AM # 
Wow, champ, don't break! And when you do break, heal fast! Maybe descend to sea-level for some oxygen-rich air. Best wishes!
Apr 19, 2016 5:43 PM # 
Just heard about this Mikell. I'm so sorry!

If it helps any, I feel at least some of your pain. I slipped on ice during an evening trail run back in mid-January and fractured three ribs. I was also mildly concussed. Though my GPS log indicated that I was only down for a few seconds, I have no memory of the fall. Your description of disorientation immediately after was very familiar. In my case, I had to jog three miles back down the trail in the dark as the temps were falling into the 20's. So I can relate to your story of making it back afterwards!

Because there was torn cartilage (I think) along with the bone fractures, I'm still not pain-free. But I was able to get out on snow shoes (not skis) a couple weeks later, and back to jogging after about five weeks. Ran in the Troll Cup this past weekend!

Best of luck with the surgery and with your recovery Mikell. I'll be thinking of you!
Apr 19, 2016 5:47 PM # 
Thank you again for all of you who have been thinking of me. It is very heartening and worth more to me than you would guess--unless, unfortunately, you've had the "fortune" to be on the other side of something like this.
Apr 19, 2016 6:17 PM # 
Ten years ago when my father began to have problems with his right ankle and could not run he decided to buy his first roller blades and try learning how to skate with them. At age 70 that was. All went well until there was construction work at the largest downhill he dared to skate down. There was several meters with no asphalt. He tried to just lean back and roll over it, but ground was too soft and he dived head first. Luckily the biggest and only serious damage was a broken helmet.

So, my two euro cents is that if you ever end up trying roller blades and end up in the same situation with enough speed, consider jumping over it.
Apr 19, 2016 7:42 PM # 
Best wishes and speedy recovery! Knowing your spirit you definitely will be riding bikes again soon and enjoying runs in woods. Please consider this for future
Apr 19, 2016 10:52 PM # 
From the FAQ on their website:

> Can I wear an ordinary cycle helmet or other head protection with Hövding?
> No.
Apr 20, 2016 2:29 AM # 
Scary stuff, Swampfox. Get well fast!

This discussion thread is closed.