Wednesday, April 11, 2018


7:52 am - Wednesday - April 11th - SoCal - 60º F, 46% humidity, wind - CALM.  Clear blue skies with a forecast high today of 82º F.  The heatwave is broken!

We've been meaning to get our VW Beetle in for its annual service, plus we've been getting this pesky check engine light since we returned to SoCal.  We're, obviously, running out of time to get that done so I was determined to drop the car off at Joel's Automotive Tuesday morning.  I have been taking my vehicles, including the Newell, to Joel for service since the early 90's.  He is very trustworthy and always very busy.  Yelp has bestowed a 4.5 star rating on Joel's based on 46 reviews, and I would go one step further......he's a 5 in my book!  I've become friends with he and his wife over the years, and they have been following our journies for the past 6 years.

After I had finished writing yesterday's missive and getting a bite to eat I jumped in the VW to drive the 18+ miles over to Joel's in Upland, CA.  Whenever I drop my cars off at Joel's I take my bicycle to ride back.  A couple of years ago when we were staying at my daughter's home in Riverside that ride was over 25 miles, so riding back to Fontana is really a piece of cake, right?

I arrived at Joel's shortly after 9:30 am and within about 15 minutes was heading south on Central Ave. on my Cannondale Bad Boy to pick up the PET*, which is about 3 blocks away.  The ride back east on the PET* was uneventful until I was crossing Day Creek Blvd. at the 10 mile mark.  As I transitioned from the crosswalk up the ramp to the sidewalk I was rolling over that yellow bumpy tread they install for the benefit of the blind when my front wheel slipped about 12" to the right causing me to fall to the was as if I had hit ice!  I fell to the ground like a sack of rocks landing on my left elbow, and then my upper left chest area on the edge of a small concrete curb that surrounds the tall traffic signal pole.  Where I landed could not have been much worse.

The fall knocked the wind out of me, and for about 3 minutes I struggled to breathe, but finally I regained my breath......I was on my hands and knees during this time, and while I struggled to regain my breath I was looking at the place where my tire slipped and could not for the life of me figure out why my tire slipped.  There was no water, sand or gravel....I was mystified, and still am.  Nevertheless, there I was on my hands and knees wheezing while my injured left elbow shed copious amounts of blood on the concrete.  Fortunately I carry a small supply of band aids for just such an emergency, so once I my breathing returned to a somewhat normal state I slowly rose to my feet and retrieved one of them to staunch the blood flow, then picked up my bike hoping I would still be able to ride the final 8.5 miles home.

By this time the shock of the crash had begun to wear off, and my ribs were beginning to to hurt.  All the while I'm wondering if I have cracked, or broken some of my ribs.  I'm pretty sure at this point that my elbow is not broken, but I'm very concerned about my ribs.  Of course when you hurt your ribs it becomes difficult to breathe, and that was what I was experiencing as I mounted my bike to finish the ride home.  There was no use in calling TLE as she had no way to come and get me, there was nothing she could do, and I saw no point in worrying her, so I just began to pedal hoping for the best.  While it did hurt to breathe I was able to breathe well enough to pedal my bike, and fortunately this portion of the PET* begins to run downhill the rest of the way home.

When I hit Cherry Ave. I knew I only had 5.5 miles home, and within 30 minutes I was pedaling across the Elks Lodge parking lot to the Newell.  As I walked up the stairs into the Newell TLE asked me how my ride was, as she always does, and I told her I had crashed about 8.5 miles earlier.  As I was speaking those words it occurred to me that this was the first time I had crashed on any road bike in over 30 years.  To be fair, I have crashed on my mountain bike riding off road numerous times over the years with my worst crash being in 1999 when I broke my left collarbone pretty severely.   This is really my first crash of any kind in almost 20 years.  

At any rate TLE let out a gasp, and immediately sprang into action helping me take my shirt off so she could assess my injures and render first aid.  I was pretty sure by this point that my ribs were not broken, or cracked.  I pretty much had full range of motion, but was just extremely sore from the crash.  Within a few minutes I was finishing a quick rinse off in the shower, and then sitting in my recliner.  TLE put a proper dressing on my left elbow, and applied some neosporin to the many abrasions and contusions which cover my left side.

I spent the rest of the afternoon resting, and beginning the healing process.  I wondered if I would be fit enough to drive the Newell this Saturday when our Jello plan dictates our departure from SoCal for points east.

So, to ride home covered 18.5 miles with an average speed of 12.7 mph burning about 1,027 calories in the process......I was averaging close to 14 miles before the crash with the downhill portion of my ride just beginning.  Thankfully I made it home without further incident, and the state of my injuries is the best possible outcome for which I could have hoped considering the fact I landed on a concrete curb.

By the time I went to bed at 10 pm I was feeling much more optimistic about my prospects, although I think we may delay our departure by a few days just to be sure I am ready to drive this 38,000 pound, 62 foot long behemoth.

Thanks for stopping by!

*PET = Pacific Electric Trail

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  1. Oh man Clark.....I was feeling just awful for you as you wrote about your fall and how you were feeling. Sounds like you very lucky.....I am so sorry that happened. Sounds like your gonna be mostly sore for a few days. Wishing you a quick recovery.

    1. Hi Sherry! I was very lucky..... Thank you for your well wishes.