This past weekend was the Tour de Murrieta, a two day omnium (points) race consisting of a criterium on Saturday (03/11) and circuit race on Sunday (03/12). I managed to take a drop in the criterium, just four laps into the race.
It was cold and windy and the race course wasn't great. It was narrow for the last turn and finish but it was the back stretch (just after turn 2) where I met pavement. Y'see, there were cones on the left side separating us from traffic going the opposite direction. There wasn't a lot of traffic on that road so it wasn't a great concern, but the widely spaced and haphazardly placed cones were and issue, exacerbated by the driving wind.
The road was wide enough there but the wind had everyone fighting to stay in a draft, echeloning to the far left and into the cones. Cones weren't placed uniformly, leaving guys guessing as to whether the next one would be to the left, on, or to the right of the traffic line. And because cones were only every 15-20 feet, they left room for guys to weave in and out, leading people behind right into the cones. On lap four, someone hit the cone and stopped, causing others to slow, stop, and me to crash into the pile.
I tumbled over my right shoulder. I remember the first impact was hitting the back of my helmet really hard. Then I hit my right hip and butt, rolled onto my back, and somehow got my left knee and calf involved. Luckily I had scrubbed off a lot of speed before the impact, so I felt it wasn't devistating. I quickly sprung up and gathered myself. All limbs and motor functions seemed fine, so then I checked the bike and it seemed okay, too. I got the chain back on track and then got a friendly tow behind the motor official to the pit on the other side of the course.
I was still a bit groggy and pissed off by my misfortune. In the pit, I examined the bike again to make sure it was good to race. I'd lost my single waterbottle in the fall, but luckily, the pit guy gave me a regular bottle of water, which was better than running dry. As the pack neared, I mounted and got a nice hold and then send off from the pit dude. Thanks to pit dude and SRAM for lending support!
I wasn't the same in the race after the crash. I was aching and a bit shaky. However, I settled down for the most part by the end, putting in a monster effort to help the team chase down a break at the finish.
ADM Damage: A couple chunks of skin at the left knee were gone and I had some road rash at the calf. There was a little road rash on my left shoulder. There was more road rash on my right butt cheek and up my back. I also had a scraped right elbow. I think someone ran into my left side because my ribs have been sore for three days, there. And that night and the next day, my neck was stiff and sore because of the hard head impact. The great news was all the injuries were very minor. It stung when I got into the shower but I didn't have to sponge bath it. I also didn't have to use bandages - instead, I just applied Neosporin and allowed the wounds to air out. They weren't deep enough to seep!
Equipment Damage: My newly-issued team Specialized Decibel helmet was destroyed (sorry, no pics). From the outside, it appeared to have been hit but didn't look bad. But looking on the inside, you could see the helmet did a heck of a job giving itself up for my melon. It cracked big-time and an inner-support beam was pushing through the foam. I was wearing the same clothes I messed up at Sisquoc last year. They held together nicely. My shoe covers and shoes got scuffed but they're entirely good and useable again. The bike also seemed to make it through fine except for some brake/shift levers that are now more scratched than ever.
On a scale of 1-10, 10 being my best crash, this one gets a 2.