I had a bike crash on January 30. It happened as follows: I'm westbound on Rt. 518, a two lane highway with bike lanes. A small country road, Spring Hill, goes off to the right. A big white SUV, headed westbound, overtakes me and turns right, right in front of me. I managed to avoid a collision with the SUV, but that left me headed straight for the far curb. Seeing I was going to hit the curb, I squared up the bike and hit it straight on hoping that the front wheel would roll over it. No such luck. I went over the handlebars and did a face plant in a dirt area. I never lost consciousness, got up right away and there was all sorts of blood coming from my nose. The SUV continued without stopping, Some people stopped to help and 911 was called. Meanwhile I can sort of see that the front of my nose is hanging down - later learned it's almost been sliced off. Anyway, a cop, two high school volunteers, and an ambulance show up. One of the volunteers bandaged my nose back into place from the cop's medical kit (before the ambulance got there). My wife died almost 5 years ago and I live alone. Didn't think I should call anybody to take the bike, so the cop suggested to lock it up and I could retrieve it later, The fork was bent so that there was a 2 inch or so overlap of the front wheel with the down tube, so nobody was going to ride it away, but there's a lot of tools and spare parts on it, so I wanted to recover it. The most valuable individual item was the GPS unit which I removed and took with me to the hospital. One of the volunteers rode with me in the back of the ambulance. A really nice senior who is applying to colleges and hopes to continue on to medical school. I think he'll do great. The GPS track continued all the way to the hospital (forgot to turn it off) and showed I got there about 4:45pm. Got home about a quarter after midnight. The emergency room does not move quickly! Maybe they keep people around to see if any additional symptoms show up? Anyway, the bandage was replaced, I got a tetanus shot, a CAT scan - which determined my nose was broken, an internal exam of my septum by a nose doc - the septum was deviated (had been deviated in a fight when I was a kid and straightened in high school), the nose was stitched back together, and I was generally cleaned up.

So what almost cut off my nose? Wondered about that off and on while in the ER. When I got home and checked out all my stuff, I noticed that the edge of the snap on helmet visor was rather sharp. When getting ready to board the ambulance I had collected my stuff including picking up the visor and snapping it back in. So what almost surely happened was the visor hit the ground first, was bent back towards my face and probably unsnapped about the same time and then my nose tried to push it along the ground.

Here's a link to the ridewithgps track of the ride. It shows I was going about 15 mph just before the SUV cut me off.

The next day I recovered my bike and also noticed that my neck was sore and stiff as well as my right hand. There was swelling below each eye. There were also random scratches here and there - it's winter and I was well padded (not the face though), otherwise there would probably would have been more scrapes and scratches. Also noticed that I had to concentrate on what I was doing. Otherwise my mind would wander. Two days after the ride, the wandering had gone away.  However, I still had concussion symptoms for the next few weeks.

I have to say the SUV driver probably did it intentionally. I have a bright orange fleece jacket I wear as my outer layer in winter. Also I have two blinkies on the rear - they don't just blink but also oscillate up and down. I think it was impossible for the SUV driver not to see me.

I am having surgery February 20 to fix my nose. The septum is in the middle of my left nostril and the bone between the eyes is completely broken off and clicks when I yawn. Both of these are supposed to be fixed by the surgery. I’ll have internal and external splints for a while. The doctor says he’ll also try to do something about the scar across my nose. We will see!

I haven’t been in a lot of pain (On a scale of 1 to 10, how would you describer your pain? I always answer 2 or 3.) The weekend after the crash, I spent in NYC with Candace (scaring people on the sidewalk) and we went to a Lincoln Center show, watched the movie “1917” and watched the Superbowl in a pub. Then we spent eight days on an Arizona trip (Phoenix for a Candace conference and then Tucson to visit Lynne and Glen). The point is, although I was a bit slow and sometimes got headaches, I have been functional the whole time.

I did have the surgery and that was much more painful than the injury itself. Had to take some hefty pain killers a few times. The splints and stitches were removed on February 28. As of March 2 I still have the effects of a concussion: I tire easily and get headaches occasionally. However, these seem to be decreasing with time.

I started riding again on March 20, fairly short rides, the replacement fork arrived on March 26, and the bike was put back in order on March 27, not as good as new, but as good as it was! The after effects of the concussion seem mostly gone. The biggest problem remaining as of March 28 is I’m really out of shape!

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Bike Crash, January 30, 2020 and later