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Lena Has Bad Bike Crash
Old 03-27-2013, 10:51 AM   #1
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Lena Has Bad Bike Crash

Last Sunday, Lena (wife) and I drove to Redding California from the coast in order to ride in some warm weather. We rode along the Sacramento River Rail Trail (MUP).


At one point she was a little ahead of me, descending a hill. I came around a curve, and found her on the ground, bloody and not moving. She was totally unresponsive at first, and I called for an ambulance. It was hard to describe to them exactly where we were, but the bike computer helped by giving latitude and longitude.

She gradually recovered consciousness, but had no memory of the crash, and kept asking the same questions over and over. Her helmet was cracked.

The ambulance got there 30 minutes later. She started vomiting on the way to the hospital. At the hospital we found that she had one broken rib and four cracked ribs. Road rash but no other broken bones. She had bleeding on the surface of the brain, and was put in the ICU.

In addition, when scanning the abdomen, they found a cyst on the pancreas, which will have to be removed soon.

The bleeding on the brain stopped by the next day, and she'll make a full recovery. She was released yesterday (Tuesday), and we are home now. We'll probably exceed the deductible on her insurance, so the crash will cost us $5,900.


She says she doesn't ever want to ride again. She may change her mind, but I understand how she feels.

Right now, I'm kind of feeling that it's not worth it. When someone was killed on my regular route it didn't phase me at all, but seeing my wife bloody and unconscious on the ground makes the whole thing more real in a way you can't appreciate until it happens to you.

After a crash a few years ago, I was thinking about this, and Haha made the good observation that "It doesn't have to be all or nothing. You might, for example, just avoid riding on dangerous roads." But what could be safer than a paved bicycle trail , right?

She still doesn't remember the actual crash.

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Old 03-27-2013, 10:54 AM   #2
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Al, that is really frightening! Hope Lena recovers soon.

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Old 03-27-2013, 10:57 AM   #3
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Scary indeed. Hope for a full and uneventful recovery.
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Old 03-27-2013, 10:57 AM   #4
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TA, that is awful to have happened to her, and to you, but I am so glad to read Lena is going to make a full recovery.

I always like reading about your adventures with Lena, and I know you must be worried about her. My wishes for a speedy recovery to her.

And yeah, I would think you could be safe on a bike path. That is the only place I would even ride any more. I wonder if something jumped out in front of her that startled her.

Take care.
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Old 03-27-2013, 11:07 AM   #5
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I hope she recovers fully, sorry to hear this happened.

As a fellow rider, I understand the fear, especially as we age. Was on a 20 mile loop last fall and got sideswiped by a pickup. Luckily I didn't fall, but scared the h*ck out of me. I still love to ride and think the small risk is worth it.

Again, hope she recovers quickly and reconsiders riding again...such a joy to ride.
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Old 03-27-2013, 11:12 AM   #6
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Bless you both.
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Old 03-27-2013, 11:15 AM   #7
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Sorry to hear that. Best wishes to Lena and you.
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Old 03-27-2013, 11:23 AM   #8
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Hugs and best wishes to Lena. Clearly this experience has shaken you both up.

Many years ago when I was a neurosurgical intern in Ireland (in the days before bike helmets became the norm), a French lady in her 20s was airlifted to our hospital from a remote part of the country where she had been on a bike trip. Like Lena, she was found unconscious at the bottom of a hill. Her brakes had failed. Unlike Lena, she never woke up. She was about my own age and I used to sit with her in the ICU and hold her hand before her family arrived. A month later she was flown back to France for long term care.

It could have been so much worse!
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Old 03-27-2013, 11:23 AM   #9
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Sorry to hear about it, but glad she will make a complete recovery... the good thing is that the helmet did its job...

I will say that since nobody knows exactly why she crashed, why stop doing something that you both love Are there any theories on why? Was there water? Was it a turn?

I had a nephew who was almost killed riding a motorcycle... they found him unconscious on the side of the road with his helmet cracked... he also did not remember what happened (theory is that he hit a bump wrong... it is a steep uphill and you turn there, so a bad bump would throw your back wheel out)....

He did not give up riding since he did love it..

I do agree that riding on dangerous roads is something to avoid, but totally giving it up?
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Old 03-27-2013, 11:25 AM   #10
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She (and You) are already in my prayers.
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Old 03-27-2013, 11:30 AM   #11
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Sorry to hear this, T-AL. I hope that Lena will recover fully.

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Old 03-27-2013, 11:30 AM   #12
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Sorry about the accident. Maybe a tandem until she regains her confidence?
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Old 03-27-2013, 11:40 AM   #13
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Sorry to hear. Wishing you both a speedy recovery, and continued happiness and fitness from your bicycling.
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Old 03-27-2013, 11:44 AM   #14
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That's awful and very scary. I'm glad she's going to be alright, and I can imagine her reluctance to get back in the saddle, time will tell. Guess you'll just have to hit the Bowflex more often for now.

I'm a rider too. You've made me seriously question riding alone on backroads (as I often do, less traffic)...

We all wish you the very best! Take care of yourselves...
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Old 03-27-2013, 11:45 AM   #15
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How scary! I wish her well on her road to recovery.
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Old 03-27-2013, 11:46 AM   #16
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So sorry to hear about Lena but glad that she is recovering .
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Old 03-27-2013, 11:47 AM   #17
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Sorry to hear this Al, I hope Lena recovers soon.

Our friends in England had a similar experience a few weeks ago, with the wife unconscious and a cracked bike helmet, 2 nights in hospital. She still doesn't remember what happened to cause her to fall. They have been using their tandem since then but when they come to join us in Ireland in May they say they are bringing their mountain bikes.

Whether or not you both decide to give up biking, you'll always have the great memories of your biking adventures.
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Old 03-27-2013, 11:48 AM   #18
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Sorry to hear! I hope she has a great recovery. That cyst on the pancreas is probably not from the accident, is it? If not, that might be a good thing to have found.
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Old 03-27-2013, 11:49 AM   #19
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Very sorry to hear this.
I really kick myself when I get my DW hurt because of a risky or dumb decision.
But then there are these situations where no one is to blame. Life can be strange sometimes.
I hope Lena makes a perfect physical and emotional recovery.
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Old 03-27-2013, 11:49 AM   #20
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Sorry to hear of this Al. I sense that not only do you love riding, you love riding WITH Lena, so this will be a hard pill for both of you if she's not able (mentally) to saddle-up again. You both are in our thoughts and prayers.


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