Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Cycling can be really dangerous

I frequently read Google's Wattage group and typically see the same folks posting messages. I'm not sure why I decided to go into Wattage Member Blogs today, maybe I wanted to check out other winter training regimes. I came upon this one, and it kinda disturbed me and made me really think about life, how fragile it can be and how we should embrace life as if each day is our last day. Life can be so precious.

The first one listed was "Alex's Cycle Blog - A journal covering my cycling exploits, training, racing and learnings, with a focus on training and racing with a power meter. More recently, I have been writing about my rehab from a serious injury." He responds to a lot of topics on the Wattage group, and is pretty knowledgeable about training with power. I started screening through his posting to learn more about his injury and if it were cycling related. And, here's what happened. Not sure what the lesson is, but we should all be more carefully out on the road. I totally cringe when I see my fellow cyclists run red lights, blast through stop signs, etc. I'm not sure how I'd react to an injury like this, but its really refreshing to read Alex's positive postings and to see that this is not derailing his cycling ambition.

Gettin’ Fat / What Happened?

"As I entered the car park, all was normal – quiet. I checked the traffic left and right on Fraters Ave. And Riverside Dr. and nothing was about. I’m usually pretty careful at this point as there are a number of potential hazards (speed humps, gravel, glass etc) on what looks a pretty straight little piece of road. I did nothing different today. I have been through here dozens and dozens of times over many years. Suddenly, out of nowhere, a boomgate, closed across the entrance to the car park appears right in front of me, and I mean with only a fraction of a second to spare. Crunch.

I hit it flush at speed, no time for braking or avoidance manoeuvres. The left leg, just below the knee took the full force and this impact caused all the damage. I wasn’t actually sure what part of my leg had broken at the time, I found out later in hospital: a fractured tibial plateau (the upper bulge section of the shin bone or tibia) – pretty well smashed into lots of fragments, a fractured fibula, a severed posterior tibial artery and severe damage to tissue and capiliaries of lower leg, leading to compartment syndrome and operations to graft in a new artery and a knee to ankle fasciotomy on both sides of my lower leg to deal with the severe nature of the inflammation. Multiple operations and many weeks of treatment later, the complications could not be resolved, too much flesh had died (almost all the lower leg muscle tissue bar the upper calf muscle) resulting in the need to amputate the now non-viable lower leg."

1 comment:

Adam said...

Two guys on DC Velo have been hit in the last week in separate incidents. Scary indeed! I've been hit 4 times and been extremely lucky injury-wise each time. Be careful!