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Downeast Debacle
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dan emery
Joined: 11 Jan 2004
Posts: 6545
Location: Maine

7/31/21 11:42 AM

Downeast Debacle

Well itís been 3 weeks since this happened, so I guess Iím removed enough to post about it now.

I went with Rick Hardy and my friend Mike for a 3-day ride on the Downeast Sunrise Trail, the northern end of the East Coast Greenway. Itís a multi use rail trail in Hancock and Washington County, Maine (north of Bar Harbor).

About 5 miles in I apparently rode into or tried to skirt a pothole/puddle (heavy rains the day before), the bike got sideways, and flipped so I landed on my right side. I say ďapparentlyĒ because I remember none of this. I was knocked out for about 5 minutes, then started to come to but was nonresponsive, then responded but I didnít know who Rick and Mike were or where I was. We were taken back to the trailhead by 2 helpful ATVs, and I remember none of that.

I spent 2 nights in the hospital, where my cognition came back except for the blank period. I also had 4 cracked ribs and a punctured lung, into which they inserted a tube.

The ribs are still moderately painful but not too bad, the lung is OK, but the biggest lasting problem is hip pain that makes it difficult to walk. X-rays have been negative, so I think itís inflammation which will just have to settle out - Iíll start PT. I have hardware on one side which probably doesnít help.

Iím glad I was wearing a Bontrager Wavecell helmet. It had dents and abrasions on top of the helmet as well as the right side. Dents on the top of the helmet suggests to me a fairly acrobatic flip. I obviously canít say the contribution of the helmet to protecting me, but Iím glad I had it. And I definitely donít begrudge the extra weight.

Also real glad I had Rick and Mike with me, who did a great job of managing this difficult situation.

I walked the dogs for the first time yesterday, mowed a bit of the lawn today, may get back on the bike tomorrow.

Careful out thereÖ.

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Sparky
Joined: 08 Dec 2003
Posts: 18166
Location: PDX

7/31/21 1:14 PM

Best full recovery my friend!!

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dfcas
Joined: 11 Jan 2004
Posts: 2734
Location: hillbilly heaven

7/31/21 1:37 PM

Wow sorry to hear this. Hope you are feeling better soon.

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lrzipris
Joined: 04 Mar 2004
Posts: 528
Location: Doylestown, PA

7/31/21 3:45 PM

The memory gap can be so scary! I hope you heal well and quickly, Dan.

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dan emery
Joined: 11 Jan 2004
Posts: 6545
Location: Maine

7/31/21 5:03 PM

Memory gap

First, thanks for the good wishes.

Rick and Mike said I asked, over and over, ďHow did this happen? Why are we going to the hospital? Iím fine.Ē Theyíd say ďDan, we think you hit your head, we just want to get it checked out.Ē Then Iíd ask the same question. They said I asked it 20x. They are not prone to exaggeration.

Looking for a positive, Iíve lost about 10 lbs and am pretty much at ideal riding weight 😀. My appetite is back now, but for about a week I didnít want to eat anything.

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Tom Price
Joined: 11 Jan 2004
Posts: 487
Location: Rochester, NY

7/31/21 8:56 PM

I am glad the recovery is showing good progress. Keep it up!

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Andy M-S
Joined: 11 Jan 2004
Posts: 3266
Location: Hamden (greater New Haven) CT

8/1/21 6:33 AM

Memory

Important edit below (in all caps).

Dan, I am so glad that your recovery is going well, and so sorry you had this experience!

Some 16 years ago, I was on my way home when (apparently) my front wheel dropped into a hole that had been cut for curb repair and I supermanned over the bar and onto the road.

I have a memory of turning onto the road where the hole was, and then I woke up in an ambulance. Nothing in-between. An eyewitness described the events for police, otherwise it would still be a mystery.

I was diagnosed with a concussion, broken jaw, and road rashed face, and I am so thankful that I was wearing a helmet. Being young (47) then, I was back at work in a few days, but that memory gap still bugs me.

You may never get the memory back--I almost wonder if the brain blocks that kind of memory in self-preservation--but the rest will heal. Take it easy, and consider NOT riding that particular bike again (it may have acquired its own set of hidden damages, as mine had).


Last edited by Andy M-S on 8/2/21 8:10 AM; edited 1 time in total

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KerryIrons
Joined: 12 Jan 2004
Posts: 3117
Location: Midland, MI

8/1/21 10:37 AM

Get well

As a veteran of many broken bones and maybe one concussion (self-diagnosed) I know the "joy" of recovery. Never had a blackout period like Dan describes so that is scary. Get well soon, and watch those potholes!

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Sparky
Joined: 08 Dec 2003
Posts: 18166
Location: PDX

8/1/21 11:09 AM

Less traumatic, but recently I messed up by my own. Lets say I should used my readers when I did not.

Built up the EP Nago frameset Walter sold me. I have a habit of looking closely at the fraction on the tape measure and not the whole inch mark.

Love to tell you I set the post 1" too low, but 1" too high exactly. That is a lot, and by ride 5 week two...

Numb and shooting sensations in my legs and feet, some shooting bouts painful. WTF is going on? Chasing it down after not being able to sleep without sizeable doses of NSAIDs. It occurred to me to go check the EP, alas an explanation for the condition. I had started to wonder, was this a new surprise age was bringing.

Why I did not notice it on the bike is beyond me, but I started only riding the EP after built up. If you've ridden one you'd understand why. ;)

So couple days of no bike, and a few short feeler rides. Seems normalized mostly.

Senior moment? Cognitive or reading glasses related, senior moment either way kinda/sorta.

I probably should not get the TF aging riding population started on this subject. I am 64 now, and my invincible psyche is waning... ;)

Anyhow Dan, watch for the squirrel envolked leash yoiks, that is all you need now. Maybe walk the dogs with a helmet on. ;)

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lrzipris
Joined: 04 Mar 2004
Posts: 528
Location: Doylestown, PA

8/2/21 9:49 AM

I crashed two years ago, and still don't recall the accident itself, or how I got from point A, where I must have fallen, to point B, a half-mile away, where I called my SO to come get me.

Last edited by lrzipris on 8/2/21 2:37 PM; edited 1 time in total

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Tom Price
Joined: 11 Jan 2004
Posts: 487
Location: Rochester, NY

8/2/21 10:14 AM

My wife saw this in use during the Olympic horse events. Perhaps it can minimize rib injuries. I can't picture this under a Lycra skinsuit.

https://youtu.be/DaY46wMcRtQ

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LeeW
Joined: 13 Jan 2004
Posts: 397
Location: near Baltimore, MD

8/3/21 6:37 AM

Dan, Ouch, that sounds traumatic. Best wishes for the recovery. I've been the broken /displaced ribs and punctured lung route after a 2008 MTB endo on a steep downhill, so I can appreciate that part of the trauma. Maybe start on an indoor trainer until you get over the hip issues and are confident of your balance.

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Steve B.
Joined: 19 Jan 2004
Posts: 759
Location: Long Island, NY

8/4/21 3:50 PM

Really sorry to read this, I took a tumble on the Mt. Bike last Nov., broke a rib, it was extraordinarily painful. Hope you heal quick.

As a question, you mention this was a 3 day trip. I had something similar planned for this trail, as a credit card card tour, Day 1 as a 60+ to a motel in Machias (Next to Helens restaurant, a great place), Day 2 as an out and back to the end trail and a 2nd night in Machias, then Day 3 as a return to Ellsworth.

Curious what you had planned ?

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Sparky
Joined: 08 Dec 2003
Posts: 18166
Location: PDX

8/4/21 3:56 PM

"broke a rib, it was extraordinarily painful."

But only when you...

breath, cough, sneeze, hiccup, try to get up... Did I leave anything out? I recall a sneeze seemed the highest degree of difficulty.

Ask me how I know... Don't. ;)



EDIT: Laughing was great too.

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dan emery
Joined: 11 Jan 2004
Posts: 6545
Location: Maine

8/4/21 4:05 PM

Our plan

Interestingly, our plan was almost exactly that, except we would return to Machias, and then to the trailhead, by looping on the road rather than back on the trail. Visit the Reversing Falls south of Pembroke and other places, we didnít have that route laid out precisely. Maybe visit Eastport and/or Lubec. I rode the weeklong BikeMaine in Washington County a few years ago and there are infinite great places to ride up there. We had 2 nights reservations at the Bluebird Motel in Machias. And yes I was planning on Helenís.

Recovery is going well, thanks.

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Nick Payne
Joined: 10 Jan 2004
Posts: 2529
Location: Canberra, Australia

8/4/21 4:34 PM


quote:
Rick and Mike said I asked, over and over, ďHow did this happen? Why are we going to the hospital? Iím fine.Ē Theyíd say ďDan, we think you hit your head, we just want to get it checked out.Ē Then Iíd ask the same question. They said I asked it 20x. They are not prone to exaggeration.

Same thing happened with my wife a number of years ago when she clipped my back wheel and came off. She kept asking what had happened, and couldn't remember my replies.

She didn't have any injuries other than hitting her head (she was wearing a helmet) - the hospital kept her in for a few hours for observation - they would come in every half hour of so and ask "Who's the prime minister of Australia".

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dan emery
Joined: 11 Jan 2004
Posts: 6545
Location: Maine

8/4/21 4:52 PM

Who is the PM?

In the hospital one of the questions they asked is ďWho is the President of the US?Ē I got it right, but it took awhile. I remember I first thought of Trump, then thought I didnít think it was still him, then Obama, and I didnít think it was still him, then I thought of Biden and gave my answer.

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PLee
Joined: 08 Dec 2003
Posts: 3688
Location: Brooklyn, NY

8/4/21 5:23 PM

Man, that sounds pretty tough. Best wishes for a quick and full recovery.

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lrzipris
Joined: 04 Mar 2004
Posts: 528
Location: Doylestown, PA

8/5/21 7:06 AM

I've had several falls over the years, but only one really bad crash. What I've found interesting is how much longer the psychological healing is than the physical. I'm much more cautious now, even after two years.

But, Dan, you're probably tougher than I am!

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dan emery
Joined: 11 Jan 2004
Posts: 6545
Location: Maine

8/8/21 2:44 PM

Back on bike

Iím still having some hip pain on walking, and on raising one leg, so I had avoided riding as I was not sure I could get over the top of the pedal stroke. Yesterday I tried the trainer, and rode fairly well for a 1/2 hour - the pedaling motion was fine. Today my walking was improved, and I decided to get on the bike. I didnít ride long, but it was great. Pedaling motion fine, rode a hill, rough pavement didnít bother my ribs, breathing fine. I can ride better than I can walk! Balance was fine, I purposely rode some narrow pavement strips.

Of course when I stopped it killed me to lift my leg over the bar, but I tend to think thatís OK, weíll see how it goes with passage of time.

Basically, I find that whenever I have something off physically, riding (if possible) is good for it.

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Andy M-S
Joined: 11 Jan 2004
Posts: 3266
Location: Hamden (greater New Haven) CT

8/8/21 6:08 PM

Glad to have you back on the horse, counselor!

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dan emery
Joined: 11 Jan 2004
Posts: 6545
Location: Maine

8/12/21 4:14 PM

Injury mechanism

Still have some pain in the hip/groin area with walking, though improved. Saw the PT yesterday and it looks like itís soft tissue, hip abductors and flexors. He said the saddle may have jammed into the groin when I crashed. I hadnít thought of that, but itís plausible as thatís right where the pain is, and is consistent with the apparent ballistic nature of the bike flip.

Overall Iím doing pretty well, chest x-rays today show the pneumothorax resolved.

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Sparky
Joined: 08 Dec 2003
Posts: 18166
Location: PDX

8/12/21 4:33 PM

Good to hear you can still snap back pretty quick. Result of the fitness no doubt..

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LeeW
Joined: 13 Jan 2004
Posts: 397
Location: near Baltimore, MD

8/13/21 6:09 AM

Dan, Glad you have apparently healed from the pneumo.

Did they have you sucking on that device with the graduated cylinder and piston to keep reinflating the lung? I found that a most uncomfortable exercise back when I had a pneumo in 2008.

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dan emery
Joined: 11 Jan 2004
Posts: 6545
Location: Maine

8/13/21 8:43 AM

sucking wind

Yes, I have my very own Spirometer. I score much better now than when in the hospital.

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