I passed along an email last week of some pretty gory bike accidents, bull horn gores, and motorcycle accidents. The one below reminded me of a
n incident moment of stupidity on the MS 150 back in August of 2004.
We were on our way from Sioux Falls to Vermillion and were going into a decent headwind, but in a nice size paceline. We were south of Lennox on Hwy 17 and I was at the front of a side-by-side paceline with Travis K. when it happened. A tractor pulled out a little bit up the road. I looked at Travis and said, "Let's catch the tractor for a windbreak". I sprinted up an tucked in behind the tractor. The tractor had hay forks sticking out the back of it. Innocent enough and still able to catch a good draft.
For visual aid purposes think of these, but a bit higher going down the highway.
Then Travis pulled up beside me. He was on the outside of the left fork and reached with his right hand, grabbed the fork and said, "Hey look!". Then it happened, my moment of stupidity. Without even thinking I too reached out and grabbed the other fork. Problem is, I was on the inside of the right fork and I reached ACROSS my body with my left hand. I no more grabbed it and my wheel wobbled and the rest is a blur of looking at the ground, sky, ground, sky, etc. AMAZINGLY, being in the front of one paceline, I didn't take ANYBODY out. Well, almost nobody. I hit the ditch FINALLY thinking that I was in the clear.
I looked up into the sky. Is it a bird? Is it a plane? NO, IT'S SUUUUUUUPER JOE! I swear that Joe had his arms extended flying over the top of me. It was all surreal and kind of neat until *THWAP*, Joe kneed me in the head. Hard. Hurt worse than the accident itself (at that moment anyway).
By the time that Joe and I got up and rolled out of the ditch and gathered up our bikes, our loving friends in the paceline were half mile away and distancing themselves by the second. Later we found out that once we stood up that they said, "They'll be alright". Nice friends we have. We both got on our bikes and started to head out. Then I noticed that to make my bike go straight south that my handlebars had to be positioned distinctly southeast. I stopped and adjusted as good as I could and we continued on.
When we hit the rest stop at Centerville, somebody snapped the following picture and I thought I got off fairly easy all things said.
The problem was, this wasn't the worst of my injuries. I was bruised bad. I managed to make it back to Sioux Falls the next day, but I was pretty stiff for a few days after. The following two pictures are angles of the bruising that happens when you play with tractors.
It's still an ongoing joke for those involved to yell when they see a tractor during a ride. It wasn't my most shining moment. It was much closer to a "Darwin Award" than a shining moment.