So this weekend’s racing did not go as I had planned. Saturday’s race was perfect. I felt really good and worked for my teammate Brian who took the win. Sunday’s race in Mineral Wells is the race I had been waiting and training for. Two weeks ago I did an insane workout and pre-rode the course with some teammates and this week I really rested well so I would be on a full tank of gas. The Sunday race was 62 miles and featured the longest climb in N. Texas (Cherry Pie Hill) at the end. I really felt prepared for a Top-5 placing. That all changed around mile 16.
Just after we made a turn on to Highway 180, cruising along (my PT says we were doing 27 mph), the guy in front of me (a large guy, probably 220 lbs) suddenly went down at a 90 degree angle. I tried to get around him and almost did, but he kept sliding and I plowed right into him. As you can see from the picture above, my front wheel taco’ed and I basically landed on my head/face. The race officials were amazing and on the scene in a matter of seconds. I never lost consciousness and was really more upset about not getting to finish the race then anything else. It was only later when I surveyed the damage to my bike and myself that I feel very fortunate . . . it could have been much worse
Damage to bike:
- Front wheel destroyed
- Frame cracked
- Handlebar cracked and tape shredded
- Fork cracked
- Shifters dented and cracked
- Rear derailer trashed
Damage to Ben:
- Road rash everywhere (elbows, back, knees, hands, shoulder)
- No more fingertips on four fingers
- Helmet burns on my forehead (helmet cracked as designed – thanks Bell!)
- 15 stitches in my chin and lip
- black eye
- sore/dislocated jaw
I will be off the bike for a while to heal and figure out what to do about my road bike (luckily I have a cyclocross bike to ride for a while). The only expensive part on my bike not damaged was my PowerTap – for which I am grateful. Unfortunately, I will now miss Fort Davis and the Joe Martin stage race in Arkansas (both races with lots of climbing that would have suited me well). Time to re-think my goals for the rest of the year.
A big thanks to a few folks.
- Andy, the race promoter, for giving me a ride back to the start/finish and giving me a good pep talk on the way there.
- Katie (my teammate Brian’s wife) for cleaning up my wounds (luckily she is a nurse)
- Brian, for getting me back to FW in record time.
- The Doc for stitching me up – maybe my modeling career isn’t over 😉
- My Moritz teammates for emailing or calling to check on me.
It’s times like this I appreciate how close-knit the Texas racing community is and how grateful I am to have some really great teammates.