Saturday, 21 May 2011

Is crashing inevitable when you race bikes?

Autumn sunny weather Otago Cycling catagory race Vauxhall to Tairoa Head for my handicap Cat4. About 26km with a steep hill finish.

Cats 1, 2 and 3 also raced to Tairoa Heads, return to Portobello and then climb to the top of Otago Peninsula finishing down hill at Sheil Hill. Distance was about 60km.
I was sent off Cat 4 scratch, 9 minutes behind the first group. I never saw them and infact could not stay in contact with Glenys my fellow scratch rider . . . . . oh well! That's bike racing.
I was doing well and catching the others with about 2km to go until the start of our up hill finish when the second bunch came back towards me and a minute later the lead riders flew past. The leads called out "crash corner" and sure enough I found Stu and Chris dazed in the weeds. Bikes in the ditch on a greasy fast down hill corner.
I pulled over to offer assitance, trafic safety and first aide. Stu was up and about and another rider looked after him and his bent bike. I stayed with Chris who was in pain and holding his arm/shoulder in that way that injuries hold themself. He was in pain especially as he stood to move out of harms way.
International track star and Dunedin resident Allison Shanks had turned around and volunteered to sprint the 200 metres uphill to my Cat 4 finish line to call the ambulance! She is afterall decades younger than me!
In the end I was able to remount and stagger off uphill to finish to find surprisingly that I wasn't last!
Back down hill Stu needed the chocolate bar I gave him and Chris complained when he relealised he couldn't have any in case there was a need for surgery.
The bikes were lashed to the trailer I left to tour the 26 km back to the Andy Bay start and passed the ambulance as it arrived on the scene.
I did well to catch up on the 5 other Cat 4 riders who had set off before me. Infact I was travelling better than I had been doing in the race.
Mused that yes, crashing probably is expected whenever racing occurs and therefore is part of the sport.
Hope neither Stu nor Chris were badly injured, but they will be sore as there was plenty of skin and lycra flapping about.
Now something far more eclectic! Pictures taken at dawn of the NISS with what I think is Jupiter just over the saddle and the moon infront of the wheel.
Cycle safe and if you can't give assistance. Cheers.

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