Road Crash, Road Rash….Healing the Wounds- Jake’s Blog

imageThis year’s 1st Road Race started out great, and was looking forward to sprinting against 50 (of the 82 total riders).   I knew it was inevitable somewhere, sometime I was going to have a road crash, and it just happened to be that day. This being my first road race crash I learned a few things from it: to make sure I’m in the correct position in the peloton, how the wind affected how the peloton rode which contributed to the crash and most importantly how much more serious road crashes are than MTB Crashes.

From participating in my Team Training, and riding with local racers from Reno I had big expectations of placing high in the sprint finish.  The course was 56 miles long and was really rough and full of pot holes, many people had flat tires and there were at least 5 times when there was almost a crash. One was literally 5 feet after we started the race.

In the final two kilometers I had a choice to make: 1) was to take the right side of the road and face a cross wind and probably not have enough energy to sprint.  2 ) or to be on the left side of the road and be out of the wind, but there is the chance the peloton will get pushed over and run me off the road. I chose 2 ) because I would be out of the wind and have  energy to sprint Boy Was That A Bad Idea!

 2 kilometers from the finish the peloton being greatly effected by a strong crosswind was pushed all the way over the left side of the road pinning me to the road edge which turned out to be an advantage as I was able to swerve and avoid the worst part of the crash.  200 meters before the finish a racer on the right side of the road swerved {probably because he crossed wheels, or because of a gust of wind} and took out 4 or 5 racers to his Left which happened to be right in front of me. So I swerved to the left jumping off a three foot ledge into a paved drainage ditch and crashed sliding to a stop, it felt like I was dreaming!  I came away with minor injuries, my bike was also in good shape except for torn handlebar tape.  image







Even though I have experienced many MTB crashes I don’t think they are nearly as bad road crashes.  Maybe I’m just used to crashing on Mountain Bikes, where unlike road races when crashes happen it’s because someone else made a mistake, on Mountain Bikes at least if you crash it’s because of a mistake you made.  imageAlso, in Mountain Biking you probably aren’t going to be going 20-50mph while riding or at a sprint finish, and when you crash it’s like being dragged across a giant piece of sand paper. But when Mountain Biking you are going 10-20mph and you can crash in grass, dirt, etc. I’d take that any day over a Giant Piece Of Sandpaper (aka a Road)!


I learned a great deal from this race from things like: to make sure I’m in the correct position in the peloton, to pay attention to how the wind will effect how the peloton rides, and of course how much more serious road crashes are than MTB Crashes.  But as any racer pursuing there dream would, I’ll adapt to crashing on the road, as I did Mountain Biking because it is inevitable I’ll crash again, my fault, or not, it’s going to happen.  But when it does I’ll be ready mentally, because I’m not one to dwell on negative thought, And Neither Should You!





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