Beware of stealth injuries …

You never heard of a stealth injury? Read on.

I had a bad fall riding my bike Sunday morning. It was raining here in Chicago and I was rolling over wet pavement. I have done this thousands of times and understand that you need to slow down in these conditions. I did slow down, too, just not enough. As a result I went flying off the bike on a really slow turn as the tires lost traction on the wet street.  Picking myself up painfully from the asphalt, I saw Mark Twain’s famous quote on biking ticker tape before my eyes – “Get a bicycle. You will not regret it – if you live.”

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A wonderful fun ride over dry pavement on another day.

My brief flight ended with me landing squarely on my hands and knees. Thankfully, my biking gloves protected my hands from dirt and glass on the street surface. My knees didn’t fare nearly as well. Both knees were filthy and a bit bloody.

I got myself home and cleaned off the street grit from my knees. I also washed them with antibacterial soap to prevent any infection. So I looked like a little kid with two skinned knees. My girlfriend helped me get them both bandaged up to protect the open wounds.

Alternatively, my hands looked just fine. I got the street dirt and grease washed off and nothing showed. I had lunch and walked the dog. I found myself kind of dreading riding again because I found myself fearing another fall. Not wanting to ‘chicken out’, I decided to ride one of my other bikes, so I could take the dog along.

And that’s when I discovered my stealth injuries. It proved nearly impossible to hold on to the handlebars because it hurt my hands so much to put any pressure on them. Keep in mind that when riding a bike, you lean forward and probably 10 to 30 percent of your body weight is carried by – your hands. Although I only weigh in the mid 150s, it was really painful to hold on to the handlebars. I found myself adjusting my hands to reduce the pressure on the injuries in my palms. After about five minutes of this, I came to the conclusion that I was sowing the seeds of another fall. It is not smart to try to balance and steer in less than the most efficient manner. I turned the bike around and went home. This morning, my hands were still very tender and I didn’t take the bike out at all.

I thought it ironic that my banged up knees looked bad, but had no influence on my ability to ride at all. On the other hand, my hands which looked perfectly fine, made it impossible to ride safely without excruciating pain. Truly stealth injuries.

Tony

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6 Comments

Filed under biking, biking accident, biking injuries, safe biking

6 responses to “Beware of stealth injuries …

  1. garrystafford

    So sorry to hear Tony. I took a bad fall about a year ago on wet asphalt. Slick as ice. Bike scooted right out from under me and I landed on my right hip. And I have fake hips. Talk about a stealth injury. That took a while. Hope you feel better.

    On Mon, Jun 11, 2018, 8:34 AM One Regular Guy Writing about Food, Exercise and Living Past 100 wrote:

    > Tony posted: “You never heard of a stealth injury? Read on. I had a bad > fall riding my bike Sunday morning. It was raining here in Chicago and I > was rolling over wet pavement. I have done this thousands of times and > understand that you need to slow down in these condi” >

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Sorry for your fall, Tony. Hoping it’s just a couple of bruised hands. Heal fast.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Hey, look at the bright side, you were able to stop with your hands… a little faster and you may have been using your nose as the brake. Better the hands than the mug! 👍😁

    Liked by 1 person

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