Scars and bruises

A little random thought for the day. I think I have stumbled onto a counter-intuitive truth about mountain biking. The external physical evidence of a fall (what I really mean is the resulting outward physical marks you get from a crash) does not always correlate to how bad the crash was. Here are a couple of case studies so that you can see what I mean.

Case 1: Elden Nelson (aka The Fat Cyclist or Fatty to his friends) recently road a mountain bike race in which he crashed. (Note the fact that Fatty crashes makes me both feel better and worse at the same time. On one hand, if the 2013 Leadville Single Speed Champion crashes I shouldn’t feel bad right? On the other, crap I am going to keep crashing too.) He in fact rated this crash as a 1.5 on a 10 point scale. Not bad right? He got back on his bike an finished the race (3rd in his category). Later, when he was home cleaning up, he discovered he was injured. Fatty had a rather large splinter lodged in his leg that required removal by a doctor with a scalpel. He’s going to have a nice scar from that one.

Case 2: My Crash. Hacking around in the yard. Crashed so hard, I was face down in the driveway with tears streaming from my eyes. There was NO way I was getting back on my bike. Only place I went was the ER. So I patiently limped around and waited for the totally awesome bruise to come. You know, the one that would match the magnitude of the pain I suffered. That glorious mark that I could point to and say “See look how bad my crash was!”  Never came. A little light discoloration, but not that epic bruise that you would be proud of. (Coreen asked if I would have taken a picture of it. Ummm… Yes! :))

Case 3: Training for Wilmington Whiteface 100. Crashed and landed on left leg. Saw some blood on knee no big deal. Kept riding. Got back to the car 20 miles later to discover blood on lower left leg with gouges in the shape of my front chain ring. I never never knew it was there while I rode. Never felt a thing. But I will have those marks for the rest of my life. (I kind of like those scars. They look cool, and you can totally tell what they are.)

Case 4: (What got me thinking about this.) My crash during the raced on Sunday. I was going up a rock garden. The back tire skipped off a rock and washed out. I went down relatively lightly. Got up and got onto my bike. I felt fine. A little bit of pain in my left hand. But nothing even close to bad. Yesterday I look at my hand and it is all red and purple. Go figure.

So what does it all mean? I don’t know. Its just funny.

(Just between you and me though. After I crashed on Sunday I purposely did not look at my left leg. If it was all scrapped, injured and bleeding I didn’t want to know. It felt fine and I had a race to finish. If it was going to hurt after the race so be it ;))

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