30,000-39,999 SparkPoints
DAVEINSEOUL's Recent Blog Entries

Recovering from a bad cycling accident (that could have taken my life).

Monday, September 22, 2014

I haven't been very active on SparkPeople and the blogs, because on July 18th of this year I was involved in something that all active cyclists dread - a high speed bike crash.

How bad was it? Well, as soon as I hit pavement, I blacked out, and did not 'come-to' until I had been in the emergency room for about 30 minutes. I fractured my skull (yes my helmet did save my life - that I'm sure of), broke my wrist, had a wound open near my right eye requiring 45 stitches, and broke my collarbone so badly that it required ORIF surgery to fix it (basically they had to put in a plate with six screws). I was in and out of the hospital for about two weeks, off work for another three, and am just now getting to the point where I can sleep in a bed, instead of a recliner.

It was an accident that could not have been prevented - the only variable was the speed. I was coming down a fairly sizable hill on my side of the bike path, when, without warning, an older Korean man decided to do a U-turn on the bike path - which put him square in my path. The only thing I could think of was to avoid him at all costs - which I did, but in the process of trying to avoid him, I hit the brakes hard - real hard. As I am left handed, I squeezed the left brake a lot harder than the right one - and, you guessed it, went right over the top of my handlebars - with the injuries that I mentioned the result.

It has been over two months since the accident, and while the pain is a lot, lot less, I still am trying to recover full motion of my right arm, and I have not gotten to the point where I can go 24 hours without taking some type of pain medication. Fortunately, I am now down to using only Tylenol - only about once a day - and I have been able to wean myself off the heavier pain drugs. But my recovery is still a work in progress.

At this point, you might be wondering, "Will Dave ever get back on the bike?" Honestly, I don't know. At the height of all my pain and suffering I almost sold my Cervelo, but my wife talked me out of it. She thinks that at some point my itch to ride will be too great, and she thinks I will really regret selling the bike. Honestly, I was surprised that she didn't want to ban me completely, but she has taken the pragmatic approach of "Accidents happen." She does want two conditions for all future rides, however. One is to slow way down on all my rides (no problem!), and two, never, NEVER go out on a ride alone (it was the fact I was riding with a cycling colleague that saved my life). Again, I have no problem with the second condition either.

Again, will I ever get back on the bike? I honestly have to reply by saying "I don't know". I have a whole lot of physical therapy to recover my arm before I can even think about it. In the meantime, I think I will stay with safer forms of exercise for now, like walking, or swimming.

Ever onward! ALWAYS, ALWAYS wear a helmet - I am absolutely convinced that, had I not been wearing one, I would not be alive today to be writing this post.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

ACTIVE_AT_60 11/3/2014 6:14AM

    Dave, I am so sorry to hear about your crash. I hope for a speedy recovery.

As for getting back on the bike again. Is there a reason why you shouldn't be able to. My friend Cindi was hit head on and was not given much of a chance, but today she is back on the bike riding, speed skating, and coaching. Read her book "Determined" (can be found on www.spokesofhope.com).

I totally agree with your sentiment ALWAYS WEAR HELMET and NEVER RIDE ALONE. It is not only situations like yours - but also if you have mechanical or other issues where it might be helpful to have a little extra help.

Report Inappropriate Comment
JOYATLAST 10/18/2014 10:40PM


Report Inappropriate Comment
MAVERICKDR 9/23/2014 9:10PM

    I am very sorry to hear of your misfortune. Accidents do happen, but in the insurance business we usually refer to them as crashes instead of accidents because most times they are caused by some form of negligence. Not yours in this case but certainly the person who made the u-turn. Hope you make a complete recovery.

Report Inappropriate Comment
NHES220 9/22/2014 11:30AM

    All I can say is Wow! So glad you are alive to write about this and so glad you were wearing a helmet. I am a big proponent of helmets, I always wear mine. How scary that must have been. Glad the pain is getting better and I wish you well on your recovery and rehab and I do hope you get the courage to get on the bike again. I think you will miss it. Take good care of yourself!

Report Inappropriate Comment
LEXIE63 9/22/2014 3:13AM

    Oh good grief! I am so glad that you are on the road to recovery.
Many gentle emoticon
You will know when the time comes, how you feel about cycling again. I certainly wish you well.

Report Inappropriate Comment

'60 for 60' - in the bag!

Sunday, June 01, 2014

On Saturday, May 31, I turned 60 years old. In America, this is not a big deal, but here in Korea, it's a VERY big deal.

So as I approached my 60th birthday, I wondered what to do to make it special. Then I hit on a great idea - why not do a 60-mile bike ride?

And so, the '60 for 60' idea was born.

I have recently lagged on my exercise for reasons that are too numerous to mention, so I had been thinking of a way to focus my exercise efforts and start to get back into shape. What I came up with the idea of doing a 60 mile bike ride as a way for me to refocus my efforts and at least get back into some semblance of shape.

While I was really busy with some other events that really threatened to undo my efforts to do this ride, I was able to make a couple of last-minute warm up rides to ensure I had the endurance for the ride. A week and a half before the '60 for 60' , I was able to get in a 50 mile ride done in about 3 and a half hours. This gave me the confidence that I could finish my ride.

We started out at 7 AM so that we could finish the ride at a leisurely pace. I went out with about 5 other riders from work, and we were absolutely blessed by some of the best riding weather you can imagine! Going out to the west on the Han River, we had a morning 'easterly' at our backs, and when the wind shifted back to the west, we were almost ready to 'turn it around' and come back. For at least 50 of the 60 miles, we had the wind to our backs. Around these parts, you can't ask for better than that.

The ride was great up until the last hour and a half. Then the day just got too hot (it was in the upper 80's) and the last part of the ride just became a slog. I overheated a little at about the 50 mile point, and had to cool off with a lot of water, and take several breaks, just to make it back OK. I have to tell you, the cold beer I had when I finally got home never tasted so good!

It has taken me about a day to recover, but now I'm headed into the gym for some light weight work-outs tonight. I have been very consistent about my cardio as of late, but have not really gotten into working with weights - something I know I'm going to have to do, if I want to shed some pounds at my age.

Anyway, it was a GREAT ride for my 60th birthday - and it's good to be back on Sparkpeople to blog about it!


  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

LIVESTRONG2010 6/6/2014 5:12PM

    That is so awesome Dave! Happy belated birthday! That's how I celebrated my 40th 11 years ago. Maybe I'll be like you and Bill and go for it for my 52nd bday. Haven't been on the old Red Rocket in about four months. Lost the desire to ride maybe this will help!

Report Inappropriate Comment
BILL60 6/2/2014 7:33AM

    Way to go. I'm starting to think of what I'll do for my 70th, which is coming up next February.

Report Inappropriate Comment

Getting my cycling groove back on!

Wednesday, March 05, 2014

Today is March 7th.

I already have 16 rides logged in for the year. At an average of about 30 KM per ride, I have already logged in about 480 KM (about 250 miles) this year.

The weather here has been incredibly co-operative here for February and early March. Since the 15th of Feb, we have had an incredible 15 days were the temps have been above 40 degrees without any rain (my deepest sympathies to all those riders fighting the snowstorms in the East and Mid-west).

I hope to continue my run of good rides to get back in shape throughout this year. My inspiration can from watching an Olympic story about Franz Klammer - who was one of our skiing heros of the 1976 Winter Games in Innsbruck. Here he is at 60 still healthy as ever and burning up the ski slopes. So I thought to myself "If Franz can still do his ski thing at 60, I certainly can get back to some real fun and healthy riding."

So I'm back at it, and really enjoying it - for the most part. I'm not real crazy about all of this fine dust from China, but I'm resigned to the fact that as long as I am in Korea, I'm going to have to deal with it. My answer? I have broken down and bought a anti-pollution mask to try and filter out as much dust as possible.

Give up biking? Because of a little dust? NEVER!


  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

RHOOK20047 3/9/2014 10:19AM

    Great to hear of summertime activities during the duldrums of winter/early spring here in the US. You seem determined in your resolve, so you will do well!

Report Inappropriate Comment
DR1939 3/6/2014 10:37AM

    Good to hear from you. emoticon

Report Inappropriate Comment
LIVESTRONG2010 3/6/2014 8:10AM

    Great way to think! I've had some good weekends to ride but I've just wasted them or was out walking/running or climbing stairs. Those two events are over so it's time to get back on the bike!

Enjoy your riding!
Pedal strong and Ride safe!

Report Inappropriate Comment
YOYONOMORE1 3/5/2014 8:42PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon

Report Inappropriate Comment
BLUENOSE63 3/5/2014 7:42PM

  I am so envious that you are riding outside, here in Ottawa Ontario Canada we still have 3 feet of snow.....I cannot wait too see the snow gone and hope on the bike for training rides as opposed to spinning inside.

Report Inappropriate Comment
GROEDER 3/5/2014 7:12PM

    It is great to hear about your rides!!!!
Here in North Dakota we had a high temp on -12 F on March 1, and we still have a few feet of snow.
I am slowly working my way back from knee replacement surgery in November, but am riding some every day on the recumbent bike in the house.
My road bike goes into the shop next week for a tune up so I will be ready when the weather permits.
Keep riding!!!

Report Inappropriate Comment

Can't believe I got in a 25 KM ride on Jan 2, 2014!

Thursday, January 02, 2014

Happy New Year everyone. Time to get re-sparked!

I have been really slacking on both exercise and nutrition lately, and of course, that caused a serious relapse in conditioning and weight. But it's a new year and time to get re-energized and re-sparked!

I could not believe my good fortune today for January. It was a nice sunny day, the winds were calm, and the thermometer climbed over 40 degrees today - I just had to ride! It isn't often we have weather that great in January and I really needed to make use of it.

I got out about 45 minutes before sunset and spent the time before sunset going out into the wind. I knew it was going to get cold once the sun went down so I wanted to have the wind at my back once it got dark (in January, if you get out after work, you will spend a lot of time riding in the dark).

It was a nice ride (especially for January!). I was a little chilled once I stopped and took a short refuel break, but I had worn enough layers that it really wasn't an issue. I also wore some new booties that I got from REI - having your bike shoes in some really nice GORE booties makes all the difference in the world. I really didn't notice any cold feet - something that I can't say when I've gone out in the 40's with only tennis shoes on.

Anyway, it was a GREAT way to start out my 4th year as a serious cyclist. Onward!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

NHES220 1/2/2014 11:41AM

    Wow, nice to get a ride in January. That would not happen in Chicago. I'm stuck with the treadmill for my running since I'm afraid of slipping and falling.

Report Inappropriate Comment
GARDENQE2 1/2/2014 11:27AM

    I'm glad you're back in the saddle again!
Best wishes! emoticon

Report Inappropriate Comment
DR1939 1/2/2014 11:01AM

    Good to hear from you. I've missed reading about your rides. emoticon

Report Inappropriate Comment
LIVESTRONG2010 1/2/2014 8:08AM

    Welcome to the New Year! Best way to start it off. Hope you get several more days in January to get in more miles!

Report Inappropriate Comment
GREENGENES 1/2/2014 7:43AM

    Excellent. Good to "hear" from you again! Here's to great riding in 2014!

Report Inappropriate Comment

Columbus Day.

Monday, October 14, 2013

While I had to work today (not enough vacation time built up), I did manage to sneak one last warm weather ride in on the holiday.

Tomorrow, the spandex is gone until next spring - no more bike shorts. Our local forecast predicts 49 degrees by tomorrow morning and the high not reaching above the mid - 60s. Time for the parkas and winter bike pants.

But it also means that we are into a dry spell - so I have been so busy riding lately, I have not had much time to update my spark blogs. (I've ridden 9 days out of the last 14). Oh, well. I feel a little guilty for not updating my blog, but I rather be riding than blogging - so I don't feel too guilty :-).


  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SUNSET09 10/14/2013 11:46PM

  Work it out! Keeup the good work! emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

Report Inappropriate Comment
APONI_KB 10/14/2013 1:39PM

    nothing to apologize for

My grandfather used to randomly and in the middle of a show turn off the TV and say "what do you want a life or to watch one"

I'd rather live than talk about living

Report Inappropriate Comment
DR1939 10/14/2013 9:46AM

    Today is Native American Day in South Dakota, not Columbus Day

Report Inappropriate Comment
BILL60 10/14/2013 8:03AM

    Enjoy the cool riding.

Report Inappropriate Comment
PLMITCH 10/14/2013 7:22AM

    Nope, I would not feel guilty either! Riding sounds like a MUCH better option!

Report Inappropriate Comment
GROEDER 10/14/2013 5:20AM

    Riding IS much better than blogging about it!!!! I hope you have a great fall and get a lot of time on the bike.

Report Inappropriate Comment

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42 43 44 45 46 47 48 49 50 51 52 53 54 55 56 57 58 59 60 61 62 63 64 65 66 67 68 69 70 71 72 73 74 75 76 77 78 79 80 81 82 83 84 85 86 87 88 89 90 91 92 93 Last Page