Comment – Another Bike Accident

It has been over a year since I last broke a bone while cycling, but a couple of weeks ago that run of good luck came to an end. This time the incident was both less serious and also more damaging.

A few minutes after I had started my morning cycle, whilst on a busy road, I adjusted my position in a lane without looking over my shoulder. A car did the same thing and the result was my handlebar got clipped by a wing mirror. The fall wasn’t serious; neither of us were going that fast. None of the blank spots in my memory are evident as they have been when I’ve hit trees or hit the ground face first. I distinctly remember the bike being knocked out from under me and the shock as I hit the road. Within moments I was back up on my feet getting out of the way of the traffic.Icey Bike Crash

There was no damage to my bike and the car only lost a wing mirror. At the time I thought I’d grazed the lower part of one of my legs, sprained a finger, and pulled the tendons in my right arm. The driver of the car and I spoke. I saw no need to place any blame and he seemed of the same mind. He was concerned for my health, but after reassuring him I was okay, we both went on our way. I flexed my arm as I rode in an effort to stop the muscles locking up.

Two hours later my elbow had swollen, I could barely move it and any rotation of my wrist caused a shooting pain that was intense enough to momentarily blank my vision. That was enough to convince me I had done something more serious than strained a muscle or two. I got some medical advice over the telephone which pointed towards a break and so I went to the emergency department of the local hospital.

The diagnosis (following examination and x-rays) was that I had cracked or broken the radial bone near the elbow joint. There was swelling in the area and bleeding into the surrounding tissue. Nothing too serious, but I had to keep it in a sling and avoid any movement. For the first few days the pain was too much for me even to consider flexing it.

Two weeks later, following a couple of check-ups and I was back on the bicycle. At the extent of my arm movements there is still some pain, but I’ve been told to keep working it. I’m not sure if I will ever get the last few degrees of the flex back, and the complete healing of one of my fingers will most likely take six months, but it’s all minor damage. The worst thing was having to use only one arm and hand for a while, but then amount of help I had from friends and family more than made up for that inconvenience (although no one wanted to take dictation for me).