Much like the rest of my life, this blog has been on pause for the last month while my body attempts to repair itself after a stupid crash in the Ozarks of Arkansas on April 4, 2014.  I say that it was stupid because it could have been avoided, but it also could have been much worse.

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The day started off great as eight Erik’s Road Team riders anticipated a beautiful 80-100 ride through the rolling hills of the Ozarks.

Spirits were up as we began tackling hill after hill.

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However, after lunch we began descending Parthenon which has a few areas that approach 15% grade. From what I remember we were taking it relatively easy when my teammate washed-out and crashed head first into this guardrail. The last thing I remember is thinking how strange it was that he was crashing. I must have grabbed a little too much break to avoid him and washed-out myself. However, unlike my teammate, I was not stopped by the guardrail and flew into this creek below. I vaguely remember climbing out of this ditch, but nothing about the actual crash–thank goodness. I could feel the “crunch” in my left shoulder as I laid on the side of the road and waited for the ambulance. I also remember looking in my fallen teammate’s direction and seeing the blood pouring from his head.

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After a short ambulance ride, we were both loaded into separate helicopters and taken to Mercy Hospital in Springfield, MO. I am still waiting to see how much of this $37,000 helicopter ride I am on the hook for?

 

After some X-Rays, stitches, and a CT Scan, I was released from the hospital with a full break of my left clavicle. My teammate spent the night as his condition was a little more unknown. He broke his C7 vertebrae, but it did not impact his spine–again–thank goodness.

 Two days later we were set to leave our cabin in Ponca, AR and I had another teammate remove the 8 stitches in my melon to avoid at least some of the scaring.

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For the next two weeks I did plenty of resting as I waited for surgery, but I had to spin the legs every now and again.

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Surgery took place roughly two weeks from the time of the crash at Twin Cities Orthopedics. Dr. Lervick did an excellent job installing the plate and eleven screws.


This X-Ray is from one week after the surgery. As you can see, everything is nicely in place. I have since had a follow-up appointment six weeks after surgery and you can already see the healing taking place around the bone. I realize this accident could and should have been much worse, but it was still life changing in terms of how much I appreciate even the simple things in life–as well as the really important thing in life such as my family who were amazing through this entire ordeal.

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