It was a Danish (Win-N-Out, first across the line at lap 1 wins, 1st on lap 2 gets 2nd, 1st on lap 3 gets 3rd and so on). It was also close to, if not the best racing atmosphere I’ve seen in sanctioned racing. Washington Park Velodrome in Kenosha. The field got a little scrambled after the first sprint and people were moving high. I knew the track was short, I knew the pace was still strong and I knew the guys up front weren’t going to burn out so I wanted to make up for a VERY missed attempt at getting into that winning sprint and a jeopordized position for 2nd. It was time to get around some people.
The field was moving up but it wasn’t until the middle of the turn that it was apparent things weren’t normal. In an attempt to make that great cut around someone things got tighter against the rail and the best I could shout is “OP! OP! OP! WHOA! WHOA!” It was a frenzy as I was guided up towards the rail. While the mind is thinking a thousand things a second, there was that quick and repetitive, “Don’t let this happen! Don’t let this happen!”
BANG! TINK! SCRAPE! SCRAPE! SCRAPE! Slow motion (I swear) and my front wheel is right in front of me as we’re both flying above the fence…
It’s amazing how much shit unravels after the fact. I remember even thinking right at the moment, “I hope this one doesn’t go bad.”
My arm knocked the protective cover off of the rail which left a chain link fence exposed. I whipped around when my arm caught a link and whipped me around to face the other direction. As things concluded I noticed that famous red Corima on the track too. Fuck. Ed White was the other one making sound effects.
I was torn up and half naked the way my suit cut, but Ed was face down and bleeding. He is OK now and walked out of the hospital but at that moment, my heart absolutely sank. I’m sure it’s an ego thing of mine because every accident I’m in I can’t help but feel responsible. I’m so sorry that this happened Ed, I know we aren’t personally tight but I don’t ever want to see ANYONE face down and bleeding, let alone you.
The fence caught alot of my skin and left my right hand the size of a softball. “I can’t believe nothing broke” was the popular saying from the med staff. I got some stitches, a whole bunch of deep scrapes at every joint possible, a shitton of soreness and a good deal of guilt.
Mike Winn is a saint. He was the race organizer and MC. He handed the mic to someone to take over and never left us at the hospital. Even stuck it out ’til our midnight discharge. The man had great spirits and was a good storyteller. There’s nothing I could ask more of someone who was a stranger 4 hours prior. There was another off duty firefighter that stepped in to help me when one of the new paramedics got the jitters. Dude stuck around to see that everyone was OK. Thanks to him as well. Tim from Half Acre was great for checking up on us well, thanks man. Al and Andrew were the best of teammates and friends, even gettin’ me an ice cream cookie. Of course a big thanks to Jamers as well.
Ed got his ear reattached by a plastic surgeon and a bunch of stitches right above his brow. The man is so powerful he broke the unbreakable equipment but he was up and bashfully smiling by the time we were leaving the hospital.
Calls and texts started coming, thanks to the people that worried and sent wishes and thanks to those that worried and didn’t want to interfere, it is always nice to have both.
The Fuji is done. Most other parts are salvageable, but the ol’ Track Pro is punching the clock. That puts me down two track bikes in a month. Ha. A messenger who races track and I don’t have a track bike, injustice.
Stay up ya’ll. I’m going to lie down.