Saturday, July 25, 2020

Crash and Recovery

It’s been a pretty rough week since the last post. But we have to take the bad with the good, stay positive, and not lose sight of our goals. And my current goal is to race the Utah Mixed Epic and raise awareness and support for Kids on Bikes. I love their mission, as it reflects so much on where I come from, and what they contribute to the well being, health, and joy of disadvantaged kids is so essential today.

Regulated to Trainer for a While

While returning home from my “Wednesday Morning Cheyenne Canyon Hill Repeats” which I cut short due to fatigue, I hit a deer descending at somewhere between 35 and 40 mph.

Ended up in the emergency room via ambulance. Prognosis: 5 fractures in 3 vertebrae (L1 - L3), a whole lot of soft tissue damage in the lower back, standard road rash, and a shattered helmet, which probably saved my life. The good news is the vertebrae did its job and protected the spine, and the deer got up and ran off into the woods, so I hope it’s OK. So the Telluride 100 just 11 days away from the crash was out. Other good news: The doctor, a cyclist, predicts full recovery in 4 - 6 weeks. Although the vertebrae is fractured, there was no displacement, so letting the “pain be my guide”, the act of riding a bicycle should not cause further injury. 

The doctor also said, “the first few days will be very tough” and he was right. The first three days I couldn’t get out of bed without help. Bless my amazing wife, Roswitha, for all that she did to take care of me as my “at home nurse”.

I am incredibly grateful that it wasn’t worse. It was a hard violent crash, and at my age I should have come out of it much worse. Our bones are supposed to be brittle at this age. When I hit the ground and felt the pain in my back, and could not get up out of the street, my first thought was, “uh oh, this could be a life changing event”.  I had a lot of time to think about this over the time I was confined to bed, and I’m convinced that being Vegan/Plant Based almost my entire adult life has a lot to do with it. During the many years that I’ve been plant based, I’ve had relatively few injuries, and always seem to heal faster than normal.

Four days later, on Sunday, I was able to take a short walk. It was painful, and I looked like a 90 year old man, but I walked. Each day got just a little better; slow but sure progress. Each day, I was able to pick up my walking pace a little bit more and go a little bit farther. Most of the pain came from the “soft tissue damage”. 

"Gemma the Dog" accompanies on first "Walk"

Ms. Deer on first Walk. Gave her lots of Space!

Luckily, I have the option of working from home, so on Monday, did just that. I could not, and still can’t, sit for extended periods of time, so my awesome employer, Plus3 IT Systems, at my request, immediately sent me a stand up desk converter. 

On Wednesday, one week after the crash, I decided to quit taking the pain meds, except when going to bed, and let the pain decide how far I could push myself. 

Thursday, eight days after the crash, I was able to dress myself, including putting on my socks and shoes. Up until this point I was working from home but chose to go into the office. That was probably pushing a little bit too much, and made for a very uncomfortable night.

Finally, on Saturday morning, 11 days after the crash I got back on the bike. The trainer albeit, but I was pedaling, and it felt good to get that old familiar rhythm going again. It was rough getting on and off the bike, but while on it, I felt great. I wanted to pedal forever, but kept it to 90 minutes.

Feels So Good to be back on the Bike!

It’s been incredible how many people have reached out to offer help, pick my stuff up from the fire department, offer encouragement, positive thoughts, and prayers. I consider myself so fortunate to belong to such an awesome community, employer, and wife. I’m on the mend, and sooo looking forward to Utah and supporting Kids on Bikes. This adventure will be special!


  1. Larry!! It is nice to see you up and about!! Keep up the good work, and take it slowly. I will be looking forward to watching your dot on track leaders in September!! Peter