Steve Weiss: DNF on Brewster - Sherman - Brewster Ride

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  • Steve Weiss: DNF on Brewster - Sherman - Brewster Ride
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Anonymous's picture

"First, thanks to everyone on the Sherman ride for their concern and kind humor. I truly appreciate the effort everyone made to lighten what could have been a much more serious incident.

Special thanks go to Hank, Allan, Rich, Chris, and John.
Hank for his medical knowledge and calm roadside manner.
Allan for having duct tape to get my handlebars attached to make the bike walkable.
Rich for driving up from Brewster Station and driving me home.
Chris and John for accompanying Rich and the moral (and transportation) support offered when we met up on South Quaker Road.

Also, kudos to everyone who passed and then came back up the hill to check on me (that must have been a challenging climb!). Pieter and John for pacing the group pack to station.

Now, the damage report.

I had a clear road and accelerating quickly at the start of big decent. I decided to back off the speed a bit and had my hands on the brake levers. My front wheel went into a small indentation in the road but the bump caused me to grab the left (front) brake lever. The wheel stopped, I didn't and went head-first over the handlebars. My helmet took the initial impact as I rolled over onto my back. I then slide for a good number of feet, picking most of the road rash and bruises on my lower back and butt.

The bike bounced away from me. The handlebar near the right brake hood seemed to have hit first, most likely causing the stem face cap to be sheared of. The bike landed several feet away in the ditch on the other side of the road.

I was conscious for the whole event. when I stopped sliding, my first thought was, ""Sh* t, that sucks!"" I was on feet immediately and felt pain in my shoulder, lower back and right thumb. My second thought was about the bike, was it broken, would I be able to ride back to the station? I also looked up the road and saw a car descending but slowing as the driver realized there was some carnage in the road. He pulled up and asked if I was alright. I answered in the vague affirmative, mostly to send him on his way, knowing that there were more cyclists about to descend. I did not want me or anyone else to have another accident.

Hank was able to slow down and stop, everyone else safely sped by, inquiring if things were alright. A few minutes later, the group was coming back up the hill. Plans were discussed and agreed, Hank and Allan stayed with me to get things sorted, while the rest of group finished up the ride so Rich, Chris and John could drive back to pick-up the injured.

As Hank, Allan and I walked along the route (very pretty when walking) I catalogued my damage. Road rash on left shoulder arm and wrist, lower back and both butt cheeks. There were throbs of pain in my left shoulder, lower back which made bending a challenge, a bruise on left calf and most worryingly, my right thumb would not stay in place and was getting swollen. I was able to pop it into a position where it hurt less and I had more motion, but it wouldn't stay for long.

As Rich drove me home, I called my wife, Giuliana, and my doctor. Giuliana was on her way to a hair appointment which she canceled. I wanted to get home so I could drop off the bike and clean up as best possible before going to the hospital. The pain was annoying and frustrating by limiting my range of motion but tolerable. I showered, Giuliana cleaned and covered my wounds as best as possible and we proceeded to spend five hours in St. Vincent's emergency room. I got admitted, x-rayed, repatched and, the news that will keep me of the bike for some time. The orthopedic attendant said I have a possible fracture at the base of my right thumb. He put a cast on it that extends to the middle of my forearm. I need to see a specialist this week to determine if surgery is required.

And now, the inevitable Mastercard moment:

New handlebars and Stem $500
New tires and tubes $125

Anonymous's picture
Chris T (not verified)
Steve, get well soon

"If you need any assistance in the near future, let me know.

amazing things after your mishap:

1. That you were able to walk away. When I heard you crashed, I thought you were going to be majorly hurt. Thank goodness you were ok (relative to the speed and place). But you had the most spectacular road rash I have ever seen (Iban Mayo has nothing on you) -- must hurt like hell.

2. That Allan had duct tape!

3. After our rendezvous with you with Rich, we offered to take Allan and Hank and their bikes in my auto. They opted to ride back to the train and take it home. Not so amazing to them or to me now, but surprising at the time. My guess is they made the 5:07 train out of Southeast.

What is not amazing:
The all for one, one for all spirit of your fellow NYCC members.

Log the accident as ""sh!t happens"". Also, you were NOT a DNF, you were an IWA = I Walked Away."

Anonymous's picture
seth (not verified)

A broken thumb and some road rash? That's it? Just get yourself a blood transfusion, proclaim your innocence and get back on that bike. There's an 80 miler this weekend.

I'm glad to hear your injuries were no worse than they were, and hope you have a speedy recovery.

Bodies heal, bikes don't. That's a costly one. Damn.


Anonymous's picture
Hank Schiffman (not verified)
One more number....

"Speed at time of fall: 45.5 mph...""he flew threw the air with the greatest of ease."" If not things could have been much worse."

Anonymous's picture
Carol Wood (not verified)
Lucky after all...

"Based on his decision to ""back off on the speed,"" it sounds like Steve's good sense told him to take that hill more cautiously than he might have done otherwise. Even I hit 49 on that hill without trying; an expert like Steve could no doubt have gone much faster.

I suspect that skill and youthful flexibility softened his fall. But it was his quick thinking that got him out of the road and prevented greater harm to himself and others.

It probably also helped that Hank reminded us at lunchtime to beware on that descent, where someone else hit 50 mph last year. And to watch out on the equally exhilarating Quaker Hill Road--which empties abruptly onto busy Route 22. (At least one person in my group said he refrained from bombing down that road--a real temptation.)

Folks, be careful out there.

Steve, get well soon. In the meantime, give yourself plenty of ice, rest, treats--maybe even a new bike."

Anonymous's picture
Upright Guy (not verified)
Spades is spades

"Lemme see if I got this right...

This guy, all alone on an open road, crashes himself for no reason, and you're praising his ""good sense"" and ""skill""?

Could've happened to anyone, right? Wrong!


Anonymous's picture
seth (not verified)
I supposed

you HAVE crashed yourself all alone on an open roade FOR a reason? God you must be stupid? Oh, let me guess, you wanted to get some really nifty road-rash scars to show off to all your coworkers. Or you needed an excuse to get a new bicycle.

Try blowing out your front tire on a 45 mph downhill all alone on an open road. Oh yeah, a seasoned pro like yourself would be able to ride it out. How about a well-placed squirrel in your front wheel. I forgot, a seasoned pro like yourself would be able to bunnyhop the little critter with a fractioned second's notice.

C'mon don't be such a coward Mr. Upright, let the message board know who you are. It shouldn't be a problem for you since you're so much better than everybody else here.

On second thought, maybe you should remain a coward.

Anonymous's picture
Richard Rosenthal (not verified)
Jokes don't come through very well in this proves.

"Steve's recitation of his ugly fall and injuries contains this statement, in which he refers to his wife: ""Giuliana was on her way to a hair appointment which she canceled.""

Obviously, she's not Jewish.

(A joke, guys, that's a joke! I'm just playing with clichés and stereotypes. Please don't castigate me for being anti-Semitic on top of being racist for using the ""O"" word instead of ""Asian."")

Anonymous's picture
Steve W (not verified)


It is okay, no offence. I wasn't in synogogue either and look what happened. But now I have a whole year to atone.

Anonymous's picture
Yogi (not verified)
3 snappy comebacks


Wishes for a speedy recovery for you and your bike, you guys are a bunch of tough hombres. It WAS a beautiful ride, and it’s always humbling for me trying to keep up with Hank and the boys.


I’m well aware that Jews can be anti-Semitic, but no one accused you of being racist towards Asians in the “tube” thread. It was the “Other” funny guy :-)


Tasting the mashed potatoes the second time did me in :-)

Anonymous's picture
al stern (not verified)

Hello Steve:

Sorry to hear about your accident. At least you're alive to talk about it and the bike is essentially intact. Good luck with the recovery process and I'm sure I'll see you later on down the road!


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