This has been a season of accidents for the 3 Rivers Velo Sports club weekend touring rides. Steve P had an accident early in the season and broke his collar bone, a month ago Kathy B wrecked, broke her collar bone and 4 ribs, and today, Hugh wrecked and whacked his cheek bone on a curb in Butler, IN.
We had just stopped at about the 40 mile mark on the 60 miler today. After pulling out of the c-store, the group of 9 stretched out, single file on US 6 leaving Butler. There was enough traffic that we didn't hear folks at the back yelling at us - Patrick, Sean, and I made it 1/2 mile out of town not knowing what had happened. But as we turned south on CR 63, we noticed there was nobody behind us. Walt came riding up a few moments later, saying someone had a flat.
I immediately thought it might be Phil, and headed back to help. Phil had a flat earlier in the ride, and used his spare tube. He didn't have a patch kit, but I did. Since he had 650B tires, nobody else would have a spare tube to help him out. When I got back to town, Steve P and Hugh were working on his flat tire. Hugh had hit a large rock with his rear tire, threw him off balance, and he tumbled to the ground. I noticed his right cheek started to swell pretty quickly, and asked him about it. He thinks he hit it on the ground, but he couldn't really remember falling. Phil said he whacked his cheek on the curb. Walt headed back to the c-store and returned with a bag of ice, which Hugh used on his cheek. I wasn't sure he should continue, but he wanted to get back on the ground. His right had was hurting, but he could use his fingers and ride with it.
We kept an eye on him, and after 4 miles, or so, Steve, Patrick and Hugh took off at a 19mph pace, heading into the wind. They wanted to get Hugh back quicker. But that was too quick of a pace for me, so after 5 or 6 miles of this, Luis and I drifted back and rode back at a more reasonable pace. The group was all back at Leo High School, when Luis and I got back. I waved so long to everyone and rode on home.
We've had some bad accidents this year, and I hope we don't have anymore. I wasn't along on either ride when Steve and Kathy went down. Although Hugh didn't appear to be hurt as bad as they were, it was serious anyway. Just goes to show you how quickly an accident can happen.
Be careful out there!