Cleanup In Aisle Knee

09.29.2009 | 12:24 am

We were just riding along.

Seriously, we were.

Mark was introducing me to a terrific MTB trail network — Millcreek Canyon — and we were really, honestly, and truly just riding along.

And then the god of mountain bikes looked down on Mark and — for whatever reason — was not pleased. So Betty (the god of mountain bikes is a woman named Betty, and I understand she’s super hot) smote Mark. Just knocked him clean off his bike. No warning or anything. Just tugged his front wheel out from under him and pushed him over.

Unfortunately — for both Mark and me — I was right on Mark’s tail. I no sooner saw the hand of Betty show him who’s boss (hint: it’s Betty) than I crashed into the wreckage formerly known as Mark and his bike.

So startled was I by this chain of events that my mouth hung slack. This worked out badly for Mark, because my open mouth was bound to collide with something. In this case, my front teeth would collide with his knee, drawing blood.

For those who are curious about my first impressions of this unintentional foray into cannibalism: tastes like chicken. Disappointing, really.

Oh, and speaking of knees — because, two paragraphs up, I really was briefly speaking of knees — my knee was what took first impact on the hard-surfaced, gravelly trail.

Ooh, looky here. I have a photo:


For those wondering, the green socks are my wool Ibis socks. I’m a fan.

Oh, and in case you thought I was kidding about me being a kneebiter, behold Mark’s knee:


I really hope that leaves a scar.

And, just to round things off, gross most of the rest of you out, and make maybe a few of you uncomfortable with the fact that you’re suddenly very interested in Mark, here’s him cheerfully showing off his post-crash hip:


“Here,” Mark seems to be saying in this photo. “I’d really really like to show you my wound, and perhaps a wee bit more.”

But you know what’s really weird? The fact that I’m this far into today’s post and haven’t even broached today’s topic. Specifically, after all the fun and games are over, someone’s going to have to clean up this mess.

The Shower of Pain

A good hard bike wreck — road or mountain — hurts really bad twice. The first time is when you incur the injury. And the second is, of course, is when you wash it.

Because the washing is so much more than soap-lather-rinse. In fact, it’s even more than soap-lather-rinse-repeat.

It’s a ritual of pain. An assertion that you are willing to suffer for your art, such as it is. And above all, it’s an absolute lock of a way to ruin a white washcloth.


I expect there are some people who, when they’ve got a bike injury to clean up, step into the shower — tub, whatever — and get straight to it.

I am not one of those people.

Instead, I wash everything else first, slowly and carefully. I wash my face extra-well, because — who knows? — perhaps I’ll otherwise break out with my first acne in twenty years. I wash between my toes. I wash my back, without the aid of a back scrubber. Takes more time that way, especially if you’re being thorough.

I wash my hands, which I generally otherwise don’t do in the shower, figuring they see plenty of soap and scrubbing action without having to be specifically attended to. Which is unfair, when you think about it.

Perhaps I might even put shampoo on my head, which is a cruel mockery of both my head and the shampoo upon it.

Then maybe I’ll squeegee the glass and clean the shower’s grout. And then cast about, desperate for something — anything — else to clean besides the wound.

At some point, though, the wound must be cleaned.

This May Hurt a Little…But It’s More Likely Going to Make You Wish You Had Opted for the General Anesthetic

When it’s time to start the process of cleaning the wound up, I tell myself that my wound is just a surface that needs to be cleaned. It is not part of me. Any pain I experience has nothing to do with the actions I am taking, and so I will not stop just because I am in pain.

This doesn’t help at all, by the way. I have no idea why I say it to myself.

I then take the two very simple tools I use for cleanup — Dial soap and a dark-colored washcloth — and begin to lightly daub at the wound, hoping that perhaps all the blood and dirt and scabs will just fall off, due to the overwhelmingly strong combined forces of gravity and soap.

Then I begin the scrubbing ramp-up. Each stroke just a little bit more forceful than the last, until the wound has been successfully opened up again and is bleeding freely again and oh no I think I perhaps need a transfusion because I suddenly am having a difficult time standing and the room is spinning around.

Oh, and also I should mention that I usually make pitiful mewling noises while I do that part.

With all the general stuff washed off, the easy part — and by “easy” I mean “bearably painful” — is over.

Now it’s time to get to the stubborn stuff.

The stubborn stuff tends to take the form of very small rocks, or stubborn dirt. Or a riding buddy’s front tooth, I suppose. And it’s usually hidden beneath a flap of skin that didn’t get torn all the way off, so now it’s acting as a tupperwarish lid, keeping the dirt and grime safely sealed away inside you.

That flap of skin is going to have to go. I realize that. And yet, whenever I go to pull one of those flaps off, a very shrill and insistent voice in my head says things like, “YOU ARE NOT SUPPOSED TO TEAR YOUR SKIN OFF, STUPID. BECAUSE WHEN YOU TEAR OFF YOUR SKIN IT CAN NO LONGER PROTECT THE JUICY STUFF UNDERNEATH.”

Yep, that voice really says everything in all-caps like that. And don’t think I haven’t told it how annoying that can be.

So I do my best to ignore the voice and remove the skin that isn’t doing me any good anymore, so I can get to the dirt and rocks and dog hair and pieces of asphalt that are trying — and making a pretty good show of it — to bond with me.

Eventually, the wound is clean. And then comes the rinsing. Which, magically, seems to hurt just as bad as everything else that has come before. Or maybe worse. By then my gauge of pain is a little bit fouled up.


Once cleaned, I apply an entire tube of Neosporin, because I work under the theory that Neosporin’s main job is to prevent any air molecules from getting near my blood. My science may be shaky here.

And then, once the ointment (really, is there an uglier word in the English language?) is applied, I like to discover that the only kind of bandages I have left in the house are the tiny little ones that don’t quite make it all the way around your pinky finger.

Good thing each box of bandaids comes with around 80 or 90 of this size. With patience, I can make a sort of quilt from these tiny bandaids and apply them to my wound.

This will, naturally, not adhere to any place on my skin where there’s any Neosporin at all.

Though it will adhere very well to my open wound, and will in fact bond chemically with it in seconds.

I swear, sometimes all this post-crash cleanup takes so much time and effort I wonder why I bother injuring myself at all.


  1. Comment by bobble | 09.29.2009 | 12:46 am

    Nah you’re wrong about digging out the small gravel. If you leave enough in there eventually it turns into a built in skid plate!

  2. Comment by Karen | 09.29.2009 | 1:09 am

    So sorry about your injuries. Yikes. That’s why the closest I come to bike riding is reading this blog, which I do almost every day, making me an almost religious non-rider. Or something.

    And ugliest words? You must have forgotten “smegma”.

  3. Comment by buckythedonkey | 09.29.2009 | 1:46 am

    Unction is not the prettiest word either. It’s also a synonym of ointment. No coincidence there, methinks.

  4. Comment by Steve | 09.29.2009 | 2:15 am

    Haemorrhoids is the ugliest word.

    Even worse, you put ointment on them.

  5. Comment by bikesgonewild | 09.29.2009 | 2:37 am

    …ouch, dammit !!!…

    …that wasn’t quite as painful as actually doing what you were doing but reading about it did have me cringing & squirming…

  6. Comment by Max | 09.29.2009 | 2:53 am


    This reminds me of a thread on the Team Estrogen forums – – how to get the grit out of road rash!

    *another shudder* I think I need to sit down now. The room is spinning!

  7. Comment by Frank | 09.29.2009 | 4:12 am

    Next time use your water bottle to wash it out on the spot. The adrenaline in your system right after the crash makes it much less painful and much easier to clean later on. I wouldn’t recommend doing this with Gatorade though!

  8. Comment by Mike Roadie | 09.29.2009 | 4:38 am


    Do not forget that you can polish the faucets in the shower before getting to the wound-cleaning fun…..I’m just sayin’


    See you in Austin!!!!

  9. Comment by Big Mike In Oz | 09.29.2009 | 4:43 am

    Here’s another reason to advocate for track racing… clean wounds. Unless your town has one of those fancy wooden velodromes in which case I’d suggest chess if you’re at all allergic to foot long splinters piercing a kidney.

  10. Comment by Jessica @ How Sweet It Is | 09.29.2009 | 4:44 am

    Yikes. Ouch.

  11. Comment by Jackie @ Road to Bike Across Kansas | 09.29.2009 | 5:40 am

    I’ve yet to have my first crash, and after the explanation provided of what’s involved I think I will just skip it all together. :) Feel better.

  12. Comment by daniel | 09.29.2009 | 5:51 am

    Ugliest words turned into a product. “Unguentine Antiseptic Ointment” G’head… run it past Google… (New Ad: Now 30% more Unctious!)

    (It’s unclear whether using a water bottle for cleaning is a good idea. There’s a lot of bacteria on and in most water bottles. It’s at least something to keep in mind.

    Fatty: Have you considered that someone who seems to fall off bikes as much as you might want to consider another sport? (Jes’ sayin. ;)

  13. Comment by Andrew | 09.29.2009 | 6:02 am

    Eeesh. Might want to have Mark go in for a tetanus booster and some antibiotics. Even if you brushed your teeth (you did brush your teeth this morning, didn’t you, Fatty?), the mouth is a pretty dirty place.

  14. Comment by Douglas | 09.29.2009 | 6:12 am

    I like straight rubbing alcohol, liberally rubbed into the fresh wound. Preferably in the parking lot while attending to post ride hydration. Yea it burns, Yea it’s pain, but you buddies will never question your ability to suffer!

  15. Comment by justrun | 09.29.2009 | 6:13 am

    Injure Friend With Own Teeth While Biking, now on the life list.
    That first shower is the worst. And as a runner, the thing I always fear is the unknown chafing that may have occurred. Wow can that turn an otherwise moment of peace into a really bad (and loud) experience.

  16. Comment by Carl | 09.29.2009 | 6:25 am

    I’m still putting Neosporin on an elbow from LIVESTRONG Philly… I guess the doc at the rest stop didn’t scrub it as hard as it felt like he did.

  17. Comment by Born 4 Lycra | 09.29.2009 | 6:43 am

    So were the bikes ok?

  18. Comment by Maggie | 09.29.2009 | 6:48 am

    Oh Eldon

    If only you knew just how much you brighten my day! I don’t alaways get time to read your posts, but when I do, I just laugh out loud right here in the office. Every couple of weeks or so I catch up with all your posts. I just love your prose style & your sense of humour! Great! You should seriously get that book written.

    Here am I living in West Yorkshire, England, working at an office job & just wishing all those years ago, when I lived in Canada, I’d taken a different path in life & gone for an outdoor career! How I loved the Rockies & the wilderness. Instead I came back to the UK & have had desk bound jobs ever since. Silly me!

    I’m outdoor person at heart. How I envy your fantastic bike rides. I’m a runner, well, used to be a runner, but now not much more than a jogger due to wrecked cartilage in my knee, & I used to dabble in cycling, but never had the nerve to try the off road stuff. That’s toooo scareee! But hey, I can still get out there & feel the wind & sun on my face even if it is jogging to work on urban streets & not out there in the hills.

    It would be my idea of heaven to live somewhere mountainous & glorious beautiful,. Nepal springs to mind! Once when trekking (the Annupurna Circuit) we were passed by 3 or 4 guys on mountian bikes at about 16000 feet! way to go!

    LiveStrong & fight like Susan!

  19. Comment by Niall | 09.29.2009 | 7:03 am

    Doesn’t a good stack hurt THREE times?

    First time when you stack.
    Second when you wash the wounds.
    Third when you have to pay for the damage to your bike and replacement FC riding kit.

  20. Comment by Mikeonhisbike | 09.29.2009 | 7:05 am

    Whatever happened to getting your mom to spray some bactene on it and running back outside to play?

  21. Comment by Jenni Laurita | 09.29.2009 | 7:40 am

    I have SO made the quilt of little bandaids. Usually they have cartoons on them too.

  22. Comment by TimRides | 09.29.2009 | 7:57 am

    I agree with Frank and others: cleaning it sooner is better. My last road rash was right outside a Starbucks, so I was able to take over their restroom and clean right up. Plus I was able to tag some liquid energy on after the adrenaline rush.

    And we pretty much only buy the one-size packs of bandaids now. I think we still have some of those little useless ones that were in a box we bought ten years ago.

    26 days to LS:Austin!


  23. Comment by Jennebelle | 09.29.2009 | 8:09 am

    That was really gross.

  24. Comment by jessica | 09.29.2009 | 8:12 am

    I’ve found that using baby shampoo takes some of the sting out of the post crash shower.

  25. Comment by Jim G | 09.29.2009 | 8:29 am

    Yep – maroon colored thrift store washcloths. I agree with the multiple x hurt. My wife and I got piled up in a little paceline faux pas. Someone touched wheels, my wife went down sliding on her back & shoulder for plenty-nine yards, I hit the deck trying to avoid her & others. So, not only did I have to clean myself up, I had to clean her back & shoulder wounds that were beyond her reach. Somehow that one still hurts.

  26. Comment by Dan O | 09.29.2009 | 8:43 am

    Don’t forget the healthy dose of rubbing alcohol prior to the neosporin, this ensures you remember Betty is in control.

    Austin, here we come!

  27. Comment by Dr. Lammler | 09.29.2009 | 8:46 am

    I hope you didn’t damage the Assos SS.13 jersey. That would be a real tragedy.

  28. Comment by Jeffy | 09.29.2009 | 8:52 am

    Thanks – I needed some cheering up (life, not a crash/scrub/suffer incident) this AM. Jeffy

  29. Comment by ha1ku | 09.29.2009 | 8:57 am

    Reading this entry made me wince in pain. But, like a good car crash, I …just …couldn’t …look away.

  30. Comment by akaKathy | 09.29.2009 | 9:05 am

    Betty decided to put me in my place (on the ground) while pre-riding a race course and when I was on the 10&under section of the course. The language that was coming out of my mouth during the shower was much more colorful than the post clean-up no-longer-white washcloth provided by the hotel.

  31. Comment by brian | 09.29.2009 | 9:09 am

    Maybe in 2 years when you write your 20 years of acquired wisdom article you can add not following too close when mountain biking ;)

  32. Comment by Kathy McElhaney | 09.29.2009 | 9:10 am

    Ewww… flashback!!! October 2003, I stood at the end of my husband’s hospital gurney while the nurses cleaned him up in a 3 step process:

    1. Nice warm cloth
    2. Rough cloth
    3. Toothbrush-like devise

    All without benefit of anesthesia…

  33. Comment by Marla Gnarla | 09.29.2009 | 9:17 am

    That brought back some painful memories!!

  34. Comment by Bicycle Bill | 09.29.2009 | 9:22 am

    Punchline to an old joke, Fatty, but it fits here:
    “If it hurts when you do that, DON’T DO THAT!!”

    Crash, that is.

  35. Comment by dug | 09.29.2009 | 9:43 am

    nostril. nostril is worse. or just as bad.

  36. Comment by Road Rash Chronicles | 09.29.2009 | 9:51 am

    I can so relate to this. Check out the collection from my site..

    Plus, forget the bandaids! Check out Tegaderm. 1000% better.

  37. Comment by Liberty on Bikes!/bob | 09.29.2009 | 9:52 am

    behind every scab is a good story,
    and possibly a piece of gravel, if you’re
    like me and won’t let anyone pick it out.

    I think you understated (for those so unlucky to not experience it) the joy of blindly digging around with tweezers for some elusive piece of gravel. Like the game Operation, with a blindfold.

    If there were only some hikers coming down the trail,
    imagine their story finding the two of you…..

  38. Comment by mark | 09.29.2009 | 10:06 am

    I found a little piece of your tooth, but it went down the drain. Sorry.

  39. Comment by Lizzylou | 09.29.2009 | 10:19 am

    I prefer hydrogen peroxide. Something about all the bubbles makes me forget the slight sting. And I agree about the Neosporin theory, at the Philly Livestrong, the first aid attendant who bandaged me knee following my tripped-in-cleets-while-walking-uphill crash didn’t use a bandaid because she said the ‘ointment’ would keep dirt out without the bandaid.

  40. Comment by Clydesteve | 09.29.2009 | 10:22 am

    Betty is my Mother-in-Law.

    Good accident coverage, BTW.

  41. Comment by Lizzylou | 09.29.2009 | 10:22 am

    Argh! Apparently I’m a pirate!

  42. Comment by Boz | 09.29.2009 | 10:35 am

    As a dumb-ass youth, I burned my leg with white gas. Every other day was a trip to the burn care unit at a local hospital. I can tell you, taking a whirl pool bath in chlorine bleach to soak off the bandages is pain one can never forget. Actually, it hurt so intensely that it would feel good after a few minutes.
    I’m very careful with fire these days. Thanks for the reminder FC.

  43. Comment by Rick | 09.29.2009 | 10:38 am

    Gee, this was really great to read while eating lunch!!

  44. Comment by Rika | 09.29.2009 | 10:41 am

    My dad taught me a few good tricks, back in the day. Being a surgeon, he was always the one to clean up any bloody messes, or possible sowing, that needed to be taken of. He would run ice-cold water on the wound till I was just about numb and then, with the water still running, lightly brush out the foreign objects with a sterilized brush. Numb can be pretty good at times!

  45. Comment by Sara | 09.29.2009 | 10:44 am

    Would you please post a warning next time before ugly words and gruesome pictures? Ah, what the heck, it made my breakfast just that much more tasty….Yes, a tetanus shot may be a good idea. You never know!!

    Well, thanks again for making this a great way to start the day!! Beats reading the newspaper.

  46. Comment by wing-nut | 09.29.2009 | 10:53 am

    Once, just once I got a case of real stupid after a crash and thought that the aerosol skin would help cover the raw nerve endings. After getting up off the floor I realized that I now had to wash that stuff off.

  47. Comment by El_Animal | 09.29.2009 | 10:56 am

    Thank you fatty, now I’ll have that image in my head for a while!

    PS Are you coming to Austin? Are we doing any nice raffle or something? My fundraising sucks.

  48. Comment by lifein360 | 09.29.2009 | 10:58 am

    OMG Wing Nut. I did that too. In the middle of a long ride, I tried to spray that “new skin” on my crash just to get me through til the end. Well I think it was the first time in my life I fainted. The pain was beyond this world.

    Yes, I tried that stuff once too. It hurt SO MUCH WORSE than the original injury. Dropped me to my knees. – FC

  49. Comment by Scotty | 09.29.2009 | 11:05 am

    I am with you and always clean the wound last.

    Just hoping that the pain won’t be there when I get to it.

  50. Comment by Kristian | 09.29.2009 | 11:19 am

    Dear Fatty and the rest of all the people on here…

    My comment isnt that especially for this story but as it will be my first evr comment I make on it will be a general one… I’ve have come in contact with this blog threw various persons and didn’t know the existince, have to say for defence, i’m dutch! But reading this now for quite some months, the tragic inspiring story as well as the humouristic and painfull (like this one) parts of the stories told, i just have to thank you!!

    Thank you Fatty, for being, along with some others such as that dude that won the tour de france a couple of times, such an inspiration to me.. Not only you but everybody who joins you in cycling, in living, in fighting the good cause to defeat cancer, in losing weight (as you did succesfully) and especially your late wife..I’ll be a proud dutchmen wearing her shirt in November where it says: Fight like Susan, and I will tell of it as well…. So much for my first remark on your blog, thanks again…Greetz from Holland !!

  51. Comment by BikecopVT | 09.29.2009 | 11:25 am

    Ooohhh, I have fealt your pain. Started carrying a Brave Soldier Crashpack and havent gone down since. It’s now my good luck charm.

    Fight Like Susan!

  52. Comment by Wirehead | 09.29.2009 | 11:25 am

    The thought has occurred to me that I really ought to keep a few of those little single serving bottles of vodka in my pack. Because it’s really a multi-purpose thing. Pour it on the wounds on the trail for quick disinfectant. Or you can drink it. Can’t do that with rubbing alcohol if you don’t want to go blind.

    On second thought, forget about vodka. Everclear. If I wanted water, I’d reach for the water bottle. And then you can also use to start a fire.

  53. Comment by SurlyCommuter | 09.29.2009 | 12:05 pm

    Its not a good ride until somebody bleeds…

    don’t think i’ve ever been bitten though – or bitten someone else. Mark should probably get that checked!

  54. Comment by zach | 09.29.2009 | 12:09 pm

    Yo fatty. I was disappointed that there was no commenting on wether you liked millcreek or not. What did you think. This is my tibblefork. good times eh? Just wondering, what gear ratio do you ride on the ss.

  55. Comment by shaun | 09.29.2009 | 12:12 pm
    these rock!
    no more changing bandages on stubbly legs. beeeautiful.

  56. Comment by Jo | 09.29.2009 | 12:13 pm

    Yes, Kris called home once to ask if we had any really big bandaids. Not my favorite question. We have them now.

  57. Comment by Dan O | 09.29.2009 | 12:29 pm

    The Mark dude might wanna get a rabies shot….

  58. Comment by Heather | 09.29.2009 | 12:39 pm

    owwweee, owwwee, owweee…it hurt to read this so can only imagine the actual injuries. I’m with Karen though…this is why I don’t bike but love reading your blog everyday…always brightens my day no matter what my mood. And I can empathize with a runner I sometimes find out exactly where I chafed when I hit the shower…clean up is the roughest part. All I can say is ooowwweee!! Happy Healing!!

  59. Comment by AngieG | 09.29.2009 | 1:25 pm

    Fatty, Mark does seem to be somewhat over joyed at the opportunity to “show off” his wound. Has he ever exhibited other signs of exhibitionism?

    I agree with Wirehead, alcohol can be a multipurpose tool if needed. However, make sure you have a ride home.:-) Having been pulled over for riding my horse home from the local bar, I can tell you they can arrest you for operating ANYTHING while under the influence. Thankfully, I was given a warning since I wasn’t completly inebriated. I had 5 other girlfriends with me, all on horseback, so at least I wasn’t alone. Lesson learned though!

  60. Comment by Sarabeth S | 09.29.2009 | 2:06 pm

    Was hoping for a post-cleanup photo! I need to see how those bandaids formed a quilt pattern across your knee. Great post Fatty.

  61. Comment by rokrider | 09.29.2009 | 2:37 pm

    The quilt of little bandaids. Wasn’t that a Dolly Parton song?

  62. Comment by Kathleen@ForgingAhead | 09.29.2009 | 3:13 pm

    I have yet to experience the joys of road rash and now that I’ve read this post I really hope I don’t!

    How can Mark have a such a big grin on his face with that injury?

  63. Comment by Julie | 09.29.2009 | 3:14 pm

    I used to like the bubbles of hydrogen peroxide too until I found out it’s not really great for wounds. It kills the bad germs but it also kills the good cells which help you heal faster. It may be okay at low concentration or used sparingly but probably soap & water with some neosporin is better.

  64. Comment by VA Biker | 09.29.2009 | 3:15 pm

    Elden, I hope you and your family are doing as well as can be these days.

    Uglier word than ointment: moist

    I think at least some FC readers agree.

  65. Comment by Stan | 09.29.2009 | 3:15 pm

    That’s funny. I have no problem with washing wounds like this. Yes, sure it hurts. But it’s just not a big deal to me. That’s probably because road rash is about the equivalent of a fresh tattoo. And that’s something that I consider No Big Deal.

  66. Comment by Powerful Pete | 09.29.2009 | 3:22 pm

    I don’t really enjoy road rash pain. I tend to follow the Fatty approach, continue riding and eventually get around to cleaning the wound. Procrastination is key.

    It hurts and is yucky to look at. But fortunately does not happen that often…

  67. Comment by Anonymous | 09.29.2009 | 3:27 pm

    seems like you were gone a few days now i know why ….hydrgen peroxide takes out the sting and cleans the wound all ways keep a bottle on just sayin…make sure you clean the tub first.

  68. Comment by sarah | 09.29.2009 | 3:45 pm

    once i bought the drugstore brand generic cetaphil facewash. i then learned that it is several dollars cheaper because it’s not nearly as good as the real thing. it does, however, make a great post-crash scrub! thanks for the injury photos.

  69. Comment by Aaron | 09.29.2009 | 3:50 pm

    Yeah, the variety pack of Bandaids is worthless. I go straight for the box of one size only, large.

  70. Comment by Suntour | 09.29.2009 | 5:31 pm

    So what about Millcreek Canyon? That was my old stomping grounds when I used to live in Utah. One of my favorite rides was to start at Brighton and work my way over to Dog lake. Good times.

  71. Comment by MTB W | 09.29.2009 | 6:09 pm

    I’m probably behind the 8 ball but I just noticed that Fatty has got his pic in magazine (at least the online version) in the article on GF 29er bikes.

    Way to go FATTY!!!

    I’m pretty sure that’s the best portrait photo that’s ever been taken of me. – FC

  72. Comment by kellene | 09.29.2009 | 6:22 pm

    Nice my brother!
    Do you remember at Lindsey’s 12 year old birthday party when she was running around and chasing boys there was a crash? The other girl she was celebrating with ran into her and broke her front tooth off in Lindsey’s forhead! So sad and so funny! Lindsey came running to find me shouting ” there is a tooth in my head…a tooth in my head!” Took a few minutes to figure that out! Had it extracted and a good ‘ol tetnus shot. Hope your tooth is ok. Watch it!

  73. Comment by Anonymous | 09.29.2009 | 6:42 pm

    Do NOT wash it out with your water bottle. Your water bottle is full of all the bacteria that used to live in your mouth. Plus whatever else you have been growing in it…

  74. Comment by Anonymous | 09.29.2009 | 8:10 pm

    Forget the washcloth: a (clean) toothbrush hurts twice as badly, but only takes a third of the time. Plus, when recounting the story, you get to see a hearty wince/shudder, followed by a visible dawning of admiration.

  75. Comment by not a cyclist......ok, maybe just a little | 09.29.2009 | 8:26 pm

    As much as this column made me cringe, and recall that it’s been 12 long years since I myself had a tetanus shot, that picture of Mark is amazingly sexy, blood and all :) That shot made it totally worth the gross-out I experienced reading about Fatty picking pebbles out of partially scabbed over flesh wounds :)

    Tell Kenny he’s got some serious competition.

  76. Comment by Joel P. | 09.29.2009 | 8:37 pm

    Hey Fatty

    Nice knee, heal fast. Seems like we share the same gene for accident proness (I just made that word up). My last year consisted of bad road rash in a July 08 road race crash (not my fault), broken fibula Dec. 08 adult non-contact ice hockey (again not my fault), broken 4th toe left foot April 09 again adult non-contact ice hockey (this was my fault, I chose to block the shot). Anyway, I still skate 3 nights a week and ride and race every chance I get. Hope to share more war wound stories with you in the future.
    Joel P.

  77. Comment by Vee | 09.29.2009 | 9:18 pm

    TEGADERM. That is all.

  78. Comment by Jhansen R. Machado | 09.29.2009 | 9:47 pm

    Well… like they say… chicks love scars. Actually dunno about knees ’s scars but…. who knows?


  79. Comment by skippy | 09.30.2009 | 12:02 am

    “Pain is just weakness leaving the body”….Funny how this is one of my favorite sayings as I ride and crash. I ought to have no weakness left and should be able to win the Worlds Strongest Man competition with all of the pain I’ve had the pleasure of enduring.

    Funny crap you’ve written once again. Also from reading some of the comments I am shocked to see that some commenters are obvious frauds and back stabbing liars. To claim to have never crashed when riding is preposterous. Either they don’t “truly ride” or they ride like a grandma on a three wheeled “bike”.

    Sometimes before I go out for a ride I just go ahead and do a preemptive crash so that I can just get it out of the way. This allows me to doctor up my wounds from the comfort of home and fix whatever I break on the bike with all the tools in the garage. This is much more practical than using my teeth as a wrench on the trail. Try it, it works.

  80. Comment by Azriel | 09.30.2009 | 7:13 am

    here’s were you go wrong fatty:
    You wash the wound when you get back home.
    Blood has done all the work for you. If you want to wash do it then and there. Just use some of the water in your camleback. Oh, yeah, you DON’T USE ONE.

    There are two reasons to use one – when you fall on your back, the water explodes whilst protecting your back. You can have water to spare to do all sorts of important things like wash your hair, make tea/coffee, wash wounds, and sometimes even drink!

    Once you’re home – wash around the wound. The body did everything it could/should already.


  81. Comment by Fuzzy | 09.30.2009 | 7:32 am


    One thing about injuries like those is they result in a truly joyous combination- S&S (Scabs and Scars)

    I LOVE scabs, the tension created by the wait for them to reach pickie stage. There is something wierdly satisfying about the feeling you get when detatching that last fleck of scab from the underlying healing wound. Especialy if a hair is caught in it!

    As for scars-Chicks dig scars.

    Luv ‘n Stuff
    Fuzzy from the UK.

  82. Comment by Bronsont | 09.30.2009 | 7:42 am

    Hope you are up to date on all your shots and have your tags in order, it would be a shame for Mark to have to go thru a cycle of rabies shots due to your biting propensity!

    Great post, I’ve had knees in similar shape and it’s never good.

  83. Comment by Kim | 09.30.2009 | 2:39 pm

    well, since no one else seems to be honest about it: I would like to see more of Mark’s road rash :)

  84. Comment by Claire | 09.30.2009 | 5:48 pm

    I’m totally with Frank on this one too, rinse it roadside with your waterbottle so much easier to clean when the wound is fresh and the adrenaline really does numb the pain.

  85. Comment by Erine | 09.30.2009 | 5:53 pm

    YIKES! Love the pictures!

  86. Comment by Alison | 09.30.2009 | 7:16 pm

    They make neosporin with pain relief. My husband swears by it!

  87. Comment by Sasha | 09.30.2009 | 10:56 pm

    Oh Elden – no fair. I was laughing and giggling so hard that I had to share with my husband. Oh my, I’m actually crying I’m giggling so much. Oh my. So after looking at those photos, I’m now terrified of crashing! I have thoughts of crashing on my road bike with my 700×25 tiny, tiny tires going at 30mph (which I know isn’t fast, but it is for me). Anyhow, I have been using my mtb to actually ride on trails and I LOVE going downhill fast, but am also terrified. This is kind of like a condom for woosies like me. A bike fast condom. :) Cause I don’t want to wash out gravel and junk from my flesh. And I’m paranoid I’d break teeth cause I hate going to the dentist. But, I still ride. Guess I need to quit worrying so much. :)

  88. Comment by Kara | 10.1.2009 | 9:03 pm

    OMG, you have finally made me crack up enough to write! (i had to read the last few posts to catch up) As I am the Wife of BikecopVT, I remember all TOO well his crash. Or rather DOG JUMPING outta truck ON HIM…
    Anyway, the dr’s at the ER didn’t want to clean up the road debris… They barely started to get some betadine on it, then said “you will be better off doing this yourself in a shower or bath at home. we aren’t going to torture you here”… I also remember then having to change bandages for days and days afterwards!!
    And they say MY sport is dangerous! I’ll take the ‘possiblity’ of getting thrown from a horse over this kinda stuff anyday! It HAD been about 13 years… LOL Of course, it finally happened and I got bucked off 3 weeks ago. Had a good case of whip lash resulting!

    Love the posts!!! Love the humor!!

  89. Comment by Jim B | 10.3.2009 | 12:34 pm

    For large area oozers, apply some Second Skin before covering in gauze. You’ll heal without all the scabbing/scarring.

  90. Comment by Beth H | 10.3.2009 | 10:26 pm

    Ouch, ouch, ouch! {wincing in sympathy} See, this is part of why I don’t ride bikes like you do – I’m allergic to road rash! {grin}

    You & your family are still in my prayers. God bless you all!

  91. Comment by Jeb | 10.7.2009 | 9:51 am

    I noticed a couple of noteworthy things from your post today (I am running a bit behind, as I have been computer-less for a few days). They are:
    1. You showed two photos of your stumpy thigh WITHOUT flexing it.
    2. You wrote a whole entry without proclaiming your leanness and/or fitness.
    3. Mill Creek is a great trail system, but a fall there always renders much blood.


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