Tuesday, December 18, 2007

CSI: Anchorage

Parts of my Saturday-night crash
were bothering me. I needed to know
the cause, and figure out why I couldn't
remember falling, or making my way
up a bluff and to a road.
So I decided to do my own little
Crash Scene Investigation.

I always dreamed of being a detective.
Let's take a look at the evidence, shall we?
First, I found what my post-crash
tread track (above), then
followed it back to the scene.
That's where I found a shallow
drainage channel (foreground)
that's difficult to see in low-light conditions
—especially if you happen to be looking
beyond it to a much larger channel
that's somewhat visible in background
of the photo below.
The smaller channel is where I found
my impact site. See that fat Endomorph
track in the foreground? See how it runs
smack into that freshly exposed
ledge of frozen, bike-stopping silt?
Just above the silt is where I
pulled myself to my feet and
staggered around while making
cell-phone calls and climbing back
on my bike.

That's where
the ol' memory switch somehow clicked
to the "off" position. The
next 15 minutes are pretty much gone.
Exhibit A: The silt ledge and the
icy imprint that my pant legs
left on the snow as I tried
to get up. (Sorry, ghouls, but my
droplets of blood seem to have
disappeared, so no photos for you sickos.)
Exhibit B: The snow-covered channel
from the opposite side.
See a pattern here? Yeah, I thought
you would. Other riders have
been going around it, but some dumbass
left that big, fat Endomorph track
leading right into it.

The obvious verdict: I screwed up
by riding too fast in bad light. The
coastal flats are full of hazards
not typically seen in other
parts of town, and I temporarily
forgot that. I got blissed-out
and started riding too fast.

I paid big, landing on my chin and jaw,
which my friend Heather
has since explained is a bad way
to fall if you want your
brain to have a shock absorber.

She happens to be an expert
on brain injuries and
called my memory lapse
"post-traumatic anterograde amnesia ...
one of the best indicators of concussion."

That's a fancy way
for a mountain biker with
a PhD to say, "Dude, you're
brain-damaged and I am going
to have sooo much fun with this."


Anonymous said...

Hey Tim,
Blissed out is good no matter the out come. Could have been worse,it could have happened while you were doing something you hated.


Tim said...

That's true. I'd rather bash my noggin on a bike ride than bounce it off my desk while falling down at work.

Eric said...

So Tim, I take it your brain hasnt swollen and you dident die. Thats great news!

Jeff Moser said...

After my wife crashed, we went back and visited the crash scene to reconstruct what happened. She had a memory lapse too, and was even unconscious for a period of time.

Even several weeks later, there was still a lot of evidence of activity on the sides of the singletrack. We didn't have time to do much re-enactment at the time of the crash; we only focused on getting her to the ER. It was almost like part of the healing process to go check it out, and ride that section again!

Anonymous said...

I honestly feel bad that I did not turn around and go back.I thought you were just taking more pics. of the sunset.When I realized something may be wrong I had Manny give you a ring.
Maybe we should make a rule that we not leave people alone on these social rides, at least this time of the year.If you actually lost time you may have done something that could have put you in more jepordy who knows.